A recent tragedy in the Riviera Maya in which a family of four lost their lives serves as a tragic reminder to us all about a silent killer that can affect anyone, at any time – carbon monoxide poisoning.
We spoke to Guardian Insurance Riviera Maya area director, Michael Keller, about the incident and the responsibilities of vacation rental property owners.
What can other property owners learn from this tragic incident?
“Install carbon monoxide detectors and check them regularly, include a liability waiver in their rental contract or rental agreement, and take out an insurance policy. Also, perform proper maintenance on the hot water tank and all the appliances in the unit. I also recommend that owners and renters visit our friend Katie O´Grady´s blog, www.losogradysinmexico.com for more information about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. Katie and her husband, Frank, are residents of Mexico and I met them when living in Puerto Vallarta. After Frank´s near-fatal encounter with carbon monoxide poisoning in Lake Chapala, they have become staunch advocates of carbon monoxide detectors for home owners and travelers.”
What insurance should a property owner purchase before renting their unit?
“The owner of the unit that is renting out their property needsto verify that the policy has been issued with the property listed as commercial, NOT private/personal. When we issue a policy at Guardian Insurance,we recommend to include a minimum of $100,000 USD in liability coverage on all our property policies.”
Is there an insurance policy that would cover the owner for this type of accident?
“Yes, as long as the property is listed as commercial property on the policy, and they have liability coverage included, they are covered against accidents of this type, up to the contracted sum insured amount for that section.”
What is the price for this type of insurance?
“Many homeowners are surprised to learn that liability insurance for rental properties is relatively inexpensive, at about $30 USD in premium for every 100,000 USD in liability coverage.”
Tips to Protect Your Family and Guests from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:
- Install a battery-operated or battery back-up CO detectors in your home, making sure one is installed in the bedroom.
- Have your gas appliances and hot water tank professionally installed and serviced each year by a certified technician.
- If you have a wood fireplace have the chimney cleaned every year.
- Do not cook on a portable gas camp stove or a charcoal bbq indoors.
- Generators should be kept outside, never have a generator inside your home or camper.
- Never leave a vehicle running inside the garage.