Liability can be a sticking point in tenant/landlord relationships. It’s not uncommon for tenants to be uninsured (or under-insured) against property damage or personal injuries, and without any real means to force their hand, landlords can face legal challenges when (and if) disaster strikes.
The question is: Who pays the price when tenants are uninsured? In some cases, an incident could lead to landlords taking an instant loss. In others, an accident or event will trigger a tenant lawsuit which, while toothless, can drain landlords of their time, money, and reputation.
It’s a complex issue; and to date, the solutions have been patchwork at best. One has been to demand evidence of insurance at the time of move-in, but it’s all-too-easy for tenants to cancel it the month after. Another has been to seek program deals from insurance brokers, but these are also difficult to track and maintain.
As with many traditional challenges, there is a modern answer. More and more, property owners/managers are using InsureTech tools to track and monitor tenant insurance as well as ensure they’re doing their part to keep incidents from happening in the first place.
Embracing InsureTech: A Case Study
Crawford Compliance Inc., a subsidiary of Crawford & Company (Canada) Inc. knows the challenges of managing a multi-residential asset all too well. As such, it created the Tracker Central Management Portal to help property stakeholders track, monitor, and mitigate the risks of the business. Within the system’s suite of tools is Tenant TrackerTM, a program that provides landlords with a platform to collect and store proof of tenant insurance from the moment they sign a contract and through the duration of their stay.
“Before you can reduce risk, you must be able to measure it accurately,” says Eric Gordon, President of Crawford Compliance, adding “Our software is designed to give landlords a real-time overview of their tenants’ insurance status by tracking cancellations or insurance purchased through the program and expiries of all insurance purchased from any source.”
Like many InsureTech solutions, Tenant TrackerTM is a real-time digital tool uses automation, data analytics, and intuitive systems to help landlords keep tabs of the “bigger picture”. Already, says Gordon, the software as a service suite has helped clients save time and money while mitigating risk and assisting in restoring businesses to their pre-loss state.
Stopping claims in their tracks
Of course, preventing insurance claims from occurring in the first place is the safer play. This is especially true as the volume of slip and fall claims continue to climb. Here again, InsureTech solutions are emerging to help landlords uphold their responsibilities to keep their properties safe.
Crawford Compliance’s Snow Tracker® program, for example, gives landlords the digital tools to verify that winter service providers (e.g., snow removal, salt application) are being carried out as planned. It does this by collecting documentation on the full scope of work rendered in real-time through time-stamped pictures, videos, and logs – all of which helps validate that the hired work was done well and within the areas specified, and that all necessary precautions were taken to ensure the safety of tenants and other parties.
“This advanced level of tracking has other benefits,” notes Gordon. “By quantifying on-site labour hours and consumables between the Property Managers and the contractors, Snow Tracker® enables property managers to better manage their expenses.”
It helps, he adds, that technologies like this also hold everyone accountable for their part in keeping tenants safe and satisfied: “For example, Snow Tracker® allows for logs to be received from multiple sources which helps to stop finger pointing between employees and contractors.”
On track to better outcomes
InsureTech solutions like these are becoming more common in the real estate space. And, in combination with staff and tenant training, incentive programs, and other “human” initiatives, tools like Tenant Track and Snow Tracker® will play an increasingly important role in protecting everyone’s best interests.
Eric Gordon is President of Crawford Compliance Inc., makers of the Tracker Central Management Portal, the award-winning software contractor/vendor management software solution. Learn more at www.crawfordcompliance.ca.