Whether you rent out your townhouse in Tulsa or you own an apartment complex in Oklahoma City, finding landlord insurance to cover your unique needs doesn't have to be burdensome. You have probably invested a lot of time and money into your rental unit, and you want to make sure you protect your income stream with adequate insurance. Before you search for landlord insurance quotes for Oklahoma rentals, however, there are a few things to consider.
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Why Is Landlord Insurance Important?
According to the National Multi Housing Council, only 8 percent of OK residents live in rental housing as of 2013. That may be why you became a landlord in the first place: There is a growing need for rentals as the housing market still works to recover.
With such a tight market on rental units, landlords should make sure they protect their investment properties (and their personal finances) with comprehensive landlord insurance policies.
Although Oklahoma does not require landlords to carry liability insurance on their rental properties, one storm or injury could significantly impact your savings due to uncovered repairs or litigation.
What Is Landlord Insurance?
As a landlord, you need insurance specific to your needs. A regular homeowners policy is not enough. Landlord insurance provides coverage for property owners renting out one or more residential homes, apartments or condos. You need protection from financial loss that may result from damage to a rental property due to fire, break-ins or the severe weather that Oklahoma experiences. Landlord insurance can also help cover loss of income in the event that your rental units become uninhabitable due to circumstances beyond your control.
What Are Your Coverage Options?
Most Oklahoma insurance companies offer landlord insurance policies with several options. Be sure to learn about their differences so you can determine the best type of policy for your rental needs:
- Property damage: This covers damage to your buildings and personal property due to fire, storm damage, theft, vandalism and tenant-caused damage.
- Liability insurance: This coverage protects you against liability claims and lawsuits from renters for accidents that are your legal responsibility to prevent.
- Loss of income: This insurance helps reimburse you for the loss of income due to a vacant condo, townhome or apartment unit because of destructive events beyond your control.
- Optional coverage options: Rent guarantee insurance, natural disaster insurance, employer liability insurance and landlord contents insurance are all additional coverage options that help protect your personal property items such as furnishings or carpet in the rental property.
What Does Landlord Insurance Cover?
In the case of bad weather, your property damage policy would pay to repair your rental unit after a fire or one of those Oklahoma tornadoes. This type of insurance also covers destruction of doors and windows after a burglary or vandalism on your property.
Someone could lean too hard on a loose railing on the staircase in your rental unit and take a fall. In this case, you could face a civil lawsuit in the succeeding weeks or months. Liability insurance helps protect your personal finances from such litigation by helping to pay your court fees and any settlement the individual may receive.
Loss of income insurance is a great option to ensure that your rental income continues after a flood renders your home or apartment building uninhabitable.
If you furnish any of your rental units with appliances, furniture or other items, a contents insurance policy rider may be good optional coverage so you don't have to worry about the cost to replace such items after a destructive event.
What Is an Average Landlord Insurance Quote?
The cost of landlord insurance can vary significantly based on several factors. A landlord who rents out a basement unit may see rates as low as $500, whereas a landlord with a 20-unit apartment complex may pay thousands of dollars each year in landlord insurance premiums. If you rent out a house that you eventually plan to sell, you may pay about 25 percent more for your landlord insurance than for homeowners insurance. Because renters tend to be a higher liability than homeowners, the two types of policies differ in price.
These following are factors that can affect your landlord insurance premium:
- Your location and any known risks in the area, e.g. high crime, in the area
- The size of the building
- How many rental units you own
- The age and condition of the building
- Whether your electrical wiring is up to current code
- The type and amount of coverage you are purchasing
- Whether the complex has gated access
- Your credit history
You May Be Eligible for Landlord Insurance Discounts
Most Oklahoma insurance companies offer discounts to responsible landlords. There are several ways to save money on your insurance policy premium, including the following:
- Installing fire alarms and sprinkler systems
- Installing burglar alarms
- Not allowing smoking inside the rental unit
You may also pay less for your landlord insurance if you bundle it with your homeowners or car insurance. Adjusting the deductible is another way to budget wisely. Just be sure you don't choose a deductible that is too high, leaving you unable to pay for needed repairs.
Where To Find the Best Landlord Insurance in Oklahoma
You have already taken the first step toward finding the most comprehensive and affordable landlord insurance available in Oklahoma by learning more about this important protection. The next step is to contact a knowledgeable Trusted Choice® independent insurance agent who can find the best quotes and policy for your unique needs. Trusted Choice independent agents have years of experience working with landlords to build insurance policies that secure their property and their finances.