South Dakota property values are on the rise. If you own rental properties in this booming state, you need landlord insurance to protect your investments. You can get quotes on landlord insurance to protect any townhomes, houses or apartments you rent out. Get a policy on a single property or find one that protects multiple homes. Landlord insurance can give you peace of mind that you have coverage for your South Dakota investments and that you have protection against the devastating effects of a major legal claim against you as a landlord.
The Rental Business Is Booming in South Dakota
- While U.S. rents declined 1.26% between 2009 and 2012, SD rents were up by 8.86%.
- In 2005, the average SD rent was $538. By 2012, it was $623.
- The SD rental vacancy rate is only 5.61%, low compared to the national rate of 6.77%.
- Rents in SD comprise just 16% of tenant income, on average.
The nation is starting to hear more and more about the opportunities available in South Dakota. With an unemployment rate of only 3.1 percent, affordable housing close to work and beautiful countryside, the state attracts many families and young professionals in search of a better quality of life. That creates a big demand for rental properties, resulting in one of the lowest vacancy rates in the country and slowly rising rent prices. That's good news for South Dakota landlords.
You Need Some Form of Landlord Insurance
Even if you only rent out a room in your home or an apartment over your garage, you need some form of landlord insurance. A typical homeowners policy contains property coverage for your building and liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage, but this coverage does not extend to tenants in your home.
A landlord policy can provide liability coverage to protect you from a portion of the cost of a claim against you. If a tenant or a tenant's guest slips on the front steps, for example, you could be liable for medical bills, damages, missed work and other court settlement costs, including your legal defense. The result could be the loss of your savings, future income and assets, including your rental properties. With the right landlord insurance policy, you can have peace of mind that these unexpected situations won't ruin your financial future.
What Does Landlord Insurance Cover in South Dakota?
- Rental property: South Dakota is subject to severe storms. Landlord insurance can cover your apartment buildings, houses, townhouses and all associated garages, carports and other outbuildings against storm damage and other covered events. These events usually include lightning, strong winds, hail, flying or falling debris, fire, burglary and vandalism. Since rental properties are statistically more likely to be the target of criminals, this coverage can come in handy.
- Landlord liability: The liability coverage in a landlord policy can go beyond the normal bodily injury and property damage coverage you get with a homeowners policy. Landlord liability coverage often covers personal injury suits like slander, wrongful eviction and invasion of privacy. It is your responsibility to keep a safe, well-maintained property. However, if an accident occurs or a tenant feels wronged, your landlord liability coverage can keep a lawsuit from bankrupting you.
- Rental business: If you employ groundskeepers, property managers or other staff for your rental properties, you probably need business insurance. This can include workers compensation insurance, business interruption coverage and extra liability.
- Umbrella insurance: If you want to increase and expand the limits of your liability coverage for your landlord policy, business policy, auto insurance and homeowners insurance, an umbrella policy can do that for you. It adds millions of dollars in liability coverage to your existing policies so you can rest assured that a claim against you won't come out of your pocket.
- Flood insurance: Landlord insurance does not cover natural flooding. But if your property is located in a community that participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, you can get a flood policy to protect you from the cost of mudflows and water damage.
How To Get Discounts on Landlord Insurance
The cost of your landlord insurance policy will depend on the size, type, age, condition and location of the property. However, you can do some things to keep costs as low as possible:
- Always shop around for quotes on landlord insurance. Often, an independent agent can do this for you. And find policies that the big companies can't match.
- Update the security systems, locks and gates on your properties regularly. This reduces the risk of a break-in and can reduce your insurance rates, too.
- Install a fire sprinkler system in the home or building. This can get you discounts up to 10 percent depending on the type of system you install and the insurance company you choose. It also saves property and lives in case of a fire.
- Keep the property well maintained, and update old wiring and plumbing to reduce the risk of fire and internal flooding.
Get professional help to maximize discounts. A local agent can evaluate the properties you want to insure and help you find ways to save money on your coverage.
Find Landlord Insurance Quotes in South Dakota
There are independent, Trusted Choice® agents right here in South Dakota who can help you get the quotes and coverage you need. A local agent can sit down with you to discuss your properties, your coverage needs and your budget. Independent agents work with a wide variety of insurers, so they can do the shopping around for you and make sure you're getting the best quotes. If you ever need to file a claim, your local agent can advocate for you with the insurer and help you get your properties up and running again as quickly as possible.
Contact an independent agent in your neighborhood to get more information and to get landlord insurance quotes appropriate for your situation.