Happy New Year! It’s time to refresh our memories of the New Year’s Resolutions we have set the last 2 years here at Coverage Corner, and see how we have done. Here’s a refresher:

1. Check the status and contact information for the association with the Secretary of State – Visit the Business Search section of the website and type in the legal name of the association. Be sure that the “agent for service of process” lists the correct contact information for the association. Remember that street in San Francisco that was sold because the HOA never paid their taxes? The contact information was incorrect, which is why they were not notified of the impending sale.

As for the status, if it shows “active” you are good to go! If it shows anything else, you could have trouble. Associations that are not active (for example “suspended” or “forfeited”) could have difficulty in filing insurance claims or even getting insurance coverage, not to mention lose their name entirely.

2. Take Inventory – Take photos and have a list of all the “little things” the association owns but are not necessarily listed in the reserve study. Clubhouse kitchen supplies and art on clubhouse walls are two examples.

3. Have a policy for who pays the deductible – Not only is this in the best interest of the association, it helps the homeowners. If there is a clear policy in place, most HO-6 policies will provide coverage if the individual homeowner is found to be responsible for the deductible on the HOA’s master policy.

4. Collect “additional insured” endorsements – We are talking about the actual endorsement page, not just a mention on the certificate of insurance.

5. Double check your Fidelity Bond Limit – Your limit should be, at minimum, three times the monthly assessments plus whatever is in reserves. However, the governing documents may require something even higher. Don’t forget that you also have monthly deposits to reserves, so account for those when doing the calculation. If you need help figuring out what the correct number should be, let me know. I am here to help (even if I’m not the agent on the account).

6. Make taking inventory and updating additional insured documents an annual occurrence – These things can change each year. Make sure you keep everything up-to-date. Updated certificates should be mailed to you by the carrier each year, but it never hurts to be proactive.

Terri Guest is the Bay Area Sales & Marketing Representative for Berg Insurance Agency, and may be reached at Terri@Berginsurance.com.