Regardless of their severity, your past mistakes can haunt you for many years and impact many areas of your life. And even though they resulted in your having a criminal record, they shouldn’t prevent you from pursuing a career, including that of being an income property owner. However, if you want to invest in real estate, buying insurance can be problematic because doing so requires that you disclose your criminal background to insurance companies and risk being refused or having higher premiums.
In this article, Assurances Multi-Riques would like to share some tips with you so that you can benefit from the right insurance coverage for your income properties and save money at the same time, in spite of having a criminal record.
How does rental property insurance work?
First of all, to learn how to save on premiums in spite of having a criminal record, you need to understand how rental property insurance works.
There are two categories of property insurance: for individuals with buildings having 6 units or less and for businesses with buildings having 7 units or more.
Regardless of the number of units in your building, you are required to disclose your criminal history to your insurer. Failure to do so will result in not being indemnified for a claim and putting your financial assets at risk. To learn more, we invite you to have a look at our previous article on this subject.
Lowering your income property insurance premium despite your criminal history
- Do business with a broker
As you probably already suspect, having a criminal history means you’ll pay more for rental property insurance than someone without a criminal record. In addition, even if you’re insured with a specialty insurance broker for your personal insurance, they may refuse to cover your income property or require an excessively high premium.
If this happens, we recommend that you contact an independent insurance broker specializing in criminal records for income property. They will be able to find an insurer for you that can provide the best possible coverage at the best price, thus increasing the profitability of your income property.
- Focus on maintenance and prevention
On another note, income properties are sometimes hard to insure due to some insurers’ experience with claims for this type of property, whether the owner has a criminal record or not. As a result, we strongly urge you to invest in prevention and maintenance for your rental property.
In fact, by making sure that you properly renovate your property, you reduce the risk of having to make a claim and you’ll eventually reap the rewards because it will have a major impact on your insurance premiums. So pay special attention to your roof, electricity, heating system and plumbing. Also, don’t forget to replace your water heater every 10 years at most, as this is a great way to reduce the risk of water damage.
To summarize, if you are a real estate investor in addition to being one of the estimated 800,000 Quebecers with a criminal record, we hope that this article shed some light on the importance of being honest with your insurer to avoid claims problems, despite the challenges this can create. As mentioned, to facilitate the search for suitable property coverage, the best solution is to contact an insurance broker, who will do the work for you. And while your professional is busy handling your file, you’ll be free to focus on managing and maintaining your investment.