Question: I am a unit owner in a high-rise condominium. At a recent board meeting which I attended, the issue of insurance was discussed. The board stated unit owners are not required to carry insurance. Is that right? I thought the condominium law mandated that all unit owners must carry insurance for their units? T.T. (via e-mail)
Answer: Good question, the law is a bit confusing. Generally speaking, the association insures the buildings, including many parts of the unit such as drywall. The current version of the Florida Condominium Act (Chapter 718 of the Florida Statutes) does not specifically mandate that unit owners must carry personal insurance (commonly known as “HO-6” insurance). The current version of the statute does, however, define those areas of a unit which the unit owners are “responsible” to insure which includes floor, wall, and ceiling coverings, electrical fixtures, appliances, water heaters, water filters, built-in cabinets and countertops, and window treatments, including curtains, drapes, blinds, hardware, and similar window treatment components, or replacements of any of the foregoing which are located within the boundaries of the unit and serve only such unit While unit owners are “responsible” to insure these defined areas within their units, the statute does not mandate it.
You may be thinking of the 2008 change to the law which did, in fact, implement mandatory HO-6 insurance policies for unit owners in condominiums. The 2008 change in the law further granted an association the authority to “force-place” and purchase and charge a unit owner who failed to confirm that they did carry HO-6 insurance. This law was repealed in 2010.
You should also check your condominium documents, as there may be a requirement which mandates that unit owners carry HO-6 insurance. In my opinion, such a provision, while not common, would likely be legally enforceable.
Originally posted in Florida Condo HOA Blog