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Habitational properties, such as apartments, condos, and hotels, all have similar property and liability issues. These include flooding, fire, slip and fall accidents, water damage, and more. While these are all severe risks to worry about, they can be managed effectively through a risk management strategy focused on proper planning and oversight, along with a regular inspection and maintenance program, and comprehensive Habitational Insurance coverage.
Here are some causes for habitational losses, and how your clients can protect against them.
Major Losses in a Habitational Environment
Owners, managers, and operators of habitational real estate properties face sharp increasing rates, shrinking capacity, and higher deductibles following more weather-related incidents in recent years.
It’s essential to have a thorough understanding of what habitational clients are up against to serve them with more effective coverage. The top risks include:
- Fire:Fires, which can be contained with early notification, grow larger when smoke alarms are removed. Working smoke alarms need to be installed in the right locations by property owners.
- Swimming Pools: While attractive for guests and residents, swimming pools must be properly maintained and protected to cut down on liability issues. Pool areas must meet local health codes and be furnished with proper rescue equipment and signage.
- Water Damage: A reasonable inspection and maintenance program identifies and corrects leaks before they cause significant damage. Looking for warning signs, such as stains, mold, and puddles, helps to limit exposure and expedite repairs.
- Slips, Trips, and Falls: Inspecting and correcting slip hazards reduces liability. Look for cracks on sidewalks and walkways, and pay special attention to elevation changes to limit the tripping risk. Indoors, look for worn carpets and stair treads, as well as uneven floors.
- Playgrounds: Playgrounds present significant risks for habitational properties. Because children might not recognize even the most obvious risks, playground equipment must conform to the highest safety standards.
Risk Management Through Maintenance
Underwriting guidelines usually require policyholders to update critical building systems, such as electrical, ventilation, HVAC, roofing, and heating, especially when a structure has reached a certain age. Routine maintenance to prevent risks is an acceptable update when systems meet current building codes.
Periodic inspection and validation of electrical systems in habitational properties are critical. These inspections must be conducted by a licensed electrical contractor and be updated when the wiring is faulty, unsafe, or uses outdated technology.
An inspection of gas-fired appliances, such as dryers, ovens, and ranges, helps identify older fittings and connections. These components and their soldered connections are prone to explosions and leaks. Replacing older parts with new stainless-steel connectors helps to limit risk.
Clients can reduce the potential for risks in their HVAC systems by updating as needed. If they have worn or aging components, HVAC systems should be repaired or replaced. An effective inspection and maintenance program is crucial to keep HVAC systems functional for years to come.
About Mavon Insurance
At Mavon Insurance, we pride ourselves on our unique approach to insurance. We focus on integrity, communication, professionalism, respect and gratitude to help our clients succeed, and place business in specialized markets. For more information about our products, or to become an agent, contact us today at (855) 248-1480.