October 2012
Volume 100 No. 109                                                    Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  Find us on Yelp 
The Importance of Workers Compensation for Condominiums, Cooperatives, and Homeowner Associations

Information provided courtesy of Total Insurance Services http://www.totins.com

Many Community Association Boards of Directors, in an effort to help keep assessment costs low, decline the purchase of a workers compensation policy for the association.  The reasoning for this is often times based on the presumption that the association has no employees so a workers comp policy is not needed. This couldn't be further from the truth! The following are scenarios in which a workers comp policy covered an association that had NO EMPLOYEES:

Scenario one
An association hired a contractor to replace the roof of their building.  The project was estimated to take approximately 2 weeks time.  Due diligence was performed by the association when they requested & received a certificate of insurance from the contractor prior to the work commencing, proving that the contractor had met all insurance requirements on the day the certificate was printed. Unfortunately, nine days into the project, one of the contractor's employees fell off the roof of the association's building.  What the association didn't know was that the contractor had actually failed to pay his insurance premium and his policy was cancelled the day before his employee fell from the roof.  When the employee realized that he could no longer file a claim for workers compensation insurance through his employer, he sued the association for damages.  Fortunately, they had purchased workers compensation, which covered all losses suffered by the contractor's employee.  

Scenario two
A couple of volunteer landscape committee members were out performing their annual fall planting & clean-up. One of the volunteers was walking with a garbage bag filled with leaves and failed to see a large hole in the ground in front of him.  He fell into the hole, breaking his ankle and leg in several places. Besides the hospital visit, he was also out of work for two weeks. If it weren't for the association's workers compensation policy, this volunteer would have had to use his personal health insurance to cover the injury and he would NOT have been compensated for his time off from work!

A workers compensation policy not only covers injury to paid employees of the association, but can also cover losses for any non-compensated volunteers of the association (Board members, committee members, etc.) if properly endorsed.  Further, it will also pay benefits to the spouse and/or dependent children of that volunteer in the event that there should be a death or long term disability caused while the volunteer was working on behalf of the association.
Heat Cables for Gutters 

Does this scenario describe a seasonal occurrence at your building? Many buildings have a serious problem with ice clogging the gutters. Every time the ice thaws a little during the warmer hours of daylight, the overflow from the blocked gutter spills onto the walkway, driveway and/or parking lot. It then refreezes at night. Unless you put on your ice skates in the morning to retrieve your car, this can be a dangerous hazard for everyone in your community.

Here is one effective way to deal with it. Run electric heating cables inside the gutters and downspouts. Turn the cable on during snowy, freezing weather so the water does not freeze and can drain through the downspout the way it is suppose to and not spill onto the walk and driveway.

Have the roof and gutter system inspected first. These cables may only treat the symptom of a bigger problem. Inadequate roof ventilation may be the root cause. The heat escaping from the building is getting trapped under the roof and melting the snow, even when the weather is below freezing. That melted water ends up refreezing in your gutters.

A roofing contractor can install the ridge and soffit vents that a properly ventilated roof should have. Roofs come in many sizes and shapes. Our Chicago area weather is a challenge to them all. Inspection and prevention go a long way in pro-longing a roof and keeping costs down. If ice blocks in your gutters are potentially causing casualties on the ground, let your Cagan Property Manager know about this history before the cold weather comes again. 
New Technology Lets Everyone Know

Mounting a sleek new digital communication screen in your lobby near the mailboxes may be just what your community needs. What if it provided daily announcements about your community? Wouldn't it be great if it highlighted important dates and reminders...maybe even display the community calendar? Maintenance updates and schedules could be provided. How about a list of units currently for sale? Information about the bus line and bus stop outside your building, school closings, local blizzard warnings and elevator outages and repair status.  We are always brainstorming and trying to combine great ideas and technology to expand and improve our service. Get in on the act. We value your ideas. What would you like to see on your lobby screen?   
The Chicagoland Cooperator Condo Expo on Navy Pier  

The Chicagoland Cooperator Condo Expo on Navy Pier

All you have to do is sign-up in order to get a free education and enjoy Navy Pier. The Chicagoland Cooperator is committed to providing resources to condominium communities. What does your community need? You may find a source and some answers while having a good time. Put Wednesday, November 14th on your calendar and register online. Come visit the Cagan booth and say hello.  Some excellent relevant seminars will be presented at the Expo: 
  • The Truth and Nothing but the Truth-Insider Secrets from an Attorney, an Accountant and a Property Manager.
  • Everything You Need to Know About FHA, VA & Fannie Mae Approval for Your Condo.
  • The Top Five Things Managers Wish Boards Knew.
  • Energy Efficiency Issues - How Can Your Building Be Greener?
Cagan Leadership Seminar 

We already have it planned so we are letting you know now. It is also a tremendous opportunity and needs to be on your calendar. One of the key educators for the Community Association Institute is going to provide an intense compact presentation titled, "Basics for Boards". This is a compact version of a regular class he teaches at CAI. Put it on your calendar NOW - January 29, 2013, 6:30PM in the Cagan training room at our office. 

Thomas Engblom, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, ARM, CPM
Vice President Regional Account Executive Midwest
Community Association Banking & Condo Certs
Former CAI National Business Council Board Member
www.CABanc.com    www.CondoCerts.com 
Hope You Had a Good Halloween

In This Issue
Importance of Workers Compensation for Condominium
Heat Cables for Gutters
New Way to Communicate
Cooperator Condo Expo on Navy Pier
Cagan Leadership Seminar
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Skokie, IL 60076

(847) 679-5512



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