Do you send all claims to insurance?

2 Replies

Would love to hear everyone’s experiences here. The situation is this: my HOA is getting several claims from homeowners who want something that is already clearly not allowed by our CC&R’s. Some board members believe we should send all of these claims to insurance. Others say it will increase our premiums and we should pay a lawyer to handle it ourselves. Does anyone have guidance on this?

@Connie Chan The board should write a letter to the homeowners pointing out why the board cannot comply with the request (CCRs specified). Send it certified. Then wait - see if the property owners "lawyer up" (most will drop the issue at this point). I'm not sure what you mean by a "claim" but you should simply notify your insurance company that there has been a complaint and a threat. If it is the type of thing covered by insurance then your insurance company will hire the lawyer to defend you should the homeowners pursue it. Side note: if your HOA doesn't already have an attorney familiar with HOA law in your state and familiar with your CCRs you should work on that. No retainer needed - but pay someone to review your docs and make sure you are current and compliant with state law. They should also then be ready to defend you should an issue arise. And if your policies don't specify arbitration before legal action then they should.

Teri, thank you! Do you have tips on what questions to ask when choosing legal counsel? We did have one in prior years and are in process of finding a new one.

I know in service there is truth that you get what you pay for. But I also want to see if you or anyone have guidance on what kinds of questions to ask to find out if the lawyer is a good fit or not.

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