Volunteers needed for the Holiday Season!

[ Blog/News ]

WSCAI’s Outreach Committee has two volunteer opportunities to serve those in need during this Holiday Season

On December 16th & 17th, the Committee is seeking volunteers to serve a meal at the Union Gospel Mission, 318 2nd Ave Extension South, Seattle, WA 98104. Volunteers will be involved in some meal preparation, serving of meals and clean-up after the meal. Volunteer time will be from 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. on the date of your choice.

If you’re interested in volunteering on the December 16th, please contact Jordan Crump with McLeod Construction at jordan@mcleodconstruction.com. If December 17th works better for with your schedule, please contact Lisa Ford with Superior Cleaning & Restoration/COIT Services at lisa.ford@coit.com

Once you have received confirmation, you will be required to complete a brief volunteer form which can be located at Seattle Union Gospel Missions website and request to become a volunteer.

Giving back your time to serve those less fortunate is certainly part of the meaning of the Holiday Season.

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Community Associations Journal - May 2018 Cover

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November 2018

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1
2
3
  • Annual Meeting & Awards Gala
4
5
6
  • Made For Mangers Day Comm Mtg
7
  • CEO Luncheon
  • Ronald McDonald House
8
9
10
11
12
13
  • Education Comm Mtg - WSCAI
  • Community Outreach Committee Mtg - WSCAI
14
  • Board Meeting
15
  • Managers Only Meeting
16
17
18
19
20
  • Membership Committee Meeting- Conference Call
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
  • Business Partners Comm Mtg
28
29
30

Washington State Chapter CAI Community Outreach

[ Blog/News ]

WSCAI’s 3rd Annual Toys For Tots Drive 11.18.14

Toys for Tots WSCAI

The mission of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.

Washington State Community Associations Institute (WSCAI) Chapter Luncheon had an amazing turn out for the Toys For Tots program in our community! The U.S. Marine Corps attended to collect the toys and to speak about the Toys For Tots Program.

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Did you know?

In 1995, the Secretary of Defense approved Toys For Tots as an official activity of the U. S. Marine Corps and an official mission of the Marine Corps Reserve?  The Marine Toys For Tots Foundation, an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charity, is the authorized fundraising and support organization for the Toys For Tots Program.  The Foundation provides the funding and support needed for successful annual toy collection and distribution campaigns.

During its lifespan, the Marine Toys For Tots Program distributed over 469 million toys to over 216 million less fortunate children.  It is wonderful to see our community be active in this program each year!

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Chapter Luncheon Toys-for-Tots Drive

We want to thank WSCAI’s Outreach Committee for organizing, along with the Membership Committee, such a meaningful cause for children during the holiday season that is quickly approaching.

For more information on how you can help please visit the Toys For Tots Foundation website for your local drop off areas – http://www.toysfortots.org/Default.aspx.

toys-for-tots-wscai-8 

CAI provides information and education to community associations and the professionals who support them. Our mission is to inspire professionalism, effective leadership and responsible citizenship. Join CAI today or review our member benefits, including extensive online resources.

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Chapter Magazine

Community Associations Journal - May 2018 Cover

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November 2018

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1
2
3
  • Annual Meeting & Awards Gala
4
5
6
  • Made For Mangers Day Comm Mtg
7
  • CEO Luncheon
  • Ronald McDonald House
8
9
10
11
12
13
  • Education Comm Mtg - WSCAI
  • Community Outreach Committee Mtg - WSCAI
14
  • Board Meeting
15
  • Managers Only Meeting
16
17
18
19
20
  • Membership Committee Meeting- Conference Call
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
  • Business Partners Comm Mtg
28
29
30

Community Association Service Provider Event Washington

[ Blog/News ]

WSCAI Summer Mixer 8.20.2014

Washington State Community Associations Institute (WSCAI) Business Partner Summer Mixer at Matthews Winery was a smashing success! We had nice wine, delicious pizza from Dogfather Catering, enjoyable music performed by Ian Skavdahl and, beautiful weather. Thank you to the 75 business partners and managers who participated in the evening. This event was specific for businesses which provide services to community associations in Washington.

 

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Chapter Magazine

Community Associations Journal - May 2018 Cover

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Calendar

November 2018

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1
2
3
  • Annual Meeting & Awards Gala
4
5
6
  • Made For Mangers Day Comm Mtg
7
  • CEO Luncheon
  • Ronald McDonald House
8
9
10
11
12
13
  • Education Comm Mtg - WSCAI
  • Community Outreach Committee Mtg - WSCAI
14
  • Board Meeting
15
  • Managers Only Meeting
16
17
18
19
20
  • Membership Committee Meeting- Conference Call
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
  • Business Partners Comm Mtg
28
29
30

Condominium and HOA Insurance – Risk Management Budgeting

[ Blog/News ]
Each year an association’s board of directors is entrusted with budgeting for the upcoming fiscal year. This would typically be spearheaded by the management firm, if one is retained, and would be predicated on historical information, known increases in pricing of goods and services, and other factors material to your specific needs. One thing is for sure, if you are a condominium association, invariably the insurance premiums can be one of the largest line items on your budget. This is because of the requirement to insure the property.

Past Premiums Are Not Always A Predicator For The Future

You should consult with your agent to understand the trending in the industry as the market place is cyclical. Don’t just plug in say a 5% increase with no consultation. Right now we are in a soft market and the premiums are usually as expiring or sometimes even less based on no changes in exposures or frequency of claims. However high risk insurance such as Earthquake is still subject to change because of new earthquake modeling subscribed to by insurance companies, competition, and if there are catastrophic losses elsewhere in the country such as a hurricane. For an HOA the likelihood of any volatility in premiums for General Liability, Director & Officers, and Crime coverage is minimal.

While the primary focus for insurance is on the premiums, is your association budgeting for up to the amount of the property policy deductible or for uninsured losses? This is recommended and it is suggested that such monies not be lumped in with maintenance or your operating account but be clearly identifiable. Whether you fund this annually or not is a decision you’d need to make, especially if your association carries Earthquake coverage where the association’s deductible could be substantial and is never funded.

Listed below are some other considerations associated with your insurance that  may have budget implications.

[1] Know What Needs To Be or Should Be Covered

It is imperative that you know what your association documents require you to insure and what is prudent. For condominiums, the number of associations I come across that don’t know whether their insurance is supposed to include coverage for the fixtures, equipment, and appliances in the residential unit is astounding. What about the betterments and improvements made by the unit owner? This is critical to know and impacts both the association and the unit owner from both a coverage and cost standpoint.

In your declaration or CC & R’s there’s often no guidance or requirements for  limits of liability coverage or other insurance. If your association has amenities such as a pool, fitness center, play ground, etc. carrying a $1,000,000 liability limit would seem very unwise in this day and age. Being frugal to the detriment of the association benefits no one. Have your agent provide you with optional coverages and limits of insurance so that the board can make an informed decision and include any approved changes in the budget.

[2] Insurance To Value

Condominiums have a requirement to be insured to full replacement cost value (see #1 to address the determination of what property should be considered), a responsibility that rests solely with the board of directors. Relying on your insurance company or a guaranteed cost provision doesn’t negate your responsibility, good though this option might be.

For example, I’ve seen property policies that are written with a guaranteed replacement cost provision but the Earthquake insurance has been written with a separate insurance company with a specified property limit and with penalties for underinsurance. How was that value established? Isn’t an earthquake loss more likely to result in a potential total loss in some cases?!

Remember too, the property coverage you purchase must enable you to rebuild or repair the damage to meet all of the current building codes applicable in your area. Such considerations would normally be factored in to any third party insurance replacement cost valuation appraisal. Wouldn’t budgeting for a periodic appraisal or having an annual update be a worthy consideration and a defense for a board in their efforts to comply with the declaration?

[3] Association Declaration – Insurance Section Amendment

Many condominiums and HOAs have amended the insurance section of their association declarations to bring clarity to what is to be covered by the association’s insurance; to shift the burden of the association’s insurance deductible or otherwise uninsured amounts to unit owners affected by a loss under certain circumstances; and, in some cases, to mandate unit owner insurance. These have cost implications to the association and the unit owner that can be beneficial.

[4] Risk Management

All too often a board of directors believes that the premiums being proposed are derived by the insurance company and that they have no say in them. Of course the limits of coverage and policy terms are all negotiable but have you ever thought of the long term benefits of improving the risk i.e. reducing the likelihood of a loss occurring? Consider having a long term ongoing risk management plan that really makes your association more attractive to a prospective insurance company and will reduce your potential for a loss. The benefits may be realized at the front end in lower premiums and over the long term by reducing the number of claims and the associated expenses.

Examples of cost effective measures might include an emergency plan, home owner education on what if scenarios (where are the water shut-offs for example), contractual requirements for service providers or contractors on site, ensuring compliance with your declaration, or installing seismic gas shut-off valves to prevent fire following an earthquake. Any such measures undertaken by you need to be conveyed to your insurance company. The costs associated with any risk management program might be next to nothing at the outset but the implications can be far reaching for your budgeting process.

Insurance Due Diligence

In conclusion, when working on your budget for next year and you drill down to the line item for insurance premiums do a little soul searching. Is the premium based on the required and prudent coverage? Are there circumstances that might cause a big change in insurance premiums? Are funds elsewhere in the budget for deductibles, uninsured losses, or proactive risk management? Has your agent met with you to discuss how risk management can help you prevent losses, reduce costs, or even impact the budget currently being worked upon?  The consequences of not doing a little due diligence up front can easily become an unbudgeted expense item later. The English saying penny-wise, pound-foolish rings true!

by Duncan Kirk, CIC, CIRMS

Agent/Owner, The Unity Group - Insurance & Employee Benefits

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Chapter Magazine

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November 2018

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1
2
3
  • Annual Meeting & Awards Gala
4
5
6
  • Made For Mangers Day Comm Mtg
7
  • CEO Luncheon
  • Ronald McDonald House
8
9
10
11
12
13
  • Education Comm Mtg - WSCAI
  • Community Outreach Committee Mtg - WSCAI
14
  • Board Meeting
15
  • Managers Only Meeting
16
17
18
19
20
  • Membership Committee Meeting- Conference Call
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
  • Business Partners Comm Mtg
28
29
30

Reserve Funding: Condo and HOA Unknowns

[ Blog/News ]
The benefits of a reserve study have been well documented and universally accepted. Reserve studies highlight the scope of predictable repair and replacement an association will face over a predefined period, providing not only a roadmap of anticipated costs but a clear plan as to how to navigate and prepare for them. However in spite of its acceptance as a good means of management and financial planning, a reserve study must also be understood for its inherent limitations.

Reserve Components

By definition, reserve components are items “whose infrequent and significant nature make them impractical to be included in the annual budget” (RCW 64.34.382).  Determination of what constitutes a reserve component is dependent on a number of factors.  Unless explicitly determined otherwise, a four-part test is generally used to distinguish a reserve expense from that of an operational or maintenance expense.

A reserve component will generally satisfy the following criteria:

  • The component is part of the Association’s common or limited common area responsibilities.
  • The component has a predictable useful service life.
  • The component’s useful life fits within the projection period (30 years).
  • The component’s cost for repair and replacement is too high to be included as part of the operating or maintenance budgets.

The above four part test should serve as a reminder to associations that not every aspect of a development is necessarily accounted for in a reserve study. Many reserve components, such as roofs, sidings and windows fit well within the framework above. However there are components of a property, some very long-lasting others not readily visible, that are generally not included in a reserve study. It is important that associations do not lose sight of these latter items, such as electrical or drainage systems. These “known unknowns” are items which still constitute part of the association’s common area responsibility, but are often omitted from the reserve study because of the difficulty in establishing their useful or remaining useful life.

Impact On Associations

This means of categorization of reserve and non-reserve components is both beneficial and prudent, as it does not unfairly burden an association with repair and replacement costs that may not eventuate. Many would agree that it makes little sense to reserve for a building component that has an unpredictable service life and cannot be accurately quantified.

Of course, such “life of the property” items sometimes begin to fail prematurely. In these instances, the reserve study framework can be a convenient tool that will allow for the inclusion of a schedule for replacement of such an item. This is especially helpful if the unexpected replacements must be phased in over time.  So in certain instances “known unknowns” can be quantified and, based upon competent investigation of conditions, a manageable replacement and repair schedule can be developed and incorporated into the regular reserve study framework.

Every Community is Unique

Every community is different by design. Each community has to deal with its own unique challenges and conditions. A reserve study has the flexibility to incorporate these unique needs and address the individual challenges faced by each community. In this context awareness of these “known unknowns” can be viewed simply as good governance.

Good governance requires associations to prepare for the future and in doing so they should be aware of the scope of a reserve study. They need to be aware of what elements of their common areas are addressed within the report. Understanding why certain items are included, and why others are not, is important. Associations need to recognize that in some circumstances the task of selecting reserve components needs, on occasion, to extend beyond the accepted framework. However this is more the exception than the rule.

Stuart Wilkinson, RS

Reserve Study Group – Seattle

Stuart Wilkinson can be reached at (888) 315-2843.

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Community Associations Journal - May 2018 Cover

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November 2018

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1
2
3
  • Annual Meeting & Awards Gala
4
5
6
  • Made For Mangers Day Comm Mtg
7
  • CEO Luncheon
  • Ronald McDonald House
8
9
10
11
12
13
  • Education Comm Mtg - WSCAI
  • Community Outreach Committee Mtg - WSCAI
14
  • Board Meeting
15
  • Managers Only Meeting
16
17
18
19
20
  • Membership Committee Meeting- Conference Call
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
  • Business Partners Comm Mtg
28
29
30