If you have a property you’re planning on renting out, you may think that your prospective lessees are covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy. However, this is not always the case. Homeowner’s insurance policies aren’t just property-specific — they’re also specific to the policyholder.
This means that your homeowner’s insurance policy may not apply if you or a family member are not residing in the house.
Generally speaking, you should make sure that you have landlord insurance to cover you for any damages to the building, especially those caused by natural disasters or unintentional harm caused by your tenants.
Meanwhile, tenant insurance will cover the lessee for any damages to their own personal property, often saving them from having to pay out of pocket in the event of damages.
In this blog post we’ll be taking a look at some commonly asked questions and going over everything you need to know about whether homeowner’s insurance covers renters damage.
Should I require my tenants to have rental insurance?
For many landlords that are homeowner’s, rental insurance is a stipulation of the terms of the lease. Requiring that your tenants have rental insurance protects them from having to pay out of pocket for any damages they may have suffered.
Making rental insurance a condition of the lease also protects the landlord from the possibility of being taken to court for any injuries or damages your occupants feel you are at fault for, regardless of whether these claims are warranted or not.
For instance, if a landlord’s residents suffer damages to their property due to a water leak, they will have their own insurance to cover the cost of any damages, rather than having to come after the landlord for financial compensation.
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What type of damage does the homeowner’s insurance not cover?
There are some types of damage that are not covered by homeowner’s insurance. Generally, insurance companies offer additional coverages to protect you from these concerns, such as:
1. Flood Insurance
If you are in an area where flooding is a common occurrence, consider talking to your insurance company about adding Flood Insurance to your policy.
2. Additional Water Damage Coverage
Many times, insurance policies won’t cover water damage that’s the result of a slow leak over time. It’s often a good idea to get a yearly home inspection to ensure this damage isn’t happening to your home.
3. Valuable Items Insurance
Most homeowner’s insurance policies cover theft to a certain degree, but don’t expect to get paid the full amount if, for instance, you’re living in an area susceptible to flooding with a piece of valuable wooden furniture in your basement. Make sure to purchase extra insurance for any expensive items you may have.
In terms of having renters, even landlord insurance won’t cover any property damage caused by intentional damage or regular wear and tear from your tenants. For this, most landlords require their tenants to have tenant insurance, as well as enforcing a damage deposit, often for the amount of one month’s rent.
Related: Which area is not protected by most homeowners insurance?
Are tenants liable for accidental damage?
Generally, the short answer to this question is yes, tenants are liable for accidental damage to rental property, whether they are renting a home in which they are the only tenants, or in an apartment building with multiple units. For example, if a tenant leaves their stove on and ends up causing fire damage to their apartment as well as their neighbors, they are responsible for any damages that are caused to their rented property as well as any affected suites.
Related: Does renter’s insurance cover damage to landlord’s property
Ensuring tenant’s insurance is in place can save you lots of money, whether you’re the landlord or the tenant. Find out how much peace of mind costs with a personalized quote from APOLLO Insurance today!
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