Find out what is happening at CAINS Management, by reading our latests posts and information.

  • Let's Talk Loss Recommendations

    Carriers may have been laxer in the past with their onsite inspections after taking on a new risk or reinspecting a risk they’ve been on for some time, but that is no longer the case.  We are seeing carriers on top of their inspections, and recommendations these days are mostly mandatory.
  • Renovation Derailed by Supply Chain Delays

    Renovation projects almost always run into hiccups and delays, but you encountered an unexpected problem recently.
  • HOA Finances Tips for Handling Your Reserve Account

    How’s your reserve account?
  • Condo Liability By Filling Out a Form

    After the Champlain Towers collapse, Fannie Mae updated its Form 1076 asking condos to provide more information about their property when units are being sold using Fannie Mae related financing.
  • What's Going On with Commercial Umbrella Insurance

    Recently we put out information on how you should handle your 2022 and 2023 budget for insurance.  In it, we mentioned some of the issues that HOAs and condominiums are experiencing with their Commercial Umbrellas.  The Umbrella market continues to get worse and that information we put out was only a few weeks ago!
  • Are grills on balconies permitted?

    Hello: Can anyone site references to codes or ordinances in Ohio related to gas and charcoal grills on multifamily building balconies?  What I have found is not clear.  Are cities allowed to have a lesser ordinance than the state?  Thanks for any help.
  • Changes on the Way

    As insurance companies are continually making changes to their coverages to stay current, it’s important for association board members and property managers to be aware of what those changes are and how they can impact their communities. 
  • Your Insurance Budget 2022 and 2023

    Three years ago we started preparing everyone that we were entering a hard market. Since then, we have regularly informed everyone of changes in the insurance market, as well as where the industry is heading.
  • The Importance of Building Updates

    Building updates are becoming more and more important for insurance carriers to consider before underwriting a new risk for their portfolio.  They want to know:
  • Should Community Associations hold Video Conferencing

    Like it or not, the COVID-19 pandemic is changed how most planned communities and condominiums conduct business. Your planned communities and condominiums are still obligated to comply with Your States Open Meeting law, even if the meeting is virtual.  How can boards best balance this unique situation?  Most Law Firm’s legal opinion is that regular board meetings and regularly scheduled committee meetings may be conducted via teleconferencing or conference calls.
  • Labor/Supply Chain Shortages, Insurance Increases

    For more than two years, community associations have navigated challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic including decisions on wearing face masks, requiring vaccines, reopening amenities, and social distancing. Now, labor and supply chain shortages, inflation, higher insurance premiums, and rising gas prices are creating new challenges for community association leaders. 
  • The Hard Insurance Market

    By now, all of you who are Property Managers or Board Members have heard from your Insurance Broker that the industry is dealing with one of the hardest markets that we have ever experienced. Insurance is cyclical and the market can be either soft, normal, or hard. A hard market will generally last 2-3 years which normally would be good news since we are getting towards the end of the third year ofthe current hard market. However, this one does not seem to be going away anytime soon.
  • Property Managers—Unsung Heroes

    Practicing law in the condominium and community association arena for over a decade has taught me many things. It has taught me that people are complicated and diverse. That each of us has our own perspective on socially acceptable norms and practices. And that we each have our own unique approach to living the best life we can. Sometimes our difference in perspective and our individual character traits make living in a community association setting challenging. Residing in close proximity to others sometimes highlights our differences rather than our similarities. When this occurs, association disputes arise that inevitably find their way to the association management company. At the epicenter of nearly all disputes are association property managers. These brave and dedicated souls must handle such disputes with confidence, grace, professionalism and diplomacy. No easy task. Picture the scenario in which the occupant of unit 1A complains to the property manager about excessive noise transmitting from unit 2A. The unit 2A occupant equally complains about excessive noise transmitting from unit 1A. The property manager is left with two very unhappy and frustrated unit owners to manage.
  • Plan an Increase in Insurance for 2022

    The insurance industry has been in a hard market for the past three years.  Though there are signs that there may be some softening in 2022, most experts agree that only certain sectors or certain policies may see some relief, while others may not. Properties with a good history, updated electric, and excellent life safety devices may experience only a slight 2%-4% increase in their package policies.  Properties with unfavorable loss history, will probably see a much higher increase.
  • Personal Umbrella - Extra Protection

    Some insurance claims can seem unbelievable. A personal umbrella policy adds a crucial layer of asset protection above your insurance policy limits for accidents and claims that go beyond your wildest imagination. For example…
  • Joint Employer Rule - What You Need to Know

    Recent Changes in the Joint Employer Rule May Expose Associations and Management Companies to Unanticipated Liability
  • Deductible Resolutions

    Deductible resolutions are a relatively new way for condo or co-op associations to transfer their deductible back to the owners in the event of a loss. Many associations have suffered for years with having to pay for damages that are under the association’s insurance deductible since the damage is considered the association’s responsibility, even when the damage started in one person’s unit and did damage only to their unit!
  • Commercial Umbrella Insurance

    Commercial Umbrella Insurance provides liability coverage over and above the limits of your existing policies. It’s not a legal requirement, but the benefits of having it are substantial.  
  • 5 Questions Board Members Should Ask

    Every board of directors for a homeowners’ association (HOA) has several key responsibilities that it must fulfill. While some traditional tasks include attending meetings, enforcing rules, and managing the financials, these must-dos are not always so cut-and-dry. It’s important that board members are not only adaptable, but can also keep an open mind, as roles and responsibilities often evolve.
  • Winter - Is It Covered?

    The Basic, Broad and Special Forms on which property policies are written offer different levels of coverage. Basic and Broad Form are “named peril” policies, meaning perils must be listed within the policy to be covered. Special Form is written on an “open perils” basis, meaning that unless that peril is excluded from the policy, coverage is included. Damage from the weight of snow, ice or sleet is not covered under the Basic Form, but only under the Broad and Special Form formats. Of those three formats, you will most likely see either Basic or Special Form offered in many insurance programs for investment properties. So, if you have Basic Form you will not be covered for damage resulting from the Weight of Snow, Ice or Sleet, but if you have Special Form, coverage for Weight of Snow, Ice & Sleet is included.
  • Question about Community Associations - insurance renewing practices

    How often does your association bid it’s insurance policy?  How many agents are asked to bid? Does the current agent get to choose which companies to bid before other agents are asked to find different companies to bid?
  • Community Association - Reasons to maintain an "Incident Report" in your Common Areas

    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. 
  • The Essential Guide for Homeowner Leaders

    2021 brought you the New Community Association Living: An Essential Guide for Homeowner Leaders.
  • Insurance Tips for Condominium Owners

    You know I love surprises, but only if it’s a good surprise and I don’t want any of my clients getting a bad surprise and discover they did not have the right type or amount of insurance. 
  • How to Budget for the "Hard" Market

    PROBLEM:  HOW TO BUDGET FOR THE “HARD” MARKET
  • Insurance Outlook

    On the BoardBy Theresa Melson, AMS, PCAM, CIRMS; Karen O’Connor Corrigan, CIRMS; and AJ Scott, CIRM
  • Social Inflation Inflames Our Nation

    Calling all the 2020 Karens, Zoombombers, superspreaders, Trumpers, social unrest protestors, cancel culture conspirators, herd immunity participants and essential workers to move out of the way. We are flattening the curve and shifting to the next catchphrase, social inflation. This means insurance claim costs are rising over the rate of economic inflation due to societal attitudes.
  • Relax - Your Are Protected with KDIS

    Kevin Davis, President of Kevin Davis Insurance Services, offers Directors & Officers Liability Insurance for Condo Associations.  To hear the entire offering, go to You Tube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqkMLmZHe6k to hear more.
  • Property Damage Claim FAQs

    When it comes to filing property damage claims, there are several things you need to keep in mind.   No matter how you are involved in a claim, it’s usually not a fun process.  Whether you’re at fault or the person having to deal with repairs, filing a claim can be a headache.  Knowing what steps to take will make filing a claim easier for everyone.  Here are our most frequently asked questions when it comes to property damage claims.  
  • Insuring a "Box of Air"

    “Next week we close on a unit we are purchasing at the Silver Lining Condos and we need to get insurance in place. Can you give us a quote?”
  • Cyber Liability Insurance

    If you don’t have a Cyber Liability Insurance Policy set up for your condo or co-op, you’re a target for hackers. Mackoul Business Development Specialists Eric Eggert and Samantha Tucci talk about how important it is for community associations to protect themselves.
  • Community Association Debris Removal After a Natural Disaster

    Natural disasters and severe weather have caused immense damage to communities across the U.S. this year. Wildfires in California have already burned nearly 1.8 million acres in 2021 as firefighters struggle to contain numerous blazes, including the Caldor Fire near Lake Tahoe. This week, Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana as a category 4 storm, bringing high winds and flooding to many parts of the state. Ida’s remnants also caused flooding and tornadoes across several Mid-Atlantic and Northeast U.S. states.
  • How to Request and Compare Insurance Quotes

    First, it is important to clarify the difference between an Independent Insurance Agent and a Direct Writing Agent – State Farm, Farmers, Allstate, etc. Independent Insurance Agents represent multiple carriers and work for the condo or HOA association and Direct Writing Agents represent one single carrier and work for the carrier.
  • The Dos and Don'ts of an HOA Newsletter

    Homeowners may be different people from home to home, but one thing that most homeowners have in common is the need to be kept in the know about their community and their HOA board. The tried and true HOA newsletter may come in print or circulated via email or be sent through social media updates, but regardless of its form, it’s still a valuable commodity that HOA’s should continue investing in.
  • It's Not Natural to Live In a Condominium or Co-Op

    In the event of damage, property managers, board members and residents are typically confused as to who is responsible for the loss.
  • How to handle hoarders in a condo or HOA

    We live in a society where erratic, awful behavior can be purposefully glamorized, particularly through reality TV. Consider the homeowner who throws nothing away, lives in filth and squalor and ends up the star of a TV show about clutter. Welcome to the horror of the hoarder.
  • HOA Homefront Fiduciary Duty

    The term “fiduciary duty” is often used, but with a misunderstanding of what it means. HOA directors are considered “fiduciaries” because they care for the community’s property and finances and are therefore in a position of trust.
  • 4 Arresting Reasons an HOA Board Need to Know The Law

    Understanding the law is no easy endeavor, especially if you’re an HOA board member busy volunteering to help the Association function properly. If we’re really being honest, who has the desire or time to spend trying to learn and interpret the law, especially when it comes to important issues in your homeowners association?
  • Personal Umbrella Claims

    Some insurance claims can seem unbelievable. A personal umbrella policy adds a crucial layer of asset protection above your insurance policy limits for accidents and claims that go beyond your wildest imagination. For example…
  • Crime, D&O, Cyber Coverage Claims Example

    Kevin Davis Insurance Services has a series of articles regarding crime, D&O, Cyber Claims Examples.  Download the pdf to read this information.
  • Coronavirus - What Should Condominium Assocations Do

    There has been an increase in U.S. Coronavirus cases, including eight deaths in Washington state, a case and death has been reported in New York and a case has been confirmed in Rhode Island. That has led to a number of questions from condominium boards to the effect of:  What should we do to protect the condominium and its members? What is our responsibility for the clubhouse, pool, workout area, playground, plumbing, HVAC system?” 
  • The Top Seven Reasons HOAs Get Sued

    Smart HOA boards need to know the answers to two questions: What are the most common reasons associations get sued? And how do they head off those costly cases? Here are answers.
  • Rules are a Necessary Component of HOA Living

    A significant portion of disputes between homeowners and homeowners associations relates to the enforcement of HOA rules and regulations that have been adopted by an association’s board of directors (“rules”). Such disputes frequently result from the fact that many people purchase properties that are part of a common interest development without reading the association’s governing documents, which include the rules that apply to the homeowners. As a result, they first learn about HOA rules that they are opposed to and resist complying with after the association commences some action against them for violating the rules (i.e. rules concerning the color a house can be painted). They then become embroiled in adversarial proceedings with their homeowners association and the individual directors and management personnel who seek to enforce the rules. The proceedings, which tend to become very divisive and costly to both sides, could possibly have been avoided if the homeowner(s) understood the content of the association’s rules before they purchased their property.
  • Insurance Is Not a Commodity - It's Not All About the Price

    Note: This guest post is by David Thompson, CPCU, AAI, API, CRIS, an instructor at the Florida Association of Insurance Agents for over 23 years. Prior to that he worked in a family-owned insurance agency for over ten years. He was a commissioned officer in the United States Army and the United States Coast Guard for eight years prior to beginning his insurance career. In his spare time, he smokes the world’s best BBQ.
  • HUD Issues Guidelines on Assistance Animals

    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced the publication of guidance clarifying how housing providers can comply with the Fair Housing Act when assessing a person’s request to have an animal in housing to provide assistance because of a disability.  
  • Claims Really Matter

    The unit owner was in a pain-killer daze. She had surgery the day before and was recovering at her condo when she heard pounding on the door. It didn’t stop. Eventually, she heard her name. Then: FIRE! She jumped out of bed. It was 2 a.m. Outside, it was snowing. Christmas was two days away. Her next-door neighbor of 10 years died in the flames. He was found face down on the kitchen floor, next to a walker. Investigators said it looked like he fell and hit his head on the sink, according to the Ohio State Fire Marshal incident report. “It was sad. Awful. Tragic,” the unit owner said. “I never spent another night in my condo.” That’s because this was only the start of her troubles.
  • The Evolution of Directors & Officers Liability Coverage

    Graystone Manor, built in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1960, is believed to have been the first condominium in the continental United States. In those years, Directors and Officers (D&O) policies available to community associations were basic “non­profit D&O” forms, adapted from policies formerly covering Boards of museums, theater guilds, and symphonies. These early versions of D&O policies were affordable, but coverage was bare bones and limited the definition of “insured” to cover only “duly elected” Directors and Officers. Given the carrier’s strict adherence to this policy language, there was much room for improvement in this line of coverage.
  • Exercise Caution When Placing Directors & Officers Coverage

    Entering into an agreement to manage a community association nearly always results in the manager incurring vicarious liability for the board’s actions or failure to act. Vicarious liability is a legal doctrine that assigns liability for an injury to a person who did not cause the injury but who has a particular legal relationship to the person who did act negligently. The community manager is a professional who is providing advice and counsel to a volunteer, non-compensated board of directors, so it isn’t particularly surprising that the plaintiff’s attorneys always choose to name both the board of directors and community manager in nearly every lawsuit. The management agreement typically requires the association to indemnify and hold the community manager harmless except in cases of gross negligence or willful misconduct. Community association boards rely on insurance to help fund this obligation, but will insurance always protect the manager?
  • Today's Ransomware Epidemic - How to Protect & Respond

    *This bulletin is based on a November, 2019 article written by Craig Hoffman, David Kitchen, Ted Kobus and Anthony Valachof BakerHostetler with updates from Steve Robinson, National Cyber Practice Leader at Risk Placement Services, Inc. *
  • How to Improve Communication in Your Community

    First Service Residential has created a brochure, “How to Improve Communication In our Community: A Recipe for Association Success,” which we think is a great resource for Associations to use when communicating with their residents.
  • HUD Issues Guidelines on Reasonable Accommodations

    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced the publication of guidance clarifying how housing providers can comply with the Fair Housing Act when assessing a person’s request to have an animal in housing to provide assistance because of a disability.  
  • Verifying Contractor Insurance Coverage with Certificates of Insurance

    Does your Association on Certificates of Insurance from their contractors.  Here is a great article to explain what COI’s are and how your association should protect itself from claims coming from contractors.
  • The Importance of Smoke Alarms

    Why you should have a smoke alarm in all your units.  Read this article by Community Association Underwriters of America for all the details.
  • Personal Risk Management Tips You Can Use

    IRMI has compiled personal risk management tips you can use to protect you, your personal assets, and your family.
  • Importance of having Directors & Officers Liability Insurance

    On The BoardBy Sherry Branson
  • How Pre-Fire Planning Can Save Your Property

    Advisen and Zurich have released a brochure on “how pre-fire planning can save your property”.
  • How do you interpret the "Per UNIT" Deductible?

    The “Per UNIT” deductible helps to put the interior losses in the UNIT owners control by having their personal HO-6 policy respond. 
  • Disaster Preparedness Strategies for Small Businesses

    Office Depot put together a brochure to help you protect your small businesses against disasters.
  • What is the Wrongful Employment Act?

    Wrongful employment act means any actual or alleged:
  • Top 10 Reasons to Purchase Rental Car Damage Waiver

    Author: Bill Wilson
  • Timely Association Insurance Tip from IRMI

    Properly Cover Your HO/Condo Association Loss Exposures
  • How best to cover Large Deductible Losses within an HOA Association?

    Midwest Home Insurance Carriers as well as Condominium and Homeowners Associations are experiencing a severe increase in the number of Wind and Hail losses and their severity. This means the insurance companies are losing money and therefore non-renewing &/or changing coverages. The main change in coverage for HOA’s is in establishing a higher ($5,000 per Building Min. up to $ 20,000) and/or a percentage (1% - 5% per Building Value) deductible on the HOA master Dwelling policy. Thus, there will be a larger number in situations where the HOA will come back to their homeowners (based on their documents) and create a “special assessment” to pay for the shortfall in the deductible. What is Loss Assessment?
  • Sustainable Insurance for High Risk Areas

    Officials are pushing “sustainable insurance” in areas of high risk and beyond, but what does that mean exactly?
  • Reducing Your Insurance Costs - Distinguishing Bad Advice from Good Advice

    Many Americans are struggling financially in the current economy, particularly those struck by lay-offs, and are faced with tough decisions about how to reduce expenses. As a result, much has been written in recent months about how to reduce insurance premiums as one aspect of a belt-tightening strategy. Unfortunately, too much of this advice has been BAD and much of this bad advice comes from consumer web sites and publications that have little understanding of insurance and risk management. The purpose of this article is to identify some of the bad advice being bandied about and to reinforce some of the good advice. It concludes with 10 reasonable things you can do to reduce your insurance costs.
  • Named Insured vs. Additional Named Insured

    Sometimes a contract calls for naming a party as an additional insured. On other occasions, it requests additional named insured status. So, what’s the difference and what are the advantages and disadvantages to the parties?
  • Insurance Recommendations for Owners/Residents

    RESPONSIBILITY OF UNIT OWNERS
  • Handling Emergency Situations and Insurance Claims

    What’s the first thing you do when you get that frantic call about a unit flooding or a unit with a sewer back-up?  Do you ask the owner enough questions to allow you to assess the situation and figure out the next steps?  Or do you panic and start calling all available plumbers, attorneys, and insurance agents? Although it may seem counter-intuitive in emergency situations, the first thing to do is obtain the necessary information, organize your thoughts, and create a to-do list.  To assist you with this endeavor, below is a list of things to consider when you receive these types of calls. 
  • You Can't Run from Cyber Liability and Data Breach. . .

    . . . But You Cannot Outrun These Exposures Whether You Are FedEx or Del Boca Vista Condo Association.
  • Ways to Pay for Common Area Replacement Expenses

    In completing reserve studies for HOA and Condominium Communities we are always reminding Boards and Community Members that common area expenses will occur whether the necessary funds have been set aside or not. The expenses in our reserve study reports are real and to ignore them or just kick the expenses down the road are both fiscally irresponsible and not in the best interest of the community as a whole. While the expenses will occur communities typically have one of several options in how they are paid for and not all are created equally.
  • Ten Steps to a Well-Designed HO-6 Insurance Policy

    Request a copy of the association’s “declaration” document. Make a list of building items not covered by the association’s master policy (e.g., carpets, hardwood floors, tile floors, kitchen cabinets, plumbing and electrical fixtures serving the individual unit, built-in appliances, unit owner improvements.)  Have your client estimate the replacement cost of all structural items that are his or her responsibility. (The easiest and most accurate way to do this is to write a list of all such items and then have the client estimate the replacement cost of each.)  Ascertain the current master policy deductible as well as the maximum deductible authorized in the declaration. Choose the higher.  Add up the totals in Steps 2 and 3. Round up to allow for errors. That total should be the coverage limit for Coverage A.  Add “special perils” coverage to Coverage A, changing the perils covered from “named perils” to “all risks” unless excluded. This is important for three reasons: Your client is covered for more losses (e.g., water damage to walls and ceiling from roof leaks), your client has improved coverage for losses subject to the master policy deductible, and you broaden the HO-6’s loss assessment coverage to special perils from named perils.  Add special perils contents coverage (to cover damage to personal property from roof leaks, paint spills, etc.).  Add sewer backup and sump pump failure coverage. You want to do this for two reasons: first, to cover direct damage to the unit or contents from these two perils; second, to broaden the loss assessment coverage to include assessments for either peril. (loss assessment coverage applies only to assessments for losses from perils covered by the HO-6.)  Determine the need for flood or earthquake coverage.  Recommend that your client buy adequate liability coverage (e.g., $500,000) in limits equal to the client’s other personal liability coverages.  Urge the client to buy an umbrella policy. Be sure it includes coverage for association volunteer activities, including non-profit D&O, in case your client ever serves on the board.
  • Has YOur Agent Explained the Impact of a Property Co-insurance Provision?

    In a recent deposition in an insurance producer malpractice case, the producer was asked about the purpose of co-insurance and how our insured would be impacted under the provision if the building was underinsured. Unfortunately, the producer was unable to explain how the co-insurance provision worked or how the insured could be penalized. This prompted me to think maybe it’s time for a property co-insurance refresher.
  • Directors & Officers Insurance - Pick Your Policy Carefully!

    There are two kinds of directors-and officers insurance. Which one is right for your board? All HOA and condo boards should have directors-and-officers insurance, but it is important to understand the difference between the types of D&O coverage available as they are not one and the same. There are stand-alone and embedded D&O policies in the Master Policy, and one is far more comprehensive than the other.
  • Criminal Minds

    Is your community association properly protecting its funds against theft? Today’s newspapers are riddled with stories of trusted property managers and Board members embezzling large sums of money over long periods of time. Do not be the victim of a false sense of security just because your community has Fidelity coverage. Community associations are non‐profit organizations governed by volunteers, therefore they need unique coverages. Take a closer look at your Fidelity policy.
  • $12 Million Reasons Your Association Need Liability Insurance

    On January 16, 2011, Andrew Curtis, a nine-year-old boy, and his father were riding their bicycles on U.S. Highway 1 in the town of Jupiter, Florida. Andrew was following his father as the two approached the driveway of the Villas on the Green Condominiums. While Andrew’s father passed the driveway without incident, as Andrew began to cross, he was struck by a minivan.  Andrew was airlifted from the scene of the accident to St. Mary’s Medical Center, where doctors were unable to save his life. Andrew’s mother, filed a wrongful death claim against driver of the minivan, as well as property owner, Villas on the Green Condominium Association, Inc., and property management company,  M.M.I. of the Palm Beaches Inc. First, Plaintiff claimed that the driver failed to yield the right of way.