Being a landlord is stressful, especially when dealing with a property or liability issue at one of your rental properties. The bad news? Claims are bound to happen from time to time. The good news? There are many things you can do to mitigate or prevent these claims from occurring at multifamily housing or rental dwelling properties.
Here is a list of the most common claims and what YOU can do to minimize your risk.
Freeze-Related Water Claims
Frozen water pipe damage is very common and a burst pipe can cause thousands of dollars of damage.
Tip: If you have a leak, turn off the water immediately and call a licensed plumber to make repairs. Disconnect garden hoses from outdoor faucets each winter. Turn up the heat and open cabinet or closet doors to let that heat reach pipes.
Accidents happen. Cooking fires remain the #1 cause of residential structure fires.
Tip: Provide tenants with tips on safe cooking, enforce a no smoking policy, and install stovetop fire mitigation devices. Perform periodic checks of all heating equipment and systems to catch a problem before it’s too late.
This is the intentional damage to your property without your consent, including smashing mailboxes, breaking windows, tampering with electricity or plumbing, or spray-painting graffiti.
Tip: Prevent vandalism by having bright security lights outside the property, plant bushes and shrubs close to the property to make it harder for vandals to approach, and install security lights.
Heavy storms can bring trees and branches down, hail can cause damage to windows and roofs, and hurricanes and tornadoes can completely wipe out buildings.
Tip: As soon as a storm is announced, enact your safety plan to prepare your property. Secure outside fixtures or bring them indoors, clear gutters and storm drains, and install hurricane shutters.
A sewer backup can cause thousands of dollars in damage to everything from floors, walls, furniture, electrical units, and much more. They are most often caused by the age of the system, tree roots, and sanitary main blockages.
Tip: Educate tenants on properly disposing of grease and paper products to avoid clogging. You can also cut tree roots on your property and replace your line with new plastic pipes.
Snow and Ice Slips and Trips
Snow accumulation on sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots can create hazards. Should someone slip and fall on untreated walkways you are responsible for, it could cost you thousands of dollars.
Tip: Create an Ice and Snow Removal Log to keep track of your properties this winter and stick with it.
Potholes, Parking Lot, or Sidewalk Trips and Falls
Uneven pavement, potholes, and large cracks can lead to trips and falls on the property. Owners have a duty to take reasonable steps to protect people from known hazards.
Tip: Repair uneven surfaces, potholes, and large cracks as soon as possible. Mark all speed bumps or tire stops, provide proper outdoor lighting, and ensure good handrails are available leading up steps.
Creating Customers for Life at Millers Mutual Insurance With Superior Claims Service
We strive to exceed our customers’ expectations across all points of contact, especially when they need us most. Our customers benefit from our niche focus in multifamily housing by having expert claim specialists to handle the types of claims our core customers experience. We are here to settle claims as painlessly, reasonably, and quickly as possible.
Our Promise to Our Agents and Customers
Claims are handled by a Millers Mutual Specialist, not an independent contractor, whenever possible. Policyholders are contacted within one business day of a reported claim. Our specialists are responsive and apprise our agents of any potential issues.
If you’d like a PDF version of this information to share with your clients, you can download it here.