Call Us 562-594-6541

Free California Insurance Quote

 

 

Rental Property Insurance Boot Camp

INSURANCE BOOT CAMP

 

How to Protect Your Rental Properties with the Right Insurance Coverage to Protect Your Assets & Financial Future of the Ones You Love!

 

Single Family Dwellings  

 “Hazard Insurance”, as required by lending institutions, is essentially an insurance contract that covers the physical structure for most types of damage.  Always purchase, when possible, the Broad or Special Form contracts. Coverage exclusions include (but are not limited to) damage caused by an Earthquake, a Flood, occasionally Theft of Building items, Wear & Tear, Mold, and other Bio Agents, animals (including rodents, birds, etc), War, Illegal,  and Intentional acts.

 In general, the Hazard Insurance is written to incorporate enough insurance to either replace the structure following a devastating fire or to pay off the Lender’s note.  Preferred policies include extra protection, over and above the policy limits, called Extended Replacement Cost.

 Hazard policies can also provide (as an additional amount of coverage) Loss of Rental Income protection, for rent loss resulting from insured damages; it is not automatic in all insurance policies, so ask for it and provide your estimated annual rental income to the insurance company.

 Usually, the policy will include a Landlord’s Liability endorsement, to protect and defend you against Bodily Injury or Property Damage claims from another person, resulting from your ownership of the property and for which you are held liable. We stress a minimum of $300,000 Landlord’s Liability protection (preferably $500,000).  Often, the Landlord’s endorsement will include Personal Injury coverage, but always ask to make it a part of the policy.  Many of you will move your properties to an LLC; be sure to advise your insurance agent once you do this and add the LLC as an additional insured to your policy.

 Deductibles are a good thing and we recommend minimally a $500 deductible – preferably $1,000 – on your property insurance policy.

 Depending upon where your property is located, there may be a requirement to join a Wind or Flood Pool or Sinkhole pool.  The agents with whom you are dealing can direct you how to get to these pools if it is necessary; normally, it is not necessary to go to these pools unless you are purchasing coastline propertiesAnd remember, Earthquake & Flood insurance are extra and not a part of a regular property insurance policy.

 

(This is a general discussion of policies for Rental Properties.  In most instances, this information will be consistent from state to state; however, differences may occur.  Therefore, this discussion of insurance policies is necessarily brief and is not to be interpreted as the final word about property insurance; please refer to your policy for a complete coverage review and always ask questions of your insurance agents to ensure proper protection)

 Condos / Town Homes

 

These are a bit different from insuring single family dwellings in that, while you do not have to purchase insurance on the “structure” (as it is normally covered by the association), you need to ask a few more questions about the levels of protection afforded to you by the association’s insurance package:  You need to determine just how much protection you are getting from the association.

 Here is what you are not being insured for through the association:

 Ø  Protection for damage to your unit is limited through the HOA’s policies.  You may need to insure interior improvements – perhaps everything inside the common wall.  Make sure your realtor clarifies your insurance responsibilities or obtain at least $50,000 in protection; you must ask for this insurance coverage to get it.

Ø  Loss of Rental Income due to damage to the premises; always ask for it and provide your estimated annual rental income to your insurance representatives.

Ø  Your individual, Landlord’s Liability (including Personal Injury);

Ø  Assessments resulting from inadequate insurance obtained by the association; we recommend $50,000 in protection

Ø  You may be responsible for a Deductible resulting from a claim arising out of your unit or the common area.

Ø  You may be responsible for Damage to other units resulting from a legal liability for an event emanating from your unit.

 How do you deal with the unknown of what you are responsible for in a Condo or Town Home insurance program?  You have to ask a lot of questions of management. Here is a good question to ask the association:

 Ø  The water line, connected to my washing machine, broke and water ran everywhere.  It caused damage to my unit and to the adjacent unit.  The Damages included my floor, cabinets, walls, the floor and ceiling between the adjacent (or downstairs) unit, and of course there is damage to the common structure.   What damages will be covered by the association’s insurance? What is my responsibility under the association’s policy, the CC&Rs, and the By-Laws?

 Other levels of protection you may wish to add to your insurance coverage portfolio, as you grow your assets, other types of protection including increasing your Auto/Home insurance limits, adding Umbrella Insurance¸ and considering various means of protection against claims alleging Discrimination (which could include the purchase of a special type of insurance).

 (This is a general discussion of policies for Condominium Rental Properties.  In most instances, this information is consistent from state to state; however, differences may occur.  Therefore, this discussion of insurance policies is necessarily brief and is not to be interpreted as the final word about property insurance; please refer to your policy for a complete coverage review and always ask questions of your insurance agents to ensure proper protection)

Umbrella (aka: Excess) Liability Insurance

 

An Umbrella Liability policy provides you with protection in addition to what we call your primary limits of coverage:  It is a policy of additional insurance, generally written in increments of $1,000,000, in addition to your auto, home and rental insurance policies.  The idea here is that rather than a claimant trying to put his hands in your pockets, you want him instead to go after the insurance company’s pocket! 

 What Does an Umbrella Liability Policy Cover?

 This total coverage limit provides you with protection for severe claims for which you may become liable due to bodily injury or property damages to others and which are first covered under your primary limits (your first “layer”) of coverage.   Basically, the Umbrella Policy kicks in when a claim exceeds this first layer of protection; it creates an additional layer of protection for claims that exceed those initial policy limits, including the cost of defense that ends when your initial policy’s limits are fully spent.

 It is important to ensure that you do not have a gap in your layers of coverage.   You must be sure that the limits of the primary policy (the first layer) end where the Umbrella Policy’s layer begins, without a gap in the middle.  You want to have your auto, home, and rental insurance liability limits be high enough to flow directly into the umbrella’s layer of coverage. 

 Coverage Tip:  Make sure all entities (you and any spouse, trust, or LLC) are listed on your primary and umbrella policies.  Not all insurers will do this, and the coverage is not automatic.  You must request this additional protection.  

It is vital to remember that the Umbrella (Excess) Policy is basically an extension of your home, rental, and auto policies.  Generally, Umbrella Policies will not cover actions outside of what the primary layer will cover.  A good example of this is Tenant Discrimination actions:  These will most likely not be covered by either the rental or (thus) the Umbrella Liability policy.  Other policy options may be available for this protection.   

 What Do You Need to Do to Get an Excess Liability Policy?

 You generally need primary limits on your auto policies of at least $250,000 per person/$500,000 per occurrence Bodily Injury, $100,000 Property Damage, and $300,000 on your home and rentals before you look to an Umbrella Policy. Then, ask your insurance agent to quote the coverage for you: It is just that simple!

 What Does an Umbrella (Excess) Liability Policy Cost?

 You have 1 Residence, 4 Rentals, 2 Cars:  The cost can be as low as $349 annually for an Umbrella Liability policy.  This cost can be reduced even more if you package your Home, Auto, and Umbrella insurance with one company. The annual savings for the package could be as much as $100!

 

 

 

Umbrella (Excess) Insurance Policy

$2,000,000?

$3,000,000?

$5,000,000?

How much to purchase is up to you.

How much equity & wealth

Do you have to lose?

 

Following are the minimum limits you need to provide on your first, (primary) policies, with the Excess (Umbrella) sitting in an excess, or secondary, position in the event of a claim.  This provides extra limits of protection in the event of a catastrophic Bodily Injury claim to another person for injury arising from an incident on your property or from an incident involving your driving.

 

Homeowner’s Insurance, Liability: 

 

$300,000 Liability for Bodily Injury or Property Damage  to Others

Automobile Insurance, Liability: 

 

$250,000 Per Person,

$500,000 Total Accident Bodily Injury

$100,000 Property Damage to Others

Rental Property Policy

 

$300,000 Bodily Injury & Property Damage to Others

Rental Property Policy

 

$300,000 Bodily Injury & Property Damage to Others

Rental Property Policy

 

$300,000 Bodily Injury & Property Damage to Others

 

 [Seldom will two Umbrella policies be the same (these are “non-standard policies. Therefore, this discussion of Umbrella insurance is necessarily brief and is not to be interpreted as the final word about Umbrella liability protection; please refer to your policy for complete coverage explanations and always ask questions of your insurance agent to ensure proper protection].   

                                                                                                                           

2.09

Comments

Got something to say? Join the discussion »

Leave a Reply

 [Quick Submit with Ctrl+Enter]

Remember my details
Notify me of followup comments via e-mail

 

 

Get a Quote or call 562-594-6541