It is stressful being a landlord or property manager.
There are lots of things that need consideration, from maintaining building safety and integrity to getting the right tenants, to ensuring proper filing of all paperwork.
The list may appear endless.
One of the right ways of reducing stress is having the best landlord insurance cover.
The best kind of insurance will make sure you are completely covered in the event of any accidents or damage to your property that might, and usually do, take place.
You will have more profits because of more renters in your properties.
On the other hand, there will also be an increased possibility of costly incidents you might incur.
Having this type of insurance helps in covering your property from damage and protect you from likely liability expenses.
So what takes place if a fire breaks out in a tenant’s kitchen and damages the apartment?
The dwelling cover in a landlord insurance cover might help in covering this type of situation.
For instance, if the inferno damages the cabinets and walls, the dwelling coverage in that policy might help in covering repair costs.
Remember, though, that you’ll probably have to pay your deductibles.
This is the amount you have to pay toward a covered loss before the kicking in of your insurance benefits.
And you should keep in mind that your policy will usually just cover losses up to a specific amount.
For this reason, you should know the limits of your coverage and adjust them to suit your needs.
Kinds of landlord insurance cover
There are 3 kinds of landlord insurance cover you can buy: DP (dwelling property) 1, 2, and 3.
Dwelling Property – 1:
This is the most affordable and most fundamental type of policy.
It covers the most popular dangers like smoke damage, hail and windstorm, lightning and fire, civil unrest and riots, and explosion.
One thing to note down is that it just covers real cash value.
This means that it takes the damaged property’s existing market value that depreciates yearly.
This type covers all that’s mentioned in DP -1 while it adds more comprehensive danger protection.
It usually includes the collapse of part of the building, breaking or cracking pipes, electrical damage, broken glass, burglary, unintentional water overflow, frozen pipes, falling objects, and snow and ice.
With this insurance cover, you get the choice of adding the cost of replacement.
This means your insurer can replace the property that’s damaged to its full extent, regardless of what.
This will have a high monthly premium cost; however, you are sure the damage gets fixed to what it was previously.
This is the costliest third choice; however, covers all possible dangers.
You have the choice to cover the loss of rent if the tenant is not able to pay due to one of the shown dangers.
Damages caused by tenants include:
If your unit gets damaged by your renter or tenant, your landlord insurance policy might cover for these, based on the policy type you have.
Usually, there are 3 forms of damages caused by a tenant: intentional, accidental, and normal wear.
- Wear and tear
Just like homeowners insurance cover, landlord insurance cover doesn’t cover wear and tear as well.
Wear and tear includes things such as broken down fixtures and discolored carpets.
Once more, getting their security deposit is the best option.
- Intentional damage
This is also called malicious damage, which the landlord insurance sometimes shoulders.
For example, when a tenant steals the fixtures, spray-paints the walls, or comes with a sledgehammer to the rental property.
Will it cover this kind of damage?
It will depend on the insurance firm and your policy terms.
This might become confusing as most insurance coverages shoulder vandalism.
It is also one of the most popular deliberate damage done by tenants; however, several insurance firms address it differently.
But this does not mean you do not have any resource; you file a lawsuit or take possession of their security.
- Accidental damage
Sometimes the landlord insurance cover shoulders this kind of damage.
All kinds of policies cover fire accidents; the rest will depend on your policy’s coverage.
When filing for this type of claim, you still have to settle the deductable.
However, if the tenants have an existing renter’s cover, you may get refunded under their liability policy that covers property damaged by your tenants.
What is not covered by a landlord insurance cover?
While this cover might help in offering protection against several unforeseen losses, it cannot cover every situation.
For example, breakdown of equipment and problems related to maintenance is usually omitted from this insurance policy.
This means your policy might help in paying to replace the laundry machine if it gets damaged in an inferno.
However, if it stops functioning because of wear and tear, landlord insurance cover probably will not cover the cost of a new machine.
In addition, this policy won’t cover deliberate damage, like vandalism.
So, while the dwelling type in a landlord cover might help in repairing bills if your tenant unintentionally damages the unit while they move furniture, the cleaning costs if you find an unhappy tenant spray-painted the walls might not get covered.
Landlord insurance cover and tenant property damage
When it comes to insurance and rental property, there is a distinction.
The tenant or renter’s property policy will cover the personal property of the tenant and the property’s landlord property policy will cover the building’s structure.
A landlord insurance cover doesn’t offer cover for any of the possessions of a tenant, regardless of how the property got damaged or destroyed.
But if the tenant sues you if their personal property gets damaged, your landlord policy’s liability portion will pay any legal fees and settlements.
This type of lawsuit should provide evidence of carelessness on your part.
For instance, a fire resulted from bad wiring you were aware of was bad and did not repair deliberately.
This is a reason why most landlords need tenants to own renters insurance and also write it into their lease or tenancy agreement.
The policy means they don’t have to turn to the courts as they can reimburse after a loss.
The responsibility of a renter
Landlord insurance cover might help in protecting the house you lease in specific instances.
However, renters are eventually liable for protecting their personal property and themselves.
For instance, the landlord insurance policy doesn’t normally cover the possessions of a renter; they require renter’s coverage for that.
So, while landlord insurance cover might help in covering the cost of fixes to a home’s floor or drywall after the overflow of the bathtub, it usually will not help in replacing the water-logged possessions of the renter.
Whether you already have a rental property or want to lease your vacation house, you should know what your landlord insurance cover does and doesn’t cover.
If you want to know more about landlord insurance, seek help from a local agent.