Building Owners Beware

Building Owners Beware

What to Know about Multi-Family, Duplex and Three-Decker Apartment Building Insurance

If you own a residential building—multi-family, duplex and three-decker apartments—there are usually three consideration you have:

  • Do I have the right type of insurance?
  • Do I have enough coverage?
  • Am I using the right insurance company?

The right type of insurance is crucial. And many factors will affect it. Insurance that includes liability protection, for instance, is more necessary if you have many tenants. More tenants increases the risk that someone may sue you if they fall or get hurt on your property. You’ll also want extra liability if you have potentially dangerous structures on your property, including swimming pools, fitness centers or playgrounds.

All-Risk Insurance is Better Than “Named Peril” Insurance

Why? Because all-risk protects all losses unless it is a named exclusion in your policy. Consider this: if there’s a fire or flood that damages your building, what if your tenants have to temporarily move out while repairs are being made? Who pays for the cost of that? It’s better to be safe and covered. Exclusions, however, may be losses caused by wear and tear, so be sure you keep up the maintenance on your building.

On the flip side, named peril insurance only covers losses that are specifically named in your policy. Insurance companies may take advantage of this and tell you that something doesn’t exactly fit what is named in your policy. Why give them a loophole like that?

What is “Enough Coverage?”

Of course, every situation is different. But it’s important to know that you can get expanded all-risk insurance for personal items. If you live in an owner-owned duplex, you’ll want to make sure your personal belongings will be safe. Also, if your property is located in a flood zone, you can get a separate flood policy.  There are specialty risk policies you can add to your coverage. These may include unexpected disasters.

Don’t make the mistake of focusing only on getting the lowest premium to save money. For apartment owners, this is a mistake. You want to make sure there are no gaps that could be costly later. That’s why it’s always a good idea to consult with professionals.

At the same time, it’s important to check the deductibles to make sure you can afford it. Always go with replacement costs rather than the cost to buy the damaged items. (It’s important to check if there are any restrictions on this.)

As an apartment owner, remember that your property will take longer to sell and will be slow to appreciate in value, because of physical wear and tear caused by your tenants.

Which Insurance Company is Best?

This is a question that’s best answered by the professionals at Zawada Insurance Company. We’ll meet with you to discuss your specific needs, and help guide you through the process of what policies make the most sense for you. We’ll make sure you understand all of the coverages that are available to you, and we’ll find the best company to meet your needs.

For home, auto, commercial and other insurance, please contact Zawada Insurance Agency for details.

Zawada Insurance Agency, Inc. is a family-owned and operated independent insurance agency, located in Worcester, Massachusetts, serving central Massachusetts and beyond.