As a landlord and an entrepreneur, you have a responsibility to handle the care and upkeep of your property. You want to attract and retain tenants who pay rent on time and treat your property well. Being a responsible owner means having landlord insurance to protect your investment as well as that of the lender in the case of a financed purchase. Here’s what you should know about common insurance claims.
Your insurance should include coverage for general liability. This covers any injuries or illnesses that a tenant, tenant’s guest, or other visitors might experience while on the premises of your property. Most general liability claims include accidental slips, trips, and falls. Imagine an occupant tripping over exposed tree roots in the front yard and fracturing a bone in the process. General liability protection helps pay for medical bills and personal property damage. This is why it’s important to not only carry this coverage but also be proactive about removing hazards in and around the home.
Loss of Rental Income
California landlords can find themselves upside down financially if they’re unable to keep their properties occupied with paying tenants. Even if your rental property is safe, clean, well-maintained, and priced competitively, it may be difficult to find good tenants. Economic issues, pandemics, and other events beyond your control can negatively impact your bottom line, making it impossible to keep up with monthly payments. Loss of rental income coverage is a valuable benefit of landlord insurance.
Damage by Tenant
Tenant damage is a common cause for insurance claims. Whether it’s accidental, or malicious damage, your insurance can cover any losses you experience. Even intentional, but non-malicious damage such as holes in the wall from hanging items may be included in your plan. Ultimately, property maintenance is your responsibility, and major damage from a tenant could impact your ability to keep your units occupied.
Fire coverage is a key feature in your landlord insurance policy. Your property may be completely destroyed by fire, including electrical wiring problems, malfunctioning appliances, unattended candles, or accidental combustion of flammable materials. Your policy covers everything you own inside of the building. It does not cover the building itself or your tenants’ possessions. Damage from smoke and soot are other consequences of a fire, so it’s important to know and confirm what your plan covers.
Water damage coverage is important to have as there are many potential sources for this issue. A leaky pipe, toilet overflow, a broken washing machine or dishwasher, or sewage backup are just a few of the problems that can lead to damage from water. This type of damage may also include water that is unsanitary and contains harmful contaminants. Unattended spills and leaks can also create problems with mold and deterioration of building materials. Mold, in particular, can lead to health issues for occupants.
Storms and Natural Disasters
Although storms and certain natural disasters tend to be influenced by geography, California landlords should know what their policies cover. Wildfires and earthquakes are more common in the Golden State than winter storms and hurricanes. Your landlord insurance may not be sufficient for these weather events, requiring you to procure separate policies or special coverage limits. It may be impossible to prevent damages related to storms and natural disasters, but you may be able to take preventive measures that can help minimize damage.
The good news is that you don’t have to figure out your insurance needs on your own. We stand ready as your partner for real insurance solutions that benefit you and the occupants of your building. Contact us at 800-644-6443 to see what’s possible when it comes to covering risks and loss uncertainties for your California rental property.