Condo associations are responsible for maintaining the property and managing the finances of its membership. A proactive approach to risk management is an essential element of achieving both of these important duties. Condo board members and the property management companies that work with them need to carefully evaluate how to safeguard their condo buildings’ assets.
General Liability Insurance
Condo insurance coverage must include a general liability policy. General liability will protect the association in the event that someone makes a claim against it.
It is imperative that condo buildings maintain adequate property insurance. A condo’s property insurance policy will generally not cover claims relating to an individual resident’s unit but rather only the common area elements of the building.
Directors and Officers Insurance
The individuals who serve on a condo board should have a directors and officers policy that offers coverage if there is a legal claim made against them relating to their service on the board. This vital policy can help to protect board members from personal liability in legal action.
Ultimately, board members should familiarize themselves with their condo’s insurance. Working with a knowledgeable insurance representative who is experienced in serving condos can help to review current coverage levels and identify any gaps in existing policies.
When a company’s directors and officers are primarily responsible for its managerial functions and fiduciary duties, both the company and the directors and officers can face liability in the event of losses or damages resulting from wrongdoing. Companies need to protect both themselves and their directors and officers against all possible claims.
Examples of D&O Claims
Typically, D&O claims arise from situations in which directors or corporate officers are alleged to have failed to perform their management duties lawfully:
- A company was sued for a business tort when it tried to recruit a competitor’s employee who was bound by a non-compete agreement
- Corporate officers were alleged to have failed to disclose material information to investors
- A company made charges immediately before filing for bankruptcy, fraudulently misrepresenting its ability to pay what was charged
The Financial Impact of D&O Claims
When a company and its directors or officers are sued jointly or severally, litigation costs alone can amount to tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Likewise, if a company loses a suit, they and their directors and officers may be ordered to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Companies need to ensure that their insurance coverage will apply to claims made directly against directors and officers. It’s advisable that they work with an insurance carrier who can advise them about their risk exposure and necessary coverage levels.
D&O Coverage 101
When individuals leading your organization do not act responsibly, you are liable. D&O EPL or directors & officers and employment practices liability protect you and others who are in positions of leadership from the acts of your employees.
Basics of D&O
In D&O litigation, your company and its board face litigation. Directors and officers cover the members of your boards and other leaders. In a D&O plan, any officer, director and employee can have insurance under the plan. The insurance company defends claims and pays on behalf of most judgments.
Basics of Employment Practices Liability
Employment practices liability further protects your staff. This insurance covers directors, officers, volunteers and employees. EPL covers employment-related discrimination, wrongful discharge and sexual harassment.
The Cost of D&O
D&O claims are expensive. While this may lead to some people deciding against this type of coverage, you don’t want to be without protection. For instance, a plan might cost you between 35,000 dollars and 100,000 dollars. However, when it comes to a judgment you have to pay, it might cost you around 450,000 dollars.
D&O EPL coverage is crucial to your company. It protects you and your staff, particularly those in leadership positions. When you have a leadership position, you are more at risk for being held liable for certain costs and damages.