An Insurance Buying Guide for Property Managers
By- Tony Matera / twitter: @WI_InsSolutions
If you have a single family dwelling or you manage a property portfolio of thousands of units you may have noticed a trend recently. Insurance rates are beginning to increase slightly. The market maybe firming up but that doesn't mean you can't push back. Here are some tips to help you better understand your insurance and mange your costs.
Know and understand your square footage:
Gu-estimating your square footage could lead you into two costly problems. The first underestimating replacement cost when dealing with a partial claim (not a total loss and is more likely to occur) you could leave yourself susceptible to a co-insurance penalty. The second is just the opposite you could be over paying. Be accurate and know your replacement cost per square foot.
Have a strategy:
Take time to ask questions of your agent. What is the market doing? Who are the aggressive carriers this year? Can I switch my expiration dates? When is the best time of year to renew? Having a strategy will help build your insurance portfolio making your properties most attractive to carriers.
Insurance is a bottom line cost you need to budget for and not be held hostage to last minute quotes. Working with an experienced agent with good carrier relationships will allow you to know what to plan for. Plus it gives you time to work with your agent to shop the market if you receive a steep increase from your current carrier.
Choose the right agent/broker:
You don't want to be your agent's only property client. Make sure you're with an independent agent who can access several carriers on your behalf and has built his/ her portfolio around insuring habitational risks. Their expertise means more leverage when negotiating price/ coverage with carriers, knowledge of the market and pricing, and how to build a long term insurance portfolio strategy that could mean real savings for you. Also make sure they have a strong licensed service team behind them helping with claims, billing, loss control, excreta.
Other questions to ask your agent/broker:
What is co-insurance and am I at risk of a penalty?
Should my buildings be Actual Cash Value (ACV) or Replacement Cost (RC)?
Do we need workers compensation?
Does our Condo Board need Directors and Officers coverage?
What does Loss of Rents cover and how should I determine my limit?
What is Equipment Breakdown cover for an apartment / condo?
Tony Matera is a licensed independent insurance advisor and Director of Ansay and Associates Habitational Insurance Division out of Port Washington WI. For more information contact him at email@example.com or call directly at 262-376-3248