Category Archives: Apartment 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.

Evictions and Other Issues

How To Protect Yourself as a Landlord

When you are a landlord, it’s important to make sure your insurance policy protects you from things that are often beyond your control. Here are some of the situations and coverages to consider:

How do you legally evict a tenant?

First, make sure you have liability insurance to protect you from claims made by a tenant for “wrongful eviction.”

You’ve probably heard stories about landlords having locks changed, etc. This is illegal. As a landlord, you’re obligated to follow the rules in your state. You can’t simply change locks or remove a tenant’s possessions from their apartment. You can’t use harassing behavior or turn off utilities. If you do any of these things, the tenant could take legal action.

If the tenant does not pay the rent or continues to cause disruption of some sort, you need to present him or her with a Notice to Quit. This has to happen before filing for eviction. If it’s a rent issue, prepare all correspondence and bank statements that prove the rent isn’t being paid. Have all pertinent documents to back up your reason for the eviction.

What if you recently changed your house to a rental?

If you have converted your home into a rental space and no longer live there as your main residence, you’ll need to let your insurance carrier know. Your policy will change to a Landlord Policy, and the amount of coverage you need will be reassessed.

What if your tenants can’t pay you for a period of time?

It’s important to have Loss of Rent coverage! If there’s any reason your tenants are unable to pay rent (if they had to temporarily relocate during the restoration of the building after a storm, for instance), you will want to make sure you’re covered. Fair Rental Income Protection will ensure that you receive income even if you’re unable to collect rent during these circumstances. It can be an act of nature or if the apartment building is undergoing repairs.

How can you get the total cost back for damaged property?

Guaranteed Replacement Cost is the better coverage if property becomes damaged. This will replace the property no matter what the cost. Often, insurance carriers will only cover you for the value of the property at the time you took out the policy, which won’t always cover the current cost. That’s why you need the Guaranteed Replacement Cost.

What if someone is hurt on your property, and it’s not your fault?

Be sure you have Legal/Liability/Medical Coverage. This will protect you if a tenant or contractor is injured on the premises. It will cover their medical costs. This is one of the most important coverages, because anything can happen on your property that isn’t necessarily caused by your negligence or anything you did wrong. That’s why you want to be protected.

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.

True or False: Insurance Quiz

Can you guess which of these 8 statements are true?

There are myths about insurance—auto, home, health—and they persist in spite of the facts. As we’ve said in other blogs, it’s important to get the facts straight before you purchase insurance of any kind. Here are eight true and false statements to see how well you understand insurance.

  1. Vehicles stored in your home or garage are covered under your Homeowner’s policy.

False. Cars and other vehicles should be covered by Auto Insurance. Garden tractors and other related items are part of what is covered by Homeowner’s Insurance.

  1. Commercial Liability Insurance provides coverage for your employees who are injured on the job.

False. Only Workers Compensation covers on-the-job injuries.

  1. Homeowner’s Insurance is based on the real estate market value of your house.

False. Your coverage is based on what it would cost to rebuild your home. This cost can vary, so an insurance agent can help you calculate these costs.

  1. The Affordable Care Act prohibits health insurance companies from basing rates on pre-existing conditions.

True. Health insurance companies used to raise the rates for people with a pre-existing condition. Not anymore. For those who have medical conditions such as high blood pressure, asthma and other chronic, pre-existing medical issues, this is a big relief. In addition, insurance companies can’t charge different amounts for men and women, either.

  1. It’s not necessary to have Other Structures coverage in your Homeowner’s policy.

False. But this is a trick question. It depends on you, the homeowner. Your Homeowner’s policy, at least 10% of it at least, is devoted to Other Structures. These include any buildings or structures not attached to your house—sheds, barns (not used for business), detached garages, driveways and fencing. You can always add to your Other Structures coverage if you need more. But it is important to keep it as part of your policy in the event of some unfortunate occurrence.

  1. If you get a speeding ticket in another state, it WILL follow you home.

True. Not only will it follow you, but it will also affect your insurance rates.

  1. Homeowner’s policies cover flood, earthquake and other natural disasters.

True. . .and False. They don’t automatically cover these things. Make sure you have it, or add it to your policy. The majority of policies exclude types of water damage.

  1. If your boat is hitched to the back of your vehicle on the highway and you back into someone, your Auto Insurance will cover it.

True. However, it will be limited to the coverage that your Auto Insurance provides, so it may not pay for property damage, injury or loss of life.

Keep checking our blog for more tips and advice about all types of insurance.

For all your home, auto, boat and other insurance needs, please contact Zawada Insurance Agency, Inc. We’re a family-owned and operated independent insurance agency, located in Worcester, Massachusetts, serving central Massachusetts and beyond.

Apartment Building Owners: Insurance Must-Haves

If you own an apartment building, the worst thing you can do is choose an insurance policy simply because it’s the cheapest and you’re trying to save money.

The first three things you MUST consider are:

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

Getting these right is critical to having peace of mind should the unexpected occur.

4 Types of Customized Coverage

When you look at the types of coverage available to property owners, it falls into four categories:

Business Property – protects you from damage to the building caused by storms and natural disasters.

Business Liability – protects you from issues relating to accidents, injuries and things that could result in potential lawsuits.

Business Crime – protects you in case of theft, vandalism or employee wrongdoing.

Business Ordinance – covers costs for remodels and work needed to be done after a natural disaster, such as a tornado or hurricane.

Get “all risk” over “named-peril” policies.

It’s recommended that you get a broad policy, or all-risk insurance, rather than “named-peril” policies. This is because you can’t predict what may happen. If you have “named-peril,” your policy will only cover those disasters that are specifically named in the document. If you have “all-risk,” you can rest assured that you’ll be covered for all kinds of things—tornadoes, hurricanes, explosions, sinkholes, fires, floods, earthquakes and things not necessarily mentioned in your contract.

Coverages to consider.

In this blog, we’ll be talking in more detail about various types of coverage. For the apartment building owner, you’ll want to have general liability insurance. This will protect you in case someone falls on your property and suffers bodily injury—you won’t be held liable for accidents like this. This is a common scenario—someone slips and falls around the pool area of your apartment complex. You could be considered negligent for having a slippery patio area. That’s why you want insurance to protect yourself should something happen that’s beyond your control.

If you accept a tenant in your building whom you later find out is selling drugs, you’ll want to have property manager professional liability insurance. This will protect you from lawsuits should your tenant screening process not catch something in the applicant’s history. It will also defend you from allegations of Fair Housing Discrimination Violations should you need to evict a tenant. In essence, this protection covers a variety of situations that could also be beyond your control.

Enhanced Apartment Building Coverage

As an apartment complex owner or multi-family housing manager, you’ll want to consider coverages that can protect you from those intangibles that could happen—theft, flooding, sewer back-up, outdoor landscaping, debris removal, pollutant clean-up and removal, and more.

Zawada Insurance Agency is your all-in-one resource for helping you find the coverage that best suits your needs. 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, multi-family and 3-family insurance, please contact Zawada Insurance Agency today.

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