Home Insurance for Landlords

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If you have renters in your home, be they tenants or roommates, in a scenario where you are the owner, and they’re the renter, you are technically a landlord. Your home insurance is going to be affected in different ways. Here’s what you need to know:


Many providers will allow up to two roommates with no changes being made to your policy.

Number of Roommates

Three or more roommates will usually raise your premiums. Again, different insurers have different rules in this regard, but three is the most common cut-off for free pass roommates and tenants.

Renters Insurance

It’s generally a good idea for every renter to have their own renters insurance and liability coverage. Your policy might cover your possessions, but not theirs’. Further, if your roommate is sued for something that happened on your property, and they do not have liability protection, then you might become the next viable target for a lawsuit.

Individual Leases

You will need a lease for all insurance-related matters. Many roommate/tenant scenarios are fairly informal. You rent a room out to a friend who’s struggling to find a place of their own, a cousin who just flew into town, and you might not want to bring a lot of paperwork into the situation. But you should at least write up a lease with every new tenant to make sure that you have documentation should you need to file a claim. It should clearly list the responsibilities of each tenant.

Long-term House Guest

If someone moves in but is not technically paying rent, then they’re simply a long-term house guest. In this case, all of the same rules apply as with any guest, even if they’re staying for more than just a few nights. That is: You are responsible for the additional liability you invite into your home with another person. If they have their property stolen, there may be no recourse for filing a claim as they are not officially a resident of the home. Therefore, they would only be able to make a claim on their own homeowners insurance, if they even have one. This is where the lease comes in handy.

You are technically a landlord when you have roommates in a home that you own, no matter how informal the arrangement. While your home insurance needs may not be as extensive as if you were renting the entire house out to another family, you do have more things to consider than the average homeowner. If you want to rent out that spare bedroom, just make sure to be up front with your insurance provider so that they can let you know what you need to do.

FAQ’s About Home Insurance for Landlords

What is landlord home insurance?

Landlord home insurance, also known as rental property insurance, is a policy designed to protect landlords from financial losses related to their rental properties. It typically covers the building itself, loss of rental income, and liability protection in case a tenant or visitor suffers injury due to property maintenance issues.

How does landlord insurance differ from standard home insurance?

Standard home insurance is intended for properties that are owner-occupied and does not provide coverage for rental activities. Landlord insurance, on the other hand, is specifically tailored to cover the unique risks associated with renting out a property, such as tenant damage, legal fees, and loss of rental income.

What does a basic landlord insurance policy cover?

A basic landlord insurance policy generally covers the physical property against damage from fire, storm, theft, and other common perils. It also often includes liability coverage, which protects the landlord if someone is injured on the property and files a lawsuit, and loss of income coverage in case the property becomes uninhabitable due to a covered loss.

Are my tenants’ belongings covered by landlord insurance?

No, landlord insurance typically does not cover the personal belongings of tenants. Tenants should purchase their own renters’ insurance to protect their personal property.

Can I get coverage for accidental damage caused by tenants?

Yes, many insurance companies offer optional coverage for accidental damage caused by tenants. This can be added to your landlord insurance policy for an additional premium.

Is landlord insurance required by law?

Landlord insurance itself is not legally required, but if you have a mortgage on your rental property, your lender will most likely require some form of insurance to protect the investment.

How much does landlord insurance cost?

The cost of landlord insurance varies based on several factors, including the location and value of the property, the amount of coverage, the type of property, and the rental situation. It’s generally more expensive than standard home insurance due to the increased risks involved in renting.

Does landlord insurance cover loss of rent?

Yes, most landlord insurance policies include coverage for loss of rent if the property becomes uninhabitable due to a covered loss, such as fire or severe storm damage. This helps to compensate the landlord for the rental income they would have received if the property was being rented out during the repair period.

How do I file a claim on my landlord insurance policy?

To file a claim on your landlord insurance policy, you should contact your insurance provider as soon as possible after the incident. You will likely need to provide documentation of the damage or loss, such as photos or police reports, and complete a claims form. The insurance company will then assess the claim and determine the compensation based on your policy’s coverage.

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