Landlord Insurance

The Walters Agency

The Walters Agency

What is landlord insurance?

If you rent out your home or own investment properties, you need to carry insurance to cover them from losses caused by fire, weather or other disasters. The type of insurance you get is called a landlord policy.

What is landlord insurance?

The kind of insurance you get as a landlord is similar to but different from regular homeowner's insurance. While homeowner's insurance covers both the home and its contents, landlord insurance covers only the structure. Your tenants will have to get rental insurance to cover their belongings.

A landlord policy has some coverages that homeowner's insurance doesn't. For example, insurance for landlords usually provides more liability coverage than homeowner's insurance, because there are more hazards or more things that can go wrong that might expose you to liability when you have tenants than when you are inhabiting the structure yourself. This coverage is usually standard.

Another coverage that a landlord policy has is fair rental income. This coverage will pay you the rental income you lose if your property becomes uninhabitable, usually for as long as a year.

You also may be able to add riders for things such as accidental or intentional damage to your rental property and breakdown of equipment such as furnaces.

Who needs a landlord policy?

Anyone who rents their home for more than an occasional weekend needs a landlord policy. Even if you are renting your home short term while you try to sell it, you need a landlord policy. Your homeowner's policy may specifically exclude coverage if you rent.

Of course, if you own a home or other property specifically as an investment, you definitely need a landlord policy.

If you are financing your rental property, your lender will require a landlord policy and may mandate other types of coverage. However, even if you own your property outright, local or state law may still mandate coverage. And even if coverage isn't mandated, it's still a good idea to protect you and your tenants from accidents or disasters.