THREAT #2 GARAGES AND FENCES Most people do not even think to question if their garages are covered. Perhaps this is because garages attached to the house are typically included within the coverage limit for the main structure. For detached garages, a homeowner’s policy typically includes coverage under “other structures” that is 10 percent of the dwelling amount. However, coverage for a detached garage isn’t always automatically included within a policy designed for investment properties. "Other structures" are defined as "structures built or perma- nently attached to the real estate but not permanently attached to the home itself." Aside from a detached garage, "other structures" can also include permanently-installed tool sheds or profession- ally built playhouses in the back yard. Because many policies exclude or provide limited coverage for these “other structures,” be sure to let your agent know if you have one on the premises and they will guide you to covering it appropriately. Fences present a similar issue. Most people assume that a fence will be covered as part of their property on a convention- al policy. However, in reality, coverage can vary from insurer to insurer and policy to policy, so be sure you are familiar with the “outdoor fixtures” you are (and are not) covered for.


damage to the pool. For example, if your tree roots decide they want to make your pool their personal soup bowl, the resulting damage is likely not covered. You may also have to take certain safety precautions for liability coverage to be available if someone gets injured in or around your pool. Be sure to follow any local ordinances too. Pools are a nice amenity, but they do come with a high liability risk. Carefully consider the presence of a pool before you purchase a property with one. Once you have taken ownership of the property, either develop a plan to make the pool as safe as possible or remove it as quickly as possible. Outdoor play equipment can also pose liability issues. This can be a tough one as it may be difficult to deny that nice family renting from you a swing set or other play equipment in the backyard. However, if someone gets hurt it can be a losing situation for your tenant, their guests, and you. Be sure policies regarding play equipment are clearly stated in your lease, make sure your tenants understand your rules, and be sure they are following those guidelines at each of your routine inspections. FURTHER READING Read more about potential exclusions on the ALPS website ( and watch for Part 3 of our “It’s Not Covered” series to help clarify common insurance misconceptions and help you be proactive at preventing avoidable losses. As always, if you don’t understand an as- pect of your coverage, check with your agent who should be happy to help you! •


A single burglary on a vacant or renovation property can cost over $8,000. That’s over 4 times the national average per break-in! Real estate investors can experience higher losses due to stolen appliances, HVAC Equipment, wiring, plumbing and more. 56% OF THIEVES BREAK-IN THROUGH A DOOR. WE'RE IN YOUR CORNER.

THREAT #1 TREES, SHRUBS & LANDSCAPING Trees can do tens of thousands of dollars of damage to a property. If a heavy limb falls or if the whole tree uproots, you can end up with a costly and potentially very dangerous situa- tion. We’ve seen trees break through living rooms, fall on cars and even fall on people. Depending upon which way a tree falls and even whether the tree was dead or alive, your coverage may be limited. There also isn’t typically coverage in investors’ policies for tree roots that damage a pool, nor is there usually coverage if a tree on your property is damaged in a storm. You are more likely to find those coverages in a homeowner’s policy. Because there are so many coverage variables, it’s very im- portant to keep up with routine tree inspections and mainte- nance. A certified arborist can make sure your trees remain healthy, apply treatments when needed, or advise when it’s time to cut a tree down. Trees are not your only potential landscaping issue, howev- er. Thinking about keeping that concrete bird bath, statuary or metal statue of a heron that came with the property? Decorate as you will, but just know that “outdoor fixtures” and outdoor furniture are often excluded from policies for investment property. Should a storm come through, any dam- age to them or that they do to your property may or may not be covered. Check with your agent in advance!

Prevent costly break-ins. Reinforce your doors. Layer your Security with products from:


Visit for more tips and discounts on products to help you protect your assets.


BreAnn Stephenson is the assistant vice president of Affinity Loss Prevention Services. Helping you stop “bad stuff” from happening at your property is her mission. She may be reached at www., where you can also find discount codes for StoveTop FireStop’s cooktop line and other protective products. | 816.398.4114 Learn more at:

Is there coverage for that swimming pool in your policy? Better check! Your coverage may exclude certain types of

84 | think realty magazine :: february 2018

thinkrealty . com | 85

Made with FlippingBook - Online Brochure Maker