Why Don’t You Have an H.O.-6?
Updated: Apr 14, 2022
If you own a condominium in Georgia, chances are, your association’s property policy will provide funds to help rebuild your unit in a covered loss. However, the funds are subject to the association’s deductible as well as the original “build out” of your unit. The original unit may be quite different from what you purchased. If you are not properly covered by an H.O.-6 policy (unit owners policy), your unit may end up looking quite different from what you purchased.
Condominium association policies in the state of Georgia are designed to restore the entire condominium structure regardless of the boundaries of the condominium units (unless your unit was originally built in a “shell” condition). It will also restore the structure regardless of who is responsible for maintaining them under the condominium instruments. Here is a link to the GA General Assembly. Under the “Legislation & Laws” tab, you can select “Georgia Code” on the right side of the drop-down box. The GA code section I refer to in this article is 44-3-107. This provides an outline for the association’s insuring responsibility.
Your unit is going to be restored and rebuilt with:
Items of the type and quality initially installed.
Or restored with replacements of like kind and quality in accordance with the original plans and specifications.
Or as they existed at the time the condominium unit was initially conveyed if the original plans and specifications are not available.
So there may be improvements made by prior unit owners that are not covered unless your association’s declarations specifically state that unit owner improvements and betterments are covered by the association’s policy. The addition of a washer and dryer may not be covered because it was not an original item. Upgraded cabinetry, granite countertops, hardwood floors and renovated bathrooms are also areas of concern. A common problem is figuring out what’s original or an upgrade. I would speak with your property manager or a long-time resident of the complex to discuss what was original.
There are other potential costs that the association’s policy doesn’t cover but your unit owner’s policy may. For example; loss of use, content pack-up and storage, loss assessment, water seepage/leakage, etc. There are rare losses where your unit owner’s policy will not need to be involved. Almost all the losses we’ve worked on involve both the unit owner’s and the association’s insurance policies.
If you don’t have an H.O.-6 (unit owner’s) policy, you are also overlooking liability coverage. A unit owner’s policy typically provides liability coverage in addition to property coverage. What if you “buzz” someone in you thought was your friend and instead they are a thief that commits a crime? Your neighbors may seek damages from you.
If you haven’t purchased a unit owners policy, please go get one. There’s a reason homeowners have a policy, why wouldn’t a unit owner?
Make a great day!!