Habitational Real Estate Insurance: An Ultimate Guide For Landlords and Brokers

Homeownership is no longer for everyone. Whether it’s because of changing tastes or economic realities, many people these days rent, live in condos and apartments or find themselves in other housing solutions. 

For instance, in 2021, around 31.8 million homes in the US were part of a multi-family building, be it an apartment complex, condominium, or townhouse. This represents around 25% of all housing in the US, according to the most recent census and the future of urban cores around the country, from LA to Arlington

However, due to the differing natures of these kinds of buildings, insuring them requires expertise and in-depth knowledge of the coverages these dwellings need. For this reason, we’ve created this guide on habitational insurance, where we discuss who needs it, what it covers, and the importance of high-limit umbrellas for these kinds of properties. This way, you can find a habitational insurance policy that gives your clients the coverage and peace of mind they’re looking for. 

Who Needs Habitational Insurance?

Anyone who owns a property that other people live in should have habitational insurance to protect them in cases of property damage, general liability issues, and other exposures common in lived-in buildings. This includes, but isn’t limited to, owners of:

  • Rental Properties
  • Condominium Buildings
  • Apartment Complexes

If your client’s building includes commercial occupants, you may also want to explore our guide to mixed-use properties and commercial umbrella insurance

What Does Distinguished’s Habitational Insurance Cover?

Distinguished’s Habitational Insurance covers the following areas for your clients: 

  • General Liability: Covers legal costs associated with the covered building, including potential damages or court costs
  • Property Insurance: Covers property damage done to the building, plus we offer access to expert contractors through Sedgwick Repair Solutions 
  • Ordinance or Law Insurance: Covers the costs of bringing a building up to code after all or part of the building was damaged and needed to be rebuilt or repaired 
  • Crime Insurance: Covers your client in cases where employees engage in criminal activities like theft, forgery, or fraud
  • Equipment Breakdown: Covers repair or replacement costs when building equipment breaks down, like ACs or elevators 
  • Sewer and Drain Backup: Covers water damage and repair costs if a sewer or drain backs up into the building 

Because each habitational building is unique, we offer tailored insurance programs for different building types. Learn more about our specific programs on our real estate insurance programs page

Do Habitational Properties Need Umbrella Insurance?

In today’s litigious environment, we believe every habitational building should be backed by an appropriate umbrella insurance policy. 

Umbrella policies are essential because they act as a safety net if your client’s general liability policy is exhausted by an exceptionally large claim or several lawsuits back-to-back. 

For instance, if your client had a GL policy of $5 million for their building and were successfully sued for $10 million, they’d be on the hook for the remaining $5 million. However, if they also had a $20 million umbrella policy, the umbrella would cover the final $5 million and have limits left in reserve in case of further liability issues. 

And although many clients may feel that they don’t need more GL coverage, the truth is that claims can quickly eat away at most standard GL policies. For example, a collapsed condominium in Florida has resulted in a settlement nearing $1 billion

Although the $1 billion settlement is due to truly extraordinary circumstances, it at least shows what the ceilings on these suits are. This helps your client understand why an additional umbrella policy is likely in their best interest. 

What are the Advantages of Distinguished’s Umbrella Insurance?

Distinguished is one of the nation’s leading umbrella insurance providers, offering umbrella solutions across the country and in several different industries. Our umbrella policies can help your habitational insurance clients in three ways.

High limits

We offer high limits on our umbrella policies so you can get your clients the GL coverage their buildings require. For instance, we can offer up to $140 million in liability coverage limits for most habitational buildings through our real estate umbrella

This means you can win even larger accounts that need that extra coverage our umbrella policy can provide.

Broad coverage comes standard

Our real estate umbrella policies include broad coverages your clients will appreciate. For instance, our policies include:

  • Broad Named Insured Endorsement 
  • Crisis Response Coverage 
  • No Assault and Battery Exclusion
  • No Abuse and Molestation exclusion for some risks

This makes our umbrella policies perfect as a backup to any standard GL policy.

Competitive Pricing

Regardless of whether you need an umbrella policy for a small account or a large one, we can offer competitively priced premiums that offer exceptional value. 

If you’re looking for an insurance quote for your client, sign up with Distinguished and submit their details. We can get back to you in three to five business days with a bindable quote. 

Sign Up Today and Get Access to Our Umbrella and Real Estate Insurance Products

To get access to all of our insurance products, you’ll first need to register with us. The process should take no more than 5 minutes.

After completing your sign-up, you can submit business with us, including our online application packages. For our real estate umbrella policies, you have a choice between the following:

  • Real Estate Umbrella: Perfect for larger real estate schedules with limits up to $140 million
  • Express Real Estate Umbrella: Ideal for community associations with up to 500 units and smaller real estate schedules, this policy can come with limits of up to $10 million and includes a fully online application process

If you’re interested in a more comprehensive real estate insurance package for habitational buildings, you can explore any of the following programs: 

Distinguished Habitational Insurance FAQs

Is your Real Estate Umbrella Available Nationwide? 

It depends on the program. Our high-limit Real Estate Umbrella program is available in all 50 states. The Express Real Estate Umbrella is available in 48 states (excluding Georgia and New York).

Where Do You Offer Your Habitational Insurance Programs?

Our availability is dependent on the specific program you’re interested in. To learn about the specific eligibility requirements of each program, you can look at the Features dropdown list at the bottom of the following program pages. 

What Are Your Umbrella Limit Options?

Our Real Estate Umbrella Insurance limits are:

  • $25,000,000
  • $50,000,000
  • $75,000,000
  • $90,000,000
  • $105,000,000
  • $115,000,000
  • $140,000,000

For the Express Real Estate Umbrella, we offer limits of:

  • $1,000,000
  • $2,000,000
  • $5,000,000
  • $10,000,000

About Distinguished Programs

Distinguished Programs is a leading national insurance Program Manager providing specialized insurance programs to brokers and agents with specific expertise in Fine Art and Collectibles, Environmental and Construction Professional, Executive Lines, Inland Marine, Real Estate & Builder’s Risk, Community Associations, Hotels, and Restaurants. Property and Liability products are distributed through a national network of agents and brokers. Serving the same core markets and partnering with the most stable and reputable carriers, Distinguished’s high-limit Umbrella programs remain the clear choice in its area of specialty for superior coverage, competitive pricing, and attentive service. Through thoughtful innovation, stemming back to 1995, Distinguished Programs fosters growth and opportunities for its brokers, carriers, and employees.

View a full list of our programs and submit business with Distinguished.

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