Protect Your Investment Property and Save Money
Why is your homeowners insurance important in protecting your real estate investment? What happens if the property gets damaged? How will you make the repairs? In this article we’ll answer some of your questions about protecting your investment and dealing with insurance claims, which in any other situation, would be a disadvantage to your business. These concerns are justified, but like anything else, through research and diligence you’ll learn what is needed to protect your investment.
There are two basic ways a property can incur major damage. There are others, but these two are common. One is through vandalism and the other is through fire damage to the property. Both of these events are anything but pleasant. Your homeowners insurance is your safeguard in these unfortunate events. Fire coverage is self explanatory and not an issue. However, you need to be careful when it comes to your vandalism coverage. Most rental property vandalism occurs when the property is vacant. When unoccupied, the policy will require the property be boarded up and secure. The policy usually gives you thirty days to secure the property. You may not know who damaged the property. It could have been an unhappy tenant or a random act. With a vandalism claim, you are only required to prove damage occurred to the property. A police report will support your claim.
Although these unfortunate events do occur and cause stress in your real estate business, there are ways for you to lessen the effect on your business in the end. An investor must seek out ways to profit from every situation they encounter, whether it is negotiating a lower asking price for a property or requesting lower financing rates with your mortgage company because you hold several properties with them.
When these events occur most people immediately call their insurance company to report a claim. You DO NOT want to do that! If you do, the insurance company will send out one of their adjustors to inspect and price the damage to the property. The operative word is “THEIR”. Keep in mind, the adjustor works for the insurance company. They are not on your payroll. Their job is to save the insurance company as much money as possible. Your insurance company will offer you a quick settlement and quote the least expensive contractor to perform the work. Once they release the check and you cash it, you’re on your own. If the actual repairs cost more than the check you received from the insurance company, you’ll be stuck trying to make up the difference. You could try to reopen the claim but that’s not as easy as it sounds.
An approach that is far better for real estate investors is to report the claim through a private insurance adjustor. This person doesn’t work for the insurance company so they will look out for your best interest. A private adjustor makes money from a percentage of your settlement. It’s in their best interest to negotiate a higher payout. The private adjustor will report your claim and work a deal with your insurance company. You won’t have to worry about it. When your adjuster gets a higher payout, it’s then your job to find a contractor to complete the repairs for less money. You are then able to keep the difference and actually save money in the process.
Hopefully, the information in this article answered some of your questions about the best way to protect your investment and take away some of the pain of dealing with insurance claims. My saying is, “Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.” If the worst were to happen, now you know how to handle that situation. Your homeowners insurance, if used wisely, can be one of the biggest assets in protecting your property investment opportunity.
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