Filtered by author: Cariese Hinckley Clear Filter

Mid-Year Review: Assessing and Adjusting Your Community Management Strategy

As we reach the midpoint of the year, it’s the perfect time to take stock of our community management efforts. A mid-year review is essential for evaluating our progress, identifying areas for improvement, and refining our strategies to ensure we meet our goals for the second half of the year. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you assess and adjust your community management strategy effectively.

1. Conduct a Performance Review

Start by analyzing the key performance indicators (KPIs) you set at the beginning of the year. These may include metrics such as:

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2024 Virginia Legislative Changes Affecting Community Associations

The Virginia General Assembly had a busy 2024 session with several changes impacting Virginia community associations. We highlight below the new laws of greatest significance to property owners’ associations and condominium unit owner associations, which take effect July 1, 2024.

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Corporate Transparency Act Update

This month, the CAI Board of Trustees approved filing a lawsuit to exempt and protect community associations from burdensome requirements outlined in the Corporate Transparency Act. The suit challenging the U.S. Department of Treasury’s restrictive obligations underscores CAI’s unwavering commitment to protecting the community association housing model and its members’ interests.

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Summary of Recent Case Law

Tel. Square v. 7205 Tel. Square LLC, 77 Va. App. 375 (April, 2023)

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Splash Into Summer: Preparing Your Community Pool for Community Fun!

As the sun begins to shine brighter and the days get warmer, it's time to dust off those flip-flops and prepare for the eagerly anticipated pool season. For community associations, the excitement of opening the pool for residents is a cherished tradition that requires careful planning and coordination. Here are the essential steps for getting your community pool ready to welcome the community for a summer of fun and relaxation.

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Bringing Community Together

In a world that sometimes feels disconnected, the importance of community cannot be overstated. Community associations play a vital role in creating and maintaining a sense of belonging and togetherness among residents. These associations have the power to transform neighborhoods into vibrant hubs of interaction, support, and shared experiences. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is through organizing engaging activities that bring people together. Let's explore some activities that community associations can host to foster a sense of community:

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A Collective Experience

Living in an association is more than just sharing a physical space; it's about cultivating a sense of belonging and connection with your neighbors. While individual units may be separate, the collective experience of a thriving community enhances the overall quality of condo living.

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Tracking Your Professional Development: The Power of a Continuing Education Course Tracker

In the fast-paced world of community management, staying on top of continuing education courses is crucial. Keeping your CAI credentials current is not just a requirement; it’s a commitment to your career and the quality of service you provide.

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Get Learning!

CA Day 2024 Trade Show and Education Expo is THIS Saturday, March 16th. Do you know what classes you're attending? Save time and choose in advance. Do you have questions on due process hearings? Are you a manager or volunteer board member struggling with difficult board members? Do you have questions on all the recent legal updates happening in our industry? Don’t worry. SEVA-CAI has you covered!

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Education Opportunities at CA Day 2024

Get learning!

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Last Chance to Register for CA Day 2024!

SEVA-CAI CA Day is Coming!

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7 Best Practices for Choosing a Snow and Ice Management Partner

How to choose wisely and protect your property during storm season

1. It's Never Too Early

Don't wait. Whether you're looking to engage a snow and ice management provider or switching from one provider to another, give yourself at least three months to:

  • Properly vet providers.

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Year in Review: Why Was My Master Insurance Policy Cancelled?



As we begin the year, community managers, board members and insurance brokers are still taking deep breaths to recover from the fast and furious insurance market we had in 2023. Many Community Managers had to incorporate major rate increases in their 2024 budgets. Most board members had a hard time approving these increases with very limited time and options. The participation of insurance brokers in board meetings and town hall meetings became critical in helping to control and mitigate this insurance crisis.
 
Key factors in 2023
 
  1. Reinsurance: By the same manner that community associations buy insurance to protect their buildings, insurance companies also need to buy insurance to be able to pay for claims. Most carriers enter into reinsurance renewal agreements twice a year, January 1st and July 1st. In addition to rate increases, these agreements have also resulted in new underwriting guidelines and capacity restrictions in the last four years. This means that for reinsurers to back up insurance companies, a very limited amount of coverage will be available subject to very specific criteria (age of building, type of construction, building limit, loss ratio, etc.)  You could say that reinsurers dictate the rules of the game and insurance companies have to enforce those rules to maintain their reinsurance agreements. The insurance brokers’ role is to keep board members and community managers informed about how the rules of the game are changing so they can budget properly. In 2023, the biggest challenge was that reinsurers deployed less capacity and imposed stricter rules, sometimes impossible to meet especially for aging communities.
 
  1. Billion Dollar Natural Disasters: In the insurance world we refer to this as CAT exposure, which is catastrophic losses such as hurricanes, wildfires, and floods. Unfortunately, there has been an increase in the frequency and severity of these events, especially in California and Florida, in the last 5 years. According to the State of the Market report published by Amwins in October of this year, 2023 marks the 16th consecutive year with insured U.S. severe convective storm losses topping $10 billion dollars. “Through the end of September 2023, there have been 24 confirmed weather or climate disaster events in the US with losses exceeding $1 billion. This puts the U.S. on pace to exceed any prior annual record number of billion-dollar disaster events.” Even though community associations in the DC metro area are not directly exposed to these disasters, they are directly impacted financially because their coverage comes from the same insurance pool.
 
  1. Rising Property Values: The increased cost of construction, the supply crisis, and labor shortages were still a major factor in 2023 from an insurance perspective because of the need to adjust building valuations based on the current cost to repair or rebuild in today’s dollars. Another factor is the insurance requirements from an association’s governing documents and from Fannie Mae, buildings need to be insured at 100% replacement cost, and this is non-negotiable.
 
A few years ago, insurance companies were renewing policies for the same valuation for consecutive years and were only applying a rate increase. However, this year there has been a substantial increase in rates as well as adjusted valuations. This is not to be confused with market value. Many communities are seeing valuation increases between 10% to 25% or even higher if these values have not been adjusted periodically. These adjustments are strongly enforced especially by insurance companies that are writing coverage enhancements such us Extended Replacement Cost of 150%, 200% or Guaranteed Replacement Cost. When a board refuses to accept the proposed increase in the replacement cost of a building, the underwriter will most likely apply a coinsurance penalty which will result in a reduction of premium. However, the community will immediately disqualify from new Fannie Mae insurance requirements as coinsurance provisions are not accepted.
 
What to expect in 2024?
 
While supplies remain limited and the cost to repair or rebuild increases, the need to increase property values will continue to increase. The fact that higher values are needed while lower capacity has been deployed is exacerbating the current market conditions.  
 
As a result, some insurance companies have decided to exit the market and the remaining carriers have been obligated to tighten their underwriting guidelines. There has been a significant increase in the number of cancellations or non-renewals issued by insurance companies. Underwriters are now scrutinizing the Construction, Occupancy, Protection and Exposure of every single property they renew. In the insurance industry we refer to this as the COPE.
 
I highly encourage board members and Community Managers to become familiar with their association’s COPE to be able to anticipate any potential cancellations and budget for renewal increases. An association that is cancelled by their insurance company will most likely need to take coverage from the non-admitted market. This change will easily generate a premium increase between 100% to 450% with deductibles that range between $50,000 to $250,000.
 
While each insurance company has its own guidelines, below are the most typical factors that are currently triggering cancellations: 
 
 

Construction

Occupancy



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Virginia Community Associations and the Corporate Transparency Act: New Federal Reporting Requirements Effective January 1, 2024

Effective January 1, 2024, most Virginia community associations will be required to comply with the federal Corporate Transparency Act (“CTA”) and its regulations, unless a community association fits within one of the narrow exemptions to the Act. 

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ACT NOW: Community Association Corporate Transparency Act Exemption

CAI is calling on members and advocates to learn more information about a federal law that has a sweeping impact on most community associations incorporated in the U.S. We need your help to educate Congress about the unintended consequences of this law and urge them to delay implementation and exempt community associations from the requirements.

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A Manager's Perspective on New Year's Resolutions for Boards of Directors

With the start of a new year, now is the perfect time for managers to guide and assist their Boards with making sure 2024 is a successful year and full of accomplishments.  The question is, what steps can be taken to bring this to fruition?

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Happy New Year CAI!

We are so honored that you've joined us in 2023 for the launch of our blog, The Anchor.

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Making Your List and Checking It Twice: Holiday Party Checklist for Virginia Community Associations

Tis the season for community association holiday and year-end parties.  With such festive and fun-filled events, come certain responsibilities and measures community association should consider. Below is a list of suggested items that should be reviewed prior to an association-sanctioned or association-hosted holiday party. 

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How to Reach a Quorum Through Proxies

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Annual and special meetings require homeowner votes for new board members, assessment increases, capital improvement projects, and amendments to the association’s governing documents. The goal is to reach a quorum—a minimum number of members who must be present for business to be validly transacted.

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SEVA-CAI Board of Directors Election

You are hereby invited to attend the 2023 Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Virginia Chapter CAI to be held immediately in advance of the Holiday Social on Friday, December 1, 2023 at The Sheraton Virginia Beach, 3501 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach VA 23451 at 2:00pm. The social is a ticketed event and advanced reservations are required. You will also have an opportunity to meet the SEVACAI Committee Chairpersons and the 2023-2024 Board of Directors. Space is limited, so make your reservation today at www.sevacai.org.

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