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Frequently Asked Questions

Landlord Insurance

Is Landlord Insurance the Same as Renter’s Insurance in CA?

No. Landlord and renter’s insurance are two different types of policies. Tenants can purchase a renter’s policy that will cover their personal belongings. For example, they may want to have protection in case something happens to their electronic devices, jewelry, clothing, furniture, etc.

However, a separate landlord policy is necessary for damages that occur to the structure, such as the doors, walls, floors, plumbing, roof, etc.

Is Landlord Insurance the Same as Home Insurance in California?

No. Home insurance is what you purchase to protect the place where you live full-time. It generally will not cover damage done to a separate residence occupied by someone who is renting from you. If someone is renting a room in your home, check with your insurance company to make sure you are covered.

Do I Need a Landlord Policy?

Purchasing a policy is a wise decision because you can never be too safe, especially when it comes to your investment. If a disaster were to strike, and you didn’t have coverage, it would set you back significantly. The amount of money it takes to make repairs after a fire or natural disaster could be astronomical! A landlord policy will also compensate you for the loss of your regular income stream if the building is not habitable during repairs from a covered event.

Can I Deduct this Rental Insurance from My Taxes?

Yes, you can deduct insurance expenses from your annual business tax returns. This write-off should help defray some of your tax liability, which is always welcome news. Check with your financial accountant for more information about the specifics.

What Can I Do as a Landlord to Keep Claims at a Minimum?

California landlords can be proactive in their steps to maximize the claim approval process or to discourage claims altogether. Here are a few simple tips:

  • Stay on top of maintenance – Failing to properly maintain your rental property can lead to a claim denial, as well as encouraging tenants to move out.
  • Conduct tenant screening – You should always do a check on your prospective tenants to see what kind of history they have with other landlords.
  • Hire a professional when necessary – Sure, it’s more expensive to hire a professional, especially if you feel you can do the repair or task yourself. Keep in mind that an insurance inspector can tell if a job was done poorly or if it contributed to a larger issue. This could be grounds for a claim denial.

Does a Pool Increase my Liability for my Rental Property?

Yes. It will cause you to pay more in premiums because a pool has an increased possibility of someone getting injured or drowning. You can mitigate that some by only opening the pool when there is a certified lifeguard present, putting a safety fence around the pool and not installing a diving board.

Are There Other Things I Can Do to Lower My Landlord Insurance Premiums?

The steps you take to make your property safe and habitable will not only help with your premiums, they will help avoid situations where claims may arise. Maintain walkways and take steps to reduce icing and cracks where people can fall. Take care of the roof so leaks don’t develop. Make sure bushes and trees are kept clean and trimmed. Your independent agent can help you with more ideas and suggestions.