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Aging Infrastructures: Changes in Insurance Underwriting

By Terri Guest, CIRMS, CMCA

It is no secret that the insurance industry, especially for common interest developments in California, is in crisis. After several years of wildfires and other natural disasters, carriers are not only charging higher premiums, but also revising eligibility requirements and giving greater scrutiny to insurance applications.

In previous years, questions regarding infrastructure items, such as electrical wiring, plumbing, and HVAC, have been answered by the board with homeowner responsibility, effectively calling out "not it!" to insurance underwriters. This answer is no longer accepted.

With respect to condominiums and townhomes, while electrical wiring, plumbing, and HVAC that serve a single unit are generally the maintenance responsibility of each individual owner, it is almost always included in the insurance responsibility for the association. While less common, the same can be true for roofs and exterior siding. Unit owners maintain, repair, and...

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2023 Community Association Law Seminar Highlights

By Terri Guest, CIRMS, CMCA

As a Community Insurance and Risk Management Specialist (CIRMS), I enjoy attending the annual Community Association Law Seminar hosted by CAI National.  This year, I was joined by CAI BayCen President-Elect, Charlotte Allen, CIRMS, CAI BayCen Director, Melissa Ward, Esq., CCAL, and several California CAI Chapters members.

The event was held in New Orleans, providing a beautiful backdrop for education targeted to attorneys and insurance professionals.  The event kicked off with CCAL President David Graf, Esq. providing a welcome and reminding everyone that mental health is something we all need to talk about.  His open and honest introduction segued perfectly to our keynote speaker, Briana Scurry, who shared her personal struggle with mental health since being a part of the Gold Medal US Women’s National Soccer Team.  From there, concurrent sessions covered topics ranging from ADU’s, conducting business through WhatsApp,...

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California Wildfire Disasters: The Interpretation and Implementation of Our New Insurance Laws

By: Amy Davis

On a Thursday morning, I received the call that no daughter ever wants to receive. It was from my mom and her car was surrounded by fire. At the same time that I was taking my mom’s call, my dad and stepmom were sending me videos of several fires on the opposite side of town from where my mom was located. This was Paradise, California, November 8th, 2018.

November 11, 2018, I flew to Chico to be with family and friends and to help them with their insurance claims. Almost immediately, the question arose, “Can we just cut our losses and move?” The answer was an easy “yes.” Fortunately for survivors of the Camp Fire and future wildfire victims, California has passed several laws aimed at protecting persons whose interests are covered under insurance policies following a declared disaster.

Insureds whose homes are a total loss can now use a greater amount of their policies’ coverages to purchase an existing home or rebuild elsewhere....

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