Don’t Let These Property Insurance Myths Kill Your Real Estate Investments, Advises Shawn Woedl


What you don’t know can hurt you, especially if what you don’t know has to do with your passive real estate investment. Shawn Woedl, senior vice president of REIGuard, a provider of property insurance specifically for real estate investors in all stages of the transaction, has some very specific warnings for passive investors in particular. “There are so many misconceptions about insuring investment properties,” he explained in his presentation at the Think Realty San Diego Group Event on Feb. 18, 2017, adding that every investors’ primary goal when it comes to insuring their investments should be to never give an insurance company a reason to deny a claim. “All coverage is not created equally, and you can actually over-insure a property and still not be protected. You never want to be surprised by something that occurs after filing a claim,” he said.

Woedl made particular note of several oversights that new real estate investors make when they are insuring properties for investment purposes. “A lot of people think that being named as the ‘additionally-insured’ on an existing homeowner’s policy will sufficiently protect their interests in a property,” he said. However, if you are not the first-named on the policy, the first-named (usually the homeowner,r unless the investor knows to request this) will get the insurance check in the event that a claim must be filed. “Then, you have to trust someone who is already in financial difficulties to share that money with you,” Woedl observed.

He added that many new investors also believe that buying properties in their own name and adding them to their own homeowner’s insurance policy is a good, economical way to stay under budget while protecting themselves from disaster. In reality, he warned, personalized liability policies are not designed to cover investment properties, and your personal assets could end up in the crosshairs if someone files a claim against you and your business assets are not enough to satisfy the judgment.

Woedl delved into a number of specifics in the presentation, including exposing information that many insurance agents themselves may not know if they are not real estate investing experts. “Your agent may mean well, but if he or she does not understand how your investment properties need to be protected, then there is no way you’ll get the right policy,” he observed. One example of this is the way in which umbrella policies operate on investment properties compared to owner-occupied properties. Agents often sell certain types of umbrella policies to investors that actually wholly fail to protect them. “At REIGuard, we’re investors too,” Woedl explained. “We understand that one size does not fit all in a way that most do not.”

About the Author

Carole VanSickle Ellis is the host of Real Estate Investing Today, a daily nine-minute investing podcast, and the editor of the Bryan Ellis Investing Letter. Contact her at or visit


  • Carole VanSickle Ellis

    Carole VanSickle Ellis serves as the news editor and COO of Self-Directed Investor (SDI) Society, a membership organization dedicated to the needs of self-directed investors interested in alternative investment vehicles, including real estate. Learn more at or reach Carole directly by emailing

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