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July 14, 2020 2:00 AM | Brian Palm

By Adam Czerwinski
Sidebar Insurance Solutions
(708) 942-5150

Has COVID-19 resulted in additional coverage recommendations?

Short Answer: Maybe.

Long Answer: We do not know yet. COVID is affecting our lives in ways we could not have anticipated. Insurance companies hate change and will spend the next several years making adjustments to their policies based upon COVID’s impact.

Longer Answer: “Additional coverage” depends on an association’s current policies. Minimally, homeowners associations should review and potentially reinforce the following policies:

1. Liability Coverage/Umbrella Policy - An association’s liability policy protects against third-party

claims for injuries that occur on the property (think icy steps). Potentially, there may be some claims against associations for COVID infections - and the association’s liability policy may be engaged. Having a higher liability limits ($) or umbrella coverage may provide better protection for the association should a claim arise.

2. Worker’s Compensation -If your association has a handyman or a contractor that regularly performs work - you may want to consider engaging a worker's compensation policy. Earlier during the lockdown, the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission created a rule that COVID-infected essential workers were presumed to be infected at work. This presumption was promptly abandoned - but could show a predisposition against employers/principals in future claims - and create more claims.

3. Directors & Officers Insurance - During the COVID pandemic, associations are making difficult and unpopular decisions. You may have to limit use of shared spaces, pools, gyms or cancel events. This could create an opportunity for unit owners to allege the board had disrupted their enjoyment of the property or collected funds for services that were not delivered. This claim could be covered under the Directors and Officers policy.

Additionally, Boards should review resources found on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website:

The site offers guidance, signage and actionable plans for all sorts of businesses that may relate to the operation of your association.

Please note that information provided in this column is educational and is not legal advice or given for purposes of modifying your association’s policy. Please contact your attorney or insurance professional directly to discuss your insurance needs, coverages, or particular claims situation.

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