The Impact of The Surfside Building Collapse on the Condo and Apartment Building Industry

The Florida Surfside building collapse tragedy has left widespread Impact on the condo and apartment Industry. Following the partial collapse of a high-rise condominium complex in Surfside, Florida, which resulted in significant fatalities and injuries, government officials and insurers are calling for more stringent building inspection measures to prevent future incidents.

Review this information from First Volunteer Insurance for new insight about the collapse and the impact this incident has left behind on the condo industry.

The Collapse

During the early hours of June 24, 2021, Champlain Towers South—a 12-story, 136-unit condominium building located in the Miami suburb of Surfside—partially collapsed. Currently, government officials have confirmed that at least 97 people died and 11 more were injured in the collapse, with several others still unaccounted for. As a result, the incident has been dubbed as one of the deadliest building collapses in American history.

While the cause of the collapse is still under investigation at this time, engineering experts have deduced from existing evidence that the incident likely occurred because of long-term degradation and subsequent erosion within the building’s concrete support structures. Such issues were identified during a field survey report of the building in late 2018. Still, these concerns were dismissed during condo association and community board meetings that took place just months after the report was released.

Impact on the Condo Industry

Since the collapse, Miami-Dade County officials have begun urging local condo associations of complexes that are more than 40 years old and contain greater than six stories to schedule building inspections within the next 45 days. A properly qualified structural engineer must perform such inspections. Further, any buildings that fail to implement necessary improvements could potentially lose their occupancy licenses.
In addition, some property insurers have asked local condo associations to provide proof that their buildings have passed these inspections, indicating that coverage could be canceled or non-renewed for failing to do so. Looking ahead, there is a possibility that these requirements could be implemented throughout not only Florida, but other states also—thus impacting thousands of condo associations across the country.

As such, at First Volunteer Insurance we recommend condo associations and apartment complexes of older, high-rise design to consider scheduling building inspections in the near future. Doing so could help prevent devastating losses, significant recovery expenses and potential coverage concerns.

For additional industry updates and insurance options and solutions, contact First Volunteer Insurance today at 423-668-4888.