Landlord Insurance Vs. Homeowners Insurance

A landlord speaks with an insurance agent at his desk after learning about a type of homeowners insurance for landlords

If you’re considering renting out your property to tenants, you may be wondering what type of insurance policy you’ll need to protect it. Whether you plan on having residents full-time or only part-time, here’s what to know about homeowners insurance vs. landlord insurance to help you determine which is right for your situation.

What does landlord insurance cover?

Similar to a home insurance policy, landlord insurance offers coverage for the building and other structures if they’re damaged from a covered loss such as a fire, lightning, wind or hail. Along with dwelling and other structures coverage, it also can provide coverage for personal property that is used to service the rental such as a lawn mower. The liability portion of landlord insurance can help pay for medical bills or your legal expenses if someone is injured on the rental property and you’re found responsible. 

What does landlord insurance not cover?

A landlord policy typically doesn’t cover maintenance and equipment breakdown repairs or tenants belongings. If you share the property with tenants, you most likely won’t qualify for landlord insurance, but you may be able to add coverage to your homeowners insurance policy. 

Difference Between Landlord Insurance and Homeowners Insurance

Both homeowners insurance and landlord insurance offer coverage for the structure of the property, but the key differences are personal property coverage and liability coverage. Homeowners insurance provides coverage for personal belongings such as furniture and clothing, while landlord insurance only provides coverage for items used to service the rental property. As for liability coverage, homeowners insurance provides coverage for every member of a household, whether the accident happens in the home or somewhere else. The liability coverage portion of landlord insurance only provides coverage relating to the rented premises. 

Extra Insurance Coverage for Landlords to Consider

There are other home insurance coverage types that landlords may want to consider adding to a landlord insurance policy, such as:

  • Vandalism Coverage: If your property is damaged by vandalism, it typically isn’t covered by landlord insurance. 
  • Burglary Coverage: Your landlord insurance policy should provide coverage for your property if it’s damaged during a break-in, however, it typically won’t help replace stolen items. 
  • Rental Property Under Construction: If you’re renovating your rental property, you may consider getting additional coverage to help protect the structure until it’s ready for tenants. 
  • Building Codes Coverage: If you’re repairing your rental property after it’s been damaged, you may be required to update items such as ventilation or wiring if the city or county codes have changed since your property was originally built. This coverage can help pay for those additional costs. 

Protect Your Tenants with Renters Insurance

Since landlord insurance only protects the structure of the property, renters insurance—also known as tenant insurance—is a type of home insurance coverage that helps protect the tenant and their belongings. The typical renters insurance policy has three types of coverage: personal property, liability and additional living expenses. 

SelectQuote Can Help Landlords Find the Right Insurance Policy

At SelectQuote, we can help you navigate the complexities of buying insurance coverage as a landlord. We can answer any questions you have, explain the details of your coverage options and help you find the right insurance coverage at the right price for you.

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