Category

Community Associations

water conservation
Real Estate, Hospitality & Restaurants, Community Associations, Sustainability

Assessing Water Usage on Your Grounds

What if every time you filled a glass of water you threw half of it in your boss’s face? Well, that’d be bad! But that is kinda what happens with most landscaping water systems.

Half the water that is being used to sustain the grounds around your building is being wasted. That’s straight from the horse’s mouth—the EPA, that is. Community associations and other management looking to increase water conservation can target their landscaping areas as an integral place to conserve.

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hoarding
Real Estate, Community Associations, Risk Insight

When the Hoarding Hits the Fan

Hoarding. It can manifest in a few different ways, but the bottom line is clear: It’s a serious problem that needs to be addressed. The hoarder isn’t the only one at risk here, so are adjacent neighbors, property owners, and community associations.

If a property owner or community association ignores a problem, they could be found liable for failing to take action and maintain a safe environment. If the situation leads to injury of person or damage of property, then the liability is even greater. With fair housing laws in effect, the process of managing a hoarding situation can drag on, so best to start as soon as you get a whiff of the problem.

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playground safety
Real Estate, Hospitality & Restaurants, Community Associations, Risk Insight

Make Playground Safety A Priority

It’s that time of year again when the sound of children running around in playgrounds across our neighborhoods fills the air. It’s also a time for heighted precautions because as fun as a playground can be, it’s also a place where kids can get seriously injured.

More than 200,000 children ages 14 and younger are treated each year for playground-related injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Of these children, more than 20,000 are treated for a traumatic brain injury (TBI), including concussion. Additionally, about 56% of playground-related injuries are fractures and contusions/abrasions, and about 75% of injuries are related to playground equipment.

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hurricane
Real Estate, Hospitality & Restaurants, Community Associations, Risk Insight

Getting Storm-Ready Ahead of Hurricane Season

As the hurricane season – June 1 through November 30 – unfolds, safety preparations should already be underway by homeowners and coastal business owners, including hotels and restaurants. Forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) say the Atlantic could see another above-normal hurricane season this year, predicting a 70% likelihood of 11 to 17 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 5 to 9 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 2 to 4 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher). The Weather Company also predicts an active season, with an expectation of a total of 14 named storms – seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

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BBQ Safety
Community Associations, Risk Insight

Kick Off the Summer with Grilling BBQ Safety Tips

Memorial Day weekend traditionally kicks off the summer with family and friends gathering for some fun in the sun, pool action, and grilling. There’s no better time than now to freshen up on grilling safety tips (May happens to be National BBQ Month). According to the U.S. Fire Administration, about 5,700 grill fires take place on residential property every year, causing an annual average of $37 million in damage, 100 injuries and 10 deaths. In addition, thousands of people visit emergency rooms every year because they have burned themselves while barbecuing.

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Pool Safety
Real Estate, Hospitality & Restaurants, Community Associations, Risk Insight

Pool Safety: Pool Drownings Can Happen in A Flash

More than 3,500 people – many of them children – drown each year in the U.S. and many more suffer serious, irreversible injury in near-drowning incidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Furthermore, for every fatal drowning incident involving a child 14 years old or younger, three children require emergency room treatment for submersion injuries and 40% of those require hospitalization, says the CDC. Non-fatal incidents can cause brain damage that results in long-term disabilities ranging from memory problems to the victim being left in a vegetative state.

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large claims losses
Real Estate, Hospitality & Restaurants, Community Associations, Risk Insight

The Skinny on Having Higher Umbrella/Excess Liability Limits

The industry sectors we insure are big businesses in the U.S. For example, revenue in the hotel industry across more than 52,000 properties is estimated at $189-plus billion. This includes everything from limited service hotels to luxury full-service hotels and resorts. The restaurant industry boasts $1 million-plus locations representing 10% of the workforce with revenues of $799 billion. The community associations and the real estate sector are huge markets as well. Each of these niche markets require a total insurance solution to protect against an extensive list of exposures, including the potential for large claims losses, underscored by the examples of top verdicts provided by the National Law Journal.

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Flood Readiness
Real Estate, Community Associations, Risk Insight

Oroville Dam Risk Highlights Importance of Flood Readiness for Property Managers

After a five-year drought throughout the state, Northern California’s surface water systems have now been pushed to the breaking point on the heels of weeks of rainfall. Nearly 190,000 people were evacuated on February 12 over fears that a damaged spillway at the nation’s tallest dam in Lake Oroville located in the Sierra Nevada foothills could fail and unleash a wall of water. Officials ordered residents and commercial businesses to stay away until they felt confident that the risk of flooding was reduced. Although the evacuation was changed to a warning two days later and residents and business owners were allowed to return to their communities, they were advised to be prepared to evacuate again at a moment’s notice should new problems arise.

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Real Estate, Hospitality & Restaurants, Community Associations, Risk Insight

Preventing Slips and Falls in Winter Months

Slip and fall accidents account for 15% of all accidental deaths in the United States. Annually, an estimated one million Americans will have an injury related to a fall, 600,000 will be hospitalized and 17,000 deaths will occur.

Studies find most injuries result from contact with outside surfaces. Property owners could be liable for injuries sustained on their property if they did not ensure a safe environment for visitors to walk. According to a fourteen year Distinguished Programs study, Slips and falls are the leading source of guest injury, claims, and insurance cost.

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door locks
Real Estate, Community Associations, Risk Insight

How Secure Are Your Door Locks?

It’s a phone call no property owner wants to receive. Your tenant’s door locks did not keep a perpetrator out. The tenant has been assaulted in his or her apartment – in one of your buildings.

The victim has survived a robbery along with a physical assault and the perpetrator has been caught. Now the legal teams are not only looking at the perp, but they’re assessing the potential for a premise liability claim. It was bad enough that the assault occurred, but the ramifications could extend to building owners as well.

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Hospitality & Restaurants, Community Associations, Risk Insight

A Bird’s-Eye View on High-Rise Window Security

A century ago, buildings that were more than a few stories high were an engineering marvel; today, multi-storied and high-rise hotels are plentiful and routinely soar to increasing heights, all the better to market the expansive views as a major marketing point. Unfortunately, unique exposures exist that can trigger general liability and umbrella liability claims—consider tragic events such as one guest who leapt to his death from a high-rise window in the penthouse, or an inebriated party guest who stepped up on a railing to get a better view of the sunset and lost her balance, toppling over the edge.

Sometimes the occurrence is one that defies the odds, as with the claim where the guests overrode the active security locks/measures on the window of a third-story bedroom and their toddler bounced from the bed right out the window (yet miraculously survived). In some situations, guests attempted suicide and their families later filed insurance claims, arguing that the windows on the higher floors shouldn’t have been able to open wide enough to allow a person to go through them.

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Community Associations

Bidding Your Community Association Insurance Program

Today we’re welcoming guest blogger Phil Masi, CIRMS, Senior Vice President at Assured Partners in Lake Mary, FL. Handling over 200 associations throughout Florida, and serving as a community association board member himself, Phil knows a thing or two about how a board selects an insurance program. Read on, and share with your boards, as Phil breaks down the terms and common misconceptions about this sometimes overwhelming process for new board members.
Bidding Your Community Association Insurance Program
By: Phillip Masi 
As President of two HOAs I understand the boards’ mentality when it comes to bidding services such as landscaping, painting, accounting services and the like. Most boards do not have the background in these specific areas so they rely heavily on their management company to make sure the bids come in correctly. My experience as both an Insurance Agent and Board Member has provided me with a unique perspective on the issue of “bidding” insurance. The purpose of this article is to provide you with the same insight on how Boards can ensure they choose the best insurance option at renewal.
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