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Rental Property Insurance: Do You Need It And Why?

Renting out a commercial or residential property entails a great deal of responsibility. You need enough rental property insurance to protect your assets, your property, and your tenants.

Rental property insurance is a crucial defense against the financial risk involved with tenants living on your property, whether you are renting out your home, a holiday home, or investment property.

There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all plan when it comes to rental property insurance. Insurers provide insurance that is adaptable to your needs.

Some landlords require the complete range of protection provided by a rental property insurance policy, while others may merely want supplementary coverages to their home insurance policy.

If you’re not sure if you need rental property insurance, this article will explain why you need it.

What is rental property insurance?

According to, Rental property insurance–more commonly referred to as landlord insurance–protects non-owner-occupied commercial and residential rental properties.

The owner must live offsite in order to qualify for landlord insurance coverage. A landlord policy can protect a structure that is rented to businesses or to families and individuals.

An apartment complex, condo, house, or vacation property are all examples of residential properties covered by a landlord insurance policy.

These adaptable policies can offer various levels of property and liability coverage.

A landlord policy usually works in conjunction with other types of insurance policies, such as the tenants’ business or renters policies, as well as the property owner’s company policy.

Types of rental property insurance policies

When looking for rental property insurance, you may find that different types of policies are referred to as “forms.”

Different types of rental property insurance have different levels of coverage, similar to homeowners insurance.

The following descriptions are generic, but they can help you understand what to expect from each sort of form.

#1. DP-1: Rental property insurance is classified as a dwelling policy, or DP, and the DP-1 is the most basic form of coverage. If a peril, or disaster, is not explicitly named in the form, you will not be reimbursed for the damage.

These policies frequently compensate you on an actual cash value basis, which means that your insurer will pay you for covered damage minus depreciation (wear and tear).

#2. DP-2: This form has a bit more coverage than the DP-1. DP-2 coverage, like the DP-1, is usually based on a named peril basis.

However, this coverage will typically cover a broader spectrum of dangers. For example, a company may offer burglary damage coverage in its DP-2 policy but not in its DP-1 policy.

The DP-2 form also outperforms the DP-1 by often giving coverage on a replacement cost basis, which means that damage will be compensated at the cost of repairing the damage at current market values, minus depreciation.

#3. DP-3: This is the most expensive form, but it offers the most comprehensive coverage of the three. This sort of policy will give comprehensive peril coverage, covering all perils except those that are specifically excluded in the policy. Its coverage will be offered on a replacement cost basis, just like the DP-2 policy.

Optional to your Rental Property Insurance Endorsement

Rental property insurance coverage will vary by insurer, and coverage that is typical with one may be optional or unavailable with another.

We’ve included a few examples of popular endorsements you can add to your rental property insurance policy below.

  • Vandalism coverage: Vandalism insurance usually covers intentional physical damage to a home. Allstate, for example, does not cover vandalism as part of its rental property insurance but does provide it as an endorsement.
  • Ordinance or law coverage: This protects against a loss of value or the costs of enforcing local laws relating to the repair of property damaged by an insured loss. If this type of feature is important to you, you may want to choose State Farm, which provides this endorsement.

Read this: What is Property Insurance? Overview and How it works

Who needs Rental Property Insurance?

Rental property insurance is required by a variety of property owners. A landlord policy might give property and liability protection if you own an apartment complex but don’t live there.

Also, if you rent your home to another family, the property will no longer be eligible for homeowners insurance, therefore you’ll have to switch to landlord coverage.

Landlord insurance is also required for commercial property owners. Commercial properties exist in a variety of shapes and sizes; some are solely for businesses, while others are mixed-use, containing both commercial and residential units.

Nonetheless, non-owner-occupied commercial premises,require rental property insurance.

What does Rental Property Insurance Cover?

The types of coverage available in a landlord policy can differ depending on the insurer. Standard landlord policies typically include the following coverages:

#1. Physical structures overage

This sort of coverage safeguards the structure of the building, including the foundation, roof, and walls.

If a storm damages the roof of an apartment building, for example, the owner can file a claim under his or her physical structure coverage.

Detached structures on the property, such as garages and maintenance buildings, are also covered under this policy.

#2. Liability coverage

When a tenant, a customer of a tenant, or a guest at a residential property is injured, liability coverage can help pay medical bills and legal fees.

Typically, this form of coverage  does not cover common tenant disasters, such as a renter slipping and falling in his kitchen.

However, if a leaky roof causes a guest to slip and fall in a communal space like a lobby, liability coverage can cover medical and legal expenses.

Optional Endorsements

Optional endorsements to basic landlord policies may be offered by insurance companies, including:

1. Heating and air conditioning loss compensation coverage:

In some areas, local regulations mandate landlords to cut a tenant’s rent if the building loses basic utilities like heating and air conditioning.

This form of endorsement may be able to compensate the landlord for some of the rental income that has been lost.

2. Equipment breakdown coverage:

If a power surge ruins a building’s electrical system or a heating boiler explodes, landlords may face large repair and replacement fees. Damaged equipment can be repaired or replaced with the help of equipment breakdown coverage.

3. Fair rental value coverage:

If a building becomes uninhabitable due to a covered loss, this form of coverage can assist pay for lost rental income.

Fair rental value coverage, for example, can reimburse the landlord for a portion of the lost rental income if tenants must vacate an office building due to storm damage.

4. Coverage under the Ordinance of Law:

Many older rental buildings do not comply with modern construction requirements. Ordinance of law coverage can help cover the increased costs of rebuilding a structure to meet current rules if it suffers a covered structural loss.

5. Personal property coverage:

Standard rental property insurance does not cover theft or damage to things used in the maintenance of a rental property, such as lawn equipment and office equipment.

However, the landlord can safeguard all forms of personal property by including a personal property endorsement. This form of endorsement can also be used to cover appliances in rental apartments.

6. Tenant move-back expenditure coverage:

Following a covered structural loss, it may require tenants to relocate temporarily while the structure is being rebuilt.

Tenant move-back expenditure coverage can assist in covering the costs of relocating tenants when work is complete.

How Much does rental property insurance cost?

According to the Insurance Information Institute, homeowners in the United States paid an average yearly house insurance premium of $1,211 in 2017.

A single-family home’s landlord insurance costs roughly 25% more than a normal homeowners policy.

Landlord insurance for various sorts of properties has a wide range of prices. The following are some of the factors that influence the cost of rental property insurance:

  • Absence or presence of safety devices such as a sprinkler system
  • Absence or presence of security features, like a burglar alarm
  • Number of units
  • Age and construction of the building
  • Age of electrical system
  • Property features such as a swimming pool or gym
  • Size of the building
  • Smoking policy
  • Types and amounts of coverage
  • Value of the building

Do I need rental property insurance and why?

Yes, you require it. Rental property insurance is required if you have a property that you rent out to tenants. If you want to get a mortgage for a rental property, your lender will almost certainly require insurance before approving your application.

In addition, landlord insurance often helps cover damage to the building (as well as other buildings on the site, such as sheds or fences) caused by fire, lightning, wind, hail, or other covered loss.

Furthermore, while rental insurance does not cover your tenants’ personal items, it can help protect their belongings while also providing liability protection.

Before you welcome renters for any length of time, think about the risks of having paying guests into your home — and study your policy or contact your local agent to make sure you have the right coverages in place.

Also, check this: Who is an Independent Insurance Agent? Salary, Job Description, Skills

Reason You Need Rental Property Insurance

#1. Cost-effectiveness

A typical renter’s insurance policy is reasonably priced. Your actual cost will be determined by a variety of factors, including the amount of coverage you require and the type of coverage you select.

Furthermore, the cost of your insurance is determined by the size of your deductible and where you live.

#2. Covers personal property.

Protects you from threats that could harm your personal belongings. A renter’s insurance coverage protects your personal belongings, such as clothing, jewelry, baggage, computers, furniture, and electronics, from loss.

#3. Prerequisite

Your landlord’s insurance covers the structure and grounds, but your things are not. A rising number of landlords are requiring renters to obtain their own renter’s insurance policies and will demand proof of coverage.

#4. Liability coverage

Standard renters insurance policies also cover you for liability if you or members of your household injure others or damage their property. It also covers the costs of any harm your dogs’ cause.

#5. Provides protection for your stuff as you travel.

Renter’s insurance covers your personal items, whether they are at your home, car, or with you while traveling. Your belongings are protected against theft and other covered losses wherever you go in the world.

#6. Surplus living expenses

Your renter’s insurance coverage may cover additional living expenses if your home becomes uninhabitable owing to one of the insured risks. These could include the cost of temporarily relocating, food, and other expenses.

Rental Property Insurance Vs Homeowners Insurance

The main distinction between a rental property and homeowner’s insurance is whether or not the residence is your primary place of business.

Non-owner-occupied properties are those that are rented or leased to business or residential tenants, as opposed to your principal residence, which is covered by homeowners’ insurance.

Commercial tenants are typically required to have business insurance that includes liability coverage, while residential renters may be required to acquire a renters policy.

This helps to mitigate liability risk, so the landlord isn’t solely responsible. For example, if a guest of an apartment tenant is injured in the unit, the tenant’s renter’s insurance liability coverage may be able to reimburse the medical costs.

Landlord coverage is available from insurers for a variety of rental circumstances and lengths of time.

#1. Long-term renting

A six- to 12-month lease is often essential for a long-term rental. A renters policy is frequently necessary when renting an apartment for a longer period of time.

Liability coverage is included in renters’ plans, but they also cover the tenant’s personal possessions, such as clothing, furniture, gadgets, and sports equipment.

Rental property insurance is essential for landlords who rent apartments for long periods of time.

#2. Infrequent short-term renting

You can add short-term rental coverage to your existing home insurance policy if you rent your home to a tenant for 62 days or less per year.

Your homeowners’ insurance will protect the structure of your home at all times and cover your personal possessions while you live there.

Moreso, your short-term rental coverage will cover your personal belongings, such as furniture and artwork, during rental periods in the event of damage or theft.

#3. Frequent short-term renting

Short-term home rentals have become increasingly popular thanks to services like Airbnb. Your homeowner’s policy will give basic protection if you live in the house and frequently rent an adjacent apartment or room.

However, adding a home-sharing policy or endorsement adds another layer of protection.

Your personal items, such as appliances and entertainment equipment, may be covered under home-sharing insurance if they are damaged or stolen.


Landlord insurance provide a wide range of coverage options, which you can further customize by adding endorsements.

Optional coverages to protect personal property such as appliances are available, as well as an endorsement to replace lost rental income in the event of a covered disaster.

You can design an insurance plan that protects your valuable property and the tenants who live and work there if you plan intelligently, choose the right amount of coverage, and require tenants to share liability risks with their own policies.




Ajah Excel is a team growth and performance expert with over nine years of experience in blogging and personal development.
He leads a team of 36 crazy, restless innovators with an enviable work culture at Silicon Africa Technologies Limited – a fast-rising tech firm from the SouthEast.
Excel is the founder of and WriterGig.
He is also the co-organizer of TEDx Ikenegbu and convener of Social Media Fest.
He is a vibrant learner who yearns to share his knowledge to educate and inspire young Africans.
He has a B.Tech in Information Management Technology with certifications in growth hacking, effective communication, leadership, team, and personal development, to mention a few.
Ajah Anayochukwu Excel is a passionate public speaker, creative writer, and brand storyteller.

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