03 Nov MONTHLY PROPERTY REPORTING
REAL ESTATE INVESTORS MONTHLY PROPERTY REPORTING. Hopefully by now you have learned that you can put all your properties under one policy with APIA, which saves you time and money. Coverage has been moved over; you have Evidence of Insurance in hand; you are set up to pay your bill monthly on autodraft. Life is good. Then you get a “Monthly Report Reminder” in your inbox, and are thinking “what did I just sign up for?” Relax – monthly reporting is not as tough or tedious as it may seem. It is a requirement for this type of policy, but can be done in just minutes each month. Since we bill monthly in arrears, the report reminder is a simple way of alerting you to submit any new additions, cancellations, or changes before the invoice is sent out.
There are two types of monthly reports.
- Property Inspection Report for Vacant Properties.
- Property Reporting where insureds add, cancel or makes changes to properties on policy.
MONTHLY PROPERTY INSPECTION REPORT FOR VACANT PROPERTIES.
Real Estate Property Investors, unfortunately having a vacant property is inevitable. Whether you are remodeling a property or in between renters, be aware that a vacant property does require you to maintain a Monthly Property Inspection for insurance purposes.
Why is a Monthly Property Inspection on vacant properties necessary? Data shows that vacant properties have a higher risk for loss. In one of our past blog posts, Insuring Your Vacant Property, the example is used that a fire starts in the middle of the night, the whole building may be involved before anyone notices – IF anyone notices. A simple monthly check could prevent a loss.
This requirement is in place, as part of our policy conditions, but it truly serves the best interests of our insureds. Vacant properties are permitted on our policy, which is a major benefit from a standard homeowner’s policy. It is also a perk to insureds with large portfolios. It allows them time to update and rehab properties. However, we do require that a monthly inspection be performed, to ensure the property is secure and in good standing.
THE LANDLORD’S MONTHLY CHECKLIST FOR VACANT PROPERTIES
Inspections do not need to be conducted by a hired professional. They can be as simple as the landlord/property manager setting eyes on the property to ensure there are no problem areas. The use of a checklist is an excellent way to systematically observe the property.
For initial property inspections, use this form.
For recurring, monthly property inspections, use this form.
The forms are merely examples of things to look for. You may already have an inspection checklist that suits your needs. However, if you don’t, here is an additional example.
- Window and doors are secured and locked.
- Verify there has been no damage or evidence of a break-in.
- Blinds or window coverings should be in place to keep the property from being obviously vacant.
- Lawn maintained and debris removed, as needed.
- Sidewalks or walkways checked for cracks or are uneven places, as well as loose railings or steps.(Note and repair immediately, to reduce potential liability claims.)
- Check for water damage which can wreak major havoc, if not caught quickly.
Monthly inspections can identify problems quickly, so that insureds do not face larger and more expensive problems, down the road. Again, this only needs to be done once a month, while properties are vacant. Inspection forms are to be retained internally for the insured; they do not need to be sent to the insurance company monthly. In the event of a claim on a vacant property, the adjuster’s office will request copies of the inspection reports.
STANDARD PROPERTY MONTHLY REPORTING
The other requirement for this type of policy is a Monthly Property Report. You will receive an email, during the last week of each month, to remind you to send in a report. This email will always contain copies of the blank reporting form template and a blank inspection form, for easy access. If there are no changes to report for the month prior, you can simply reply to the email with a “No changes.”
If there are changes to report, please do so on the “Multiple Property Reporting” form can also be found on our website.
Changes to report would include:
- adding a new property that was acquired during the month
- canceling a property that was sold
- making a change in insured value, occupancy, lender, etc.
The reporting form has columns that are highlighted yellow; these are mandatory to process a change.
You are welcome to report more often than once a month, if that is easier to keep up with changes in your business. Also, some lenders require evidence of insurance at or before closing, so you may be required to report, as business dealings occur. Use the monthly reporting form anytime; or you may use the word file which follows.
To report a single property addition, cancellation, or change use this form.
At APIA, we are flexible and will work on a schedule that works best for your business flow. However, remember that a monthly report is required. As usual, we are here to help you. In fact, if you have any questions feel free to contact me directly.
Katie Leech, CIC
Asset Protection Insurance Agency, APIA Inc.
Phone: 877-752-2742, ext 104