Monmouth Beach condo must keep its pool closed because of COVID-19 liabilities
People living at a condo complex in Monmouth Beach were told that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the pool at the complex won’t be able to open.
The issue is regarding insurance. Sands Point North has insurance, but the board just received a rider to its policy stating that if the pool turns into a super-spreader or if anyone gets sick from the virus and files a lawsuit, the board won’t be covered.
“The lawyers tell us not to,” says condo association member Valerie McGovern.
McGovern says that she doesn’t like seeing the pool cover still in place and the chairs stacked. She says that she uses the pool as much as anyone else, but she has been warned.
“They tell us we can be sued personally if just one person got sick. Even if they didn't get sick here," she says.
The condo association uses three insurance companies – Philadelphia Indemnity, Commercial General Liability and Allianz Insurance. All have sent changes to policies calling them "Communicable Disease Exclusions."
Commercial General said, "This insurance does not apply to…Personal and advertising injury arising out of the actual or alleged transmission of a communicable disease."
Allianz said that it won’t pay any claims, “In any way related to any communicable disease, virus or any variant, strain adaptation or mutation thereof.”
Condo association president John Seber says that he feels horrible for the residents, especially since the average resident pays $400 or more in fees for the pool and tennis courts. He and McGovern had to deliver the bad news.
“We are the bad guys that have to tell people that we can’t open, even though we’d love to,” Seber says.
And he says that the fees likely won’t be reduced.
“We still have to run the pool. We have to uncover it. We have to make sure the filters and the chemicals are in there, that everything is functional,” Seber says.
"They just think we are being unreasonable and that's hard to because we aren't just board members, we are neighbors,” says McGovern.
News 12 New Jersey asked if residents could sign a waiver, but the board’s attorney says that waivers won’t hold up. The pool will remain closed for now.