Three Most Overlooked Ways to Reduce Your Insurance Premiums

March 4, 2016
apartment building insurance with Top Floor

Imagine this…

If you owned an insurance company, would you want to insure this apartment building?

Most likely not! Your most valuable cost-saving tool is your ability to visualize risk and mitigate them before they translate into big property loss. If you’re looking at the image above, the roof is in disrepair, debris is covering exits, and the windows look like they cannot be opened. The same “warning” or danger signs that caught your eye, in this image, are the same types of red flags insurance companies look for when determining your insurance premium.

If you want to save measurable money, find those trouble spots in your apartment community, and fix them before you start shopping around for a more competitive insurance rate.

Here are the three most overlooked ways that you can start saving big on your insurance coverage.

1. Perform routine maintenance! First impressions are everything, even in the insurance industry.This “curb appeal” can sell your building to prospective tenants and can also be a viable ticket to saving you big in insurance premiums. When your property is well maintained, the insurance inspector is more likely to give a favorable report to the underwriter, scoring you a favorable (and hopefully affordable) insurance premium. Don’t forget these common trouble spots and be sure to have these areas inspected regularly and repaired as needed.

  • Keep parking areas, sidewalks, and walkways leveled, with no potholes. Did you know that over 60% of insurance claims are caused by poorly maintained parking and walking areas?[1] Having these areas in top shape can help to reduce (or eliminate) premise liability claims.
  • Have adequate outdoor lighting that is functional, with limited dark areas. This is not only a great preventative measure to reduce slip and fall accidents, but outdoor lighting is a crime deterrent. Either way, your tenants will feel safer coming in and out of the building and the insurance inspector will give you high marks for it!
  • Stay in compliance with city codes, without fail. This includes having balcony rails, handrails, and having swimming pool or exercise facilities well maintained. Stay aware of changes to apartment building codes, and whenever possible, be ahead of the codes before they become a requirement. Your insurance company may require you to update certain structures before they will offer you coverage, or may (secretly) increase your premium because your apartment community is not up to code.

2. Spruce up the place! Focus on the exterior of the building, including the landscaping, and what your apartment community looks like from the street level. Most insurance companies want to see pictures of the property before giving the cost of the insurance. In some cases, insurance companies can (and do) offer higher pricing, or flat out refuse to insure a property from how the exterior looks. Think about the picture above. Would you insure that building?

Probably not! Keep in mind some big negatives include:

  • Large amounts of peeling paint
  • Damage to or deteriorating siding/shingles
  • Poorly maintained or old roof structures
  • Litter or large bulk trash items outside or in the hallways
  • Not enough or inadequately installed handrails

Keeping the exterior of your apartment community in top shape serves a dual purpose! Not only will you be able to secure a better insurance rate, but prospective tenants will also appreciate the well-maintained curb appeal.

Don’t forget about the security and fire prevention items too! Installing hardwired smoke detectors, sprinkler systems, alarms, and security guards at entrances, could generate up to 50% in insurance savings.

3. Make renters’ insurance mandatory. Yes, it may sound a bit harsh, but by requiring this, you’re lowering your property claims by leaps and bounds! Most renters insurance policies are very affordable, ranging $15-$40 per month. If something should happen and your renters’ property is destroyed, they have a means to file a claim with their insurance provider for their items. If all of your tenants carry renters insurance then their policy will pay for many liability and property losses that occur on your property. The less claims that you have the lower your cost of insurance.

So, there you have it!

These are most likely the easiest three things you can do to save measurable money on your insurance premiums. If you’re in the market for a new insurance quote, contact Top Floor Insurance today. We specialize in apartment community insurance – that’s all we do! Our 24 hour price indicator is super fast, so easy, and 100% hassle-free.