There Is No Way to Shift Blame In Paying For Water Damage

Q: Forgive me, but I’m a bit confused by the advice an insurance company employee gave me about a basic concept of condominium unit coverage. This is something about which you have previously written in your column. In discussing this matter with this representative of a large insurance company, I was told that, for example, if water from my apartment damaged the unit below, that person’s insurance company would legally have to pay the damage, not my insurance company. I also was told that this ruling is found in the Illinois Condominium Property Act. Could you please cite the section of the statute? A: If water from your apartment damaged the unit below, you are personally responsible for the damage. And insurance coverage for the damage is dependent upon the terms of your neighbor’s insurance policy. Section 9.1(a) of the Illinois Condominium Property Act states a unit owner is responsible for damage to another unit or the common elements caused by the operation of the unit. This provision means that a unit owner is responsible for damage to a neighbor caused by an appliance, plumbing apparatus or other cause, regardless of whether or not the owner was negligent. Thus, the unit owner, and not his…Read more