You may think that you have all your bases covered when it comes to your residential or commercial property. However, there will always be surprises, and some of them can be very, very serious if you aren’t prepared. One such issue may be a fire, and fire damage is a threat, obviously, to more than you building.
Keep Your Property Safe with Fire Insurance
“In 2015, a structure fire occurred every 63 seconds.” It may be 2017 now, but those numbers have remained consistent. Though residential fires are much more likely than commercial ones, the latter can still certainly take place, particularly if there is some kind of electrical failure. Either way, as a property manager, you should make sure that you have good fire insurance in order to protect yourself and those that rent from you.
If you manage a residential property, then you should know that 77% of the above fires “occurred in residential structures.” It isn’t difficult to imagine why that might be. Accidents happen, and people can be careless within their own homes, particularly when cooking or using kitchen appliances. In college dorms, a lot of students are guilty of burning popcorn and setting off smoke alarms. In apartment buildings, people can make the same kinds of mistakes. Fires can start at the drop of a hot because of a covered pot of oil or forgetting to turn the oven off.
So, how do you begin to combat these potentially-catastrophic instances? Part of fire insurance is prevention. If you can anticipate what kinds of mistakes your residents might make, and if you can create a list of the most common fire hazards in residential units, then you can present that to the community in an informative way. Those people clearly want to stay safe as much as you want to keep them safe, so it will do everyone some good for you to pass along some information that can help to prevent these incidents.
Those who oversee apartment buildings need to look into a specific kind of fire insurance in order to best protect everyone involved. It “will provide a good deal of protection against common types of fires (with certain exceptions),” though again, the amount of coverage that is provided will vary from plan to plan. Check in with similar property managers to see what kind of policies they have opted for along these lines. This can all be difficult, however, since you want to protect your building and investments while residents want their own property to be covered by insurance in case of a fire.
The manager of any property, when looking into fire insurance policies, should have a solid understand of the different nuances that come with differing policies. A point that you might not consider is how the age of your property affects how much will be covered by insurance: “if you have an older home, it’s almost inevitable that building codes have changed since the structure was built.” Insurance companies aren’t going to give you more money to rebuild the place the way it once was, not with costs much higher than they used to be and craftsmanship (let’s admit it) of a lesser quality. Put simply, major damage will end up with a new building that is likely very different from the original, and more expensive to construct.
Have you considered the cost and potential damage of smoke? It can settle into furniture and linens, dirty walls and ceiling, and more. “Often, the smoke damage from a fire can be as expensive as the fire itself.” Despite that, it’s often considered a lesser problem by insurance companies (and policies), and therefore is covered less extensively than the fire itself. Also, it’s more obvious to ensure that the building’s sprinklers work, but those same sprinklers that spare your units from a fire can do their own damage: the water can cause the growth of mold, etc. which may not be covered under your policy.
The point is, you as a property manager need to ensure that you have fire insurance coverage that handles every situation that may plague you. There is a lot for you to think of and deal with on a daily basis, so why not share some of that workload? Consider SKYLINE Property Management & Accounting Software, an easy-to-use system that handles escalations & recoveries, maintenance & work orders, and more. With SKYLINE, you’ll have that much less to worry about, so let it put out some metaphorical fires for you.