New Disclosure Requirements for Water Damage Insurance Claims in Condominiums Effective January 1, 2021, Insights from Condominium Lawyers

Please Note: This blog is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site is not intended to provide legal advice or a legal opinion and should not be construed as the formation of an attorney-client relationship. Specific questions should be directed to an attorney at NowackHoward, LLC or to another lawyer.

On July 29, 2020, Governor Kemp signed House Bill 1070 amending Code Section 44-3-107 of the Georgia Condominium Act. The new law expressly confirms that condominium associations are not required to obtain insurance related to water damage or water perils. It then imposes disclosure requirements on associations and unit owners when water damage or water peril insurance is carried. The new law goes into effect January 1, 2021, and our condominium lawyers have broken down what this legislation could mean for your community and condominium association.

The new law requires both condominium associations and unit owners to provide, upon request, information related to water damage and water peril insurance. Once the new law becomes effective, condominium associations that carry water damage or water peril insurance coverage will be required to provide the following insurance information within five business days of receipt of a proper written request by a unit owner:

(1)  in the event of a potential or submitted claim related to water damage or water peril on the association’s insurance policy, a copy of the association’s certificate of insurance for all insurance obtained by the association that may apply to such potential or submitted claim; and/or

(2) in the event a claim for water damage or water peril is actually submitted on the association’s policy, the name, address, and telephone number of the insurance adjuster handling the claim, if one has been identified to the association.

The new law imposes identical disclosure requirements on unit owners, requiring that a unit owner provide the condominium association with the unit owner’s certificate of insurance and/or adjuster information, as applicable, for any potential or submitted water damage or water peril claims on the unit owner’s insurance policy within 5 business days’ of receipt of the association’s proper written request. If you are unsure of your association’s policy, do not hesitate to contact a condo law attorney to ensure all of the right policies and documents are in place.

Any request for certificate of insurance submitted by either an association or unit owner under the new law must include whether the certificate should be available for pickup, mailed or sent by electronic communication to the requestor, along with a specific address for mailing or electronic communication.

The express confirmation that a condominium association is not required to carry insurance for water damage or water perils does not mean that coverage should be cancelled or not obtained. Water damage and water perils coverage remains as essential as fire insurance. Not just for high-rise buildings, but for any building where any common property can be damaged by water. If you are unsure of your association’s coverage, contact a condo law attorney to discuss.

As always, should your condominium association board of directors have any questions concerning the new law or any other issues, please contact the a condo law attorney with NowackHoward by phone at (770) 863-8900 or through our contact form to discuss. We are here to support you in any way your board may need.

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