How Does Landlord Insurance Work and Why You Need It
Successful landlords know, if you plan on renting your Tampa Bay property, you will need landlord insurance. This insurance helps protect you from any financial losses associated with your rental property. If you’re going to be renting your personal residence, you most likely already have homeowner’s insurance. When you rent your personal residence, you will need to convert your homeowner’s policy to a landlord policy.
A landlord policy for your single family home or townhouse is called a “dwelling policy”, for your condominium you usually need a “Rented to Others” rider attached to your your condo-owner’s policy.
Keep in mind though that landlord’s insurance differs from homeowner’s insurance in a couple areas:
- First, landlord insurance is typically less expensive than homeowner’s insurance because there is no coverage for your personal possessions. Instead it covers things like lost rents if a covered hazard were to cause your tenant to vacate. For example, if a pipe were to burst in your rental and flood the property, thus, leaving it uninhabitable, your insurance will cover the damage. Not only will it cover the damage, but the rents you lost as well because you were unable to rent it during that time.
- Secondly, when purchasing landlord insurance there are two types to consider: “All-Risks” or “Stated Risks”. It’s recommended, however, that you purchase the “All-Risks” insurance as it only differs by $50 to $100. For example, if a pipe burst and floods your home leaving the hardwood floors damaged, the “Stated Risks” policy may not cover the damage to your floors. Meanwhile, the “All-Risks” policy will cover all damages incurred. Therefore, be careful about going cheap on insurance; it may cost you more in the long run.
Lastly, it’s important to know that as a landlord you increase your liability profile, so you should have public liability insurance. For instance, if someone trips on a skateboard left out by your tenant in front of your property and breaks their leg, they could try to hold you responsible for their injury. In this example, you’ll be glad you had public liability insurance to pay for the costs associated with defending and/or settling the claim. The good news is that, on a dwelling policy, you can have $300,000 in public liability insurance for $25 to $50 a year, which is a very minimal amount in the scheme of things.
Also, if you are an especially affluent landlord with lots of assets, you may want to consider either a personal or business liability policy. This type of policy will provide you with an additional level of asset protection.
Having these extra levels of protection is something any landlord should not go without. So, don’t put yourself or your investment at risk. Take control and protect yourself and your rental property.
Disclaimer: This information is solely advisory. Any and all insurance decisions and actions should be made in consultation with your insurance agent.
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