Becoming a landlord is a big step for any homeowner. There are plenty of considerations before, during, and after the tenants come under your roof. Insurance shouldn’t be a stress factor, but it is important to make sure you protect your home with the right coverage before handing over the keys.
First, you’ll need to look at the nature of the rental. If you plan to rent for six months to a year, this is considered a long-term rental. If you plan to use your home as a vacation rental which includes weekly or longer stays, this is considered a short term rental. In both cases you will need a policy separate from traditional homeowner’s insurance. For brief rent-outs, your insurance may allow a one or two-time occurrence—it’s best to call and check. Business transactions like using your home for a Bed and Breakfast are a whole other case.
If you plan to rent long-term or short term, a landlord policy will insure your home from natural disasters, as well as protect certain items you leave with the property, like a lawnmower, your appliances, or furniture. In the event someone is injured on your property, a landlord policy also covers you as the owner for liability. Landlord policies usually cover loss of income due to home damages, a piece of mind if you need renters to vacate during home repairs.
One thing to keep in mind: the policies that cover you as the homeowner do not apply to those renting the home. Some landlords opt to put a clause into their contract that requires tenants to purchase renter’s insurance to cover their belongings, and provide the renter with liability coverage.
If you are thinking of renting out your home for long or short term use, contact your insurance agent to make sure you get the coverage you need. Whether it’s making small adjustments to your current policy or purchasing a brand new policy, insuring your investment is a way to protect your home, even when you aren’t living under its familiar roof.