In addition to home insurance, we also provide rental insurance. This is specific coverage for your rental properties such as a rental home and rental condo. We also insure duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes under what's known as a personal policy. Buildings that contain 5 or more units can be insured under a commercial property policy available from Shorr Agency.
One of the primary differences between a home insurance policy and a rental policy, is that rental policies exclude theft coverage. This is also one of the reasons it is generally less expensive compared to a traditional home insurance policy.
When a new policy is issued, insurance companies will inspect your rental property. Generally, if a property shows "Pride of Ownership," then you shouldn't have to satisfy any additional requirements. However, if the insurance inspector discovers that you have bars on your windows which may prevent a tenant from escaping the home in the event of a fire, then the insurance company will most likely require you to remove them.
Additionally, if the exterior paint is peeling or missing or if wood trim needs to be replaced, then the insurance company will allow you some time to make the necessary repairs in order to continue the insurance.
Older homes with flat roofs may be a problem. If the roof is 10 years or newer and leak free, then you'll be fine. However, if the roof is older than 10 years, then you'll need to have a licensed roofing contractor certify that the roof is in good condition and free of leaks.
Other concerns that come up during inspections have to do with cracked pavement walkways and driveways. Insurance companies are concerned that a 3rd party could trip and fall on uneven surfaces causing a liability claim. It's important to remedy all these things before applying for a new policy.
Make sure that stair railings are up to current building codes. They must be securely fastened and the distance between the slats must be small enough to prevent a child from slipping through.
Vacation rentals can be insured in specialty insurance markets. It's important to let your agent know if your rental property is rented on a weekly or monthly basis. If so, your rental insurance will need to be placed with a specialty carrier.
If you're a renter, then there is specific coverage just for you. Don't rely on your landlord's insurance to cover you in the event of a loss. The landlord's policy won't cover you for loss from theft. Also, if the unit happens to suffer from a water damage loss, then your renter's policy will cover you for your damaged items and allow you to move temporarily out during the repairs and pay for your "Loss of Use" of the home.
As long as you're on top of things, then obtaining rental insurance is a snap! As a renter, don't forget that it's prudent for you to obtain your own coverage to protect your personal belongings. Call 1-888-737-6200 for more information.