Prepping Your Vacation Rental For Hurricanes
Orlando is one of the most popular areas to have a vacation rental, and this is no secret because of all the travelers visiting Disney World. Although, this area is prone to occasional hurricanes, don’t let this deter you from purchasing a vacation home. There is risk in owning a home whether it is here in a hurricane area, the Midwest for tornadoes, or the West Coast for wildfires, earthquakes, flooding, and more. We can tell you that owning a vacation home is rewarding and worth the risk. Here are some tips on how to prepare if the situation does arise.
It is very important to have homeowner’s insurance on your vacation home. This may seem like a no-brainer, but we have seen some homeowners without a policy. When a possible hurricane was headed our way, one homeowner struggled to find a policy two days prior to the storm touching land. What she didn’t realize is that insurance companies will not issue any new policies when there is an upcoming storm. She was stuck with the risk of something happening to her home. Why she didn’t have a policy?
When you have a mortgage on a home, the lenders require you to have homeowner’s insurance. If you purchase the home in an all-cash offer which some investors do, the requirement is not there. Start now by shopping for a policy. Even if you own a townhome or condo, the HOA is only responsible for shared surfaces like the roof. They are not responsible for damage done if a window breaks and you have water damage inside.
Have A Property Manager
If you don’t have a property manager overlooking your home in your absence, getting one will surely benefit you. Some homeowners only hire cleaners when guests check out. However, they don’t have anyone to do any preventative maintenance or oversee the home in general. When there is an upcoming hurricane, you will have the assurance of knowing that property managers like us have a hurricane prep checklist for the home. We also send one to guests if they are in the house and due to check in during the hurricane. Keeping guests informed of the boil water notices, what to prep as far as food and water, bringing in patio furniture, etc. As we manage 100 properties in the Orlando area, we have an efficient system in place since 2006 for a hurricane. Email correspondence is sent to homeowners to let them know what precautions we are taking.
A Property Manager Helps File Claims
Another large reason to have a local property manager is if there is damage to your vacation home, they can coordinate on your behalf to get insurance claims set up for you. Where homeowners mess is up is they submit their insurance claims late and can get denied. Insurance companies estimate how much to set aside per hurricane. They are always more lenient at the beginning of approving claims, but as money gets tighter for them, they will start denying claims or reducing how much you can receive.
One of the items on our property manager checklist is to have a roofing contractor on standby. Our property managers will be out in the homes the day of to get pictures of any damage. They will send these to the homeowner immediately through their iPads and mark them on the list if the roofing company needs to visit. We schedule the roofing company ahead of time to come two days after the storm to start getting estimates out there. The company knows the lingo of insurance companies very well so they are already scheduling a claim adjuster to come out and get your claim approved often within the same week of the storm. Do not wait to get your claims in because you could be stuck with the full bill.
The Importance Of A Property Manager
As much as you want to save money on just hiring a pool and cleaning service, we cannot stress enough the importance of a property manager. They are here to help you with bookings and to maintain your home in your absence. If you are in need of a property manager and want to learn more about what we have to offer, contact us today.
As you can see, we are extremely active with our marketing efforts. We would love to have the opportunity to manage and market your vacation home. Last year, we did not have one vacation home occupied less than 220 nights and our average vacation home was occupied 248 nights annually…that is over 20 nights a month! Check out more of our Orlando Vacation Property Management Tips.