Insurance Companies in Connecticut for Insuring Vacant Homes

Due to the sagging real estate market of several years ago, many homes that were put up for sale often remained vacated. Sellers, unable to find buyers, had no choice but to leave these properties vacant for months on end. Unfortunately for those owners, an insurance provider would likely drop their insurance policy coverage under these circumstances. This is due to the simple fact that empty homes provide much greater risks according to most insurance experts.

Homeowners looking to insure a vacant home typically have the option of either buying an endorsement to their existing homeowner’s policy or purchasing a separate “vacant home” insurance policy, often available as special coverage through insurance companies in Connecticut. This is important since a vacant house appeals to thieves, as well as vandals, or squatters looking for shelter, particularly in areas with inclement weather.

Vacant homes also present numerous liability issues, including the possibility of injuries to persons while on the property. There’s the likelihood that neighborhood kids might discover that a house is empty and could wind up climbing over a fence and getting hurt. Older kids will often use a vacant home as a place to party and could break windows and be severely cut by broken glass.

Neglected properties also need to be covered

If you know that a house that you own is going to be vacant at some point you should notify the existing insurance agent of the change in the home’s status. This way, they can discuss your options with you, as opposed to you simply assuming that any existing homeowner’s policy will provide coverage under these circumstances.

Most policies have exclusions for homes that have been neglected, or abandoned, so that when a homeowner is not living in their home and doesn’t notify their insurance agent or company that the home is sitting vacant, any claim for property damage or liability under the homeowner’s insurance policy will likely be excluded. As a homeowner you should understand that an existing policy’s terms no longer apply once there is a change in status.

Other insurance options are often available to you. There are insurance companies in Connecticut that offer such endorsements. Most standard policies most likely will not cover certain types of damage once a home does become vacant.

Some Well-Known Facts About Real Estate Agent Insurance

There are so many facets in real estate transactions that can go awry, which is why there is so much potential for real estate agents to get sued. Some of the most common reasons are that their advice fails to meet a client’s expectations, or they fail to document certain decisions or actions, or perhaps the client believes they didn’t faithfully act in his or her best interests. Let’s face it; it only takes one real (or perceived) mistake to ignite a costly legal dispute.

Real estate agent insurance, and particularly professional liability coverage, will aid you when a dissatisfied client decides to engage in a liability lawsuit, and it serves as a way to protect your business and assets. Also known as errors and omissions (E&O) coverage, this insurance can provide a legal defense as well as pay for damages or settlements you may be ordered to pay, up to the limits of your policy.

How this policy works to your benefit

Another way this policy can help you is that it can also protect you against unexpected liability if your work or advice for a client causes damages to a third party. For example, suppose the agent fails to disclose to a buyer that a home they’re interested in purchasing has sustained major water damage. Months later, after the sale, the buyer is now stuck with having to pay for mold remediation and turns around and sues your company for damages. Even if you didn’t know the problem existed, you could still potentially be sued. This is exactly the type of situation where professional liability insurance will really come in handy.

As a real estate professional your time is generally consumed with work. You may even have begun offering related services, like property management, to help increase your income potential, which only further stretches your time and attention to some of the little details. Prevent your real estate business, and career as a real estate agent, from the danger of being harmed by a lawsuit by having liability insurance in place to make sure you’re properly protected.

Duty to defend

You should note that real estate agent insurance policies for E&O typically provide coverage on a claims-made basis. This means that for a claim to be covered, the incident in question must have occurred while the policy was in force, and the claim must also be reported to the carrier while the policy is still active. Speak to an agent with any questions pertaining to this important coverage.

How to Be Protected In A Shaky Housing Market

Recovering from the economic recession has not been an easy task and the journey to a full recovery is by no means over. No industry has felt this more than the housing industry, which has made leaps and bounds toward that full recovery, but has recently stagnated.


Currently, only 10 states, as well as the District of Columbia, fall into a stable range. This means that only approximately 20% of the United States’ housing market is considered stable, compared to 90% at the same time last year. As the housing market continues to waver, it is important for you to avoid mistakes that would require real estate errors and omissions insurance.


First, ensure that you are covering your bases when you take on a new client. One of the easiest ways to ensure use of real estate errors and omissions insurance is to participate in discrimination against a client for whatever reason. Even if it is not bad intentioned, purposefully pushing a client toward or away from a particular neighborhood based on that neighborhood’s demographics is a sure way to open the door to a lawsuit.


One way to easily avoid this is to make sure that you are showing the client a variety of houses in a variety of different neighborhoods, regardless of the demographic makeup so that the client can make the decision themselves about whether the demographics of the neighborhood are important to him.


Another potential area for lawsuits lies in pretending to be an expert in an area that you’re not, such as financial advising or home inspecting. It is not your job to give advice in this area if you do not have the expertise because the home owner could come back and force you to have to utilize your real estate errors and omissions insurance by saying that you gave them misinformation.


There are many other factors to look into as a real estate agent, but these are a couple of the major ways that you can avoid a lawsuit based on your own, probably unintentional, error.


photo credit: josemanuelerre cc

Apartment Owners and New Jersey Real Estate Insurance Issues

Property management firms are in a business that may see an awful lot of turnover because people become dissatisfied with where they are living. The owners of apartment buildings must maintain a clean and safe facility in order to retain tenants, and the renters of those residences must be satisfied that everything is being done to constantly improve their living conditions, particularly those with small children. Protecting those tenants and their property with New Jersey real estate insurance is vital to continued success.


General liability is the foundation of any business plan


General liability is the best type of basic business insurance and should be carried by all property management firms. This coverage protects against many financial problems that can be caused when tenants or their guests become injured, or experience property damage while they are on the premises.


Attending promptly to such things as inadequate lighting, both inside the hallways and stairwells and outside around parking lots and entrances, as well as making repairs to, or replacing, deteriorated carpets, sidewalks, and driveways can help reduce the possibility of accidents leading to injuries.


In addition, installation of anti-slip materials on stairs, in lobbies and hallways, as well as showers or bathtubs will be equally helpful in maintaining safer living conditions. All complexes should also have adequate fire protection equipment and alarm systems and smoke detectors, which a competent safety engineer can advise on.


Security should be part of risk management


Having security personnel, especially in areas where crime is a concern, is also recommended. These security officers should be properly trained and supervised. Residents who are concerned with issues such as assault, rape or robbery by outsiders will realize the value this added service provides. Plus, residents may be able to recover damages from apartment owners for failure to maintain adequate security.


Premises liability is the section of the general liability policy that protects tenants if they come to physical harm while they’re on the premises. It has long been established in courts that unit owners or co-op residents (even though they are co-owners of the apartment complex), have the right to sue their owners in common and their association or management for bodily injury or property damage due to any alleged negligence.


In addition, premises liability coverage will pay for any medical bills or rehabilitation services that might also be required. New Jersey real estate insurance programs for apartment owners include general liability, property, and loss of rents, equipment breakdown, pollution liability, and more. Speak to an agent today about any insurance questions or concerns.


photo credit: nkeppol cc