Umbrella Insurance Policies

This type of insurance is a form of liability insurance to protect an association from claims that exceed the dollar limits of coverage under an association’s primary liability policies, such as commercial general liability, directors and officers liability, employment practices liability, owned-vehicle liability, etc. Umbrella coverage typically provides additional dollar limits that provide an “umbrella” over more than one type of liability policy. If an association has such a policy that provides additional dollar limits over just one type of policy, it is usually considered to be an “excess” policy.

Unincorporated Association

Homeowners associations may be either incorporated or unincorporated. Unincorporated associations have many of the same powers of incorporated associations, but lack many of the protections afforded under the law. Oftentimes, unincorporated associations face challenges in obtaining director and officer insurance and bank loans.

Unlawful Detainer

In today’s economy, many associations are faced with situations where the owner cannot or will not evict unruly tenants. In these situations, associations with eviction authority in their CC&Rs may pursue eviction action against tenants who violate the governing documents. If eviction language is not present, you can amend eviction authority into your CC&Rs. Contact your attorney to discuss your options further.

Unlicensed Contractors

Contractors performing work in California are regulated by the Contractors State Licensing Board. Any contractor performing $500 or more of work (materials and labor) must be licensed by the CSLB. Performing construction without a valid contractors license is a misdemeanor. Also, unlicensed contractors cannot file a lawsuit to obtain payment for work performed even if the work was done correctly. Before contracting with any contractor, associations should check with CSLB to confirm the contractor is properly licensed and has workers compensation insurance.


Utilities are frequently defined in the governing documents, and may include plumbing, electrical, HVAC, water, gas, cable television. Utilities may be part of the common area or may be part of the separate interest, and the responsibility to maintain, repair and replace the various utility systems will be defined in the governing documents.