How to Choose the Right Real Estate Insurance Package

Well-chosen property insurance packages provide an essential safeguard that landlords shouldn't take take for granted. Solutions offered by insurers can be tailor-made based on your specific needs, allowing you to obtain the best deal for your money. Choosing the wrong package compromises your ability to recover in the event of a loss due to inadequate coverage.

 

Use an insurance calculator to make sure you have sufficient coverage for your properties. The appraisal must take into account every aspect of the property as a detailed evaluation prevents over or underestimation. Compare insurance quotes to find a policy that offers the best package premium and coverage. Insurers typically consider the value, condition and location of a rented property when preparing quotes for landlord insurance.

Understanding Landlord Insurance Coverage

Although an insurance agent can help you determine the amount of coverage you'll need, the final decision still rests squarely on your shoulders. The ideal coverage must match the full replacement cost of your property. However, it's imperative to understand the difference between market value and replacement cost. Market value is dependent on current trends in the real estate market. Replacement cost, which is different than the assessed value for tax purposes, is based on rebuilding expenses as determined by the dwelling coverage.

 

Insurers apply coverage limits using predetermined percentages and may make provisions to increase the limits for higher premiums. Check the applicable limits and percentages as they often vary among insurance companies. Coverage components include dwelling, other structures, personal property and loss of use. Choice of coverage is usually influenced by the following factors:

 

  • Policy requirements – Insurers may specify the type of coverage you must buy, such as flood insurance as a condition for signing up for general landlord insurance. Insurers often place this condition for clients located in flood-prone areas.
  • Asset protection – Opting for full coverage means you do not need to pay additional replacement costs out of your own pocket.
  • Lender requirements – Property owners with a mortgage may select policies based on conditions required by a lender. It's standard for the total amount of the mortgage to constitute the minimum coverage. This enables the lender to recover the remainder on the mortgage balance.

 

Types of Real Estate Insurance Coverage

Property damage covers your property from loss caused by hail, fire, or wind. Some packages may exclude coverage for damages resulting from flooding or earthquakes. Property owners will need to purchase specific packages for such events. Property damage cover is generally separated into categories.

Coverage A deals with the physical structure (dwelling) of your property. Insurers often exclude structural wear and tear, such as roof leaks and plumbing malfunctions. Additional structures that are not attached to the main building, including fencing, sheds or cottages fall under Coverage B. Your personal  property is covered under Coverage C, which ensures that any losses due to burglary, fire, or hurricanes are compensated. However, many policyholders find themselves underinsured in the event of burglary or theft because real estate policies tend to limit the total value of certain personal items.

Keep in mind that policy amounts must be updated regularly when the value of the property and its contents change. The term "actual cash value" indicates that insurance companies will replace an item for the price it was worth when the damage took place minus depreciation. This means that your damaged property may be replaced with a lower value item.

POSTED December 03 2014 11:45 AM
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