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Alan Galvez Insurance- landlord insurance

In the world of Ohio property insurance, there are many different types of policies- homeowners, renters, condos and landlord (most commonly referred to as dwelling fire).

Renters is pretty self-explanatory- if you rent a property, then a renters policy is what you need. You don't own the home, so the only coverage needed is for your personal items.

A condo policy covers a condominium. Condos have some slightly different requirements, so these policies are designed to fit those requirements.

But homeowners and landlord policies seem to cause some confusion- which one is the right solution for a property you own?

The right solution is based on who occupies the home

 Who lives in the house? Is it you as the owner? Or is it occupied by someone who doesn't own the home, like a tenant?

A homeowners policy is for owner-occupied homes

So if you own your house and live in that house, a homeowners policy is what you need.

A landlord policy is for tenant-occupied homes

If you own a home, but rent it to someone else to live in, then a landlord policy is the right answer. Honestly, you don't even have to charge rent- if you as the owner do NOT live in the house, then that meets the requirement for a landlord policy.

Besides the occupancy, a homeowners and landlord policy differ in their basic coverage as well

A homeowners policy typically includes the following:

  •  Coverage A- Dwelling
  •  Coverage B- Detached Structures (think utility shed or detached garage)
  •  Coverage C- Personal Property (your stuff that isn't part of the house)
  •  Coverage D- Additional Living Expense (pays for expenses should you have to move out due to a covered loss- think hotel stay, apartment, meals out, laundromat, etc.)
  •  Coverage E- Personal Liability
  •  Coverage F- Medical Payments to Others

A landlord policy includes:

  •  Coverage A- Dwelling
  •  Coverage B- Detached Structures (think utility shed or detached garage). Depending on the company, this coverage may not be automatic, but instead added on.
  •  Coverage D- Loss of Rental Value (similar to Coverage D above, except this pays for rent you can't collect because your tenant has had to move out due to covered loss- house fire is a great example).
  •  Coverage E- Personal Liability
  •  Coverage F- Medical Payments to Others

What's the biggest difference here? No Coverage C for Personal Property. Why? Because it is not the landlord's responsibility to insure a tenant's personal property. You would need to buy a renter's policy for that.

Sometimes landlords want to insure items that they furnish, such as a stove, refrigerator or washer and dryer. You can add Personal Property for that.

Can landlord (dwelling fire) policies be written for an owner-occupied home?

We've had some situations where a house doesn't quite qualify for a homeowners policy due to a variety of reasons. It's not that the house is falling apart- it just doesn't quite meet all the underwriting requirements for the homeowners policy.

So we've written the dwelling fire policy for the customer and added personal property. It's better than nothing and often gives the customer time to get the house up to the requirements. It's a nice compromise if you can get it.

But a homeowners cannot be written for a landlord

So, the landlord policy is actually a bit broader- it will work for both owner-occupied homes in limited situations and tenant-occupied homes. The opposite does not hold true for a homeowners- if you as the homeowner do not live in the house, then the landlord policy is the only option.

What if I move out of my house and rent it out?

In this situation, the homeowners policy should be cancelled and a new landlord policy written. It's always best to be up front about these situations. You certainly don't want a claim to happen and the insurance company argue about the claim (and heaven forbid deny it) simply because the policy you have is no longer correct for the situation. Tell your agent and he or she will be happy to write the correct policy.

To recap, the biggest difference between an Ohio homeowners and landlord policy centers around who occupies the home. If you own the home and live in it, homeowners insurance is the way to go. If you own the home and don't live in it, then it's time to tee up a landlord policy.

Need an agent who takes the time to explain the best insurance for your situation? If you own a home in Ohio, call us or fill out our homeowners quote request form today. We'd love to help you!

Posted 9:00 PM

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Alan Galvez Insurance
134 W. Columbus Ave.
Bellefontaine, OH 43311

 (937) 592-4871


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