Renting or leasing a home has its fair share of difficulties, and the one thing you don’t want to forget about is insurance. The reality of the process, however, may mean call center wait times, talking to numerous people before getting to the right person and then being asked so many questions and you may not know all the answers. With a little planning, the process can go much smoother. Whether you are the landlord or the tenant, here are a few tips to ensure you get the coverage you need.
Protections for the Landlord
As the landlord, you do not expect renters to be perfect. Things break, people make messes, and mistakes happen. It is imperative you take the right steps to ensure you are protected financially when these instances arise. Rental property insurance, or landlord insurance, is intended to cover the risks taken when renting out your property.
While coverage varies depending on the insurance company and your personal preferences on premiums, policies will generally cover four main items:
- dwelling or structure of your property
- contents of the property belonging to the landlord
- liability coverage
- loss of rental income
Should you desire additional coverage, there are many options to choose from such as:
- guaranteed income insurance
- flood insurance
- additional construction expenses
It is important to note that homeowners insurance only covers properties occupied by the property owner, not the tenant’s property in a rental property.
Insurance Coverage for the Renters
When it comes to the renter, landlord insurance does not cover the renter’s belongings. We advise discussing with your future tenant the benefits of renters insurance. While it is not required by law in North Carolina, it is legal for the landlord or management company to require that the renter has renters insurance as terms of your lease agreement.
Now, to the renter – Whether it is your first or fortieth time renting, you will always need insurance to cover the loss of your personal property and protection from liability claims. While the landlord may be responsible for the property itself, you are responsible for the contents of the space and accidents that may happen within it. There are three components to coverage, with the option to add on as you see fit:
- personal possessions
- additional living expenses.
Most policies will not include things such as backup of sewage into your residence, earthquakes, floods, and other “acts of God.” While one may think damage due to a natural disaster would fall on the landlord to insure, this is not entirely true. While they do have a similar option to add to their plan, they are only responsible for the home. So while they will cover the structure, in order to protect your belongings, we recommend including those additions to your policy.
We suggest, when determining what coverage you need, to take stock of everything you own as well as its value.
While this may appear to be a significant amount of work, you will be thankful if your possessions get damaged. It may be beneficial to create a spreadsheet that lists the value of your belongings. Make sure to take note of high-value items. Too often, people value their items for less than they are worth, resulting in being under-insured. Another tip would be to keep the spreadsheet at a separate location from your dwelling. If there is an event that damages your personal property, you do not want it to damage the inventory list you have that details the value of your items.
So remember, while the landlord covers the property, the renter covers the contents within. Both individuals may have similar additions to their insurance policies, but they only cover the aspects of the home that they possess. Each policy is unique to the person holding it, so find the coverage that works best for you.
When considering a rental property purchase or looking for a place to rent, be sure to check with the professionals at Gaskill Realty. We help you navigate through the search and process to make it simple for you.