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The following was written by guest blogger Bill Mecklenburg, President, SES Risk Solutions.
Previously I shared how having your rental property insured under a homeowner’s policy can result in devastating financial consequences, including denied claims and taxable events. Even among those who have the proper type of coverage, there is another mistake that I’ve seen many real estate investors make: not insuring your property for the proper amount.
Many times, investors purchase rental properties at a deep discount – distressed or at auction.
If you obtain a property at a price much lower than what it’s worth, make sure you’re insuring the value of the house from a replacement cost perspective versus the house purchase price. There may be a large delta between what you pay for a house and what it’s actually worth to replace it.
Typically, even if you purchased a 2,000-square-foot house for $50,000 or $60,000, because it was distressed, odds are that the replacement cost valuation will be at least $75 to $100 per square foot.
There may be a large delta between what you pay for a house and what it’s actually worth to replace it.
Bill Mecklenburg – President, SES Risk Solutions
Because of this, you’ll need to insure the property for $150,000 to $200,000 to be able to replace the value of that house in a total loss.
Even with smaller claims, you could encounter problems with a co-insurance clause in your policy if the property is not insured for the full value.
For example, when there is a loss, an adjuster inspects a claim and determines it’s worth $10,000. But if the house is only insured for $60,000 and the replacement cost valuation is $150,000, the insurance may only pay 40 percent of the claim because the property is only insured for 40 percent of the total value. In this example, you would lose $6,000, because you would only be reimbursed $4,000 on a $10,000 claim.
When you increase the home value within the policy, it will cost you more to insure it, but you’ll be able to replace the house if you have a claim or receive the full value of a partial loss to your house.
We have found there is a strong need for rental property owners to do an insurance assessment. Such an assessment will:
Bill Mecklenburg is President of SES Risk Solutions, a subsidiary of Alliant Insurance Services. Bill was previously the CEO of Redwoods Managers, Inc. and the COO of The Redwoods Group, a specialty insurance organization that The Wall Street Journal and the nonprofit organization Winning Workplaces selected as one of 15 winners of the 2008 Top Small Workplaces. Bill also served as a Managing Director of reinsurance broker Guy Carpenter and he was an SVP and the leader of the Property & Casualty Division of KEMPES, Inc. Bill has an Economics degree from the University of California, Berkeley.
SES Risk Solutions is a leading provider of insurance services for real estate portfolios. SES currently services over 50,000 properties for fiduciaries, owners, and managers through master policies on a nationwide basis. SES has a 30-year history of offering competitive and comprehensive insurance products complemented by unparalleled service and technology platforms for properties (residential, commercial, farm, and land) held in trust by financial institutions or owned by real estate investors.
Bill Mecklenburg is not an employee of Equity Trust Company. Opinions or ideas expressed are not necessarily those of Equity Trust Company nor do they reflect their views or endorsement. These materials are for informational purposes only. Equity Trust Company, and their affiliates, representatives and officers do not provide legal or tax advice. Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal.
Equity Trust Company’s arrangement with this third party provider is solely for the convenience of clients of Equity Trust Company. Equity Trust Company makes no recommendation or representations as to this third party provider, any insurance products, or the insurance needs generally of any client or any client’s account. Clients are in no way obligated to purchase insurance products generally or to purchase insurance products from this third party provider or through Equity Trust Company’s arrangement with this third party provider. Clients are free to purchase or not purchase insurance products for client or client’s account from any insurance company or broker as they deem appropriate. No client may rely on any statement made by Equity
Trust Company or any of its officers, directors, employees, or agents for any decisions regarding the purchase of insurance products. Clients should consult with their financial and legal advisors before purchasing any insurance product for client or client’s account.
Equity Trust Company is a directed custodian and does not provide tax, legal or investment advice. Any information communicated by Equity Trust is for educational purposes only, and should not be construed as tax, legal or investment advice. Whenever making an investment decision, please consult with your tax attorney or financial professional.
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