Renting Out Your Home? Consider This

August 6, 2018

It’s always a bit of a leap of faith when you trust someone to live in a building you own, but it doesn’t have to be a financial risk.

Being a landlord comes with a host of responsibilities and worries – from screening potential tenants, to orchestrating repairs and maintenance – so why would you settle for an insurance policy that leaves gaps in your coverage?

“For Rent Sign” by Mark Moz via Flickr. No changes made

Landlord insurance is specifically tailored to those who rent out apartments, condominiums, and single- or multi-family homes, up to four units. It provides financial protection surpassing that of a typical homeowners policy, with extra coverage for situations unique to landlords. Because it takes the place of a traditional homeowners policy (as opposed to supplementing one), it still covers the basics, like the actual physical structure(s), which are not covered by rental insurance. Here’s how it breaks down:

  • Structural Coverage: any structures on the rental property, including up to four livable units, plus garages, sheds, etc.
  • Personal Property: anything belonging to the landlord (not the tenants!) that is left on the premises – appliances, tools, or even furniture if renting the unit(s) fully or partially furnished.
  • Premises Liability:┬ábodily injury or property damage arising from the use of your rental property; protection against libel and slander, wrongful eviction and wrongful entry claims.
  • Loss of Use: reimbursement for rental income lost during repair or rebuilding if the structure becomes uninhabitable due to a covered loss.

Is Landlord Insurance required?

In short, no. There is no legal requirement that someone renting out a building to tenants must have landlord-specific insurance. However, a landlord with only a traditional homeowners policy will be covered for fewer potential issues, and may also find their policy discontinued when the insurance company discovers that the property is being tenant-occupied (due to significantly greater financial risk for the insurance company).

Is Landlord Insurance the same as Vacation Rental Insurance?

No. While the types of things covered are usually the same, coverage levels – as well as premiums – are not. Because of the short-term and unpredictable nature of vacation rentals, these policies tend to have narrower coverage limits and higher premiums.

If you’re a landlord and aren’t sure whether your current insurance is appropriate, contact Safe Harbor Insurance at (360) 378-2949 or stop by and chat with one of our agents. We’ll make the process simple and easy for you!

Thank you for being part of the solution to the housing crisis in the San Juans!