Changes in the housing market are creating a desire in investors to get back into purchasing rental property.
Investors of habitational property with less than five units – single family homes, duplexes, or small apartment buildings – should consider a dwelling insurance policy to protect their real estate investments. Dwelling insurance covers the physical structure of a home, but not the contents of the property. The coverage protects against losses due to certain named perils like lightning, fire, water, wind, hail, sinkholes, or vandalism. If the property is damaged or destroyed, the policy would cover repair or replacement of the home.
Most dwelling property insurance polices from reputable carriers also provide a certain level of liability coverage, which protects the property owner against lawsuits that could easily cost several thousands in legal fees and medical expenses. The two most common personal injury claims filed against dwelling insurance polices are 'slip and fall’, dog bites and other dog-related injuries. While dog bite claims decreased in 2014, the average cost per claim increased (Insurance Information Institute, 2015).
Dwelling insurance usually insures property owners who rent out the units or single family homes.References: Atlantic Specialty Lines of Florida Insurance Information Institute. (2015). Dog bite liability. Retrieved from http://www.iii.org/issue-update/dog-bite-liability.
Homeowners leave their properties vacant for different reasons. A vacant home is a prime target for theft, vandalism, or other damage. Before homeowners vacate their home, a call to their insurance agent is in order to secure proper coverage for the vacated property. Once a home is vacant for 30 or 60 consecutive days (depending on the policy), a typical homeowners policy won’t cover vandalism, water damage, glass breakage, or theft.
Even if the home’s vacancy status did not contribute to the damages, vacant homes typically are not covered under homeowners policies. With 13 million homes sitting vacant year-round in the United States, homeowners are opening themselves up to potentially disastrous lawsuits and damages unless they secure adequate vacant property coverage. Before a homeowner chooses to let their vacant home go uninsured while trying to sell the property, they need to decide if saving a little money on insurance premiums is worth the gamble.
Homeowners, Flood, Renter’s Insurance Companies we write through: