Oftentimes, people don’t consider owning an investment property as owning a business. That’s a discussion for a different day, but the reality is that being a landlord increases risk exposure and it’s critical for landlords to understand the risk.
Landlord insurance is very similar to homeowners insurance in many ways. However, it expands the coverage to protect the landlord in a number of ways.
Your landlord insurance policy will cover your property for damage. Should your building be destroyed or damaged from fire, your insurance covers rebuilding it.
It is important to work with your licensed commercial insurance professional to determine the proper amount of coverage.
Get an estimate from a contractor or two, do the work to determine the real cost associated with rebuilding. Underinsuring can cause headaches and leave you holding the bag to pay the difference if the coverage is not adequate.
Consider what is excluded and make sure to ask about flood protection, lightning, wind, and other types of natural disasters. Every carrier and policy is different. Be sure to read the coverage carefully.
A landlord insurance policy will typically carry a loss income provision. Check to make sure your policy includes lost rental income. In the event of a fire or loss, the lost rental income will reimburse you during the rebuilding phase.
If you depend on the rental income, make sure your landlord policy covers this provision.
There is often some confusion about contents coverage in a landlord insurance policy. It is important to remember that tenant’s contents are not covered. If you rent fully furnished apartments or offices, review with your insurance agent what is covered. Generally, some items left at the building for maintenance and repair may be covered.
A landlord insurance policy also will normally carry liability protection as well. In the event that a tenant or third party is injured or sues you, this coverage will protect you as the landlord. Your landlord insurance will cover legal and court costs and pay out in the event of a judgment.
Review the liability coverage in detail with your commercial licensed insurance professional.