Q. I own a mobile home in a co-op park in Florida. I understand how a co-op works. I don’t own the land the mobile home sits on. I am a 1/63 owner in all the lots and community property in the park. My mobile home is 100% paid for—i.e., there is no lien on the property. The co-op pays annual insurance (through annual dues) for liability insurance on all park grounds. The community co-op mandates I carry $100,000 liability insurance on my property. I never rent the property out—only my wife and I use it. It seems to me as though I am only insuring myself against liability. Can the co-op legally require me to purchase liability insurance on my mobile home?
—Shareholder in a Mobile Home Cooperative
A. Karina N. Skeie, Esq., associate at Kaye Bender Rembaum with offices in Pompano Beach, Long Beach Gardens, and Tampa, says, “While Florida law does not mandate that you purchase liability insurance on your mobile home, if the governing documents of your community require all members to carry at least one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00) in liability insurance, then such a requirement will generally be enforceable, irrespective of whether the association holds liability insurance on the entire property. As such, the governing documents applicable to your community will need to be reviewed by an attorney to determine the validity of the insurance policy being enforced by the association. While I understand that you do not currently rent your individual property, liability insurance policies for mobile and manufactured homes will also generally provide coverage if you, or someone in your household, is found liable for damage to someone else’s property, or if a guest, contractor, etc. is injured on your property. As such, if the governing documents of your community require all members to purchase liability insurance, the fact that you do not offer your property for rent will not exempt you from such a requirement. However, it is recommended that you consult with a licensed insurance broker to determine the terms of your policy, and what ultimately will be covered.”