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Does Landlord Insurance Cover Tenant Damage?

by Jessie Jordan,  Jun 23 2021

Landlord Insurance Key Takeaways:

  • Landlord insurance covers certain types of unintentional damage caused by tenants, but it will not cover normal wear and tear
  • If a tenant accidentally damages your property, their renters insurance coverage should reimburse you for the damage
  • The majority of landlords require tenants to pay a security deposit and purchase a renters insurance policy to help protect their assets in case of damage

Buying a landlord insurance policy is a must. However, what types of tenant damage does landlord insurance cover? Here’s what you should know:

What Does Landlord Insurance Coverage Include?

A landlord insurance policy is similar to homeowners insurance, but it aims at protecting your property against rental-related damages. It usually covers:

  • Dwelling (the structure of your property itself) against unexpected and accidental damages caused by a covered loss.
  • Personal property covers your personal belongings such as furniture or kitchen appliances. This does not include tenant’s personal property.
  • Personal liability covers legal expenses in the event somebody sued you.
  • Loss of rental income.

Always make sure to ask your insurance agent about your policy limits and amount of coverage. Property owners bear a lot of responsibility when it comes to their rental property. Also, you can to learn more about landlord and tenant laws applicable in your state

What Is Not Covered by Landlord Insurance?

Landlord insurance won’t protect you against every possible damage.

What is not covered:

  • Your renter’s personal belongings. You can include such a requirement in a tenancy agreement that they purchase a renters insurance policy.
  • Damage due to wear and tear, regular maintenance, replacing or repairing appliances and devices if they break down.
  • Malicious damage, such as vandalism – a landlord policy will likely not pay for the repairs in such cases. However, you can purchase optional riders to receive extra protection in the event of intentional damage
  • Some natural disasters, such as flooding and earthquake, for which you need separate policies
  • Water damage caused by flooding (meaning a natural disaster) or by negligence

When looking for landlord insurance, be sure you’re familiar with its coverages. Landlord insurance has specific coverage values and it may not pay for the total loss of your property. That’s when the personal umbrella policy kicks in, offering wider coverage limits.

What about Tenant Damage- is that covered?

Yes and no. Landlord insurance usually covers your dwelling which means unintentional or accidental damage caused by tenants to the structure of your property is covered by your insurance provider. An accidental fire may be covered, but if they scuff the floors or steal something from you, it’s usually not covered by landlord policy (depending on the insurer).

If you’re eligible to receive reimbursement, you will get the amount that’s within your policy limits. And you will have to pay your deductible (an amount covered by a policyholder before insurance coverage pays out).

For peace of mind, you can ask for a security deposit. A security deposit will help you cover costs in the event you need to pay for damages from the tenant.

The landlord insurance policy is helpful as it provides protection against many rental-related losses. However, it doesn’t cover each and every tenant damage so make sure to prepare yourself before letting your property. Require your renters to purchase their own renters insurance and ask your insurer about any additional coverages. After all, you want to have peace of mind and get the most out of your rental property!

Editorial content on Gabi.com is reviewed by a licensed insurance agent. It is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal or financial advice.
Written by
Jessie Jordan
Jessie is a Marketing Specialist at Gabi. As a licensed insurance agent, she has been helping Gabi customers buy and understand auto, home, renters, landlord, and umbrella insurance in a digestible way since she joined the Gabi team in 2020. Before joining Gabi she was a globally recognized Senior Account Executive for UPS- trusted with advising top brands on how to grow and streamline their business.
Reviewed by
Robbie Boddy
Robbie is the Vice President, Head of Sales & Customer Experience at Gabi. As a licensed insurance agent, he has more than 15 years of experience in the insurance industry, joining Gabi after working with Liberty Mutual as the Assistant Vice President and Site Leader, Direct Sales and Innovation. Robbie is a member of the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters society and has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Grand Canyon University.
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