Shower pan losses are very common occurrences in Florida. What happens if you live in a condominium and your upstairs neighbor’s shower pan fails causing damage to your unit? For a Florida condominium owner who has a shower pan loss within their condominium, the homeowner’s policy usually covers the damages caused by the water but does not pay to repair the damaged or broken shower pan itself.  Your neighbor’s unit? That’s different.

First, the cause of the leak must be identified. If you think that when water emanates from a condominium unit, that unit is automatically responsible for the damages to that unit, the common elements, and to other units- you are wrong. A unit owner is only responsible for damage to someone else’s property if the damage was caused by that owner’s carelessness (negligence), or by their intentional act. For example, if a unit owner leaves their bathtub running and it overflows, causing a flood – that unit owner will be legally responsible for the damage caused to the other units.

The Florida Condominium Act, Section 718.111(11), provides that:

The condominium association must insure the condominium property as originally installed by the developer, minus certain delineated items.

The association is responsible for everything except the following, for which the unit owner is responsible: all personal property within the unit or limited common elements, and floor, wall, and ceiling coverings, electrical fixtures, appliances, water heaters, water filters, built-in cabinets and countertops, and window treatments, including curtains, drapes, blinds, hardware, and similar window treatment components, or replacements of any of the foregoing which are located within the boundaries of the unit and serve only such unit.

In the event of a shower pan leak causing water damage, the association would be responsible for repairing the drywall and ceilings. The unit owners are responsible for their own personal property, including floor coverings, cabinets, and furniture. This is yet another example as to why every unit owner must carry their own insurance to ensure that they will be covered in an event of a loss.