06 Nov Four Tips Your Client’s Need to Know About Habitational Insurance
There are over half a million businesses in the U.S. involved in the apartment rental business, which accounts for more the $163 billion in annual revenue. On top of this, across the border, Canadians are flocking to apartments in such high numbers, the current occupancy rate sits at 1.35%. When investing in rental properties, most investors look at things like renter demographics, staffing, and location to determine which properties are likely to yield the best ROI. Insurance companies look at the same information, but from a different angle. Here are four tips for clients who come to you for their habitational insurance.
It is not unusual for a property owner to provide onsite security, but where the security people come from and whether they are armed can have a dramatic effect on how the insurance company assesses the risks. Although armed security might seem like a good idea, having armed security may increase your client’s exposure. When your client uses a property management company, it may be necessary for them to have a single policy that covers all properties.
Certain demographics, for example, an assisted living facility or a student housing unit, have their own very specific risks. According to statistics, there are over 15,000 slip-fall accidents every year among seniors, costing more than $34 billion. At the same time, over 25% of crimes reported by college students in the U.S. have to do with sexual assaults, and 8% are aggravated assaults. To sum this up, over 30% of crimes committed in student housing are those covered under a Habitational insurance policy. If your client is found negligible with regard to providing adequate security, they could face financial penalties, which is why insurance companies take renter demographics into account as they determine rates.
Put simply; it is your client’s job to ensure their rental properties are kept in a “safe and habitable” condition. Should a property be in an unsafe condition after a bodily injury or damage claim has been made, the habitability policy may not cover the financial costs involved. For example, if you have a property with termites and a tenant becomes injured as a result of damage these insects have caused, the owner of the property would have to pay rather than his insurance provider.
One of the biggest things insurance companies look at when determining policy costs and availability is location or more specifically the crime rates in a particular location. Even if everything else about the property lines up, if the crime rates in the area are high, your clients can expect to pay higher premiums.
When it comes to the availability and cost of Habitational Insurance, there are several things that come into play. It is your job as a broker to help your clients gain a better understanding of their exposures and which insurance companies they can turn to for trusted advice and for the best possible Habitational insurance coverage. To be sure most clients are highly interested in finding the most cost-effective insurance policy, it is your job as their broker to show them how paying a little more for better coverage would benefit them should the need to make a claim occur, which could save them a lot of money later on down the road.