Owing to your own home and the property with it is probably the greatest feeling you could have in the world. It provides you with a sense of safety, belonging, and achievement that you possess your own living space and do not have to depend on someone else. To carry on with having this feeling of safety for your future life, you must consider protecting and securing your home and property from any event that you cannot anticipate. A property insurance plan and policy is your best answer to protecting your most valuable asset. There are namely three major types of property insurance; homeowner’s insurance, landlord liability insurance, and vacant properties. Whether you are living on your own premises or you are currently a landlord who has rented out his property to earn additional income, assume at all times that living too does not come without additional risks.
What is landlord liability insurance?
While your homeowner’s insurance will cover your personal medical bills in case of an accident, it is also critical to ensure the loss of your tenants living in your rented home. The landlord liability insurance which is also referred to as tenant-occupied house insurance is a coverage plan that helps you cover the damage to the property that you own and also have rented to some tenants. There are basically two aspects of this coverage plan, one is a property that covers damage to the building structure or any adjacent structure. Secondly, there is a liability aspect that covers the loss of your tenant’s property, personal injuries, and liabilities such as lawsuits.
What does this insurance policy cover?
A landlord liability insurance majorly helps you cover the medical expenses in case a tenant is severely injured and requires medical assistance, a legal expense that could cover the cost for you to defend yourself in court hearings in case the tenants files a lawsuit against you for the loss of their personal properties. Following are some limits that your insurance company may specify at the very start of your policy provision:
- Injury to your tenant resulting from low maintenance objects such as a broker or slippery flooring causing someone to fall and fracturing themselves. In this case, if you found accountable for neglecting the maintenance requirements or did not mention the hazard or peril to your tenant, your insurance policy will protect you against any lawsuit or medical expense you will have to incur.
- When you give away your property to any tenant, it automatically becomes your responsibility to ensure basic security requirements such as adequate lighting, door alarm, functional locking system, etc. In this case, your insurance policy will help you protect your tenants against major perils such as theft and vandalism.
- Vile and illegal activities that your tenants may be carrying out on your rented property without you knowing can land you in grave danger. Landlord insurance will protect in such cases as well.
- Fair Rental Value Coverage of your income which you lost if your property was ever deemed uninhabitable due to a covered loss
- The insurance policy will also adjust and protect your income for inflation. This means that if inflation has occurred in the time period you have rented out the home, so your premiums and discount will be adjusted accordingly.
- Personal injury protection if rogue tenants claim that you inflicted them injuries resulting from slander, defamation, invasion of privacy, etc.
Before you purchase a policy it is foremost important for you to identify and check the limitations of your landlord liability insurance, so that you know what elements your coverage plan does and does not cover.
Common discounts and methods of mitigating your cost
Now your tenant-occupied house insurance can vary widely across in terms of the cost. It is not always essentially expensive, but given the number of risks involved some insurance providers can also offer more expensive policies depending on which state your house is located. However, more expensive policies do not necessarily guarantee the most amount of coverage. The following are some discounts and methods through which you can get discounts from your insurer.
- Insure more than one property on your personal property insurance plan in order to obtain a discount from your insurer. Moreover, if you obtain your other insurance plans from the same carrier, it is likely they will offer you a discount.
- If you are a new home/property owner, and have recently shifted or renovated your home, then you are eligible depending on criteria for different insurance companies for an added discount.
- In some cases, if you go straight to your insurance provider, there is a possibility that will provide you a discount on your insurance policy. This will happen when your insurer does not invest in activities like marketing or advertising, therefore, it is likely that they can spare you a discount.
How much landlord liability insurance do you need for your investment property?
There are commonly four major elements of this insurance policy that you need to know about how much coverage you should have.
- Building structure
This is basically a plan within your landlord liability insurance that is concerned with the coverage or replacement of the house or the building structure. The most important thing to note here is that your insurance is at core based on replacement cost and not on the market value. So, it does not matter for what cost you purchased your valuable property, what matters is how much it would cost to replace that structure. How much it costs to replace a building varies base on things like your building structure, where you are located, etc.
- Personal property
As a rental property owner, most of the time, you don’t have a whole bunch of personal property inside the rented home you have given to your tenants. In most cases, you may have a fridge stove, washer, or dryer in the rented house. So it mainly depends on what things you have at the house, and your insurance company will determine different amounts per unit of the goods for which you will have to pay a premium.
This is the most important coverage on your policy that covers the loss of your tenant’s property, their personal injuries, and liabilities such as lawsuits. So, it is safe for you to keep that limit to half a million or more, which will cover all the major costs. One rule of thumb is to look at the assets of the LLC or your house and make sure that your coverage is at least that much worth. Consult your insurance advisor or accountant regarding how much you want to cover.
- Loss of rent
If your property is damaged due to environmental causes like tornado, earthquake, or due to human error leading to fire for instance. In this case, you will not be getting that rent during the period of time that your insurance company is rebuilding this property. So there is coverage on your policy that replaces that lost rent, which could be really important. Therefore, you should have an amount equal to about one year of your rental income from that property.