Landlord Liability Insurance

Finding the Best Landlord Liability Insurance

(Because tenants will be tenants)

June 18, 2018
Couple in boots on flooded floor

You wanna be a landlord, huh? Or… you’re already one and just want to make sure you have the right coverage in place. Whatever the case may be, landlording is a task that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Cutting corners and skipping steps can turn your dreams of being a real estate mogul into a financial nightmare.

Landlord Liability Insurance is key to keep you and your property-owning game on point. Our independent agents handle all the behind-the-scenes dirty work, digging up sweet policy options and prices to protect you against the unexpected.

What is Landlord Liability Insurance aka lessor’s risk insurance?

Basically, it’s a way to protect you financially if a tenant or guest tries to sue you for damages. Damages can mean anything from financial strain to emotional harm to physical injury, or even death. 

What Does Landlord Liability Insurance Cover?

Liability insurance for landlords is there for YOU. It’s ready to swoop in, cover your legal expenses and any nasty medical bills. Just like bug bites, legal claims can come in all shapes and sizes. They include everything from slip and falls, property damage to break-ins and beyond. 

  • Landlord liability insurance: covers the cost associated with your legal defense, whether or not you are found to be at fault.

Even with important maintenance and safety measures in place, not every liability situation can be prevented. Here’s a few liability scenarios to think about:

  • Staircase railing breaks, sending a guest back to the bottom floor on their back
  • A tenant falls on a shoddy sidewalk
  • Black mold is popping up on the property and tenants are getting sick
  • A burglar breaks in because the locks were installed all willy-nilly
  • A tenant is evicted without due process
  • A tenant is denied a lease, suing on the grounds of discrimination

With so many different types of incidents, we hope you see the importance of securing enough coverage to help you in any type of claim situation.

Pro tip: extend your coverage by enhancing your landlord liability insurance with an umbrella policy.

Liability Insurance vs Renter’s Insurance

Even though it’s not legally required, a landlord may want a tenant to purchase renter’s insurance as a stipulation in the lease agreement. In fact, it’s a pretty good idea. 

It helps ensure the landlord that if something goes wrong, that it will be taken care of. But what falls under a tenant’s responsibility and what’s the landlord’s. This is where it can get tricky. 

Like examples? Here’s a couple:

Example: The dog bite

Say a guest is bitten by a dog. That guest can sue the landlord for medical damages, emotional distress and so on. But if the lease agreement says no dogs over 10 pounds and it was a big ol’ Great Dane that bit the guest, the fault would fall on the tenant.

Example: The fight

Say a tenant was assaulted by someone on the property. Well, that would be the fault of the person who attacked the tenant, right? Not necessarily. If the locks to the complex’s main door or another security measure didn’t work properly. Then, the fault would most likely be placed on the landlord.

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Is Landlord Liability Insurance Mandatory?

If you’ve got a loan, probably. If not, no. No US states currently require landlord liability insurance be purchased by the property owner. But honestly, we think it’s pretty silly NOT to have it.

Why Should I Buy Landlord Liability Insurance?

To be frank, because anybody can sue anybody for anything. And if a jury decides you could have done more to protect your tenants, you could be facing financial ruin.

Even if the claim rules in your favor, just walking into court will cost you thousands and thousands of dollars. Far more than those annual premiums you may have shaken your head at.

Bottom line: There’s too much risk not to protect yourself.

How Much Does Landlord Liability Insurance Cost?

Depends, really. There’s a ton of factors that go into the price of coverage. Among those are:

  • What is it? Is it a pool house? A 200-unit megaplex?
  • Where is it? In the city? In the suburbs? On an island? In a flood zone?
  • Whatcha doin’ with it? Renting a small unit out to a sweet retired couple for the winter? Renting space on a busy road to a convenience store?
  • And more.

As in every case, it’s important to talk to your agent about your situation so they can help tailor your coverage. They’re crafty like that.

Comparing Landlord Liability Insurance Quotes 

Our agents will review your needs and help you evaluate which type of landlord insurance makes the most sense for you. They'll also compare policies and quotes from multiple insurance carriers to make sure you have the right protection in place. For you and your tenants.

Sweet Benefits of an Independent Agent 

Insurance policies can be complex and searching through options can be confusing, time consuming and frustrating. An independent agent's role is to simplify the process. 

They’ll make sure you get the right coverage that meets your unique needs. Not only that, they’ll break down all the jargon and explain the nitty gritty bits, so you understand exactly what you're getting.

TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin

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