The short answer is an emphatic YES.
If you don’t add your property manager as additional insured, and you and/or your property manager are sued by a neighbor, tenant, visitor, etc. for something related to the property, you will be required to pay your property manager’s legal fees and expenses out of your own pocket. It is much better to have a unified defense and coverage extending to both parties. That is what the property’s liability policy is for.
As the policy is converted to a rental policy, adding your property manager as additional insured will be commonplace. Often insurance carriers give discounts to owners hiring professional management, because they see their risk is decreased.
The main reason why landlords hire property managers is so they have someone to take care of the property and deal with all the burdens of owning rental property. Investing in real estate can be a profitable business but it doesn’t come free of problems, so hiring a knowledgeable property management company is always an option.
Many questions arise when it comes to insurance policies and property managers. Should you add them? What are the benefits? Is it really that important? Is it expensive? Is it worth it?
If you hired a serious and professional company to manage your property, they will ask you to include them on the policy. It will help and protect them and you as the owner.
You will need to add them as “Additional Insured”, and not just as “Additional Interest”. If they are merely “additional interest” they will only be notified of policy renewals, but if something was to happen they would not be covered. You want them covered.
Why should you add them? Why is it important for me as an owner?
You want your property management company to deal with all the small things, hiring vendors to fix things, finding tenants, do collections or evictions if needed… all the things you don’t want to deal with. Since they are doing these items, they inherit liability and risk. If there were to ever be litigation, the owner and the manager would be the target. If the property management company is included as insured, the coverage will be extended to both parties. A unified defense can be assigned to represent both parties, drastically reducing legal fees and simplifying the process. If you don’t, you will most likely need to cover your property management company’s legal fees out of your own pocket.
Why is it important for property management companies to be added to the insurance?
Most property management companies have their own liability insurance, both general and professional. This means they are covered if there’s financial loss due to a mistake or wrongful act on their part. But if something happens with the home itself, they are not covered. This makes the property management company vulnerable if someone injures themselves at the property if there’s a fire, burglary, a water leak, etc. This is something that can be prevented simply by adding the property management company to the insurance.
If the company is not covered, they would have to cover the expenses and seek reimbursement either from the owner or their insurance. A much more expensive and time-consuming way to handle something that can easily be prevented.
What about the insurance companies? Do they agree? Is it worth it? Is it expensive?
Most insurance providers are willing to add the property management company as additional insured upon request. The insurance carriers who charge additional for this and see it as additional risk simply don’t do enough of these rental policies, and you are better off finding a new provider. The major carriers and agents who understand real estate investments actually see the additional insured property managers as a reduction of risk, and will often give discounts because of it.
- Always make sure to have your property management company is added as “additional insured”, not just as “additional interest”.
- Ask about the additional charges. If there is one, try looking for other companies to provide insurance. If you cannot find one that does it for free, remember that a small fee could save you a lot of expenses down the road.