Georgia condominium owners need to have a clear understanding of the insurance provided by their Atlanta condo property management company and what insurance they need to purchase to protect their condominium in the event of a loss.
In 2008, Georgia law (HB 1121) amended the Georgia Condominium Act to clarify what property must be insured by a condominium unit-owner and what must be insured by a condominium association.
Under the Georgia Condominium Act, all of the property which is not part of a unit is part of the common elements. The common elements in a typical residential condominium include the building exteriors, the grounds, and any recreational facilities. The common elements are normally managed and operated by the Georgia condominium management company.
Limited Common Elements
Limited common elements are a part of the common elements that are assigned to and reserved for the exclusive use of one or more units. Limited common elements often include such items as decks, patios, parking spaces, and air conditioning units that are physically located outside of the cube of space comprising the condominium unit.
The Condominium Association’s Responsibility
HB 1121 clarified that condominium associations are responsible for obtaining insurance policies for all common elements in buildings, such as foundations, roofs, and exterior walls. Regardless of what is included in the condominium agreement entered into by the unit-owner and association, the association is also responsible for insuring, at full replacement cost, the following:
- The HVAC system;
- All sheetrock and plasterboard comprising the walls and ceilings of the unit; and
- Floors, subfloors, walls, ceilings, floor-coverings, plumbing and electrical lines and fixtures, built-in cabinetry and fixtures, and appliances used for refrigeration, cooking, dishwashing, and laundry.
The Owner’s Responsibility
The amended statute adds that unit-owners’ policies are responsible for insuring betterments and improvements made to the interior of units.
Optional Coverages Owners Should Consider Purchasing
Georgia condominium owners are often unaware of the insurance available for condominium policies. Some of these coverage options may include identity theft coverage, water backup coverage and personal injury coverage.
If you are a condominium owner, review your insurance coverage at least once a year and consult your Georgia association management company for more information on the coverage you need to have in place.