Some HOAs can carry insurance for years and years and never file a claim, which is why so many communities feel intimidated and unsure of how to work with their insurance when something actually happens. When handled properly, an insurance claim is pretty simple and straightforward, but when it is mismanaged it can become a nightmare for your association.
By following these straightforward steps, your association can file a claim without any hassle.
- Put together a team of board members who have a specific role in the claim process. This can help streamline the process and distribute the workload so no one person is overwhelmed or overworked.
- Document! Document every aspect the claim, from the damage (reason for the claim) to every communication/email sent regarding the claim. Keeping detailed and accurate records can save your association a lot of stress and time.
- If your claim affects several homeowners or condo units, make sure you work with those residents to get a detailed damage assessment and compile those documents and photos for your insurance agent. It will help move the claim along smoothly and quickly!
- Three quotes. Your board should work with at least three vendors to get quotes on the cost of damage repairs. This way you know your getting a fair deal. Before ANY works begins, make sure you and your insurance adjuster have agreed on the scope of loss.
- Communicate with stakeholders. This is especially important when the claim involves residents. If your association is a condo or townhome community and individual units were damaged, you must make sure those residents/stakeholders know the status of the claim. This will help you avoid tensions and unnecessary frustration and conflict with residents.
- Consider an experienced public adjuster. If, for whatever reason, your claim isn’t progressing as fast as it should, talk to an experienced public adjuster. They are skilled at progressing even the most complex claims.
At the end of the day, no association wants to file an insurance claim. While it can be stressful and time consuming, it doesn’t need to feel impossible or nightmarish. Be strategic and diligent during the processes and DOCUMENT everything. By following these steps you’ll save your association from a lot of unnecessary trouble and heartache.