Insurance Agents
April 16, 2024

6 Steps to Streamline Management Across Multiple Locations: The Single Policy Approach Unveiled

Steadily's blog cover page for information around landlord insurance.

Managing rental property policies across multiple locations can be a Herculean task for professional real estate insurance agents. Each property has unique conditions, localized risks, regulatory complexities, and financial considerations, and it can be challenging to keep track. Moreover, each individual policy invariably adds to the cost and administrative overhead. 

Enter the single policy approach, a unique solution that could potentially alleviate these pain points and streamline multi-location policy management. Here, we present six steps that can guide you toward effective implementation of this approach, supported by insights and data that underline the significance and viability of each step.

Step 1: Understand the Common Factors Impacting Premium

Before slicing through the web of individual policies, unraveling the recurring themes is crucial. Regional risk profiles strongly influence insurance premiums. Factors such as natural disasters, crime rates, property values, building age and condition, tenant characteristics, laws and regulations, and claims history significantly impact the cost of landlord insurance in each state, as reported in a detailed white paper by Steadily.

Understanding the implications of these common factors before moving to insure multiple properties can lay the foundation for unified policy management, ensuring the best landlord insurance cover possible.

Step 2: Consolidate Knowledge of Financial Expectations and Liabilities

Understanding how the financial implications differ from a homeowner's insurance policy is vital in multi-location policy management. The American Jobs Creation Act permitted landlords to depreciate leasehold improvements on a faster 15-year schedule, impacting the financial performance of a location. Simultaneously, as per the IRS , residential rental properties depreciated at a rate of 3.636% per year for 27.5 years, indicating the property’s “useful life.” Landlords must be keenly aware of these factors to maintain healthy bottom lines across all locations.

Step 3: Monitor Activities to Leverage Financial Gains and Optimize Liability Coverage

For real estate insurance brokers, closely monitoring industry-specific activities can provide potential financial gains that they can leverage along with essential liability coverage. Notably, the IRS clarifies that the activities of real estate professionals are not classified as passive activities. As such, the income they generate from these activities can be used to offset other kinds of income. This presents a notable opportunity, especially when managing multiple property locations. The potential financial savings resulting from this rule can help grow the bottom line across all managed properties.

To effectively leverage these financial benefits, real estate insurance brokers need to ensure they track the income and activities of their real estate suitably. This tracking process should ideally include reviewing the different types of income earned at the locations, understanding how this income affects their overall financial standing, and leveraging any potential savings opportunities.

Therefore, careful and consistent tracking, combined with a full awareness of the mechanisms available for offsetting income, can lead to substantial savings and improved financial efficiency across multiple properties. This financial awareness forms an essential cog in the overall machinery of the single landlord insurance policy approach to multi-location policy management.

Step 4: Adapt to Rental Property Market Trends

Market trends can significantly impact policy management, especially across multiple locations. As per data from the IRS , renting has reached historic highs for almost all demographic groups under 65. This trend indicates the need to manage more profitable rental properties, necessitating a streamlined multi-property insurance management strategy.

Step 5: Implement a Single Policy Approach

Implementing a single-policy approach is fundamental to streamlining multi-location management for professional independent real estate insurance brokers. This transition rests upon a deep understanding of common factors that impact rental property insurance rates across regions, such as natural disasters, crime rates, property values, building conditions, and local laws and regulations. Mapping out these nuanced risk profiles across the complete property portfolio paves the way for an effective single policy.

Financial considerations play an equally pivotal role, with key insights derived from the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 governing the depreciation rate for most residential rental properties. Moving to the single policy approach involves leaving behind the habit of obtaining separate insurance for each property and embracing a comprehensive, unified framework. 

Step 6: Constantly Review the Single Policy Approach 

Lastly, after implementing the single policy approach to insure multiple rental properties, reviewing and adjusting the insurance strategy periodically is crucial. Regular review and adjustments to the single policy approach ensures it remains relevant and profitable in the face of evolving regional risks and market trends. This process includes reassessing risk factors, market trends, financial considerations, and industry activities identified in the earlier steps. By doing this regularly, insurance agents can ensure the approach remains aligned with the properties’ current realities and countryside changes.

Embracing Efficiency with Multi-Property Landlord Insurance

To sum it up, embracing a multi-property landlord insurance strategy through a single policy approach offers real estate insurance agents a more efficient way to manage their clients' multiple rental properties.

Agents can effectively adapt and consolidate their insurance offerings by carefully analyzing common factors affecting premiums, staying attuned to financial trends and liabilities, and keeping pace with rental market movements. Periodic review and realignment of this single policy strategy ensure that it adapts to the changing tides of property management, making it a flexible and dynamic solution that addresses the complexities of insuring multiple properties under one umbrella.

Adopting this approach paves the way for agents to reduce administrative burdens and offer cohesive, cost-effective landlord insurance coverage to their clients.

This post is for informational purposes only and does not serve as legal, financial, or tax advice. Consult your own legal, financial, or tax advisor for matters mentioned here. The information on this site is general in nature. Any description of coverage is necessarily simplified. Whether a particular loss is covered depends on the specific facts and the provisions, exclusions and limits of the actual policy. Nothing on this site alters the terms or conditions of any of our policies. You should read the policy for a complete description of coverage. Coverage options, limits, discounts, deductibles and other features are subject to individuals meeting our underwriting criteria and state availability. Not all features available in all states. Discounts may not apply to all coverages. Steadily is not liable for any actions taken based on this information. If you believe any of this information may be inaccurate please contact us.

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