All owners are expected to...
- follow all rules and regulations of the association
- maintain your property at the highest possible level of repair
- be courteous to your neighbors
- inform management of all maintenance issues
- pay monthly assessments on time.
A monthly assessment is due the 1st of each month. Each owner must pay the monthly assessment, which covers shared expenses of the community -- water and sewer, trash removal, landscaping, the master insurance policy, and employment of the management company and maintenance personnel.
Owners are sent a book of coupons to accompany your monthly payments. A popular alternative is to enroll in the debit program and have the monthly assessment automatically deducted from your bank account. Online payment through the website is also available.
There are two types of insurance policies that concern you as an owner of a condominium: a master policy and an HO6 policy.
The association has a master policy to cover the main structures, common areas, and liability for the association and its officers. The deductible for this policy is $10,000. The policy is renewed each February.
The interior of your unit is your responsibility, and it is important to make sure your real estate investment is protected. An HO6 policy is required by lenders, and it is often referred to as a "walls in" policy. An HO6 policy covers your unit, its contents and your liability, including the master policy deductible should you be responsible for damage to association property. For example, you may have a kitchen fire that causes damage to both the interior and exterior of your unit. Your insurance will cover the damage to the interior of your unit (minus your deductible) and up to $10,000 towards repair of the exterior of your unit (the master policy deductible).
Please make sure your HO6 declaration includes a clause like this:
Loss Assessment. We will pay you up to $10,000 for your share of loss assessment charged against you by a corporation or association of property owners, for an event which occurs during the policy period, when the assessment is made as a direct physical loss to the property, owned by all members collectively, caused by a loss under Section I - LOSSES WE COVER subject to all provisions of the policy.
Insurance companies are required by law to offer you water and sewer back-up coverage. We urge you to take it. Some companies now automatically include this coverage in their basic HO6 policy because so many homeowners believe it is included. Back-ups are rare but usually result in expensive claims. If you’re not sure whether you’re covered, please contact your insurance company to check.
There are dozens of insurance companies doing business in Virginia. Virginia has a competitive rating law, which means that different companies charge different prices for homeowners insurance. Shop around for your HO6 policy, considering both price and level of coverage.
Consumer Guide to Insurance
One of the biggest mistakes that homeowners can make is not purchasing enough insurance. The State Corporation Commission’s Bureau of Insurance published a Consumer Guide that is invaluable in helping consumers make informed decisions and purchase the insurance that best meets their needs. For a paper copy, call (804) 371-9185, or you can view the guide online
. The paper version includes a Homeowners Insurance Quotation Worksheet to help you shop for insurance and Sample Premium Tables for Virginia’s 25 largest companies by market share.