5 Questions You Should Ask When Getting a Quote for Landlord Insurance

Landlord insurance covers a range of expenses that you may incur if you have a rental property. If you are a landlord and wondering if landlord insurance is right for you, you should call an agent. To guide you toward the right policy, here are the questions you should ask.

1. Does this current situation require landlord insurance?

In some cases, your homeowner's insurance may suffice for your needs. For example, if you are only renting your home out for a few weeks, only renting a single room in your home or living in an owner-occupied duplex, your homeowner's insurance may meet your needs.

However, in other cases, you may need an additional landlord policy. Explain your situation to your agent to see if you really even need landlord insurance.

2. What does the policy cover?

Like any type of insurance policy, landlord insurance covers a range of items, and in many cases, you can tailor your policy to have the features you need. Ideally, you want coverage for fires and natural disasters, but you may also want coverage for tenant damage and for liability issues.

3. Does the policy cover subletters?

If you want true financial protection, you need to ensure you are covered for every type of situation. For example, many policies only cover issues related to the tenants on the lease. They do not cover anything that occurs with a subletter.

If you allow your tenants to sublet your rental property, make sure that is covered. Also, talk with the agent to see if the landlord insurance policy covers damage or theft from the tenant's' guests.

4. Does the policy cover liability issues related to dogs?

In most cases, landlord insurance policies cover a certain amount of liability issues. For instance, if you forget to shovel the ice off the sidewalk and someone slips and falls, your policy may cover expenses you incur as a result of that incident.

However, your liability coverage may not cover incidents related to tenant's dogs. See if it does, and see if the policy has any breed restrictions. If your landlord insurance policy doesn't cover liability issues with your tenants dogs, require your tenants to have renters insurance. Typically, renters insurance covers renter's contents as well as some liability issues.

5. Does the policy offer actual or replacement value?

Ideally, you want a policy that offers replacement rather than actual value. For example, if a hail storm ruins the roof of your rental and you have an actual value policy, your policy will only pay what the roof is currently worth. Therefore, if you have a fifteen-year-old roof, the policy likely won't cover anything. However, if you have a replacement value policy, you can get the funds you need to replace your roof.

Learn more about your options by contacting insurance providers in your area.