Why Landlord Insurance is Important

If you are a property owner and have rented or leased your property to tenants, then you know how important it is to have landlord insurance. However, newbies to the real estate market may have no idea why landlord insurance is important. With that being said, below are a just a few reasons why landlord insurance is so important — whether you just started renting out a property, have been renting it out for years, or are thinking about renting a piece of property to someone.

  • Safeguarding Against Disaster: You can never predict when something is going to happen to your home, whether it be your own or your rental property. You can obtain landlord insurance that will cover the home in the event of a flood, fire, or other devastating events.
  • Personal Belongings: While the home likely won’t have many of your own personal belongings since you aren’t the one living there, you may have furnished the home or provided appliances to the tenant upon move-in. Landlord insurance will cover anything you furnished in the rental property for tenants.
  • Covering Your Own Butt: Believe it or not, there are little things in the property that could result in your tenant being injured. For example, a light fixture may not have been completely tightened and could spark a disaster for you, resulting in your tenant being hurt. Landlord insurance can cover your tenant’s injury.
  • Landlord Insurance vs. Other Insurances: Not all insurances are created equal. Homeowner’s insurance would likely result in you paying too much for your premiums. In addition, having the wrong policy on a property rental could result in your policy being canceled. It is important to have a landlord policy for insuring your rental property.

What do insurance providers look for in drivers?

Insurance companies are careful about who they accept to insure because paying claims is expensive. So what are the characteristics that insurers look for? What tells them that one potential client is less likely to generate claims than another?

Here are the 10 most common:

1. Driving record. A provider will check for recent tickets or moving violations. Recent means three to 10 years. Why? There is a direct correlation between a poor driving record and a person’s tendency to adhere to accepted norms and meet responsibilities.

2. Credit score. This is another indicator of trustworthiness. It indicates the likelihood that you will pay you premiums — and on time.

3. Bankruptcy. Insurance companies want clients with the ability to manage their finances. They do not want your problems to become their problems.

4. Criminal record. This is indicative of your character and your history complying with rules and regulations.

5. Employment history. It is important that you have a demonstrated history of steady employment. Having a job means that you will earn money to pay your premiums.

6. Claims history. A history of excessive claims is the surest way to ensure that you will be denied coverage. Insurance companies do not want clients who are frequently involved with claims-generating situations.

7. Young drivers. Young drivers are involved in accidents more frequently than experienced drivers, according to statistics.

8. Gender. Women cost providers less than men. According to the numbers, women are safer drivers and the severity of their accidents is considerably less. Less damage equals smaller claims.

9. Repair costs. Some vehicles cost much more to repair than others.

10. Theft statistics. Providers charge higher premiums for vehicles that are more likely to be stolen. If it is attractive to car thieves, it is not to insurers.

Liability Insurance – Why What You Don’t Know Can Cost You

If you lack liability insurance, it can cost you money and possibly your assets and livelihood. Liability insurance is important for all homeowners, business owners and vehicle owners to carry to protect against damage and injury claims that might easily occur. Even in the best of situations, accidents happen. Should someone slip and fall at your home or business location and become injured, you are liable for paying for medical care, emotional trauma and other expenses. If negligence is evident, the damage awards levied by a court jury could be astronomical.

There are many accidents that can happen just from acts of nature. Fires, tornadoes, storm damage, hail, snow, ice and earthquakes may be covered by general property insurance. Accidents that involve harm to people usually fall into the area of liability. If someone is injured because property is not well-maintained or if a hazardous area is left unrepaired and unmarked, there may be cause for a lawsuit for negligent responsibility. Liability insurance is the safeguard against these actions.

If a key man dies and a company cannot fulfill contractual obligations, there could be claims for lack of performance or errors and omissions. There is specific business liability insurance that includes protection for these situations. Professional liability insurance should be carried by all business persons, even individual contractors. An umbrella insurance policy acts like gap insurance and can address other types of liability not covered under other policies.

Employers need to have general liability and insurances like workers’ compensation, a business owner’s policy (BOP) and employment practice liability insurance. Employees may become dissatisfied and claim for sexual harassment, incursion on privacy, discrimination and other acts. A good liability policy is well worth the cost in relation to potential damages and expenses that arise in legal actions against business owners. For complete information about liability insurance, contact your local agent.

How Different Roofing Materials Relate to Insurance

Different roofing materials relate to insurance policy rates. New, improved roofing materials can help mitigate damage caused by weather events like hail, heavy rainfall, snow and ice. When a homeowner installs better roofing materials, insurance policy rates should be reduced.

Certain areas of the country are more prone than other areas to different types of structural damage. For example, the Midwest and states of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska encounter heavy hail damage. Colorado has the most storms with large hail and stormy weather coming over the Continental Divide and Rocky Mountains. Extremely heavy thunderstorms with damaging lighting, strong winds and hail occur by the thousands every year. Other areas of the country will find winter weather causes damage, and the West Coast is notorious for earthquake damage. Even extreme heat can cause roof damage so the type of roofing materials that are used on homes will make a difference that translates to higher or lower insurance rates.

Basic roofing materials:

  1. Asphalt shingles – traditional and widely used – organic or fiberglass compounds (more durable)
  2. Wood shingles or shakes – present a higher fire damage potential than other types
  3. Tile – clay or concrete, durable but adds extra weight to a building structure
  4. Slate – close to indestructible, more expensive and requires skill to install
  5. Metal – New style shingles for homes and commercial buildings, fire-resistant but can be damaged
  6. Synthetics – imitations of other styles but may not have identical properties

Lower risk is associated with more durable roofing materials; insurance rates for homes that use those materials should be lower also. In areas where weather causes much damage, it is wise to use the most durable materials to keep insurance policy rates lowest. Ask your insurance agent how materials you want to use in your home or that are present in a prospective purchase will impact insurance rates.