Owners of rental property need to protect their investment from a variety of hazards and other circumstances that could cause financial hardship and lead to loss of rental income. If you are thinking about renting out your home or starting a rental property business, you should consider getting rental property insurance.
What About Homeowners Insurance?
Homeowners insurance is designed to cover any loss that you might experience through a break-in, if someone gets hurt on your property or if your home burns down. Unfortunately, many homeowners insurance policies might not offer protection if you decide to rent out your home. This is where landlord insurance in Massachusetts comes in and can help to provide coverage for your property and, in some cases, can even offer rental income coverage to recoup losses if you are unable to rent out your house during repairs.
The reason why most homeowners insurance policies won’t cover damages caused if your home is being rented is because they are designed to cover owner-occupied, single-family situations. If someone other than you is living in your home, they won’t be as careful and are more likely to cause damage through neglect or misuse than a true homeowner would. When you rent out your home, it can no longer be defined as an owner-occupied, single-family residence, so it no longer qualifies for coverage under a basic homeowners policy.
What About Short-Term Rentals?
If you are only renting out your home for a few weeks or for part of a season, you might still be covered under your basic homeowners policy. Check with your Fall River insurance agent to find out if you should get landlord insurance in Massachusetts to cover a part-time, short-term income property rental. Just make sure to speak with your agent and if they suggest that you get rental property insurance for that period of time that you will be renting your home, do everything you can to get it.
If you think about it, the risk of damage or injury is much higher for both you, as the property owner, and your insurance company, if you rent out your home on a full-time or extended time basis. More claims are filed on renter-occupied properties than owner-occupied properties simply because renters don’t take care of issues that homeowners would take care of and don’t usually report maintenance issues in a timely manner. Other issues that could be remedied by knowing where a gas or water shut-off is located that a homeowner would have knowledge of, can become bigger problems for renters that don’t know where things are.
What Type Rental Property Insurance is Available?
When you speak with your Fall River rental insurance agent about various types of landlord insurance in Massachusetts, it is important to find a policy that will cover the things that are most important to you. For example, if you are going to rent out your property on a regular basis, rental income coverage can be very helpful when it is available. This type of policy can protect you and pay you for up to 12-months if your home is uninhabitable following a claim while it is being repaired or rebuilt.
Landlord insurance in Massachusetts isn’t as broad in its coverage as a basic homeowners policy. Specific policies, such as a dwelling fire policy or a special perils policy that covers named issues and circumstances, are usually the most commonly available types of rental property insurance. When you decide to rent your property and become a landlord, speak with your Fall River rental insurance provider and ask about specific rental property insurance policies and other types of landlord coverage that are available.
It is important to note that landlord insurance in Massachusetts will cost between 15-20 percent more than what you were paying for your homeowners insurance policy. The increased risk is what causes the increased cost for the policy. Additional coverage, such as rental income coverage, if it is available, will be an extra charge as well. Ask your agent about an umbrella policy that would provide even more liability protection beyond the coverage available through your rental property insurance policy. This is particularly helpful if you were thinking about renting out multiple properties.
Where Can I Get Landlord Insurance in Massachusetts?
Your Fall River rental insurance agent can help you get a rental property insurance policy that will cover you and your home from liability, damage and total loss. Call Paul Sullivan Insurance Agency to find out more about rental property insurance and other types of business and commercial property insurance available in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.