Your Real Estate Investment Insurance May Be Affected By Building Components

Are Your Real Estate Investment Insurance Rates High?

Did You Know Your Real Estate Investment Insurance Rates May Be Affected By Building Components?

Have you gotten a Real Estate Investment Insurance quote that seems a little higher than normal?  Or, are you shopping for insurance rates and need  to know what the comparable rates might be?

Why Real Estate Investment Insurance Is Importance

You know that you NEED insurance, but why is it so important that you have it?  Because anything can happen!  If your real estate investment goes through a flood, and you later rent it out.  Will your tenant then complain of mold issues?  Insurance acts as a type of buffer to protect you and your assets.

That is also why it is important to get the best insurance rates possible.  The key is to keep rates low while still offering you viable protection.

How Building Components Affect Real Estate Investment Insurance

The construction elements of a building are extremely important when it comes to a real estate investment.  As previously explained, components such as the type of building (brick for example), plumbing, electrical, and other aspects of construction will all determine what insurance rates you might see.

The same is true for wiring.  Depending, on what type of wiring you have in your real estate investment property, you may be paying MORE for insurance?

That is because copper wiring has become the preferable industry standard. That means if you have aluminum wiring, then you may not even be covered for insurance, and if you are, you will pay out more in insurance.

Landlord Horror Stories, How To Prevent and Minimize Real Estate Investor Risks

Real Estate Investor Risks Can Be EXTREMELY Damaging

Real Estate Investor Risks Can Leave You EXPOSED

Here at Benchmark Insurance, we have seen a host of real estate investor risks, some of which could only be described as Landlord Horror Stories.  These are the stuff of nightmares, and not only do they put the tenant(s) at risks, but they can leave you extremely exposed and open to anything - from liability costs to fines to lawsuits.

What Kind of Real Estate Investor Risks Can There Be?

There are all kinds of real estate investor risks and subsequent landlord horror stories that are possible.  As mentioned, at Benchmark we have seen our fair share.  We have seen Marijuana grow operations and other drug related issues, such as tenants believing they can deal drugs on property or simply using illegal drugs themselves.   We have also seen cases of vandalism, issues of hoarding, and everything in between.  These issues also range in their levels of severity as well, from merely a nuisance to the landlord or other residents, to an extreme issue that can result in property damage, death, and lawsuits. There is simply no telling how extreme issues can go.  Thus, if you are a real estate investor, then you need to maintain coverage.

How To Mitigate Real Estate Investor Risks?

First and foremost, if you are a Real Estate Investor, then you need to make sure that you have the right kind of insurance.  That not only means you need to right coverage for your property type, but you must also know if you need additional liability coverage as well.  For example, a multifamily investor would need different coverage than someone that simply uses their property commercially.

Exotic Pet Liability, What Are The Risks?

WITHOUT EXOTIC PET LIABILITY INSURANCE, YOU MAY BE LEFT EXPOSED

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT AN EXOTIC PET LIABILITY

Are you aware that exotic pet liability insurance can salvage any risks that you, as an investor, can have?  Exotic pets can no doubt be interesting - from tarantulas to chimpanzees and everything in between.

For Texas, the laws can be extremely complex and differ greatly for the type of exotic pet in question.  For example, an individual would need a license when it comes to bears, cougars, chimps, etc. but no license is needed when it comes to owning a wolf or monkey.

However, as a landlord, exotic pet liability can be an even further complex issue when you consider the risk.

What Is An Exotic Pet Liability Insurance?

In essence, Exotic Pet Liability Insurance simply refers to the coverage that is put into place should something happen with the exotic pet.  For example, if the exotic pet gets loose and then injures another resident, you may be at risk.  We have seen this particular instance occur with a black panther who not only got loose, and scared many residents, but actually mauled a small child.  It is not just the tenant that is then held liable, but also the landlord as well.

Do I Need Exotic Pet Liability Insurance?

Not necessarily.  It is possible that you, as a landlord, can simply ban exotic pets from your properties altogether.  This is especially a viable solution if you own a multifamily property.  However, if you do accept that your tenants will potentially have exotic pets on the premise, then you need to ensure that you look into exotic pet liability insurance to help mitigate risks.

Personal Or Commercial Insurance Shouldn’t Be SCARY!

Shopping For Personal Or Commercial Insurance?

The More You Know About Personal Or Commercial Insurance, The Less Frightening It Will Be

What scares people about shopping for personal or commercial insurance? That they don't understand it!   On average 95% of people have little to no knowledge about the many nuances pertaining to their policies, such as policy coverage or exclusions.  This can be problematic because, if one does not understand the type of insurance they need, then they may not be fully covered or find their rates higher than necessary.

Why Is Personal Or Commercial Insurance Important?

Most individuals understand what personal insurance is - for example, life insurance, auto insurance, home owner's insurance, and so forth.  However, what about commercial insurance?   If you own your own business, then you are going to need this type of insurance, no matter if you own an auto garage, are a landlord with a multifamily property, or so forth.  Commercial insurance, like personal insurance, will protect you in the event that a liability occurs.  For example, if a worker injures themselves in your auto garage or a  tenant falls down a flight of stairs - commercial insurance helps cover you!

What Don't People Understand About Insurance

Most individuals do not understand the nuances of insurance.  For example, what kind of exclusions might apply?  Exclusions are essentially that which is not covered by the policy.  What about liabilities, or the policies themselves.  There is simply a  great deal of information that goes into  insurance.  Having the right agent, one that will help alleviate any concerns and explain all of these factors, is ideal.

Why You Should Shop For Landlord Insurance Outside of Hurricane Season

OUTSIDE OF HURRICANE SEASON IS IDEAL FOR LANDLORD INSURANCE

LANDLORD INSURANCE RATES FALL OUTSIDE OF HURRICANE SEASON

If you are renting out a property at all, no matter what type of tenants you have (families, students, assisted living, section 8 housing, etc.) then you are going to need landlord insurance.  However, when shopping for any type of insurance, you may want to know what is the most ideal time period in which to get the better insurance rates and save significantly.

What Is Landlord Insurance

In short, landlord insurance is a form of insurance that applies to your property, whether it is a multifamily or a single person dwelling.  Anytime you rent out your property, then the title would apply to you.  Landlord insurance offers many different types of coverage that would be a benefit towards your real estate investment.  For example, it not only covers property damage, but it also covers payment defaults, as well as other types of liabilities.  While landlord insurance does not cover every single claim, as it would depend on the type of insurance you buy, it does offer significant protection.

Why Should You For Landlord Insurance After Hurricane Season

After hurricane season, rates are typically lower than during hurricane season.   This is simply because the looming potential damage that could possibly occur, such as with flooding or wind and hail damage, is made more readily apparent.  This works as a benefit for real estate investors, who may be looking for a new insurance plan.  This also means that if your policy expiration also falls out of hurricane season, then it would be the perfect time to shop for insurance

Claims History, Why This Matters In Real Estate Insurance

WHY IS THE CLAIMS HISTORY IMPORTANT?

CLAIMS HISTORY ALLOWS YOU TO KNOW WHAT POTENTIAL DAMAGES YOU MIGHT BE IN FOR REGARDING A PROPERTY.

Did you know that claims history is one of the most important need-to-know aspects of buying a property?  Whether you are a real estate investor who wants to flip the property,  to rent it out, or simply have the property as a future viable investment; you are going to need to know the claims history of the property to make a better, more informed decision.

The Importance Of Claims History

In the most basic sense, a claims history will let you know what types of claims have been made on that particular property.  For example, if the property is in a Hurricane-prone location, then it is very possible that the house has seen claims made regarding flooding, wind and hail damage, and so forth.  That means if the house has already suffered through flooding, and resulting damage from that, would it be possible that there might be mold issues in the future?  While this may not necessarily be the case, it is possible given the property's history.  As a real estate investor, you need to be aware of any potential liability in order to better protect yourself and your assets and know the details of your investment.

The C.L.U.E. Report, A Way To Your Property's Claims History

Real estate investors need to be aware of what they are buying, period.  The C.L.U.E. Report allows you to get a 'clue' by alerting you to the general history of the property, including any past claims that have been made.  As mentioned, this can protect you and your investment in the future.
When it comes to real estate insurance, claims history is an invaluable tool that will help you better prepare for the future, allowing you to make a smart, informed real estate investment decision.

Flipping Houses? Then You NEED Contractors General Liability Insurance Coverage

Do You Have Contractors General Liability Insurance Coverage?

Contractors General Liability Insurance Coverage Will Help PROTECT Your Investment!

To start, one thing that investors do not realize when flipping houses is that, by default, they become general contractors. They are the ones who will be subcontracting all work for the property. This means that if they do not have contractor liability then they could potentially be left exposed. Moreover, one has to be extremely mindful about who they hire and what kind of coverage is had over the project as a whole. In addition, the structure should also be insured after the fact. Here's what you need to know:

What Is Contractors General Liability Insurance Coverage

True to what it sounds like, contractor liability protects you and your assets in the event that the contractor is negligent or does not do their due diligence in regards to work performed on the property.  For example, if the contractor is supposed to use copper wiring, but fails to do so, then you may be denied insurance altogether.  Or, suppose that the contractor does an adequate job on the surface level, but there is some misstep along the way and later on down the line, your tenant, or the home buyer gets hurts and sues.  Since you do not have contractor liability, then you could be the one found solely responsible.  This why is why contractor liability, is so important when flipping houses, even if you have general real estate insurance.

Why You NEED Contractors General Liability Insurance Coverage

As mentioned previously, having contractor liability ensures that you and your assets are protected, especially if the contractor you hired did not do an adequate job on your property.  On a construction site, anything can go wrong and thus, it is imperative that you protect your real estate investment.

Flipping houses can be extremely rewarding as the return on investment can be high.  However, if you do not have contractor liability then you can find the risks to be even greater.  Ensure that your investment is covered. 

2 Multifamily Insurance Exclusions That All Investors Should Know

Are You A Real Estate Investor Shopping for Multifamily Insurance?

Real Estate Agents Who Invest In A Multifamily Dwelling NEED The Right Multifamily Insurance

Are you a real estate investor with a multifamily dwelling in your portfolio? Then you NEED multifamily insurance. In addition, there are two specific exclusions that you may need to look for when you are purchasing a new property.

Multifamily Insurance Exclusion #1 - Assault and Battery

Did you know that general liability insurance is not enough to cover a fight, an assault, an altercation, shooting, or even a dead body on the premise.  Although, you may believe that these kinds of problems may not happen on your multifamily property - know that they can happen anywhere.  In addition, you must also think of the litigation and potential lawsuit that may follow these types of insurance claims.  For example, we once saw a case in which a multifamily property owner was sued because of improper lighting, after a fight broke out, and inevitably they won.  However, the insurance would not cover because the multifamily owner did not have assault and battery coverage.  If you are not protected with the right insurance, you can find yourself liable.

Multifamily Insurance Exclusion #2 - Standalone Dog Policy

In a similar vein, if you do not have a standalone dog policy then you could be potentially left exposed.  Quite simply, if you are going to allow tenants to own dogs, no matter what the breed, then you would be left exposed.  Also keep in mind that service animals are legally allowed, even if they are a type of bull breed.  That means if the tenants' dog bites another resident, or a visitor, you can be sued by the victim.  There have been cases in which a multifamily investor has been sued over a dog attack and insurance did not cover the resulting damages.  Thus, when getting multifamily insurance, your agent needs to know what would be best for you and your investment.

Knowing the above exclusions is only part of the process of getting multifamily insurance that helps your investment. Secondary would require finding the right insurance agent. At Benchmark we make it easy to shop for insurance and find the rates that work best for you.

Insurance Claims, Here’s What You Need To Know

Are You Having Trouble With Insurance Claims?

Filing Insurance Claims Are Necessary For Your Investment

Insurance claims can be a complicated process and, at times, that complexity can cause discrepancies, general confusion, or act as a time drain. Here's what you need to know about insurance claims.

What Insurance Claims Are For 

Insurance claims are essentially the way in which you make a formal request, as an insurance policy holder, regarding a policy event or to seek after loss coverage.  For example, if you are a real estate investor and your house suffers fire or flood damage, then you would need to make an insurance claim in order to get coverage for the damage.  Your agent would need to access the damage and determine if it would be covered under your policy.

What You Need To Know About Insurance Claims

Insurance shouldn't be scary!  That is the number one thing you need to know about insurance claims.  However it is also imperative  to first and foremost, know what kind of investor you are.  For example, if you own an auto garage , then you will need a different type of insurance than if you owned a restaurant.  The same would be true when it comes to niches within specific industries.  For instance, flipping houses as a real estate investor requires different insurance than does being a multifamily investor.

Aside from knowing what type of investor you are, you would also need to document everything.  It is good standard to keep documentation at all times, but it is especially important when it comes to insurance claims.  Having a conversation with your agent it also extremely important as well.

Avoid the headache, because we have a claims consulting process that is simple to understand and is just as effective.

 

Need Real Estate Insurance? Make Sure Your Agent Asks The Right Questions

REAL ESTATE INVESTORS, DOES YOUR INSURANCE AGENT ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS?

YOUR INSURANCE AGENT SHOULD UNDERSTAND THE TYPE OF INSURANCE THAT REAL ESTATE INVESTORS NEED

Too often, real estate insurance agents make a significant misstep by failing to ask the appropriate questions. For example, information such as who you are subcontracting (and whether or not they are insured), what kind of investment property type you have (for example are you housing for students or section 8 housing), as well as what type of construction you might be undertaking, are all relevant information. An insurance agent that specifically deals with this type of insurance will not only know to as these questions, but they will also know what the answers mean in terms of what types of real estate insurance rates you will see.

The Problem With Not Knowing About Real Estate Insurance

Without specific and direct questions, your agent will simply not know what type of insurance you will need for that particular property. This can cost you significant time and money in the long run. For instance, if you are a multifamily real estate investor, then it is suggested you get dog bite coverage, liquor liability if you have a pool, and a number of other liability and coverage types. All of this would give you the best rates possible  for the type of insurance you need. 

Real Estate Insurance Know-How

Watch the video below and learn exactly what your insurance agent should be asking and how it important it is to determine what type of real estate insurance you need before making any final decisions. Remember, if you need real estate insurance, we make it easy to shop for insurance and get the best rates possible.