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The landlord/tenant relationship isn’t always a definitive one. These sorts of agreements can range from charging your recent college graduate nominal rent while he/she lives in your RV parked in the driveway to renting out said grad’s room to a permanent tenant for a little extra income. Maybe you have a vacation getaway that you lease the time you are not there or maybe your own home is on the Air BnB website. Do you know how much your standard homeowners policy will cover and when you may need additional coverage?
These scenarios could or could not be construed as a landlord-tenant relationship, depending on your insurance company. Sometimes your standard homeowners policy will cover a tenant scenario, sometimes a policy endorsement is necessary, and sometimes a landlord policy will be needed.
Landlord policies provide property insurance coverage for any physical damage to the structure of the home caused by fire, lightning, wind, hail, ice, snow or other covered perils. It also offers coverage for any personal property you may leave on-site for maintenance or tenant use, like appliances, lawnmowers and snow blowers. The policy also includes liability coverage; if a tenant or one of their guests gets hurt on the property, it would cover legal fees, due to injury claims, and medical expenses.
Remember that, unless you told them, your insurance company did not consider any rental situation when your homeowners policy was issued. If you haven’t shared that information with them when you do take on a tenant, they still won’t know, and that could translate into denying a claim if one becomes necessary.
If you think you may be a landlord in whatever iteration, it would definitely be in your best interest to sit down with your insurance professional and talk about which coverages you already have and what additional protection you may need.