Being a landlord is not only about collecting the rent. You are also legally responsible for providing safe housing. If there is a defect in the property that causes your tenant to become injured, you are legally liable to pay for the damages, which may include physical and emotional damages, as well as loss of income. Without the proper insurance coverage, court fees and damage payouts can be financially devastating. A standard St George home insurance policy typically will not cover claims related to a tenant and often will not cover fire, water damage, earthquake or burglary claims in a rented property. You must get a landlord insurance policy to cover these issues.
New landlords often think that once they purchase a landlord insurance policy, they are all set. However, this is not always true. There are five types of claims that landlord insurance policies typically do not cover, so it is important to learn how to avoid problems from these issues.
1. Tenant Property
Landlord insurance policies do not cover tenant property that is lost due to a fire, water damage or other incidents. To avoid problems with your tenants suing you for property damage or loss claims, have your tenants purchase renter's insurance. Renter's insurance covers the loss of tenant property only.
2. Wear and Tear
Wear and tear to the property is deemed a normal maintenance issue and is not covered by landlord insurance policies. To prevent wear and tear from becoming serious and costly, perform move-in, move-out, and annual property inspections to determine what repairs are needed and make the repairs immediately.
3. Malicious Damage
Malicious damage is damage to the property that is purposely caused by the tenant or the tenant's guests. Most standard landlord insurance policies do not cover malicious damage, however, this coverage is usually available as an optional add-on to the policy.
4. Unoccupied Property
Landlord insurance policies require that you notify the insurance company when the property is unoccupied, usually within 30 days. A failure to do so will result in a denial of claim coverage if an incident to or on the property occurs. Read your insurance policy to determine the time-frame of when you must notify your insurance company of an unoccupied property.
5. Loss of Rental Income
Landlord insurance policies do not cover loss of rental income on the property unless the property is deemed uninhabitable. To minimize the chances of financial loss when tenants don't pay the rent, collect a security deposit and last month rent from tenants upon move-in.
Landlord liability issues and insurance policies differ depending on your state. Call Key City Insurance today at 435-656-8100 to start a landlord insurance policy that will meet your state requirements, protect you from liability and protect your investment.