Category Archives: Apartment Building Insurance

Essential Insurance Policies Every Apartment Building Owner Should Have

Owning an apartment building can be a financially and personally rewarding experience. It can also be as risky as swimming with the sharks. Landlords often face serious financial harm due to circumstances that may very well be out of their control. This holds especially true for real estate owners that fail to incorporate the proper insurance coverage into their business costs. The good news is that this article explains the various types of insurance policies that you need to protect yourself and your assets in case of an emergency. So without further ado, here are the essential insurance policies that every apartment building owner should have in place.

The Basic Insurance Policies

In order to succeed as a landlord, you need several business related insurance policies that protect you from the common property and liability risks associated with owning real estate. They are as follows….

The Commercial Property Insurance Policy

A commercial property insurance policy protects you against the loss of your apartment building or buildings, as well as other structures on the property including common areas, garages, common areas, storage buildings, and swimming pools to name a few. The amount of coverage and the resulting cost of that coverage are based on a variety of factors such as the age of your roof and mechanical systems, the age of the building, and the location of your building or buildings.

It is also based on the type of building or buildings you own such as high-rise, duplex, or multi family properties. The type of construction, presence of up to date security and fire protection systems, and amenities such as a clubhouse, fitness center, or swimming pool are all decisive factors as well.

The Loss Of Income Insurance Policy

All apartment building owners should also protect themselves with a loss of income insurance policy. It is extremely important coverage that actually reimburses the property owner for lost business, such as rent, if the building is damaged by a covered loss. For example, if there is a fire at the property, and you are not collecting rent on an apartment or multiple apartments until the damage is fixed, the loss of income policy covers that loss of income. As you know, it can take multiple weeks or even months to repair damage, so this policy is a tremendous benefit.

The Landlord Insurance Policy (Commercial General Liability Insurance)

The landlord insurance policy protects real estate owners against claims of actual and alleged property damage or bodily injury to a third party including tenants, visitors, delivery people, and repair people to name a few. In essence, it is the type of coverage that protects you from lawsuits that occur when a tenant or visitor to the property is injured on the premises. It also covers the injured party’s medical expenses.  For example, if one of your tenants or a guest falls, slips, or trips while at your property, you are liable. The landlord insurance policy protects you when being sued in a court of law by the third party.

Additional Insurance Policies

It is always a smart business decision to insulate yourself as much as possible. The following insurance policies are not required, however they are an important aspect of protecting yourself and your assets. They are as follows….

The Equipment Breakdown/Boiler And Machinery Insurance Policy 

This policy covers damage and loss of income that is caused by a breakdown of covered equipment, including steam boilers and other mechanical systems.

The Commercial Umbrella Insurance Policy

This policy provides excess liability protection for events that exceed the limits of your other liability coverage.

The Errors And Omission Insurance Policy

This policy protects apartment building owners and landlords against claims that they have financially harmed a third party due to errors and or professional negligence.

The Workers Compensation Insurance Policy

This policy protects employees who work at your property or properties if they are injured or suffer from a work related illness. It also protects property owners if the sick or injured employees decide to sue in a court of law.

The Commercial Automobile Insurance Policy

This policy covers any automobiles that are owned by your real estate venture such as maintenance trucks or shuttle vans.

In conclusion, owning real estate, especially apartment buildings, can be a lucrative investment and or career. Keep in mind that something can go wrong at any time.  You need to the proper insurance policies in place to protect yourself from financial harm. Otherwise you are putting yourself in a position to fail.

For all your apartment building owners insurance needs, please contact Zawada Insurance Agency. We work to give you comprehensive coverage at a competitive price.

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

Insurance for Apartment Buildings: A Must-Read for Apartment Building Owners

If you own an apartment building, there are several factors to consider when choosing your insurance policy. Cost is important, of course, but you want to make sure you get the right types of coverage. Read on to find out what you should know about apartment building insurance.

Types of Insurance for Apartment Building Owners

Just imagine. You’re the proud owner of a brand new apartment complex. Then out of the blue, you’re hit with a tornado, hurricane or some other natural disaster. Extensive remodeling must be done to restore the building back to what it was. business property insurance will cover the costs for this. A business owners policy (BOP) will also cover damages due to storms or fire.

What if you have a sudden electrical surge, and all of your business-related data on your computer is lost? Or what if there’s a fire and your renters’ lease agreements are all destroyed? A business owners policy will cover the costs for replacements, repairs and recovery.

Let’s say one of your tenants falls by the pool, fractures a leg and incurs hospital expenses. Or a tenant with asthma has to go to the hospital because of the fumes from paint that’s been freshly added to spruce up common areas around the building. These unforeseen occurrences can add up to a real mess unless you have business liability coverage. This will cover the costs of potential lawsuits and other issues.

Last but not least, what if one of your tenants is selling drugs out of his apartment? Or he mugs another tenant on your property? Or someone breaks in and steals property from one of your tenants? The stress of this can be relieved if you have business crime coverage. This will protect you from the actions of others living on your property that you can’t control.

“All Risk” Versus “Named-Peril” Policies

Named-peril is exactly as it sounds. It only covers accidents that are specifically named in your policy. So that means that if you didn’t think about a sinkhole, and yet a freak accident happens where part of your building falls into a sinkhole, damage won’t be covered because it wasn’t named in your policy. All-risk, on the other hand, will cover you for a broader range of things, not only what is specifically named in the policy. Tornadoes, hurricanes, gas explosions, fires, floods, earthquakes and anything else—these will be covered.

3 Factors to Remember about Apartment Building Insurance

Remember, when choosing the right type of coverage, there are three things more important than just the cost:

  • the right type of insurance
  • the right amount of coverage
  • the right insurance broker

Zawada Insurance Agency is your all-in-one resource for helping you find not only the coverage that best suits your needs, but we’ll match you to the right broker. We’re a family-owned and operated independent insurance agency, working to get you the most comprehensive coverage at a competitive price.

For more information about apartment building and multi-family home ownership insurance, please contact Zawada Insurance Agency today.

Zawada Insurance Agency, Inc. located in Worcester, Massachusetts, serving central Massachusetts and beyond.

New Year, New Insurance

How to Get Lower Rates on Your Insurance

As the New Year approaches, one of your resolutions may be to find more ways to save money. You can do this by rethinking your insurance policies. It’s always a good idea to do an annual insurance review, because you might discover that you could be eligible for discounts and other savings that you aren’t currently taking advantage of!

For example, if you have an older car, you may have had the same car insurance for years. But did you know that your rates could be lowered based on any changes that have happened recently? For instance, if you changed jobs and don’t commute as far, that can affect how much you pay. And most likely, it will reduce the cost.

More Ways to Save on Homeowners Insurance

Also, you might be eligible for discounts to your Homeowners Insurance if you recently installed a security system or quit smoking. If you started bundling all of your insurance policies with one company, they’ll most likely give you discounts for that, too.

How to Do an Annual Insurance Review

Take time before the New Year to collect all of your insurance policies, whether it’s home, auto, renter’s, motorcycle, etc. Usually you can find the basic information on the summary page of your policy. Here’s what to look for: the amount of coverage, your premium costs and your deductible. Keep in mind, if you want to lower your premiums, you’ll be raising your deductible. First, you should make sure you can afford the deductible amount if you have to make a claim.

Could You Rebuild Your Home If You Had To?

This is an important question when you’re reevaluating your home insurance. The reality is, construction costs could be much higher than when you first took out your insurance policy. Also, remember that insurance companies will tell you that if something major needs to be replaced, it will be replaced with something of “like kind and quality.” Your kitchen may still look like the 1980s. If you needed to upgrade your kitchen with more contemporary cabinetry and appliances, you’ll need to be able to cover that cost.

Did You Purchase Valuable Items?

In the past year, you may have purchased jewelry or other very valuable items that you may not have extra coverage for. Do an inventory to make sure you haven’t forgotten that priceless painting! If you discover that you did buy something like that, you’ll need to increase your coverage for “personal possessions.”

Is Your Home More Likely to Flood?

When you purchased your house, it may not have been in a flood zone at the time. But in recent

years, have you had more damaging storms and repeated flooding in your basement? It may be time to consider getting flood insurance, even if it wasn’t required.

What Umbrella Insurance Can Do for You

Last but not least, consider umbrella insurance. It’s a low-cost way to get extra protection for things like your retirement fund, investments and any future income, which may all be lost as the result of a lawsuit. Many people don’t think about liability coverage until it’s too late. So umbrella insurance will help protect you above and beyond your standard home and auto insurance coverage.

For all your home, auto and other insurance needs, please contact Zawada Insurance Agency. We work to give you comprehensive coverage at a competitive price.

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

How To Lower Your Insurance Risks

Are You a Landlord?

How To Lower Your Insurance Risks

Owning an apartment building can be an exciting venture and wise investment. But it does come with its share of responsibilities.

Make Sure You’re Covered

As a landlord, you can be vulnerable to liability claims by tenants and / or contractors doing work on your property. And it isn’t just things like property damage or bodily injury, either. Of course, you want to make sure your property is as safe as possible to reduce the likelihood that someone could slip and fall. In past blogs, we’ve talked about making sure you have coverage for theft, vandalism, storms, fire, acts of nature, flooding—all necessary coverages.

But there are other liability issues you may not have thought of.

For instance, Advertising Liability encompasses things like libel and slander. In this age of social media, be especially careful about what you post. If you make a reference to a competitor in a negative way or repost an unflattering image of someone without their permission, you could be at risk. You also need to be careful of any advertising that misrepresents your property.

What Things Can You Be Held Liable For?

Here are just a few of the things that you, as a landlord, could be held liable for:

  • If your negligence caused an injury.
  • If asbestos is discovered, and you didn’t take steps to contain it, and a tenant becomes sick.
  • If old plumbing isn’t replaced, and a leak damages a tenant’s property.
  • If there is a break-in because of little or no security—broken locks, poor lighting, etc.

How Landlords Can Save on Liability Costs

There are several things that you, as a landlord, can do to ensure that you lower your risk of liability claims. First, make sure that all electrical and gas appliances and lines are in good working condition. Fix any plumbing leaks and do a thorough inspection of pipes. This is not only to prevent flooding, but also mold, which can result from trapped moisture. Do a thorough maintenance check before a tenant moves in and include all of these things, as well as anything that could be a potential fire hazard.

For security purposes, provide a good amount of outdoor lighting at night. Install peep holes in every door. Have all sidewalks and parking lot area cleared of snow and ice after a storm.

As a protection for yourself, keep all communications with tenants in writing. If something is ever disputed and you have to go to court, you’ll have it all on paper. Also, never enter a tenant’s apartment unless it’s an emergency, such as a fire. And don’t discriminate against a potential tenant based on things like race or religion, etc.

Last But Not Least. . .

Check what discounts may be available for making enhancements to your property. Don’t make the mistake of reducing your coverage to save a few bucks. In the long run, it’s better to have a higher deductible, so you’ll get a lower premium.

Zawada Insurance Agency is your go-to place for home, auto and other types of 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.

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.