Some Rhode Island residents invest in property specifically to rent it out, while others find themselves thrown into the rental business. Maybe you owned a house during the market slump, and found that renting rooms was an easy way to pay the mortgage. Or maybe you have a vacation house that you only rent during the summer months. Sometimes you can become a landlord when you move and decide to hang on to your old house. Being a landlord can be a rewarding job that provides an extra income, but it’s always a good idea to protect yourself with Rhode Island landlord insurance.
Unless your job title is officially “landlord,” it can be hard to tell when you’ve stepped into the position, especially if your rental situation isn’t traditional. Landlords can own townhomes, houses, entire apartment complexes and even one condominium in an entire unit. Landlords can own many different properties or just one house, and even reside there. The numbers of properties and tenants, as well as potential risks, are going to determine your need for Rhode Island landlord insurance.
For most rental properties, you will need to purchase an entirely separate policy from a standard homeowners policy. If you have a vacation property in Briar Point Beach which is only rented out several weeks during the summer, your homeowner policy should cover any damage. The same principle applies if you are renting out a room in your house, but check with your insurance company before move in day, to see if extra coverage is needed.
If you have a regular renter, Rhode Island landlord insurance will cover property damage similar to a homeowner policy. This covers burglary, fire, wind, and indoor flooding from broken pipes. It can also cover damage left by tenants, due to neglect or accident.
But the main coverage provided by a landlord policy is liability coverage. While many lease contracts are binding, you run the risk of lawsuit by being a landlord. If a tenant decides to sue for an accident that takes place in the rental home, your liability coverage can take care of settlement costs and your legal defense, up to the limits of your policy. You can increase your liability coverage further, and broaden its scope, by purchasing an umbrella policy, also known as extra liability.
A landlord insurance policy won’t cover your tenant’s personal belongings. It’s always a good practice to suggest renters purchase renters insurance. It also cannot cover natural flooding, such as excess rain, river overflow, or storm surge. For flood coverage, find a policy through the National Flood Insurance Program. A local, independent agent can help you find a flood policy.
Rates for Rhode Island landlord insurance vary. Similar to a homeowner’s policy, there are certain factors that are going to determine the cost of your policy. Risk factors like natural disasters and crime level are taken into account, as well as the value of the rental property. You should also think about the number of renters who reside the building. Each person represents another risk factor, so make sure your coverage limits can handle damage and injuries.
As a landlord, you’re expected to maintain a habitable residence for your renters, and insurance coverage can help you. If you’re concerned with budget, contact a Trusted Choice® member agent. Your agent can compare different options from multiple insurance companies to find a policy that works for you. Find a local agent today to get started.