We have a  12 unit well run HOA for our condo building inGeorgia . Please tell us if reporting an incident such as a fall on the common grounds is necessary? What are the pros and cons? Thanks. 

**Dee Daley  **

Connie Morrow

What? We prepare an incident report for any fall in common areas - short sweet, include photo, date, time, witness name & statements. Disposition eg ‘individual says not injured no need to go to doctor’. Copy in records and to insurance agent. 

Why? When an attorney makes contact a couple years later saying the ‘injured individual’ wants thousands of dollars, the insurance agent has what’s needed to manage the claim. 

Connie is spot on, and I’ll add one more REALLY important item.  If you do not report the incident when you first learn of it, your insurance company may have a reason not to defend or insure the loss.

Every policy I can think of has a mandatory reporting requirement.  Just today, this was the topic of a post by community association insurance expert Cliff Treese on the Condo Lawyer Listserv. Cliff pointed out that most liability policies are “claims made” policies with a clause that the insured had to notify the insurer “as soon as practical” concerning a claim.

Cliff quoted a case which stated, “Whether an incident is a reportable occurrence turns on whether the incident was “‘sufficiently serious to lead a person of ordinary intelligence and prudence to believe that it might give rise to a claim for damages.”

Yes, if you have a lot of claims this may affect your insurance rates or even cause your carrier to not renew.  But just imagine if the board decides not to report and later there is an uncovered claim (someone who fell develops a condition in some months attributed to the fall on association property.)  Without insurance, the association members will have to hire a lawyer to defend the case and, if you lose, to also pay an award plus possibly the other side’s attorneys’ fees and costs.  Your neighbors will not be happy, and probably will sue the board members.

The test above – a person of ordinary prudence” does not mean to take into consideration the cost increases to your budget. It means (to me) err on the side of reporting if there is a chance the association will be sued.

It can get ugly.

Marshal Granor, Esq.
Past Chair, Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of Pennsylvania Bar Association
Fellow, College of Community Association Lawyers
Granor & Granor, PC
721 Dresher Road, Suite 1000
Horsham, PA 19044
215-830-1100 ext 204 

Good morning-Always document falls in common areas. We use a standard incident report for all unusual incidents. Slip and falls, auto incidents and even aggressive/hostile behaviors. Anything that could wind you up in front of a judge or jury.DomDom GennelloDom.vgbc@gmail.comCell: 609-731-9508Well said Connie… And Incident Report is not an insurance claim…. It is simply making someone aware of an incident…——————————Jeannette Graham, LCAM——————————Connie Morrow

I didn’t mention we hope all residents will prepare reports for other ‘incidents’ as well. 

Several of you asked for copies of the report so below is the procedure which includes report information.

Association Incidents and Reporting Procedure

(Use to report water problem, injury, property damage, inappropriate conduct, etc.)

To Be Completed by Individual Making Report

Note: Association and its agents have authority to bring in remediation or other emergency response teams to protect and otherwise halt further damage to unit or Association property at Owner expense. Per Florida Insurance and Association Documents Unit Owners take lead in contacting their insurance companies to make determination on covered losses.

1. Unit #/Location of Incident:

2. Name Reporting:                                             Date:

3. Brought to attention of: On site Manager ___Facility Operations Chief ___Community Manager ____ 

4. Incident description:

To Be Completed by:

Community Manager

5. Photo Taken and Secured? Yes ____ No ____

6. Date Board Notified:

7. Initial Action Taken and by Whom?

8. Surveillance Confirmed and Captured?

Facility Operations Chief 

9.  Common Area Impact:


Community Manager

11. Action:

12.Further Association Action Required:

13. Further Association Insurance Action:

We also document any incident such as a fall or a trip, a stumble on the tennis courts or a guest runs into a golfcart….it’s better to have it and not need it than to wish you had documented the incident when you have an adjuster call you for details of a fall for a claim filed on your Association’s insurance.

-—————————–Sherri L Johnson, CAM——————————