Choices, choices, choices. With the increase of residential apartments in the Raleigh area recently, it is no secret that renters have a multitude of choices when it come’s to choosing an apartment to call home. However, alongside options such as locations, demographics, and the array of amenities that renter’s may receive, we as an agency tend to pose the question “should purchasing renter’s insurance be an option”? The answer in our opinion would be simply “No”. Habitually, it seems that property managers and even apartment owners will leave this decision completely up to their tenants. After all, it’s their belongings, so it’s their problem if an accident occurs, right? In actuality, yet again this answer is “No”. A Renter’s Insurance policy can be jointly beneficial for not just the tenant, but also the apartment company and even property manager. Below we list 3 important features concerning a renter’s policy that every property manager should not only know but consider when contemplating if tenants in an apartment community are required to carry renter’s insurance.
1. IT REDUCES THE THREAT OF LAWSUITS
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In the event that a catastrophic loss or claim were to occur the possibility of a tenant losing all personal belongings could be at stake. It is not uncommon for tenants, who have failed to purchase renters insurance, to potentially sue their fellow apartment complex or even property manager in an attempt to recoup their lost assets, as well as the incurred expenses that may accumulate while the unit is being repaired. Ensuring that every resident carries an active renters policy may eliminate the possibility of a threat of a lawsuit over a matter such as this from occurring.
2. IT DOESN’T JUST COVER THE TENANTS STUFF
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Like a Homeowners Insurance policy a renters policy does provide liability protection for the policy owner, which can ultimately eliminate the risk of a tenant attempting to hold a property manager or their complex liable for an accident. Consider the following scenario: A tenant invites guests into his/her apartment home. While present in the home, one of the guests is injured as a wall attached shelf unexpectedly falls and ultimately collapses on the guests head The guests appears to be ok, however, a broken nose and possible stitches will be required. The liability coverage found in most renters policies can provide coverage for the hospital expense as well as legal proceedings from the injury. It is important for property managers to understand that in the event that the unit owner is not appropriately insured, an injured party could attempt to file a claim and even law charges against the apartment company.
3. YOUR TIME, ATTENTION & EFFORTS MAY BE FREED
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Making renters insurance mandatory in an apartment or condominium community may not only protect the property manager and apartment complex, it ultimately can provide a sense of ease in simply knowing that every tenant is appropriately covered and protected therefore less involvement, time and attention will most likely be required from the apartment staff to address the issue. All paperwork, timely phone calls, meetings with claim adjusters and restoration companies and overall stress that result from a loss may be lessened as the majority of these responsibilities can either be shared or handled by the renters insurance policy.
In a recent Nationwide Insurance study, it was estimated that nearly 50% of all renters ages 23-29 do not carry renters insurance. The absence of a renters policy results in not only renter’s being unprotected, but property managers as well. It is for this reason, that it may not be enough to simply recommend renters insurance to residents of a community, but make it a mandatory requirement. To ensure that residents are cooperating with this requirement, it would be good practice for property managers and apartment company staff to perform a residential policy review on their tenants on a quarterly basis.
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