By Derek James CEO Views Staff
Master liability, resident insurance, and security deposit solutions play integral roles in providing financial protection and peace of mind for both landlords and residents in the realm of rental properties. As an essential part of life for millions of Americans, ePremium Insurance Agency, LLC (“ePremium”) has been leading the way in innovation and software support for many property management companies and residents alike.
Resident insurance, also known as an HO4 renters’ insurance policy, serves as a safety net for tenants by covering their personal belongings in the event of unforeseen circumstances such as theft, fire, or natural disasters. In addition, it provides resident liability insurance and master liability insurance covering the property management company from guest injuries in communal areas and damage to common spaces.
Traditionally, security deposits have been a source of contention, tying up funds for tenants and posing administrative challenges for landlords. Now, with innovative security deposit solutions, alternatives are available that ePremium has designed to benefit both parties.
Tracking and monitoring insurance throughout the lease term to ensure tenants do not drop their renters’ insurance after providing initial proof of insurance poses an industry-wide challenge as most property owners and managers are not aware of the sole tool in the industry that will efficiently perform this task. The solution is provided in a platform called Integrated Renters Insurance Software, or IRIS for short, that was developed by ePremium Insurance Services, LLC (“ePremium Services”).
Due to the uniqueness of this invaluable tool, let’s familiarize ourselves with the innovative InsurTech company to better understand its offerings.
ePremium’s Path to Growth
ePremium entered the insurance field in 2005, during a time of rapid change in the multifamily market and increasing requirements for renters insurance. However, there was no effective way to track and monitor insurance throughout the lease term. Realizing this, ePremium Services introduced advanced technology that allowed onsite teams to focus on managing the property and its residents, rather than dealing with the laborious task of manually tracking and monitoring insurance policies to confirm continuous tenant insurance coverage.
With years of industry experience and a keen eye for technology-driven solutions, ePremium Services leadership recognized the inherent problem and knew that technology would be the answer. Drawing on their collective knowledge and partnering with top programmers specializing in applicant tracking systems, ePremium Services began developing the industry’s first comprehensive tracking and monitoring platform in 2005.Then, in 2007, they launched IRIS, a web-based software platform designed to enhance ease and efficiency of policy monitoring and policy compliance management.
This platform initially provided tracking for both ePremium policies and third-party policies. It quickly expanded its functionality to include compliance notices, robust reporting, and the ability to file claims in under 2 minutes. Additionally, it introduced innovative features such as the first non-underwritten HO4 renters policy and coverage for Pet Damage, Enhanced Water, Bed Bug Remediation, and Biohazard Endorsements.
Taking inspiration from the auto and mortgage industries, ePremium Services introduced the concept of automatic placement of coverage for residents who were not incompliance with insurance requirements, including mid-lease lapses in coverage. This ensured that coverage was provided to the property manager to protect the apartment units from resident-caused damage, even if the resident had not provided or maintained their own insurance while there was an active lease.
Furthermore, ePremium pioneered the development of the first insurance-based deposit alternative program. This program helps its clients increase occupancy rates by reducing the initial move-in costs for prospective residents by offering a nonrefundable lower monthly deposit fee in lieu of a larger one-time refundable deposit, creating a win-win situation.
Throughout ePremium’s journey, its goal has always been to provide value to both the residents who purchase its policies as well as its client partners. The company firmly believes that by identifying and solving problems that affect both parties, it can create a truly mutually beneficial environment.
“Our renters insurance program, security deposit program, and IRIS software platform that we developed are continually upgraded with new features and redesigns to enable us to continue to operate based on client-driven business requirements and innovation needs,” explains Gary Buhmeyer, General Manager and CEO of ePremium.
Continued Innovations by ePremium
ePremium Services focuses on providing seamless system integrations for insurance tracking at the resident level, allowing leasing personnel to concentrate on unit rentals. Their renters (HO4) option is comprehensive, meets lease requirements, and offers a quick quote and bind experience with no underwriting restrictions in less than five minutes.
The company also offers various Tenant Legal Liability (TLL) policy options that property management companies can use to fully protect their units, regardless of whether the resident has HO4 coverage.
ePremium continues to expand its deposit alternative solutions making move-ins easier and more affordable. And lastly, the company has rolled out captive insurance programs supporting those property management companies considering self-insurance.
ePremium Stands Out from the Rest
ePremium Services is constantly innovating in terms of both its systems and products to stay up to date with the latest needs in the ever-evolving multi-family property management market. This has helped ePremium become one of the leading providers of insurance coverage in the multi-family space. Moreover, ePremium has proudly created a service niche for themselves with property owners and managers as they offer a complete range of insurance coverage programs that can cater to the diverse needs of a property management company and can be customized as per their business plan.
“We pride ourselves on being experts in this field and offer guidance to our clients to help them choose the best programs that suit their requirements. We maintain our competitive edge by never being complacent. We pay attention to our clients’ feedback and market trends and collaborate with our partners to refine our existing programs or develop new ones when opportunities arise,” says Gary Buhmeyer, General Manager and CEO of ePremium.
Vision for the Future
The multi-family market, like many other industries, is experiencing significant changes as property management companies venture into new markets such as build-to-rent (BTR) and regulators scrutinize the marketplace. ePremium confirmed that its programs will continue to adapt and adjust to meet the demands of the market. Furthermore, ePremium is exploring the possibility of broadening its product range by providing related insurance products to its clients and expanding its distribution channels beyond the multi-family sector, according to Buhmeyer.
ePremium’s piece of advice to younger entrepreneurs “Be patient. In most cases, new ideas do not become successful businesses overnight. It takes time to formulate the idea, find the right partners, and develop a business plan. There will be failures, but don’t let that stop you, only learn from them. The path to success can be long, so constantly re-evaluate and modify your course, as needed, and work tirelessly, but be patient.”