‘Landlord’ versus ‘home’ insurance

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Whilst most landlords are very happy with their tenants, there’s always a risk that damage will occur in your rental property. Knowing the ins and outs of insurance can make a big difference, should something bad happen within the property. Specialist landlord insurance is different to general home insurance, and covers you for activities and occurrences beyond the normal remit.

What is landlord insurance?

Landlord insurance covers the higher number of risks that are associated with renting out a property. If you aren’t covered for certain kinds of incidents under a home insurance policy, this may result in you being out of pocket should damages occur.

Why do I need landlord’s insurance?

  1. Protect your property: If you’ve been maintaining your property well, you want to keep it that way! Don’t be subject to costly damages or repairs.
  2. Protect your investment: This is all about peace of mind when it comes to the return on your investment. This means ensuring that whether the damage is incidental or malicious, your property and its contents are safe from having to be recuperated in costly extras.
  3. Longevity of your investment: If you are just renting out a property for a short stint, your homeowner’s insurance may cover all that you really require. However, if you’re intending to let the property for a while as a long-term investment, home owner’s insurance is unlikely to cover everything that you need to protect the investment long term.

What kinds of coverage can I get?

Personal property coverage: Homeowners insurance will get you some of the way towards covering a whole variety of belongings. However landlord insurance will go the extra way towards those items you use specifically for the rental property. This includes things that might be stored on site and used to maintain the property, such as mowers or snowblowers, etc. be aware that if you leave personal items on the rental site, these won’t be protected by landlord insurance.

Property owners’ liability coverage: this includes things you might not have heard of, like the case in which a tenant is injured on your property. Landlord insurance will provide liability coverage relating to the property itself, and so if your tenant is hurt and you are found legally responsible, this coverage can help with resulting medical or legal fees. This is different to a homeowner’s policy, which only covers you and your relatives that live with you.

Rent guarantee: Sometimes, tenants don’t pay their rent. This is of course legal grounds to start seeking eviction, but it can be a lengthy and costly process. Ensure that you are not losing money on your investment in the meantime and have rental protection. This guarantees coverage of the rent up to a certain amount over an agreed period.

Emergencies: If the property becomes unfit to be lived in, for instance, the cost of alternative accommodation for your tenant becomes your responsibility. You can cover this potential cost, as well as the cost of covering accidental loss of metered water to the property due to an emergency, or other emergency repairs that can be required. Some policies will also provide an emergency helpline to assist you 24/7.

Tenants’ belongings: It’s important to note here than your tenant’s personal items won’t be covered. For this reason, make renters insurance a lease condition to ensure your tenant is also covered and does not seek out recuperated funds from you.

Where can I find landlord’s insurance?

There are many online sources to begin with, such as comparison websites. Compare and contrast policies to ensure you are covered for any of these potential eventualities, instead of finding yourself footed with the bill. Ask around and find a recommendation for a provider that will be easy to deal with in the case of an unexpected claim arising. Be protected beyond the scope of your standard homeowner’s insurance and have total peace of mind!

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