The Benefits of Dwelling Coverage

In my town, where I write most of my business, we are surrounded by five institutions of higher education.  That is two universities, one college, and one community college.  Like clockwork, every fall and spring is a flurry of kids coming and going and endless traffic jams.

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You can imagine this is the dream of those with ‘investment properties’.  Fortunately, the township has several ‘landlord’ policies in place to protect the locals and our young visitors.  They require liability, theft, and property management to avoid residences ‘not fit to live in’.

I have worked closely with the landlords and property managers in my area for referrals.  Just about now, after exams, those ‘rentals’ are vacated – due to Holiday vacations.  This presents a larger problem.  During the holidays, theft increases.  As you may know, dwelling policies do no cover theft or the damage caused by burglars trying to break into the unit/house.

It is for this purpose that the majority of the landlords and condominium boards require rental insurance.  You see, we’ve been down the road without it.  We do not want to be the one to explain to an angry parent that all the very expensive computer equipment was not covered under the landlord policy.

Additionally, we produced a small brochure to outline the do’s and don’ts of rental living.  Understanding this was probably their first place, here is what I covered:

  • These insures are going to invite friends over to see their place or celebrate the happenings in their life. Make sure personal valuables like jewelry, electronics and money are hidden and locked up.   If anything happens contact the police and then call the company to report the claim.
  • The insured isn’t aware who lived in that unit before, so before using the washer and dryer it’s best to clean it up. Replace the connectors and check to make sure the lint trap is clear and the outside orifices are clear.  Any unsafe areas or hazards should be reported immediately to the landlord and/or association manager.

Companies that insured rentals and/or associations occasionally have risk managers come out and review the property from time to time. They also run the 360 – Marshall and Swift program to assess the current rebuild value.  It keeps their premiums down to adhere not only to the risk manager recommendations, but also to unit owner requests.

Understand, the local ‘risk manager’ is probably also the local independent adjuster.  So, if there is a claim, you know who is going to see it first.  Make this a known fact, the losses will be less.

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