Don’t let uninsured tenants burst your bubble

Pipe burst

It was great to have my son home for the holidays last month even if we did not have the greatest weather on Christmas. When my son got back to New York City on December 30 (the first day Southwest Airlines was back “on-line” that could be another blog) he called me in a tizzy that a pipe in the apartment had burst and damaged his possessions as well as those of his housemates. His housemates had thrown-out their ruined stuff and were out thousands of dollars. My son’s belongings sat in a soggy pile in his bedroom. As an Independent Insurance Agent, I said do not worry all of the damaged items that cannot be saved are covered under your tenants/renter’s policy that I made you purchase! There is no need to scream and yell at the property owner that they need to replace the destroyed items. Obviously, the other housemates did not have tenants/renters’ insurance.

As the owner of an apartment building what can you do to ensure your tenants are properly covered if their belongings are damaged in a situation like this.

  1. Provide education: Inform your tenants about the importance of having insurance for their personal belongings and encourage them to purchase renter’s insurance. Many tenants may not be aware that their personal possessions are not covered by your property insurance policy.
  2. Offer Incentives: Consider offering discounts or other incentives to tenants who can provide proof of insurance.
  3. Include a provision in the lease agreement: Include a provision in your lease agreement that requires tenants to have insurance for their personal property and for personal liability. In the lease set minimum levels of insurance that every tenant must carry. Examples may be $50,000.00 of personal property and $300,000.00 of liability coverage.

As the owner of an apartment building taking these few steps can make your job easier, so on the next big holiday you are not dealing with tenants yelling at you about their damaged property, but you can go about fixing the cause of the damage knowing your tenants will be properly insured for their losses. As the owner of an apartment building in Northeast Ohio you can always call the Trusted Choice Agents at Richey-Barrett to assist you in creating an insurance program to ensure you are properly protected.

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