United States

Relentless weather conditions heighten property damage risks

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Menacing black clouds as massive storm rolls in

Winter storms have battered the US throughout January, causing power outages, flooding, and tragic losses of life – plus billions of dollars in property damage. From blizzards to thunderstorms to tornadoes, no state has been spared.

And the forecasts suggest the onslaught may not be over yet. The Farmer's Almanac predicts above-normal snowfall in most snow-prone areas and "wetter-than-usual” weather across the Sun Belt in 2024.

Such storms have a significant financial impact. Global insurance firm Swiss Re reports $34 billion in insured losses from storms in the first half of 2023, prompting some insurance companies to pull out of high-risk areas like California and Florida. At the same time, Munich Re’s CEO is urging communities to prepare for the financial stress of increasingly severe weather.

Property managers can safeguard their landlords' investments and their own cash flow by taking proactive measures. This can include installing rain barrels to capture stormwater runoff and caulking gaps around windows and doors.

Good communication between property managers and their clients can help them respond to and fix damage quickly. Test and possibly automate communication channels to ensure timely updates and clear instructions for tenants and landlords. Consider implementing an online portal for tenants to conveniently report maintenance issues to not only streamline the process but also prevent phone lines from getting clogged during emergencies.

In the face of worsening storms, preparation is key to ensure the safety and resilience of your clients’ rental properties – and your own business.

More risk management headlines

The property manager’s playbook for hurricane season – PayProp

South Florida lawsuits blamed for high property insurance costs – Axios Miami

How property managers can prevent slips and falls – BUILDINGS.com

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