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Senate Bill 4-D, Hurricane Windows, and the growing cost of Insurance in Florida

April 11, 2023
condo building

Senate Bill 4-D, also known as the Building Safety Act for Condominiums and Cooperatives, is a groundbreaking piece of legislation that addresses the critical concerns related to building safety and maintenance for condominiums and cooperative associations in the state of Florida. Signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis on May 26, 2022, this bill has been hailed as an essential step in ensuring the safety and well-being of millions of residents living in these multi-family buildings.

This comprehensive legislation primarily focuses on four key areas: reporting requirements, inspection requirements, reserve study requirements, and reserve funding requirements. Each of these aspects plays a vital role in safeguarding the structural integrity of these buildings and minimizing the risks associated with aging and deteriorating infrastructure.

What is Senate Bill D4 – New requirements for condominium and cooperative associations

Firstly, Senate Bill 4-D introduces new reporting requirements for condominium and cooperative associations. Under the new law, associations must maintain accurate and up-to-date records of their buildings’ structural conditions and any maintenance work. Upon request, this information must be available to all unit owners and prospective buyers, ensuring transparency and accountability in managing these properties.

Additionally, the bill mandates that specific condominium and cooperative associations undergo periodic milestone inspections. These inspections are designed to identify potential safety hazards or structural deficiencies that require immediate attention. By implementing a regular inspection process, the legislation aims to prevent catastrophic events such as building collapses and ensure that residents can live safely and securely.

The third component of Senate Bill 4-D is the reserve study requirement. A reserve study is a comprehensive evaluation of a condominium or cooperative association’s financial health, focusing on the adequacy of its reserve funds to cover long-term maintenance and repair expenses. The bill requires associations to conduct reserve studies at least once every five years, providing a clear picture of their financial position and enabling them to plan for future expenses effectively.

Reserve funding requirements form the fourth and final aspect of this groundbreaking legislation. The bill stipulates that condominium and cooperative associations must maintain a minimum level of reserve funds to cover any unexpected repair or maintenance costs that may arise. This ensures associations have the financial resources to promptly and efficiently address critical safety issues.

Will Senate Bill 4-D be revised?

Some bill provisions may be revised between now and 2024 to address concerns brought up during the legislative session, and some changes are already underway.

Senate Bill 4-D highlights the need for robust regulation and protection of condominium residents. In the wake of the Surfside disaster, The Building Safety Act for Condominiums and Cooperatives is critical in addressing the state’s aging infrastructure and growing population.

The bill is a vital piece of legislation that addresses the urgent need for better health, safety, and welfare in condominiums and cooperative associations in Florida by focusing on four key areas:

  1. Reporting
  2. Inspection
  3. Reserve Study
  4. Reserve funding requirements

The bill establishes a comprehensive framework to protect the safety and well-being of residents living in these multi-family buildings. The aim is to create a safer and more secure environment.

You can follow Senate Bill 4-D here on the official Florida Senate Website.

Are Hurricane Impact Windows & Doors included?

Hurricane windows and doors are critical to building safety in Florida, particularly in the face of increasingly frequent and severe weather events. Impact Windows and Doors protect multi-family buildings from the devastating effects of hurricanes and other extreme weather events.

Impact Windows – Designed to withstand a hurricane

Hurricane windows and doors are designed to withstand high winds, heavy rains, and flying debris often accompanying severe storms. Made from impact-resistant glass with reinforced frames, they provide extra protection against the elements. Hurricane windows and doors can significantly reduce the risk of property damage, personal injury, and even loss of life during extreme weather events.

Although hurricane windows and doors may cost more than traditional ones, they are well worth the initial investment. Not only do they offer superior protection against hurricanes and other extreme weather events, but they can also improve a building’s energy efficiency and sound insulation. Many insurance companies offer discounts on premiums for buildings with hurricane-resistant features, providing an added incentive for associations to invest in these upgrades. Many insurers are refusing insurance without compliance.

Discounts on insurance premiums

The discount on insurance premiums can vary depending on the insurance provider and the specific features of the impact windows and doors. Some insurers offer discounts of up to 45% on premiums for buildings with hurricane-resistant windows and doors, making it an attractive option for cost-conscious associations. By taking advantage of these discounts, condominium and cooperative associations can offset the initial investment in impact windows and doors, making them a more affordable and practical solution for improving building safety and resilience.

Insurance companies typically base their premiums on the perceived risk associated with a particular property, considering factors such as location, construction materials, and safety features. By installing impact windows and doors, condominium and cooperative associations can effectively reduce the risk of property damage during hurricanes and other extreme weather events. In turn, this reduced risk can lead to lower insurance premiums for the building, providing a financial incentive for associations to invest in these upgrades.

Furthermore, reduced insurance premiums can benefit individual unit owners as well. Lower premiums for the overall building can translate to lower contributions required from unit owners, easing the financial burden of maintaining a safe and secure living environment. This can be particularly appealing for potential buyers, adding value to the property and making it more attractive in the competitive real estate market.

Hurricane Impact Windows & Doors are an essential upgrade for your building

Investing in impact windows and doors enhances the safety and resilience of condominium and cooperative buildings against extreme weather events and offers the potential for reduced insurance premiums. By taking advantage of the discounts offered by insurance companies, associations can offset the initial cost of these upgrades and provide a more affordable solution for improving building safety. Moreover, lower insurance premiums can benefit individual unit owners, making hurricane-resistant features an attractive selling point for potential buyers in the Florida real estate market.

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Jason Southard
VP Sales & Marketing at Wrights Impact Window & Door LLC | Website | + posts

Jason joined Wrights in 2018, and leverages decades of experience as a business leader in both B2C and B2B markets, with a wealth of experience in marketing, management, and technology. Before joining Wrights, Jason had significant Client, Consulting, and Agency experience from blue chips to start-ups – working across national and global roles. Originally from the UK, Jason has executive education from the London School of Economics and Oxford University’s Saïd Business School.

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