Whether you own a multistory apartment building with dozens of units or you are simply renting out the summer cabin near North Bend State Park in West Virginia, landlord insurance is a must.
Not only may West Virginia laws require you to carry landlord insurance, the right policy can save you from financial disaster.
Before searching for landlord insurance quotes, however, it's important to keep a few things in mind.
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Why Is Ladlord Insurance Important?
A comprehensive landlord insurance policy will protect your West Virginia investment property so you can rent it out with confidence.
Landlord's rental property insurance provides all the coverage you need to protect your property from damage and to protect you from liability claims that could cripple you financially. Don't let a disgruntled tenant destroy your ability to rent out your apartment or home. Landlord insurance can protect your savings from litigation and extensive damage due to natural or man-made disasters.
What Does Landlord Insurance Cover?
Most landlord rental property insurance covers:
- Your West Virginia rental building
- Other private structures, such as a garage or shed
- Any personal property, such as tools, appliances, and furniture, stored on-site or provided by you, for use by your tenants
You may also consider adding a liability protection to your landlord insurance policy. Let's say there's a loose handrail on your rental property and it causes your tenant or your tenant's guest to fall. You may be found negligent for not repairing the handrail and therefore be legally responsible to pay for the injured person's medical bills and lost wages. Liability protection can help protect you from financial loss if you're legally obligated to pay for another person's injuries or damage to their property. Some landlord insurance policies also provide your legal defense and pay for a portion of your lost wages when you are asked to attend trials and hearings.
What Options are Available for Landlord Insurance?
Most West Virginia insurance companies will give you two options to choose from:
- Landlord's Rental Dwelling Insurance: This policy covers you if you own a rental building designed for one to four families.
- Landlord's Rental Condominium Insurance: If you own a condo in West Virginia and rent it out, this coverage is for you.
While searching for landlord insurance quotes, consider comparing premiums based on different deductible amounts, too. The deductible is how much you must pay, at the time of a claim, from your own pocket to cover the loss or damage of property, structure damage, contents and other things included in your policy. The steeper the deductible, the lower the premiums, and vice versa.
It is important not to get too far in over your head with a deductible. Though you may hope to not have a reason to ever file a claim with your policy, you should not plan it this way. Policy holders often agree to more deductible than they can realistically cover to save money on premiums.
Should a disaster occur and you need to file a claim, you may not even be able to come up with the money needed to cover the deductible. People forget that if something happens you are more than likely going to need money for other reasons, aside from a deductible. Not only that, but if you have damage to your rental property, you will not be able to collect rent from tenants until the repairs are complete. So, when you get your West Virginia landlord insurance quotes, do a little comparison. Find a deductible you can truly cover, should the need arise.
What Isn't Covered by Landlord Insurance?
Landlords insurance protects a rental property from accidental and sudden losses. However, there are some losses that aren't covered.
- Breakdowns in the rental property: Most landlords insurance does not cover basic maintenance repairs. For example, if your water heater breaks, your coverage most likely will not help to replace the water heater. (But it may help pay for the damage to your floors.)
- Personal property: The items owned by your tenants, such as their clothing, electronics and other personal possessions, aren't covered under most landlords insurance policies. You may want to
advise your tenants to find a renters insurance policy to protect their belongings when they sign a lease with you. Also, damage due to vandalism caused by a tenant is not typically covered by the landlords policy, unless you purchase additional vandalism coverage, and the damage is within the policy limit.
- Floods, earthquakes and water backup: Typically, floods, earthquakes and water (sewer) backups are excluded from most landlord insurance. If your rental unit is located in an area of West Virginia at risk of earthquakes or floods, it may be a good idea to look into additional policies that cover these types of events.
How Can I Increase My Protection?
Below are just a few of the optional coverages West Virginia insurance companies offer that you may be able to purchase either as add-ons to your current landlord insurance policy or as a separate policy.
- Vandalism: Provides more coverage to help pay for repairs or replacement to your dwelling due to vandalism and provides coverage for belongings used for the rental property.
- Burglary: Provides more coverage to help pay for repairs or replacement to your dwelling due to burglary and provides coverage for belongings used for the rental property.
- Rental Property Under Construction: If you're renovating or building a new construction rental property, this coverage covers the dwelling prior to being ready for occupancy.
- Flood insurance: Some parts of West Virginia are at high risk for annual floods. If your rental property is located in one of these areas, this type of policy may be a good idea.
What's an Average Quote for Landlord Insurance?
Although landlord insurance is typically more expensive than homeowners insurance in West Virgina, it should come as a nice surprise to prospective landlords that insurance rates can be extremely low, starting as low as $50 per month for required liability coverage.
The first step in comparing quotes for landlord insurance is to decide what you want. As an example, your list of needed coverage to compare might look like this:
- Replacement cost coverage on all dwellings and other structures
- Coverage for fire, smoke, lightning, wind, hail and ice damage
- Water damage from burst pipes
- $1,000,000 in landlord liability
- $5,000 of medical payments coverage
- Loss of rent coverage in the event that your rental becomes uninhabitable
- Contents coverage for any furnishings you supply
Bring your list of needs to your meeting with your insurance agent who will help you make a direct comparison between similar policies.
Find Landlord Insurance Savings
Your West Virginia rental property is nearly ready to start taking tenants. Find the perfect landlord insurance policy when you contact a knowledgeable Trusted Choice® independent insurance agent and give your investment property the best start possible.