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    Hurricane Florence giving us a mindful wind — in the insurance department [Protecting your condominium in the event of a special assessment]

    Not to be overly dramatic in bringing up a category two hurricane and special assessment insurance in the same context – but nevertheless, I wanted to draw awareness to the importance being proactive when protecting your financial assets. If anyone has looked into purchasing, or has purchased a condominium in the past, you are likely well aware of the perils of the term ‘special assessment’ and risks associated. When buying into a building with commonly owned grounds, such a condominium, you are responsible for not only your unit, but the state and operations of the entire building  which is managed by a board of directors — more commonly known as an HOA (home owners association). With this, you pay monthly dues to provide for the ongoing maintenance and operations of the building. With that being said, in the case of unforeseen events and the need for large capital repairs (think roof, HVAC system, or elevator) it is quite likely (unless you have extremely healthy reserves) that a special assessment will be charged and, consequently absorbed by the owners. This is done in exchange for taking on debt and raising monthly dues –yet another financial sore point. These assessments can range anymore to a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars – a sum of money many people don’t have in their budget. Bringing me back to the main point – it is imperative, and just short of opinionatedly mandated, to purchase special assessment insurance. I cannot attest to having scoped out the entire insurance scene– nor am I endorsing one insurance brokerage over another – but I do know that State Farm offers coverage for up to 10,000 in special assessments with a $500 deductible for only $14 dollars a year. That’s like three pumpkin spice lattes for a years’ worth of peace of mind.

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