Most people don’t know about landlord liability coverage, unless they are a landlord.

If you own property with tenants, or if you rent your beach house out for the summer, you need landlord insurance.

Renting is very popular these days. While the number of rental units grows, so does the responsibility of owning a rental property. As a landlord, you not only have to find good tenants, but you’re also responsible for the property’s upkeep and maintenance.

Landlord insurance protects the home or structure you rent and provides liability coverage. Liability coverage pays for any lawsuits against you brought on by tenants. As the owner of a rental property, it’s important to note that your standard homeowners policy only covers owner-occupied homes. So if you start renting out to someone else, that coverage no longer applies.

Renters are generally not held liable when an appliance malfunctions, a person suffers an injury on the property (through no fault of the tenant), a forest fire damages the home, or if the home is burglarized. The tenant’s renter’s policy only covers their belongings. This means you, the property-owner, would be left out to dry for these or other misfortunes caused by humans or Mother Nature.

What’s Covered

Insurance policies vary, but most landlord insurance policies offer coverage for the following:

Property Damage Insurance

This covers any physical damage to the home caused by fire, bad weather or a break-in. It also covers any additional buildings, including a shed or detached garage. Equipment, like lawn mowers and snow blowers kept on the property to maintain it, is also covered.

Liability Insurance

If someone is injured while living in your rental property or visiting it, landlord insurance can help cover that person’s medical costs, legal fees and settlements.

Loss of Income Insurance

If your rental property is damaged by a covered loss, such as a fire or tornado, and the damage keeps you from renting it out, most policies will reimburse you for the lost income during that time.

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