Landlord Insurance in West Virginia
Experts break down landlord insurance costs, coverage, companies, and more in West Virginia.
In West Virginia, 73% of housing units are owner-occupied, which leaves around 27% of properties that are likely being used as rentals. Whether you have a summer rental or own an entire apartment complex, landlord insurance is a must.
Before searching for landlord insurance, it's best to connect with a local independent insurance agent. Agents in West Virginia know local laws and requirements and will shop insurance quotes to find you an affordable policy that fits your needs.
What Is Landlord Insurance?
Renting out your home requires different coverage than if you're occupying your home. Landlord insurance provides coverage for the structure of your rental property and personal property that you leave in the house for the tenants to use.
It's slightly different from homeowners insurance because it's tailored to specific risks that you're exposed to when you rent out your property, such as damage from tenants and to any appliances and tools you leave in the home.
While homeowners insurance also covers your appliances and personal property, you must be occupying your home full time to purchase homeowners coverage.
What Does Landlord Insurance Cover in West Virginia?
Landlord insurance is designed to protect the building of your rental and your property inside from potential liabilities, natural disasters, and other unexpected events. The two basic policies that make up this coverage are landlord liability insurance and property insurance.
Landlord liability insurance: If the tenant or one of their friends is at your rental property and injures themselves, they could claim that the injury resulted from poor maintenance of the property on the owner's part. If the court agrees, you could be left responsible for legal fees and medical bills associated with the claim. Landlord liability insurance pays for this and other associated costs from third-party injury claims or third-party property damage claims.
Property insurance: If a severe storm starts an electrical fire at your property, property insurance will help pay for any damage that occurs to the building, detached structures, appliances, tools, or other property that you own inside the home. It will also cover damage from wind, lightning, hail, falling trees, flying debris, vandalism, and burglary.
In addition to landlord liability and property insurance, you may benefit from added coverages depending on your situation. Talk to your independent insurance agent about the following add-on options:
- Loss of income coverage
- Loss of rent coverage
- Flood insurance
- Earthquake insurance
- Umbrella liability
Your agent can advise you on which coverages will most benefit you and recommend any policies to fill gaps in your coverage.
Do I Need Flood Insurance in West Virginia?
Flooding is the most common natural disaster to cause damage to homes in West Virginia, so flood insurance is critical coverage. Flooding from natural waters is excluded from landlord insurance coverage, so you must work with your agent to purchase a separate policy.
Flood insurance is a government-backed coverage offered through the National Flood Insurance Program. You must go through a certified insurance provider to purchase it, which your agent can handle.
The good news is that your landlord insurance policy will cover flooding from burst pipes or non-natural waters.
How Much Does Landlord Insurance Cost in West Virginia?
Landlord insurance tends to cost more than West Virginia homeowners insurance because of the increased risk of renting out property to a third party. On average, you can expect to pay 15%-25% more than homeowners insurance for a landlord policy.
- Average homeowners insurance cost in West Virginia: $940
Knowing the average price can give you a base point, but many things are considered when quoting landlord insurance premiums. The insurance carrier will inquire about the following:
- How many rental properties you have
- The age, size, and value of the property
- The type of coverage you want
- How much coverage you want to purchase
- Where the property is located
- Potential weather risks in the area
- Local crime rates
- Your desired deductible
- Whether you have safety measures installed or not
- If the property has added amenities like a pool
All of these things can impact your premiums. There are ways to reduce your costs, such as installing burglar alarms, sprinkler systems, and other safety measures, as well as bundling policies. Your agent can help you determine if you qualify for discounts and guide you in other saving options.
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Can a Landlord Require Renters Insurance in West Virginia?
Yes, West Virginia property owners can require that their tenants obtain renters coverage in order to occupy the home. While it's important for the owner to have protection, any personal items that the tenant moves into the property will be excluded from the landlord insurance policy. It's important that tenants understand their individual risks when renting property and adequately compensate for that.
It's recommended that landlords require tenants to have $100,000 in personal liability coverage, $30,000 in personal property coverage, and $1,000 in medical bills coverage. Of course, these numbers will vary depending on the value of the renter's property.
Does Landlord Insurance Cover Tenant Damage in West Virginia?
Tenant damage is a covered peril within the property insurance coverage In a landlord policy. Situations that are typically covered include accidental damage, such as a kitchen fire.
There are some exclusions and specific scenarios where you would not be covered, such as intentional damage, so it's important to work with your agent to understand these situations.
What Are the Best Landlord Insurance Companies in West Virginia?
When it comes to purchasing landlord insurance, you'll have multiple insurance companies to choose from. For the average consumer, knowing what to look for in a company and tracking down multiple insurance quotes can become overwhelming. An easy solution is working with an independent insurance agent who has built relationships with insurance carriers across the state.
Agents understand which company has a good reputation for customer service, alongside reliable coverages, and can guide you in selecting a policy from one of the best landlord insurance companies in West Virginia.
Why Shop Landlord Insurance with a West Virginia Independent Insurance Agent?
Insuring your property is something that shouldn't be taken lightly. Protecting your investment and your personal assets is a top priority, so enlisting the help of an independent insurance agent is putting an expert in your corner.
There's no fee for speaking with an agent to hear about what they can offer you. They'll go over your rental properties and insurance needs and shop multiple landlord insurance quotes in West Virginia for you. Agents can answer your questions and be a continuous source of support throughout the shopping, purchasing, and claim filing process.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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