If you own a home, you should absolutely have insurance coverage for it. In fact, those who have a mortgage are likely required by their lender to have an insurance policy in place. Homes are very expensive, and all it takes is one fire or act of nature to bring it all down.
The question is, what type of insurance policy do you need?
If the home is your primary residence, you’ll be looking for a standard home insurance policy. If, however, you are renting out the room, you’ll likely need landlord insurance. What’s the difference? Let’s take a look.
Standard Home Insurance
Home insurance is designed to cover your primary residence. General coverage includes the home itself, structures on the surrounding property, possessions contained within the property, and usually some form of liability should something happen to a visitor on your premises.
Situations that are covered by a home insurance policy typically include fire, damage for a storm, theft, etc. The specifics can vary from policy to policy, and it’s important to understand what is and isn’t covered.
Landlord policies are designed to cover a home that’s being rented out for extended periods of time. Like home insurance policies, they typically include coverage for the house itself, surrounding structures on the property, and any possessions you might still keep there. Due to the nature of a rental property, landlord insurance tends to place a bigger emphasis on liability coverage.
Situations covered under a landlord policy typically include fire, wind, ice, and water damage (depending on the circumstances), in addition to theft. They can also include loss-of-income coverage if a covered loss causes tenants to move out.
While a landlord policy covers the basics, an additional umbrella policy can provide further protection and additional peace of mind.
One thing landlord policies do not cover, of course, are the belongings of your tenants. For this, you will want to encourage them to get renters’ insurance.
Landlord insurance is typically a little more expensive than home insurance due to the added liability.
What About Renting Out a Room?
If you have extra space, renting out a room is great way to earn some extra money as a homeowner. The question is, does your home insurance policy actually cover that? If you’re charging someone any amount of money for living in your home, even if it’s for a couple weeks, it’s best to check with your insurance agent and make sure you’re covered.
You’ll likely need to amend your policy, if not change it, depending on how you plan on renting out space.
The same goes for people who plan to occasionally rent out their primary residence as an Airbnb space.
It’s also worth mentioning that you should check with your city’s zoning laws, as even renting out a room may require a permit. An inspection might also be involved.
While it sounds like a hassle, not to mention added expense, you can still come out ahead in the long run, and you’ll be properly protected, should something go wrong.
Figuring Out What Insurance You Need as a Homeowner
Whether you’re living in your home, renting it out, or doing some combination, it’s very important that you have the appropriate coverage. The best way to make sure this happens is work with an experienced insurance agent.
Not only will they help you navigate the sometimes-confusing world of insurance, but they’ll shop around to make sure you get the best price possible.
At Link-Hellmuth, we’ve been helping residents of Ohio get proper insurance coverage for over a century. If you need any sort of home insurance in the Springfield, Ohio area, contact us today! If you’re a landlord, we can also help your tenets get renters insurance.