Risks Related to the Real Estate Industry
The illiquid nature of real estate investments could significantly impede our ability to respond to changing economic, financial, and investment conditions or changes in the operating performance of our hotel properties, which could materially and adversely affect our cash flows and results of operations.
Real estate investments, including the focused-service and compact full-service hotels in our portfolio, are relatively illiquid. As a result, we may not be able to sell a hotel or hotels quickly or on favorable terms in response to the changing economic, financial and investment conditions or changes in the hotel's operating performance when it otherwise may be prudent to do so. We cannot predict whether we will be able to sell any hotel property we desire to sell for the price or on the terms set by us or whether any price or other terms offered by a prospective purchaser would be acceptable to us. We also cannot predict the length of time needed to find a willing purchaser and to close the sale of a hotel property. We may be required to expend funds to correct defects or to make improvements before a hotel can be sold, and we cannot provide any assurances that we will have the funds available to correct such defects or to make such improvements. Our inability to dispose of assets at opportune times or on favorable terms could materially and adversely affect our cash flows and results of operations.
In addition, our ability to dispose of some of our hotel properties could be constrained by their tax attributes. Hotel properties that we own for a significant period of time, or that we may acquire in the future through tax deferred contribution transactions in exchange for OP units in the Operating Partnership, may have low tax bases. If we dispose of these hotel properties outright in taxable transactions, we may be required to distribute the taxable gain to our shareholders under the requirements of the Code applicable to REITs or to pay tax on that gain, either of which, in turn, would impact our cash flow and increase our leverage. In some cases, we may be restricted from disposing of properties contributed to us in the future in exchange for our OP units under tax protection agreements with contributors unless we incur additional costs related to indemnifying those contributors. To dispose of low basis or tax-protected hotels efficiently, we may from time to time use like-kind exchanges, which qualify for non-recognition of the taxable gain, but can be difficult to consummate and result in the hotel for which the disposed assets are exchanged inheriting their low tax bases and other tax attributes.
Uninsured and underinsured losses at our hotel properties could materially and adversely affect us.
We maintain comprehensive property insurance on all but four of our hotel properties and we intend to maintain comprehensive property insurance on any hotels that we acquire in the future, including fire, terrorism, and extended coverage. The four hotel properties that are not insured through our comprehensive property insurance program do participate in a comprehensive property insurance program sponsored by one of our management companies. In addition to the comprehensive property insurance, we maintain general liability insurance at all but seventeen of our hotel properties. Our general liability insurance program has no deductible. The seventeen hotel properties that do not participate in our general liability insurance program do participate in general liability insurance programs sponsored by three of our management companies, with no deductible. There can be no assurances that insurance coverage will be available at reasonable rates. Certain types of catastrophic losses, such as windstorms, earthquakes, floods, and losses from foreign and domestic terrorist activities may not be insurable or may not be economically insurable. Even when insurable, these policies may have high deductibles and/or high premiums. Our coastal hotel properties each have a deductible of 5% of total insured value for a named storm. Our lenders may require such insurance and our failure to obtain such insurance could constitute a default under the loan agreements, which could have a material and adverse effect on us.
In the event of a substantial loss, our insurance coverage may not be sufficient to cover the full current market value or replacement cost of our lost investment. Should an uninsured loss or a loss in excess of insured limits occur, we could lose all or a portion of the capital we have invested in a hotel property, as well as the anticipated future revenue from the hotel property. In that event, we might nevertheless remain obligated for any mortgage debt or other financial obligations related to the hotel property. Inflation, changes in building codes and ordinances, environmental considerations and other factors might also keep us from using insurance proceeds to replace or renovate a hotel property after it has been damaged or destroyed. Under those circumstances, the insurance proceeds we receive might be inadequate to restore our economic position on the damaged or destroyed hotel property, which could have a material and adverse effect on us.
In addition, the insurance risks associated with potential acts of terrorism could sharply increase the premiums we pay for coverage against property and casualty claims. In many cases, mortgage lenders have begun to insist that commercial property owners purchase coverage against terrorism as a condition of providing the mortgage loan. Such insurance policies may not be available at a reasonable cost, which could inhibit our ability to finance or refinance our hotels. In such instances, we may be