You move into a new city and purchase a high-rise condo in one of the nicest parts of town. Shortly thereafter, you notice water leaking from the unit above, causing damage to your property.
Sadly, this is a common reality for condo owners; water continues to be one of the top perils in high-rise habitational buildings.
Luckily, there are some things you can do prior to your closing to help mitigate the exposure.
Be mindful of the condition of the building, not just the unit.
New purchase inspections can be helpful in reviewing the condition of both your unit and the building itself. Pay close attention to the plumbing updates on older buildings, as that can reveal whether the building is susceptible to a major plumbing failure.
Run reports for the condo unit and building.
When reviewing insurance quotes for a new condo in a high-rise, ask your insurance agent whether you can review the losses for the condo building, along with the loss report for the unit you are considering. If the building is older and the number of water losses is high relative to the number of units in the building, it would be good information to know prior to closing. This could signal the potential for larger problems down the road.
If in doubt, consider buying new.
Another way to help mitigate the exposure is to narrow your search to newer condo buildings. While you may have to pay a higher purchase price upfront, the newer plumbing in the building will significantly decrease the potential for water-related issues. Since there should be minimal wear and tear on a new building, you can avoid losses and possible increases on your insurance premiums. If you have doubts after reviewing the new purchase inspection or loss reports for the building, it may be best to continue your search.
Discuss with your insurance agent.
Your professional, independent insurance agent has experience in all parts of this process and can advise you during new purchases, ownership and after claims scenarios. Don’t hesitate to reach out and discuss your options. It could be the difference between having an unfavorable ownership experience and a great one.
Sprinklers essential to safety in high-rise residences
Buying a condo? What you need to know about insurance
This loss control information is advisory only. The author assumes no responsibility for management or control of loss control activities. Not all exposures are identified in this article. Contact Landmark Risk Management & Insurance for coverage advice and policy service.