Listen up, virgin landlords! You need to revisit your home owner’s insurance policy now. In all likelihood, your existing policy probably doesn’t cut it anymore. Most cover owner-occupied homes, and yours no longer qualifies.
If you are not living in the property, you may wish to purchase an additional level of coverage. By purchasing an extension or clause for rental income, your house insurance plan will help you to recoup some of the losses associated with the loss of rent payments itself. Though each plan is different, a standard plan will offer loss of rent coverage if the property becomes uninhabitable as the result of a defined event (any of those that are listed above, or others as defined by your policy).
If you are planning to lease your home to one person or a couple or family for a longer period of time, say six months or a year, you will likely need a landlord or rental dwelling policy. Landlord policies generally cost up to 25 percent more than a standard home owner’s policy to pay for increased protections. If you are regularly renting out a vacation home or investment property, this would also require a landlord or rental dwelling policy.
Landlord policies provide property insurance coverage for physical damage to the structure of the home caused by fire, lightning, wind, hail, ice, snow or other covered perils. It also offers coverage for any personal property you may leave on-site for maintenance or tenant use, like appliances and lawnmowers.
The policy also includes liability coverage; if a tenant or one of their guests gets hurt on the property, it would cover legal fees and medical expenses.
Some landlord policies provide coverage for loss of rental income in the event you are not able to rent out the property while it is being repaired or rebuilt due to damage from a covered loss. This coverage is generally provided for a specific period of time.
The amount paid is determined based on how long the individuals must be vacated from the property for the necessary repairs from the damage as well as the annual rent of the building if it is unfurnished or the equivalent rental value.
In short, house insurance for your rental property should include coverage for the building repairs if they are necessary as well as insurance protection from loss of rent should your renters be unable to live there as a result of the cover loss.