Insurance Reality Check

I have heard it said that insurance isn’t worth the paper it’s written on when a claim happens. As an insurance man, that pains me, because regardless of the product, most problems with claims are related to misunderstandings and misplaced expectations. One of the biggest issues investors run into is assuming something is covered, when it’s not. Insurance policies have exclusions. Understanding the exclusions on your policy can go a long way in making sure you have the right coverage.

For example, you will be hard-pressed to find a company that will cover your lack of knowledge. Wrongful eviction isn’t covered, so you need to be a smart investor and learn how to do things legally or use a property management company. Flood is not covered under a standard policy, so you will need a separate policy if there is potential for flooding. Damage done to the house by your tenant will not be covered. Make sure you get good tenants by doing background checks. Earthquake or earth movement may or may not be covered depending on your area.

The bottom line is understanding your asset, the risks of the area in which you have invested, what needs to be covered, and what the exclusions are. In some cases a separate policy may be issued, in other cases it won’t be. The key to insurance is understanding your risks and deciding whether or not you need the coverage for those risks. The key to making sure your insurance is worth something is understanding the risks, choosing how to manage those risks, and making sure that if you insure something, you understand what’s covered. At least then you can have an expectation when a claim occurs.

Six Things to Check On Your Rental Property Insurance Declarations Page

Insurance at a glance, does it exist? Yes it does it’s called the declarations page. What is most important about the declarations page? Well there are 6 things to check.

Rental Property Insurance Declarations Page – The quick and dirty

6 things to check on your declarations page

When looking at an insurance policy a great place to start is the declarations page because it’s usually what’s at the top of the stack of papers you will get. It is the one that you need to review most carefully. Why? Because it tells you VERY important things such as:

  1. Who is insured – You, your wife, your LLC, your corporation, “who.” This is who will get paid. This is who will be covered. Make sure this is right.
  2. What is insured – This will be the “location.” Does this match the address of your rental property? If not, you are opening a crack, and your property may not be insured.
  3. Then it will break down the coverage parts of the policy, and explain HOW MUCH. So it might say: Coverage A – $100,000. Is that the value of the property? It’s an important question. This is the maximum that you will be paid. So make sure you understand it.
  4. Then it will explain the deductible. Two thoughts here. Can you afford this deductible? Do you keep this cash on hand? What’s the relationship between your deposit and your deductible? If you don’t keep cash on hand, you should consider having your deductible equal you deposit.
  5. Next, it will explain how the home will be fixed, or the loss settlement provision. Kind of important. What will the company pay you. This is an important concept. Don’t get a great deal on an ACV policy only to feel the pain and what replacement cost once you have had a claim.
  6. Finally it might list any applicable endorsements. Understand what these are. Endorsements change the coverage. It could be that the endorsements are providing you awesome coverage… it could also be that they are taking away something really important.

Riveting… I know, but this is what drives all else in the policy. If you have a loss, it’s the first thing the adjuster will review. “This policy covered the home at 123 Happy Street in Pleasantville. Is the house that burned, at that address? Yes? This policy covers the house for $100,000, and that is the most we will pay.” Everything starts at the declarations page; it drives the policy. If you do nothing else review it, and make sure the declarations page is correct.

Start your quote online now, and you can have a Rental Property Insurance Declarations page in your hand in no time.

ABOUT GILA INSURANCE GROUP’S REAL ESTATE DIVISION

The mission of Gila Insurance Group LLC when it comes to investors is to be the insurance team member of choice for real estate investors that invest in single family homes as rental properties or seasonal homes, to educate real estate investors on how to protect their investments and cash flow properly in order to avoid catastrophic effects on their business and investments, to protect these investments with the best insurance coverage available, while offering value as defined by quality coverage and affordable prices, to act in the best interest our clients by being honest, accountable, and service oriented, and most importantly to have fun and creating lasting friendships while helping people be Covered Investors!

Why start with our Mission Statement? Partly because we feel it explains why we exist and what we are passionate about. Real estate is one of the single greatest investments known to man providing an amazing mix of asset appreciation with consistent return on investment through monthly cash flow. Many of us have stumbled into real estate investment and have become landlords by accident, others of us are investors; the difference is purpose and education. While we don’t claim nor desire to be the place for information on real estate investment, we do aspire to educate investors and landlords alike on the risks that they face as real estate investors and how to best protect their assets and cash flow. Many times this is through insurance, although there are some risks that are uninsurable and the best risk mitigation method is through education. Regardless having an insurance professional as a part of your investment team is invaluable to ensure you don’t lose your investment.

For those risks that are insurable we strive to provide the best insurance value by representing multiple insurance companies to ensure you get the best coverage at the best price possible. We only represent insurance companies that carry an A-rating with an independent auditor such as A.M. Best Company so as to make sure our partners are financially able to keep their promise to you.

While we would love to tell you that everything will always go off without a hitch, we live in a real world where stuff happens. But we are committed to being honest in all situations, accountable for our actions in our dealings with you, and we will be service orientated. You matter, let us show you.

Finally we’re not robots, we like people, we know if we trudge into work it shows. We do work that matters, we protect your investment, we enjoy it and it’s always more enjoyable with we can work with friends.