This section is from the book "Practical Real Estate Methods For Broker, Operator & Owner", by Thirty Experts. Also available from Amazon: Practical Real Estate Methods for Broker, Operator, Owner.
The fire insurance rate which an owner is compelled to pay often can be reduced by certain inexpensive improvements or greatly lowered by proper structural arrangement when the building is planned. It, therefore, behooves the broker either to know these points himself or to employ an insurance man who knows them. Comparatively few people know that a loft which is very dusty and dirty, or which shows broken plaster may cause the insurance people to charge a higher rate. The installation of fire buckets or extinguishers may save the owner more in insurance in a single year than their total cost. In some cases, the providing of an extensive automatic sprinkler system may so lower a rate as to pay for itself very quickly. The fire record of a tenant is also an important factor. If a tenant whose fire record is bad is accepted it may raise the rate for the entire building and for all the other tenants. The broker should know about various forms of liability insurance and should not overlook the importance of rental insurance, which, after a fire, reimburses the owner for loss of rents while the building is being put back into shape.