With a location central to many of the nation's most popular locales, it's no wonder that Washington DC is so densely populated. Being a landlord in Washington DC can be difficult. With more than 30 percent of the residents of the District renting, apartments fill quickly. As a landlord, you want to protect your valuable real estate investment by having landlord insurance in place. The following information will guide you on getting quotes and securing your next landlord insurance policy.
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Relevant Facts About Washington, DC
- The crime rate in DC is among the highest in the nation.
- There are more than 31,000 apartments in DC
- 49 percent of apartment dwellers in DC spend more than 30 percent of their monthly income on rent.
- Washington, DC is among the most expensive places to live in the U.S.
As a landlord, you probably do background checks and credit checks on prospective tenants, but you can't predict what will happen once that tenant moves in. Additionally, weather events in Washington DC can be unpredictable. It's vital to have landlord insurance to protect your property from damage and litigation, just as you would with any other important asset.
What Is Washington DC Landlord Insurance?
Landlord insurance consists of one or more policies set up to protect you from the liabilities you face as a landlord. A typical landlord insurance policy in Washington DC may contain the following coverage:
- Property damage: Property damage covers you from events that can affect your property. This may include vandalism, fire, wind, rain and arson. To get the most effective coverage, it's important to ensure the entire value of the property.
- Liability insurance: Liability insurance protects you against liability claims and lawsuits. Unfortunately, injuries happen, and, in today's litigious society, liability insurance protects you from lawsuits. If a visitor or tenant slips and falls or is injured on your property, you could face major financial costs or even a lawsuit. Additionally, landlords are responsible for keeping properties maintained. If you neglect to keep your property up to code or know of a damaged property but neglect to fix it, you could be liable for damage to your tenant's property.
- Loss of income: If a storm or other disaster renders your property uninhabitable, loss of income insurance can help you keep your financial boat afloat while your property undergoes repairs.
- Optional coverage: There are many types of additional insurance options available such as rent guarantee insurance, natural disaster insurance, employer liability insurance, and landlord contents insurance in case you have personal property such as carpeting or furniture inside the rental.
What About Your Tenant's Belongings?
Many tenants are under the assumption that the owner's insurance policy will protect their belongings. Many tenants find out too late that this is not true. In order to have their belongings protected by insurance, renters must have a renters insurance policy in place covering the value of their items. A landlord insurance policy typically covers what's termed as "to the studs," meaning that anything beyond the studs of the rental property extending to the middle of the rental unit is excluded from the landlord policy, so personal effects, light fixtures, etc. are typically not covered by the landlord's insurance policy.
What Factors Influence Landlord Insurance Quotes in DC?
The cost of a landlord policy can vary greatly, as the insurance needed to insure one apartment is much different from the insurance coverage needed to insure an entire complex. When searching for landlord insurance policies in Washington DC, be sure to make yourself familiar with the following factors:
- The location of the rental
- The size of the rental
- The number of units you are renting
- Age/condition of building
- Whether wiring/plumbing/electrical are all up to code
- Whether the complex has a pool or fitness center
- Whether units are rented to smokers
- Whether there are fire sprinklers/smoke detectors installed
- Whether the property has gated access/other security system
- Whether pets are allowed
- Type of coverage preferred
- Deductibles preferred
Insurance agents consider all these factors, among others, before they give you quotes for landlord insurance. It's important to answer these questions accurately so you can get an insurance policy that covers you appropriately.
Are There Discounts Available on Landlord Insurance in DC?
There are many discounts available on landlord insurance policies in Washington DC. These discounts include the following:
- New customer discount
- Loyal customer discount
- Multi-policy discount
- Security system discount
- Paid-in-full discount
- Industry/group affiliation discount
This list is not exhaustive, and there may be other discounts available to you. You should ask your agent about any discounts you may not be aware of.
How Do You Get Landlord Insurance in Washington DC?
When it comes to getting landlord insurance to protect your rental property, it's important to have a professional by your side to make sure you get the best coverage. A Trusted Choice® agent is always available to help you streamline coverage, answer questions or even file a claim.
Contact a local Trusted Choice insurance agent to get quotes and to get the right landlord insurance to protect your rental properties.