Insurance for Rental Properties
Dwelling Property Policies
Because everyone's needs are not the same, it is best to consult your agent to help assess your needs and find the insurance policy that is right for you.
What is a Dwelling Property Policy?
A Dwelling Property Policy insures a dwelling against direct physical loss for the perils named in the policy. Contents coverage and liability coverage may be added to the policy if needed. If you rent out your dwelling to tenants, you will need a Dwelling Property Policy because tenant occupied dwelling are not eligible for coverage under a Homeowners Policy.
Make sure you ask your agent what perils are covered. Damage caused by floods, earthquakes and poor maintenance are not covered. You must buy two separate policies for flood and earthquake coverage. Maintenance-related problems are the homeowners' responsibility. Above all for any policy you purchase, make sure you carefully read the policy so you will have a complete listing of covered perils, exclusions, conditions and limitations.
Why do you need a dwelling property policy?
It is really all about protecting yourself financially if something unexpected happens to your home. That's important because a dwelling is a large investment.
If your dwelling was destroyed by fire or damaged by a natural disaster, you'd need money to repair or replace it.
- If a guest or tenant in your home is injured, liability protection and medical coverage help pay expenses.
- If you are still paying for your home, your lender will require insurance.
It is important to know that dwelling property policies are meant to cover unexpected damage, not routine maintenance. Ask your agent to talk about what is covered and be sure to read your policy so you know exactly what's included and what is not.
Things to consider and questions to ask your agent
Here are few things to discuss with your agent that will influence your decisions.
- How much will it cost to rebuild my dwelling if it is damaged or destroyed? (Ask your agent to talk you through your home's features and the things you own so you can make an informed decision about coverage.)
- Does the insurance company have a good reputation for customer service? Is it known for paying claims fairly and promptly?
- What discounts are available? (Ask about multiple policy, security system and fire resistance discounts.)
- What's the process for filing and settling a claim? (Ask who to call and what happens after you file a claim.)