Be sure your property is in good shape before starting or changing insurance companies.

‘Inspection’ – Virtually all insurance companies do some type of check on the condition of every property they insure. Most send someone with a camera to look at the property and snap a few photos. The few that advertise that they ‘…do not send anyone out to inspect the property…’ actually do use a long list of available online resources to look at recent photos of the property.

Homes in rural areas or forested areas, are reviewed using satellite photography and a clear area around the house with minimal trees or overgrowth is important. Because rural fire departments will not drive a fire engine onto a country road that lacks a large turn-around area for escape, roads to and around a property are also examined.

Un-Licensed Vehicles – A car, truck, boat, travel trailer, or motorhome, that does not have current license plates, may disqualify a property for insurance. Nonoperating vehicles are legally considered an “attractive nuisance” because children like to play on them and the possibility of resulting injury is high. This applies to vehicles that are both in the front driveway or carport, as well as vehicles that are kept in the enclosed back yard. Many owners or property managers use this as an opportunity to encourage improved housekeeping habits from problem tenants.

Trusses, Joists, and Facia – Insurance companies like owners who really take care of their rental properties. Data shows a correlation between good physical care of the building, and good management practices in handling the business side of tenant relations. When a roof joist or roof truss has no protection or covering on the tips or ends, it is an invitation to early aging from sun or rain. Proper repair or replacement is complicated and expensive (though not normally an insurance covered item.) Insurance companies like to see a facia board around the perimeter of the roof to provide protection for the roof joists or trusses. A home with a facia also has a more finished appearance and is more attractive to prospective tenants, while indicating that the property owner sees value in providing good care for his building.

Grease and Oil – Tenants with vehicles that drip grease and oil should be required to have drip pans where those vehicles park. A patch of grease or oil in a carport or in a driveway, is a hazard and a lawsuit waiting to happen.
Uneven Sidewalks and Driveways – Tree roots or soil that was never properly compacted, can result in an uneven place on your sidewalk or your driveway. Before considering pouring new cement, you may want to investigate one of the several companies that specialize in grinding away a protruding edge. Sometimes this can resolve the problem at a very reasonable cost.

by Clark Sanchez

CLARK SANCHEZ has been an Arizona insurance agent for nearly 40 years and has been a Vendor-Affiliate with AZREIA for over 17 years. You can contact Clark if you have any insurance related questions at clark@clarksanchez.com or (602) 803-2179