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Home COFSAB Forum Repairs and Maintenance Does a board have to submit a claim to their insurance when damage has been caused by appliance in owners unit Reply To: Does a board have to submit a claim to their insurance when damage has been caused by appliance in owners unit

  • Karen Bennett

    April 10, 2022 at 10:14 am


    I had an embarrassing experience, which I reported in the forum in January (2020) and I now reproduce here:

    Posted by: @ingridc

    1. Have any members implemented leak detection systems in their condos as one way of reducing insurance premiums or potential problems?

    If so, has your condo corporation insurer offered a reduced premium?

    Have you been able to avert any flooding incidents as a result of activation of the detection system?

    1. Any system that you would recommend, or any that you would stay away from?

    @Ingridc, did you know that you get charged per item for questions like that? 😉

    1. As a result of an accidental leak from our washing machine, where the water supply pipes to the washer vibrated loose and we (I) had not turned off the water supply to the machine, we had a problem with a leak which went down two floors and necessitated substantial repairs to two apartments below us. We had no water damage ourselves. The Condominium Corporation paid for the repairs to those two apartments and charged the cost back to us since the cost was due to our ‘negligence’ and the repair cost was less than the corporation’s $50,000 deductible. My insurance paid down the excessive deductible, so I was only liable to pay the $500 deductible from my policy. After all the repairs were completed, I applied a heavy-duty bead of caulk around the baseboard to prevent any further leaks and installed a water detector at the lowest point of the floor to trigger an alarm through our monitored security system in the event of another leak. My insurer waived the deductible charge (I had no previous claims over about 20 years), so my cost was the security system upgrade and a tube of caulk.
    2. No, but as the value of claims to the corporation have been reduced by fewer claims, our total costs have dropped a little, offset by the current nation-wide increases.
    3. So far we have had no further leaks from the washing machine. When the water detector was installed, we did a trial ‘flood’ to ensure the system worked, with no complaints.
    4. Do what I did – see 1. above. Every condo is different, so I will not mention names or brands; look at the market and see what fits you.

    In addition,

    (a) only turn the water on to the washing machine when you are going to use it, and turn it off when you start the dryer.

    (b) Replace the hoses supplied with the machine with braided steel-reinforced hoses. Expensive, but cheaper than cleaning up a multi-floor flood! Manufacturers recommend regular hose replacement.

    (c) Ensure the hoses are tightly fitted to the washer and the wall faucets – consider using a product like Loctite to ensure the hoses cannot vibrate loose.

    @apl, I believe the process should be that the owner first reports the issue to the condominium corporation, since the structure was involved. In my case, the corporation may have discussed the issue with its insurer, but since the estimated cost of repairs was less than the corporation’s deductible, the corporation passed the bill to me. Since I was ‘negligent’ it was my responsibility to pay for the repairs (and a handling charge levied by the corporation’s management company ?? .

    In you case, where did the leak to the fridge occur? If it was the connection between the end of the water supply line and the fridge, the owner is probably ‘negligent’ and responsible for the repairs. If the leak was in the wall between the water supply to the unit and the fridge connection, if the corporation is responsible for the building, the corporation may be responsible*.

    In our condominium, there was a leak in a fridge supply line on the eighth floor. The supply line ran from the sink area around the kitchen to the fridge, three sides of a rectangle under and behind the kitchen cabinets. Since the leak was due to damage during construction by the redeveloper or his workers, many years before, the corporation (or its insurer) paid for the repairs to the several units damaged by the pinhole leak in the fridge supply line.

    *Once again, and as always, check your bylaws and the condominium plan to see where the responsibilities lie.

    Please spread the word!
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