I read your article on condominium insurance. Could you please tell me how I can locate condominium inspection companies to comply with Citizens Insurance?
Although you have indicated you have read an article pertaining to condominium insurance, I cannot recognize from your statement as to whether you are on the board of directors of a condominium association, whether you are in a homeowners association or possibly even a cooperative or individual homeowner. Nevertheless, I will provide you with some information which I hope will be helpful to you.
Compliance with Citizens is dependent upon many factors.
First of all you are required to provide an appraisal every eighteen months. An appraisal usually includes photographs. However, you may be required to provide photographs of the front and rear view of all buildings to be insured. The National Flood Insurance Program requires a new appraisal every three years and for coverage to be written for 100% of the replacement cost value so that after three years go by and you suffer a loss, your values may equate to the 80% of the value required at the time of loss. Therefore in compliance you will require a competent appraiser. The appraisal you order will have to be one which includes both the basic and one which includes flood valuation as well as possibility increased cost of construction and demolition costs. This latter may not be accepted by insurers to provide coverage if your building is 20 years or older. Usually your agent may provide you with a listing of the various appraisers which may have been used by other clients or you may search the internet or your yellow pages for appraisers and contact them for quotations.
Remember contrary to what your by-laws and articles may so stipulate, Florida law stipulates such insurance shall be provided on a "bare wall basis". This means coverage for such windstorm and hail shall be provided to the exterior and extends to the bare wall on the inside only. This means any wall coverings or built in items inside of your condo unit must be insured separate of the building insurance which may apply to an association. The contents and improvements and betterments, then, are insured by the individual unit owner. However, when considering flood insurance, the National Flood Insurance Program includes built in's and floor and wall coverings. Therefore, your building valuations from Hazard (Property) to flood vary and the Association insurance usually picks up those initial built in's floors and wall coverings which an appraiser provides in. the flood valuation. Cost estimators by those handling appraisals is now allowed by Citizen's; however, it is best to include a full appraisal including both property and flood values initially and then possibility secure updates based upon inflationary factors from the appraiser at a lower cost.
Your Condominium Unit Board of Directors usually secures these listings through agents or other means of communication. Therefore, if you are a homeowners association whereby each unit owner is responsible for their own unit, then I would inquire of the property manager as to who may have inspected the other buildings in your locality. Usually cost sharing is better than securing your own appraisal and your property manager may already have a current appraisal on buildings similar to yours which you may be able to use or to use an appraiser to update your information.
Also, for Flood insurance, you will be required to provide a flood elevation certificate. Most associations secure the elevation certificate on your behalf and will provide you with copies. Flood Elevation certificates also have a cost but are not as expensive as an appraisal. Again, you may secure such a listing from your agent, your property manager, neighbors, the internet or yellow pages. You are not required to carry Flood Insurance by Citizen's, but if such is not provided you must sign a statement relating to such non-election.
The most important feature to be provided by Citizen's Property Insurance Corporation is the credits relating to Windstorm Mitigation. You may secure up to 45% in credits, dependent upon the territory in which you live if your home was built in compliance with the 2001 Florida Building Code. And Citizens will automatically apply the minimum FBC 2001 discount if a dwelling was built on or after January 1, 2002 and documentation is provided which validates the year of construction.
You may also secure such additional credits for Roof Deck Attachments such as 6d nails or screws, 8d nails or screws or Dimensional lumber.
If you have a hip roof you may receive up to 23% in credits. The most important credit is that which applies to Shutters and special/impact resistant windows and doors of up to 33%. It is not only important because of its credits involved but because you are mitigating loss in a way in which the insides of your building, your contents and improvements may not be damaged. Most associations who realize the bare wall theory law are including either impact glass or shutters as an association. However, there are still some associations who refuse to provide opening protection and feel it is the unit owner’s responsibility. And the unit owners who paid for their protection sometimes refuse to allow others to be provided opening protection under the association unless they are reimbursed. Others sue their association.
The MIT-6 for roofing credits or the MIT-5 for both roofing and opening credits may be completed by a resident licensed general, residential or building contractor or a licensed building inspector. It may also be completed by a registered architect or an engineer in the state of Florida or a building code official (who is duly authorized by the State of Florida or its county's municipalities to verify building code completion. An engineer includes an Engineering Surveyor. Again you may secure a listing of surveyors by contacting your current agent or prospective new agent, your yellow pages or the internet. You are looking for a "Florida Mitigation Surveyor". Usually the costs start at $250-$300 for the initial building being surveyed and the cost drops to $80-$100 for each additional building. Of course, this is dependent upon the territory. If an engineer must travel great distances because your location does not include a surveyor, the cost will be more.
In summary, your current Insurance Agent is trained and will be able to assist you with any additional inquiries. Insofar as Citizen's Property Insurance Corporation, your agent is there to assist you with such compliance. The Citizen's website "Citizensfla.com" is a very informative site in which to secure information. Also you may contact Citizen's directly.