The Property Manager’s Safety Net from Renters Who Aren’t Insured
True story: An individual notices a fire at a unit in his apartment complex and decided to go outside to see it firsthand. The only problem was he forgot to take the bacon he was frying in his own kitchen off the stove, resulting in a second fire in his apartment.
At least the fire department was already on site.
In this situation and others like it, hopefully the resident had renter’s insurance to cover the damages. More and more property management companies today are requiring proof of insurance before move-in for these exact reasons.
But how many times after move-in takes place do property managers learn that the renter’s insurance policy was cancelled or it was not renewed by the resident, leaving the owner with little financial recourse to repair resident-caused property damage?
Property managers have a safety net when this happens: A supplemental insurance program allows the property management company to put insurance in place for a unit as protection from losses due to resident negligence when a renter has not met the insurance requirement in the lease agreement.
LeasingDesk, a provider of renter’s insurance, has written a white paper, The Safety Net for Renter’s Insurance, that examines the risk to an owner when a renter’s insurance policy lapses, and how this gap can be closed to minimize exposure and increase resident participation in meeting the renter’s insurance lease requirement.
Before you think you’re absolving a resident from the responsibility of having renter’s insurance, there are several differences between this supplemental insurance and standard renter’s insurance policies:
- The named insured is the apartment owner rather than the renter
- The coverage only offers protection to the owner for named peril damages caused by the negligence of residents
- The coverage does not include contents protection or theft insurance, offering little benefit for the resident
- Owners have the right to charge an additional fee to cover their administrative costs
Renters who don’t meet the renter’s insurance requirement at the beginning of the month are notified that liability insurance will be placed on their unit, and a monthly fee added to their rent until they obtain a standard renter’s insurance policy. Many will likely purchase a standard renter’s insurance policy because it offers much better protection for about the same cost.
This supplemental insurance program is expected to be a growing trend over the next five years as more property management companies recognize its value as a tool to protect against losses.
When you get a chance, download The Safety Net for Renter’s Insurance white paper and tell us what you think of using this type of supplemental insurance. Is it something you have implemented, or considering, at your properties? If so, how has the program worked?