Renters insurance is one of the more costly expenses you will face as a real estate investor because you have to pay it every month. Reducing your premiums can save you a great deal on a monthly as well as yearly basis, especially if you have a lot of units. While you can use tips for reducing premiums through smart shopping and smart negotiation with your insurance providers, you can also upgrade your rental properties so that you qualify for lower rates. These will benefit you in two ways, the first is that you may be able to charge more for rent with more amenities, and the second is that you can get lower rates for insurance. The following tips from Bellevue property managers can help you to reduce your insurance premiums, but make sure that you’re not spending too much on it.
Anti-Theft & Burglary – Anti theft and anti-burglary upgrades, like alarms, anti-burglary bars, shatterproof windows, deadbolts on doors, and alarm systems can all reduce your insurance premiums a great deal, because you are less likely to lose property due to theft. They also make potential tenants feel safer, which allows you to charge a slightly higher rental rate. One other consideration is that you can market this to them, because they will, in turn, pay less for their own rental insurance to protect their own property in the home. Installing a central burglar alarm can actually save you around 10% on insurance costs per year.
Anti-Storm Upgrades – Storms can cause a lot of damage, especially winter and spring storms in Bellevue, which typically include a lot of wind. Storm shutters, shatterproof windows, gutters, better drainage, and impact resistant roofing can all lower your insurance premiums a great deal. They also save you money over time, through reduced maintenance and reduced repairs.
Wiring & Plumbing – Bringing wiring and plumbing up to code in older homes and apartments is not only good for your insurance premium, it’s also sometimes required by law. It might be expensive to re-wire a home, but it does reduce the chance of fire and electrical issues, which can be costly to repair. Re-doing plumbing can also be costly, bug again can save you much more in terms of reduced issues, such as no freezing pipes in the winter, no burst pipes, and no maintenance during the winter.
Heating & Cooling – You probably don’t want to replace your furnace or central heating and cooling, but if you evaluate it, you can likely save money in a number of ways. One consideration is that new furnaces are up to 70% more efficient than furnaces which are 20 years old or older, can reduce your heating and cooling bills, can get you a discount, government rebate, or are tax deductible, and will reduce your insurance premiums a great deal. They will also make for a happier tenants, because they work better, are more modern, and are safer.
Safety Upgrades – Any type of safety upgrade is almost guaranteed to help you cut down on your insurance premium, so it’s worth a consideration. From simple upgrades like deadbolts on doors and windows to more expensive upgrades like new carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, you can usually cut down on your warranty. You can also make sure that you’re up to code with modern safety requirements, and market the home or apartment more easily to tenants.
Upgrading your rental property may be a smart move if you can use it to save more money than you spend on the upgrades, so it does require careful planning, as well as an understanding of rates, insurance premiums, and the cost of making repairs and upgrades.
The discussion herein is of a general nature only and is not to be construed as specific legal advice, which requires the establishment of an attorney-client relationship and fee agreement. SJA Property Management does not provide legal services.