If you are putting your home up for rent, renting out your beach house, or considering listing a room on Airbnb, you need to look at your homeowner’s policy. A regular homeowner’s policy is generally not set up to cover losses in a rental situation; in these cases, you need to look at more specialized insurance, like a Landlord Policy.
At Propman Property Management, we recommend that our homeowner clients acquire Landlord Insurance. We also require that their tenants be covered by personal property insurance, or Renter’s Insurance.
It is best to speak to your insurance professional about your unique situation. He or she can cover the distinctions between policies and coverage. Here are some of the potential situations in which you would need Landlord Insurance:
For rental of your home or your vacation property for a period of time longer than six months, or if you do not live in the same home as your tenants, you should have a landlord or rental policy. These policies may cost up to 25% more than your standard homeowner’s policy (generally only a couple of hundred dollars per year), however, they provide property insurance for personal property you have left on site, such as your lawnmower and appliances, as well as physical damage to the home’s structure normally covered. Most also cover the loss of rental income during a specified repair period from a covered loss.
In addition, Landlord Insurance also provides liability coverage that covers medical and legal expenses in case someone is hurt while on your property.
For short-term rentals, such as a couple of weekends or weeks, most insurance companies may allow your existing homeowner’s policy to cover the rental. However, you must notify your insurance company in advance of the rental, who will then provide you with a rider to your existing policy.
If these short-term rentals become more than occasional, your rentals could be considered a business, under which circumstances standard policies do not provide coverage. In this case you would need to purchase a business insurance policy, such as those offered to hotels or bed and breakfast establishments.
In all cases, your homeowner’s, landlord or business policies cover only the structure itself. Personal possessions held by your tenants are not included in your policy. You should, as Propman does, require your tenants to provide proof of Renter’s Insurance before signing the lease.
Propman is Here to Answer your Questions
Our professionals at Propman Property Management are always available to answer any questions you might have about rentals or the rental market in Northern Virginia. Before you rent, call us.
Propman Property Management requires all tenants to acquire Renter’s Insurance. This is an insurance of which a basic renter’s policy covers provides both personal property and liability coverage. It not only protects the tenants, it gives property owners peace of mind as well.
Here are a number of reasons why renter’s insurance is important for tenants:
- It protects the tenant from having to pay for damages accidentally caused to the building or any other resident’s property.
- It shields the tenants for accidental injury to another person’s body, like if your guest falls in your home or is bitten by your dog.
- It protects your personal belongings, but check your particular policy for specifics on what is or is not covered. A landlord’s insurance does not cover a tenant’s property; it covers the building structure and common areas.
- Your personal property is protected while you are away from the home.
- It is a minimal cost. Renter’s insurance is provided at an extremely affordable rate, generally less than $200 a year.
- You may get cross-insurance discounts on auto insurance by having the same agent provide both coverages.
- Riders are available. Special policy additions are available for tenants who require additional coverage, and can add protection for valuable jewelry, earthquake, hurricanes, or floods.
- You have peace of mind if a loss occurs. You never know what is going to happen down the road.
Take a Personal Property Inventory
A renter’s policy will cover assets up to the dollar amount specified in the coverage, however, it is a good idea to create an inventory to document your assets in the event damage occurs. Go room by room, documenting each item into a notebook or checklist form. Don’t forget to look into closets, on shelves, and under the bed. The checklist should detail the home’s full contents, noting the year the items were purchased and how much you paid for it. At the very least, use a camera or video camera to take photographs of the rooms and the items within them.
Propman Property Management is not a licensed insurance agent and cannot provide advice on policies. For complete information, please contact a qualified insurance agent.
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