3 Tips for Protecting Vacant Property
With the past few years filled with widespread layoffs and foreclosures, your firm may have been forced to manage vacant property. The insurance risks and liabilities associated with owning unoccupied property can be extensive. To ensure you’re adequately protected for now and the unpredictable future, it’s important to know how to mitigate the risks you confront.
In addition to purchasing comprehensive insurance coverage, there are numerous preventive strategies for maintaining vacant property to reduce risk and liability. Three simple steps that owners of vacant property can take to limit their risk and liability include:
- Prevent Vandalism
Notify local authorities of vacated properties so they can watch for criminal behavior. Maintain an “occupied” appearance to the property – mow the lawn, have mail forwarded or picked up regularly and install light timers and a security system.
- Limit Liability
Make sure property is free from significant hazards (broken railings or steps, broken windows, etc.) that could cause injuries to anyone on the property – this includes police officers, maintenance workers, firefighters or even trespassers.
- Avoid Damage
Performing regular maintenance on the property can decrease the odds of damage. Make sure the heating system and chimney are cleaned and inspected regularly. Have the plumbing system winterized to prevent frozen pipes. Periodically inspect the roof, insulation, attic, basement, gutters and other areas of the property for any necessary repairs, mold, damage or other problems. Consider installing smoke detectors that’re tied to a centrally monitored fire alarm system so the fire department will be notified in case of an alarm. Remove all access material and combustibles from in and around the building.
If you question what’s covered on your policy, contact an Assurance representative today to ensure your property’s protected.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR