Building Owners Insurance: A Helpful Checklist

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—you need to make sure you have the right insurance. Here’s a helpful checklist of things to consider:
Don’t leave loopholes. All-Risk Insurance is generally better than Named Peril Insurance because it takes away potential loopholes that could cost you a lot of money. First, it’s important to understand what both types of insurance cover.

All Risk Insurance.

This includes everything, except for a named exclusion in your policy. For example, a fire and the property damage it causes would be covered with All Risk. If your tenants have to move out temporarily while damages are being fixed from a fire, flood or other unforeseen disaster, the costs would be covered. Be warned, however, that anything deemed the result of poor maintenance—a burst pipe from old, rarely inspected pipes, for instance—might be excluded. This is why a building owner, or landlord, must keep the property well-maintained and up-to-date.

Named Peril Insurance.

This will only cover losses that are specifically named in your policy. Anything that doesn’t fit what is named won’t be covered. This can be a huge loophole for insurance companies to avoid paying costs. For this reason, it’s recommended that you have All Risk, to keep yourself covered from unforeseen perils.

Low cost doesn’t always mean better insurance.

This is especially true for apartment building owners. Remember, as an apartment complex or multi-family home owner, don’t focus only on getting the lowest premium. Your first concern should be adequate coverage so there are no gaps. You could find that skimping too much will hurt you later if something comes up, and you’re not covered for it.
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.

Get the right types of coverage.

As an apartment complex owner, you have to decide what types of coverage make the most sense for your particular situation. Liability protection is absolutely necessary. In New England, you’re dealing with rough winters and snow melt that can lead to potential flooding. You’ll also, as a result, encounter situations where there could be ice, and your tenants could slip and fall on your property. You also need to make sure your parking areas are properly plowed to avoid other types of accidents. So your coverages should reflect where you live and what your likely perils may be.

Advertising Liability.

This is one not often thought of, but it’s more important now than ever. Libel, slander and misrepresentation of your property are issues covered under this term. If you should post something unfavorable about another business, or if you have public images or information posted online that misrepresents your property, these could come back to haunt you. It’s better to be safe and covered.

The right type of insurance is crucial. And many factors will affect it. Do your research and make sure you’re working with professionals to help you get a policy that will give you peace of mind.

Zawada Insurance Agency is a family-owned and operated independent insurance agency, working to get you the most comprehensive coverage at a competitive price. For more information about auto, life, homeowner, business and other insurance coverages, please contact Zawada Insurance Agency today. Zawada Insurance Agency, Inc. located in Worcester, Massachusetts, serving central Massachusetts and beyond.

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