Some Changes on the Way…
With the recent legislation package, we are gearing up for important and helpful changes to the CFSIC program. All of these changes are beneficial and will help us get assistance to more claimants, and more efficiently.
In the coming weeks, we will have much more information about key initiatives such as the credit enhancements program, which we know many need in order to consider moving ahead with their applications.
As always, this page is the way CFSIC communicates with the public at large. Everything we are doing and planning to do can be found here.
Important Changes for Condo Owners
CFSIC will, effective today, June 10, 2019, adopt a more streamlined process for condo owners, aimed at getting condos in line with more efficiency and speed.
It is very important that condo owners carefully read everything that follows:
1) CFSIC will now permit (effective from today forward) a single application for all affected building foundations and covering all eligible units on those foundations.
2) This will not be a two-application process…but a single application from this date forward.
3) If you have already applied to CFSIC using the two-application process, where you have first applied for eligible buildings containing four units and fewer…you should continue with the two-application process, because you are already in the application pipeline. If you have not done so, use this new process effective today.
What follows are important “Questions and Answers” which should help your understanding:
Question: If I’m submitting one application for my buildings and units, how do I let CFSIC know which buildings/units I’m applying for?
Answer: Go here to view the template for an email that the president of the condo association can send, but only once the application is completed and all points of evidence are uploaded to ESIS. This email, then addressed to ESIS (not to CFSIC) will explain what you have applied for if you complete it correctly.
Question: So, you are saying that from June 10, 2019 forward there will be one single application per condo association?
Answer: Yes. But remember…if you don’t follow up the application with an email (and we mean “follow up”…you should not include the email with the application, but send it separately as a follow-up), we won’t know who you are and what you’re applying for.
Question: So I will be applying for all my condo units on a one-time basis, regardless of the CFSIC severity code assigned to each foundation?
Answer: You will, but be careful: this implies that all of the foundations of all of your buildings have been severity coded by a CT-licensed professional engineer (or, after June 12, 2019 to include CFSIC-certified home inspectors). If you haven’t done this yet, your claim would remain “inactive” because you had not been able to submit that point of evidence. The object is to get an application into CFSIC for all of your buildings/units so that we can estimate the current liability associated with severity class coded 3 and 2 buildings, as well as the potential future liability associated with those buildings severity coded as class 1. One last point…once a severity code is applied to any part of a building’s foundation, it applies to the whole foundation. (For example, a foundation indicating a severity class code 3 in one part of the foundation is considered to be entirely a severity class 3.)
Question: Has the enabling legislation changed, enabling us to include buildings with more than four units on the foundation?
Answer: We understand that it has changed…but is still subject to the Governor’s signature. Because we anticipate that the Governor will sign this legislation, we are now moving quickly, as a result, to use a single-application methodology in order to streamline the process for condo owners.
Question: What about bank-owned or commercial investor-owned units?
Answer: They are excluded.
Question: How will the contractor calculate the foundation work if, for example, with a six-unit building we have to exclude one unit?
Answer: The contractor will calculate the work based on the existence of six units, because it is impractical for a contractor to do it any other way. However, CFSIC will only contribute to the cost of five units, because of the exclusion of one unit. This means a potential significant financial burden on the association and its unit owners.
Question: This poses a significant additional potential financial burden, does it not?
Answer: It does. Which is why we encourage condo associations to write to the bank or commercial investor owning any unit in question, and ask them to bear their share of the total cost of the building’s foundation, inclusive of everything CFSIC won’t pay for with respect to that one unit.
Question: Can you give me an example?
Answer: Let’s use an example of a building with six units, and where that building is severity coded class 3. One of the six units is owned by a bank. The contractor, using CFSIC’s replacement cost parameters and the contractor worksheet, prices the replacement of the entire foundation as if one of the units was not bank-owned. For example, the contractor prices the six-unit building foundation total construction cost at $480,000. (Again, including the bank-owned unit.) The contractor then determines that CFSIC’s allowable concrete costs come in at $420,000. (Again, including the bank-owned unit.) Here are the options: (i) the association bears the cost of the bank-owned unit ($70,000 for allowable concrete work plus one-sixth of the difference between $420,000 and $480,000, which is $10,000, for a total additional association shared expense of $80,000), or (ii) the association asks the bank owner in question to contribute $80,000 to the cost, and the contractor bills the bank directly, or (iii) the building doesn’t get fixed. Obviously, approaching the bank or commercial owner of the condo to bear their proportional share of the foundation’s expense makes sense…because all owners succeed if this occurs.
Question: Has anything changed about the cap for condos?
Answer: No. The allowable concrete work cap of $70,000 per condo unit still applies, with the exception of single condo units sited on a single foundation platform, where a cap of $175,000 applies.
As always, your best source of information is ESIS. If there is any doubt as to how to apply, email ESIS at email@example.com or call them at 844-763-1207.
CFSIC-Sponsored Foundation Re-Examination Program
The CFSIC-sponsored foundation re-examination program is scheduled to end on July 31, 2019. It will not be continued.
The re-examination program had been put in place to assist homeowner who had had written visual examinations conducted by engineers in the past where no CFSIC severity class code has been assigned. It is now common knowledge among engineers doing this work that severity codes should be assigned. Additionally, CFSIC will be conducting two foundation evaluation workshops for CT-licensed home inspectors, permitting them to do written evaluations. By the end of June, we expect thirty or more home inspectors to have passed the course work and examination for certification. This should assist greatly in the ability for claimants to get the help they need.
If you have any questions about the operation of the program, ESIS is your best source of information on your claim, and their phone number and email are shown below.
As you work through the information and application process, here’s how you can get help:
– Call ESIS (the claim adjuster) at: 844-763-1207
– Email ESIS at: firstname.lastname@example.org
– Email CFSIC at: email@example.com
Michael Maglaras, Principal
Michael Maglaras & Company