Hurricane Ian made one thing abundantly clear to real estate investors in Southwestern Florida – it’s important to have exceptional protection in place. If you are questioning your own real estate assets, you are certainly not alone. Here are some tips for protecting your finances in lieu of natural disasters and their impact on your properties.
The Right Insurance Policy is Everything
Insurance is the key to ensuring that your finances and your properties are covered in the event of a natural disaster like a hurricane, tornado, or wildfire. There are dozens of policy types out there, so it’s important to make sure that you choose the right one for your property. You will find some policies that cover only the bare minimum and come with a massive deductible that you must pay out of your own pocket; others cover everything, and often more than you need. If you rely on your properties for your main source of income, don’t cut corners or try to pinch pennies when it comes to buying insurance. Search for ample coverage policies with companies that are known to be trustworthy.
Don’t Skimp on the Safety Features
Before buying a property, consider the potential natural disasters that might occur in that location. If you’re buying a property on the coast, hurricanes are real threats. In the Midwest and out through the center of the country, tornadoes are the biggest risk. Finally, if you’re investing in properties out on the West Coast, you’ll want to be prepared in the event of a major wildfire event. The safety features you include on your properties should reflect the potential for danger. Equip your West Coast homes with smoke detectors and fire extinguishers, build your beachfront property with hurricane-resistant windows and shutters, and make sure you add storm shelters for investments in the central part of the country to increase their overall value.
Find (and Work with) Trustworthy Contractors
Now that you have purchased the right insurance for your property and you’ve included all the safety features that will give you a discount on your premiums while increasing the values of those properties, you’ll need to find a contractor (or set of contractors) that you can trust. When you invest in enough properties in various locations, you are bound to need a contractor to help you with a rehab project at some point. Working to build solid relationships with contractors in these areas gives you the upper hand when disaster strikes. Not only can you feel confident that the rehab will take place quickly, but you can also rest comfortably in the knowledge that it will be done correctly.
It’s impossible to completely avoid natural disasters, but you can plan for them in advance. Buy an insurance policy that works for your needs and your budget, make sure that you install safety features that are specific to the area, and start building relationships with contractors you trust today. When disaster strikes, these things will pay off in big ways.