In a rare show of unity, Democrats and Republicans on the Financial Services Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives voted unanimously to pass a five-year extension to the National Flood Insurance Program that includes a mandate to improve the nation’s flood maps.
The bill provides $500 million a year over five years for updating maps and modernizing technology to identify high-risk zones. It also includes a “continuous coverage” provision that allows borrowers who leave the program to try private flood insurance to return without paying a penalty. That measure is aimed at encouraging the growth of the nascent private market for flood insurance.
Congress has passed a dozen short-term extensions since 2017 as it wrangled over reforming the program that protects over 5 million U.S. homes. About 40,000 U.S. property sales a month would be nixed if NFIP coverage wasn’t available, because most mortgages require homes located in high-risk flood areas to be protected, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Managing residents is only one aspect of profitability for today’s real estate owners and operators. Another is preserving base building systems. Systems upkeep, from the building envelope to the mechanical, electrical and plumbing infrastructure, maintenance and systems, is critical to minimizing exposure. Here’s a look at the top five building systems and the potential liability they carry if not property maintained.
The building’s envelope—its roof, windows, cladding and doors—can all be susceptible to leaks. The envelope is a building’s first line of defense when faced with a weather event, like a hurricane, strong winds or a heavy storm. Wind can break windows or water can leak into a punctured roof. Extreme heat and cold can also create damage when the building envelope is deficient.
Insurance Coverage: Damage to a building will be covered by the building’s property policy. If caused by a third party or adjacent building, the property insurer may then seek reimbursement from those responsible.
Tip: Do regular, routine building inspections across the envelope. Secure all roof equipment properly.
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