St. Charles County community, residents battle over insurance liability

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on March 31, 2014 at 6:00 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 14 at 11:57 AM

(KMOV) --  A battle over insurance in a St. Charles County community has residents upset. The Newtown community just north of Highway 370 is still growing but neighbors are talking about the home owner’s association requirement.

It said residents must have liability insurance for accidents or injuries that happen on common ground in the community.

“Where we are standing was a dirt road there were no houses around we were one of the first ones in 2005,” said Frank Meyers. He was one of the first to build in the Newtown development.

He’s upset about the insurance requirement and said his neighbors are too.

Meyers said he was never told about the requirement when he was looking to buy or while he was closing on the deal. He learned about it after the fact and said he needs liability insurance for something that is blocks away from his home.

“But that lake over there or that park. How can we be responsible for that,” said Meyers.

The community has a park, a lake and canals. Insurance experts say any property with water poses a huge liability risk but the bigger problem for homeowners.

“A homeowner policy underwriter does not want to take on the liability of an entire community association,” said Karen Corrigan of O’Connor Insurance.

O’Connor Insurance provides insurance for hundreds of community associations around the area. She said individual homeowner policies are just are not ramped up to provide liability coverage in Newtown.

“Insurance companies are saying we don't want to accept liability for an entire community association that has the obligation to maintain the lakes, maintain the streets, sidewalks,  snow removal and all of those common facilities that's a huge burden,” said Corrigan.

Homeowners have looked but are having trouble finding the required coverage.

News 4 learned as of Monday afternoon, Newtown had talked with two large insurance companies and those companies agreed to offer the required insurance to residents.

Calls in to Newtown’s attorney went unanswered. 

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