Rental Property Insurance

When you own rental property with it comes a certain amount of risk. There are ways to lessen the amount of risk your or your business faces by properly preparing your business and purchasing adequate insurance coverage.  Here are 3 types of insurance you or your business need to secure when you own rental property.

If you own Rental Property, you need to determine what kinds of insurance your business actually needs?

 

If you or your business own rental property, there are certain insurance coverages you need to secure. Find out the best info at My Insurance Question.com

Three Policies every rental property owner should have. 

General Liability Coverage

General Liability Insurance in most cases is the first type of insurance a business or investor purchases. General Liability and Workers’ Compensation Coverage are required by law in 48 out of 50 states. For this reason, most business owners start with these two coverages and later determine if they need additional insurance.  GL Insurance covers a property owner for any liability they might face to thirds parties.  Some liabilities you may face include when a tenant or visitor are injured due to the landlord’s negligence, when a property maintenance issue results in a tenants’ injury or personal property loss or when a tenant is injured as a result of the landlord’s failure to keep the premises safe and in good working order.  Now these are just a couple of the types of liability a property owner may face.  Other risks you or your business face include losses due to fire, storm, tenant or employee theft and even discrimination lawsuits filed by tenants or employees. A lawsuit does not have to be legitimate to cause you or your business to incur enormous legal costs. Having the proper insurance in place can limit the damages to you or your business if you do face a lawsuit.

Commercial Property Insurance

Commercial Property Insurance is frequently the second coverage a property owner will secure.  When looking to acquire a commercial insurance policy it is important to secure an accurate valuation of the property. A Commercial Property Insurance Policy are just a little bit different than a personal home owners policy in that they are sold on either a replacement cost or on an agreed upon value. For most businesses the replacement cost policy is almost always the best type of policy to secure. This type of policy will pay to not only rebuild the property but also to demolish and haul away any and all debris. This additional cost can be substantial.

Business Loss of Income

Business Loss of Income Coverage is the third and final type of insurance all rental property owners should purchase. A business loss of income insurance policy will cover you or your business for the income lost during the period when a rental property is uninhabitable.  For example, if your building is damaged by a hurricane; this coverage kicks in to cover missed rent payments you or your business would have collected while the property is being repaired. Frequently this coverage is paid based upon documented actual revenue, which is good for property owners because you have a lease stating how much revenue the property generates.  Depending upon the policy you can collect payments for lost rent for up to 12 months after a loss.

 

6 Questions to consider when purchasing Commercial Insurance.

What is the difference between Workers’ Compensation and Employers Liability Insurance?

First and foremost, Workers Comp is required by law in most states. Workers comp covers injuries that happen to your employees that occur as a part of the normal business operations. It pays for medical costs and some lost wages. Typically, 60 percent of the wages are paid depending on the particular plan. Employers liability is a part within a work comp plan that that deals with most types of liability that are not associated with lost wages or medical costs. Most commonly this is the cost of a lawsuit. If you have an employee who is hurt on the job and they sue on top of their workers’ comp coverage for damage caused by you or your business these costs can be covered by an employer’s liability portion of a workers’ compensation insurance policy.

What is one type of insurance that many business owners turn down that they frequently regret when claims occur?

Business loss of income coverage is one that many fail to see the value of unfortunately until it is too late. The most basic example of the need for this coverage is when a fire occurs. The general liability or commercial property policy will cover the cost to rebuild your premise, but they will not pay for lost revenue and employee wages while your business is closed to rebuild. If a business cannot withstand several weeks or a few months without revenue this frequently is when they are forced to close altogether. Fortunately, this coverage is usually a part of a business owners package. When businesses by the package they usually are fully insured for these types of losses.

How does a well-documented safety program effect what I pay for Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

The main way safety programs can help is when you are asking for credits or discounts and when you are challenging your experience modifier after a claim. If you have had a claim and you have a well-documented safety program in place your agent can use this as evidence that the occurrence was an outlier and not a sign of more incidents to come.

How does my businesses claims history effect what I pay for Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

Your claims history is part of the formula insurance carriers use to come up with your experience modification rating. This rating determines how much of a risk your business is to insure and it is the main factor carriers take in to account when they are deciding to insure your business or not and how much to charge your business in premium.

When should I consider going with Pay as You Go Workers’ Compensation?

Seasonal or cash flow strapped companies benefit best from a Pay as You Go Program. This program allows you to pay a small portion of the premium up front and then the rest is due in monthly installments based on your monthly payroll. It helps to free up cash on the front end of the policy period and it prevents excessive audits on the back end of the policy period.

Where can I go to get help when a claim occurs?

Actually your carrier is the best person to contact with a claim, but it is always a good idea to keep your agent in the loop as well. Your carrier is set up to handle and process the claim. Ask them for help with a return to work program if you do not already have one in place. Studies show the sooner the worker gets back to work in any capacity the more likely they are to return to work and the claim does not get out of control. Keeping your agent in the loop is great as well because they can go to bat for you in the event the carrier is not satisfying you or your employees needs during the claims process.

 

 

 

Talk with your agent.

In today’s business world, time is of the essence for all business owners. When purchasing something for their business, many business owners want it done fast and cheap. They may have an inclination to rush through the buying purchase or to only focus on price. In many instances this may be wise, because their time is more valuable running the business than trying to save on buying whatever is needed for that business. When it comes to purchasing commercial insurance this is not a good idea. In this instances it is crucial for business owners to take the necessary time to have a long honest conversation with their insurance agent.

In conversations I have with agents in the insurance field, they all say rushing through the buying process is a mistake far too many business owners make. This is where a little time on the front end may cost the business owner some time away from their business, but on the back side it can save their business hundreds if not thousands of dollars when a claim does occur. During these conversations the agents are typically trying to get as much information as possible about the daily operations of your business. They understand business owners may be shopping around to more than one agency and that their time is valuable, but rushing through this process can cause your business to be under-insured or to pay too much in premium.

These problems frequently come about because business owners do not inform their agent what exactly the business does and what the business does not do as a part of their daily operations. Insurance companies are in the business of analyzing risk. It is in their best interests to assume more risk rather than less. They can only assume the risks of your business based on the information you provide them with. If you do not provide them with the enough information they frequently will assume more risk, which costs more in premium.

In most industries there are numerous industry classification codes. In most states these classification codes are determined by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI).  These classification codes separate businesses by the type of work they do or do not partake in. Take landscaping as a prime example. There are at least a half a dozen class codes for lawn care and landscaping based upon the daily operations of your business. The two most common NCCI classification codes for the landscaping industry are 9102 and 0042. 9102 is designated for lawn care or maintenance of existing lawns, where 0042 is designed for businesses that install lawns and beds. The second class code is more dangerous and has a higher premium. If you rush your agent through the quoting process, they may place you in the wrong classification code. This can cause your business to end up paying far more in premium than is necessary. These mistakes frequently get fixed during the end of term audit, but even when they do your business has still paid more in premium than was necessary. That means there is cash-flow your business could use tied up in unnecessary insurance premium.

On top of tying up cash in premium, another problem exists that a good insurance agent can help your business with. The problem they can help your business with is to understand what exactly is and is not covered under your different insurance policies. This can help you fill in coverage where gaps might exist. This is where an agent can help you determine if you need a coverage like Business Loss of Income Coverage or Data Breach Insurance. 

Business loss of income coverage is a policy that is a type of commercial property insurance coverage that kicks in when a business suffers additional loss of income suffered when damage to its premises causes a slowdown or suspension of its operations.  The damage has to be the result of a covered loss. Take for instance if your building experiences a fire. Your commercial property insurance will cover to repair the damaged building, but it will not cover your business for lost revenue while you have to be closed for repairs. This is where business loss of insurance coverage kicks in. Many businesses who fail to secure this coverage do not survive when an occurrence happens.

Data breach is another coverage that is becoming more and more necessary. Many business owners feel they are too small or do not deal with computers or customer information enough to need this coverage. Take a commercial cleaning company for example. They have 5-15 employees and clean 5 office buildings and one retail store at night while the businesses are closed. Their employees only use a cell phone and never interact with a computer. Their business owner thinks they would never need something as advanced as data breach coverage. But what if you clean the offices of a bank and an employee of the bank leaves  a post-it note on their desk with the username and password for the internal system. If one of your employees finds this they could get into the system and access the financial records of the banks customers. That is a need for data breach coverage. Two of the largest data breaches in history, Target and Home Depot, were started by hackers first accessing a small business who was a partner of the larger business that got hacked. You do not have to be a big company nor do you have to store lots of personal information in order to be a target for criminals.

All of these and other problems can easily be prevented by taking the time in the first place to speak long and honestly with your independent insurance agent. They can help you understand what risks your business because not only do they interact with business all the time when they are purchasing insurance, but they also frequently interact with business owners when the unfortunate accident occurs. From that experience they can help you prepare for when dooms day comes for your business. If you take this time to properly protect your business it can be the difference between closing your doors for a short time and closing your doors forever.