As the COVID-19 crisis continues to evolve, residential property managers are on the frontlines of containment efforts, whether they like it or not. Michael Fried, President of Aftermath Consulting Group, LLC., addresses uncertainties related to insurance coverage and best practices for protecting assets, employees and residents.
As a residential building owner, am I covered if my property is quarantined due to COVID-19?
Most commercial insurance policies are written under the ISO (Insurance Service Office) form CP 1010 and CP 1030. These package policies typically carry an endorsement for the Exclusion of Loss due to Virus or Bacteria. Larger asset portfolios may be written on manuscript forms and carry broader coverage. Best Practice: Consult with an insurance policy expert prior to giving notice to your agent or carrier about why this is needed or requested. An agent carries a fiduciary responsibility to the insurer as the client, not the consumer, and notice will likely be documented, ultimately hurting you, the consumer.
What precautions can I take to prevent a contamination at my building?
In addition to the daily measures recommended by local health authorities, we advise that you schedule a certified IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification) company to deliver a complete sanitation and sterilization of your complex. This may be very expensive, but certainly less expensive than a quarantined building.
If my building is affected by the virus, and my claim has been filed and accepted, should I use preferred vendors from the insurance company?
In cases like this, which are emergency-specific, the answer would be yes. By using a preferred vendor, certain boxes have already been checked, including but not limited to liability insurance, warranties of work, licensure/certifications. Costs are generally pre-negotiated.
If a resident has tested positive for COVID-19, what steps should I take?
Notice must be provided to an insurance carrier, and a strategy must be in place for mass communication of emergency mitigation and restoration at the infected premises.
Michael Fried is the President of Aftermath Consulting Group, LLC.