Multi Family Dwelling Insurance
Multi-Family dwellings are different from traditional residential because they have multiple rental units contained within one building rather than several detached units. For insurance purposes, multi-family dwellings are a single building capable of housing more than one family. They have within them multiple bathrooms, kitchens, and bedrooms with a separating wall between the units. These dwellings can be a duplex, a triplex, a four-unit apartment building, a condominium, or a townhouse.
Insuring your multi-family dwelling is a bit trickier than other types of commercial properties. So, it’s a great idea to work with an independent insurance agency, like The Insurance Center of North Jersey. We bring more than 95 years of experience serving the needs of NJ, PA, NY & CT property owners and can help them make the right choice concerning insurance and costs.
Owner Occupied or Non-Owner Occupied Multi Family Dwellings
The insurance guidelines are different depending on whether you live in the dwelling or not. If you live in the dwelling, then you will need to insure the property as your home – meaning you will need a homeowner’s insurance policy; unless it’s a 4 family, then you’d need a dwelling fire policy with a renter’s policy for your own personal property.
If you do not live in the dwelling and it is an investment property, then you will need a dwelling fire policy, or perhaps a business owner’s policy dependent on the number of rental units. The homeowner’s policy will cover the structure of the property, personal liability, and coverage for your personal property. Additionally, the policy covers loss of use, allowing you to pay for alternative housing while yours is being repaired or rebuilt due to a covered loss.
A dwelling fire policy covers the structure and provides an amount for coverage of additional structures on the property as well as loss of rent coverage to help replace your lost income while repairs are being made due to a covered loss.
Dwelling fire policies can also provide coverage for premises liability, but that isn’t the case with all policies, it has to be added. We will work with you to help you determine how much personal liability coverage you’re comfortable with and how to arrange the best coverage for the best price to meet your needs.
Factors That Impact Multi Family Property Insurance Costs
The insurance costs for multi-family properties are based on certain factors. These are some of the factors that can affect your insurance quotes:
- Age of the property. Newer properties are often in a better state of repair and more likely to meet local code requirements than older properties.
- Age and type of wiring on the property. Old or outdated wiring represents a significant risk of causing fires or shocking residents and/or their guests.
- Construction type of the home. Brick and stone structures are sturdier and less likely to sustain substantial damage from wind and hail than wooden structures – especially older wooden structures that pre-date modern construction codes.
- Firewalls. While most people think of firewalls as something related to computers, they have a far more important function in multi-family housing – providing a layer of protection from fire damage between units. The existence of a firewall offers added protection and that is something insurance companies like to see.
- Neighborhood. Insurance companies prefer neighborhoods with low crime rates as well as those that are largely owner occupied.
- Owner Occupied. Insurance companies offer lower premiums for owner occupied properties. Because owners who live onsite are going to take better care of their properties than the average tenant will and mitigate loss damage.