Community Associations

Community Associations, Market Insights, Risk Insight

Market Changes for Directors and Officers Coverage

When major conglomerate Pacific Gas and Electric filed bankruptcy (after fielding claims of negligence after the California wildfires this past fall), D&O coverage was caught in the spotlight. Claims against directors and officers are on the rise nationwide, and analysts are questioning how far the market for D&O coverage will harden.

Distinguished’s Kyle Hyla, program underwriter for community associations, recently spoke with Rough Notes about D&O market trends. There are a variety of ever-changing factors that can impact coverage, and in this compelling article, factors like climate change, cyber security, and limited coverage for selected exposures are examined using current examples that illustrate the complexities of this important market. Visit Rough Notes to explore and share this valuable information.


Kyle Hyla Program Manager

Kyle Hyla

D&O and Crime Program Manager

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Toxic gas
Community Associations, Risk Insight

The “Silent Killer” of Toxic Gas and How You Can Avoid It

Can you believe that an estimated 20,000 people receive treatment annually due to gas poisoning? That’s a staggering figure. And, nearly 500 deaths per year are caused by that same toxic gas alone.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports approximately 61,000 gas-related incidents yearly. But what gas could have such a harmful effect on so many lives?

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Pool Safety
Community Associations, Risk Insight

Claim Story – Pool Safety

Teenage horseplay at a condo’s swimming pool took a turn for the worse when one young man dove headfirst into the shallow end of the pool. The condominium’s community association was left facing a $5 million personal injury claim due to not having proper pool safety rules clearly posted and enforced, as well as a failure to clearly mark the pool’s depth.

Read the full claim story here.

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Life preserver in pool
Community Associations, Risk Insight

High Cost of a Pool Claim

For many, a community swimming pool is a small luxury that can bring family and friends together. But just like any other recreational area, there is always the risk of personal injury for those using the facilities. A pool claim can be costly to a community association. Emergency room visits for a near drowning victim can range from $75,000 for an emergency room visit to long-term care costing $250,000 a year. Cases have shown the cost of a near drowning resulting in brain damage exceeds more than $5.5 million. The death of a child due to drowning, in one instance, led to a settlement of $104 million.

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Community Associations, Risk Insight

Four tips to manage decision-making in a community association

Oftentimes the people that act as decision-making members of the board have regular day jobs and are not professionally trained in group management. Therefore, it is essential for them to know their rights, risks, and responsibilities when making choices on behalf of a large group of individuals. Letting your customers know about their risks and responsibilities as decision-making members of a community association will help them avoid disputes between themselves and other members in addition to reducing the risk of an unfortunate lawsuit.

We’ve compiled four simple preventative tips in our downloadable tip sheet that you can share with your customers to help reduce conflict when making community association decisions.

Read the Tips Here

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wind damage
Real Estate, Community Associations, Risk Insight

A Strong Wind Is on the Way

As Bob Dylan says, “A hard rain is gonna fall…” and with it this weekend, a strong wind is gonna blow! The greater New York area is bracing for wind gusts up to 70 mph Friday, according to the National Weather Service, not to mention a coastal flood advisory through Saturday.

Are you ready? Doing a quick property sweep could help protect your building from severe wind damage.

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Halloween Pumpkin story
Real Estate, Community Associations, Risk Insight

A Spooky but True Halloween Story

In honor of Halloween today, we’re re-sharing one of our claims that came in through our City Homes program a while ago.

On a cold, dark night in early November, snow and ice glazed the sidewalks up and down the block. Tired building owners shuffled out at first light to make sure their patches of sidewalk were cleared and salted. All but one, that is. Our insured, who we’ll call Mr. Smith, is the non-resident owner of small apartment building. He decided to sleep in that morning, confident that his son would shovel the sidewalk in his stead. Junior had been out all night and hadn’t woken up to shovel the walk. So when a young woman slipped on that very patch of snow, the only un-cleared area on the block, it didn’t take her lawyer very long to find Mr. Smith’s name and address, and serve him with her medical bills for her torn rotator cuff and spinal injuries.

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Hurricane harvey's flooding
Real Estate, Hospitality & Restaurants, Community Associations, Risk Insight

Hurricane Harvey May Break Records for Flooding. Be Prepared.

Hurricane Harvey is the first major hurricane to hit Texas since 2008 (Hurricane Ike, category 2). It’s scheduled to make landfall on Saturday and expected to bring enough rain to overwhelm bayous and flood large swathes of land. Texas, particularly Houston, is flood-prone and no stranger to the many scenarios which may occur this weekend, but we have four tips to help you and your insureds in Texas make it through the weekend with slightly less panic.

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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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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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