A fee that is in addition to annual maintenance fees, generally charged only in times of emergency for major repairs or renovations to the owner’s resort. For example, if a tornado knocks down the resort you own in Florida, the owners will most likely be charged a special assessment fee in order to rebuild the resort.
A special assessment fee is a fee that has to be paid by the owners of a club in order to offset a, usually unforeseen, expense. This fee is paid in addition to annual maintenance fees. WorldMark owners have never paid an assessment fee. Special assessments can be imposed on timeshare owners for many reasons. The most common situation is when a natural disaster happens that cannot be covered by the amount of money the owners are paying in maintenance fees. This type of timeshare fee is most common among smaller clubs that lack a large general fund. Most of the bigger developers such as Hilton, WorldMark, Marriott, Disney etc. are protected by liability insurance, or have large general funds which are reserved for such situations. These fees aren’t very common, but can be avoided by choosing a timeshare club with a very established, high profile developer. Many of the big names in timeshares (such as Hilton, WorldMark, Marriott, Disney and more) have taken counter measures to prevent owners being burdened with extra, unforeseen fees including special assessments.