TXINS May E-News: What is Landlord Insurance?, Ask the Agent, Agency Happenings, Texas Trivia Contest, and More!

What is Landlord Insurance?
Why Do I Need It?

In today’s unsteady economy, many people have been turning to real estate as another source of income. Purchasing rental properties and becoming a landlord has become a popular way to supplement your current income or in some cases, give up your day job altogether. If you’re already a landlord or are thinking about becoming one, having landlord insurance is crucial to protecting your assets.

While landlord insurance is not required by law, it is wise to carry it if you’re collecting rent and managing a property. Building fires, tropical storms, tornadoes, vandalism and liability claims are some of the key things you want to be prepared for as a landlord. If your property experiences $100,000 worth of damage and you do not have insurance to cover it, those costs must come out of your pocket.

You need landlord insurance when you do not occupy the same residence as your tenant. You will also need landlord insurance if you are renting out your own home temporarily or sharing accommodations, such as your basement level, with a renter.

Some landlords rely on their homeowners insurance to cover their rental units. It is important to know that your homeowners policy most likely will not cover damage to your rental property, unless you are only renting out a portion of the home you are living in. It will also likely not provide coverage for liability claims.
 
What is Landlord Liability Insurance?
Landlord insurance provides coverage for property owners renting out one or more residential homes, apartments, or condos. As a landlord, you need protection from financial loss that may result from damages to a rental property due to fire, break-in, severe weather, and more. You can get insurance to help cover loss of income in the event that your rental units become uninhabitable due to circumstances beyond your control.

Liability coverage is a standard offering in most landlord insurance policies, and it can help protect you in the event that you’re found liable if someone is injured on your property or if you are required to pay for damage done to someone else’s property.

Tenant injuries should be a concern for landlords. For example, a loose step buckles and causes a tenant to fall. You could be held responsible for resulting injuries if you were found negligent in maintaining the property or if you failed to warn the tenant of a potential safety risk.
In this case, your landlord liability coverage would likely help pay your legal defense and cover any court judgments made against you, up to the limits stated in your policy.

Other situations could also expose you to liability. If you fail to provide proper security for your tenants or if your tenant engages in unlawful behavior and you fail to take measures to stop it, you could be held liable. Landlord liability coverage can help protect you in these and other similar scenarios, up to the limit that’s set in your policy.

You can deduct landlord insurance premiums you pay on your rental property, including any landlord insurance policies on the building, contents and liability. Because being a landlord is a business endeavor, your landlord insurance can be considered a business expense.

 

Types of Coverage Offered
Like a homeowners policy, a landlord policy helps protect the building itself (and other structures on the property, such as sheds or fences) if there’s damage from a fire, lighting, wind, hail, or another covered loss.

Other key differences between homeowners and landlord policies include:

  • Personal property coverage: While homeowners insurance may help protect many kinds of belongings, such as furniture, clothing and computers, landlord insurance typically only provides coverage for items used to service the rented property. So, if you leave personal items behind that are not used to service the rental property, you’ll likely find that landlord insurance won’t provide protection. It may, however, help cover items such as a lawn mower that you store on site to help maintain the property.
  • Liability coverage: Landlord insurance typically only provides liability coverage relating to the rented premises. If a tenant is hurt in the home you’re renting out and you are found legally responsible, the liability coverage on your landlord policy may help cover the resulting medical expenses or legal fees.

 
What Does Landlord Insurance Cover?
Landlord insurance provides several important types of coverage. Depending on the options you choose, your policy may consist of some or all of these types of insurance:

  • Property damage: This covers damage to your buildings and personal property due to fire, storm damage, theft, vandalism, and tenant damage. Ideally, your landlord insurance will cover the replacement costs for your entire rental property in the event of a total loss.
  • Liability insurance: This coverage protects you against liability claims and lawsuits. Whether a tenant, visitor, or even a trespasser is injured on your rental property, you could find yourself in a legal mess. Your liability insurance will help you cover the costs associated with bodily injury claims on your property. These costs can include medical payments, funeral costs, legal fees and judgment, or settlement costs. You will also be covered if you, as the landlord, are found responsible for another person’s property damage. For example, if you neglect to fix a leaking water pipe and mold damage destroys a tenant’s expensive collection of vintage albums, a liability claim can be filed against you by the tenant.
  • Loss of income: This insurance will help compensate you for lost income in the event that a rental property becomes uninhabitable due to a covered loss, such as a storm or apartment fire. Your loss of income coverage, or “rental reimbursement,” will prevent you from losing the income you would have had if you were collecting rent.
  • Optional coverage: As a landlord, you can buy additional coverage, such as rent guarantee insurance, natural disaster insurance, employer liability insurance, and landlord contents insurance to cover your personal property items such as furnishings or carpet in the rental property.

 

What About Damage to Tenants’ Belongings?
Neither landlord insurance nor homeowners insurance will typically protect personal items owned by your tenant. That’s why you may want to make renters insurance a condition of your lease. Renters insurance may help protect your tenant’s possessions, and also provide them with some liability protection.
 

Other Measures to Provide Protection
It’s always a good idea to try to minimize your liabilities before renters move in. Here are a few measures we suggest you take:

  • Inspect the property regularly to make sure it’s free from hazards.
  • Maintain a list of complaints from tenants and document repairs that were made.
  • Encourage tenants to come forward with safety concerns.
  • Make timely repairs on issues flagged by your tenants.

These preventive measures, combined with the proper insurance protections, can go a long way toward helping to ensure that you enjoy the rewards of being a landlord.
 
 

 We Are Here for You 

Texas Insurance & Financial Services, Inc. is your trusted advocate. As an independent insurance agency, TXINS represents a wide network of A-rated insurance companies, which allows us to find the best insurance policy to fit your needs and budget. We don’t believe in cookie cutter policies and will customize a plan specifically for you. Your overall satisfaction is our top priority. That’s a promise.

TXINS offers complimentary insurance reviews to ensure you are getting the right coverage for yourself, your family, or your business. To schedule your review, contact us today at 800-541-9849 or via email. Together, we will ensure you are protecting what matters most.


The employees of TXINS are active members in our communities. Here’s a quick list of what we’ve been up to as well as what we have planned for the month.

  • We are thrilled to announce that Shelly Morton joined the TXINS team on April 18. Shelly will be assisting in the Accounting Department. Welcome Shelly…we are glad you’re here!
  • Congratulations to the following TXINS staffers celebrating work anniversaries in May: Amber McDonald, 2 years; Marcie Ramm, 2 years; and Kirby Wrobliski, 2 years. We are proud to have these amazing folks in the TXINS family!
  • Congratulations to our April Texas Trivia Contest winners Norma Allen, Cassidy Bird, and Wayne Allen. Don’t forget to check out our new Texas Trivia contest question! Be one of the first people to email us the correct answer and win your very own Texas flag!

Allison Silvas, Janet Corson, Mr. Sorrel, Jo Ann Hernandez, and Kristen Johnson attended the State Auto Farm & Ranch conference in Corpus Christi on April 27th. The group was joined by State Auto representative Jennie Staton (far right).

TXINS staffers and Lady Lions Club members Lindsey Malek and Celeste Clark helped assemble plates for the El Campo Little League Hamburger Supper Fundraiser on April 20. In total, about 3,100 plates were sold to help raise funds for the ECLL and the kids in the program. We are proud of our employees for being active supporters in the communities in which they live.

Dear TXINS:
I will be retiring soon and am planning to spend the majority of my time on the back of a new motorcycle enjoying the great outdoors. Is motorcycle coverage the same as auto insurance? Are there different coverages I need to purchase to protect myself and my new bike?  – Daniel P., Wharton, TX

Dear Daniel:

How exciting! We’re just a bit jealous of your plans…spending time on the open road on a new motorcycle sounds amazing. Sure beats sitting in an office all day, doesn’t it?

It’s always a good idea to know the basics of motorcycle insurance. You’ll definitely want to consider whether buying the state’s mandated minimum coverage or adding higher limits or additional coverage is best for you.

Here’s a brief rundown of the types of coverage you can choose for motorcycle insurance:

  • Bodily injury liability. If you’re at fault for an accident in which someone in another vehicle or a pedestrian is hurt, this type of coverage will help pay for the associated medical expenses.
  •  Property damage liability. If you cause an accident that damages another person’s property, such as a vehicle or a building, this type of coverage helps pay for repairs or replacement.
  •  Medical payments. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, because motorcycle riders lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle, they have a greater chance of being injured. That’s why this type of coverage, which helps pay for medical costs for you or your passenger due to an accident, are a vital part of your insurance coverage.
  •  Personal injury protection. Likewise, personal injury protection, which is only available in some states, can help pay for expenses related to an injury from an accident, regardless of fault. These costs may include lost income, medical bills, funeral costs, and even child care expenses.
  •  Collision. In the event your bike is damaged due to a collision with another bike, a car, a fire hydrant or another object or structure, collision coverage helps pay for repairs, regardless of who is at fault.
  •  Comprehensive. Collisions aren’t the only way your bike can be damaged. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, in 2011, a motorcycle was stolen every 11 minutes in our country. Theft, vandalism, and hail are all very real threats to your motorcycle. Depending on the terms of your policy, comprehensive coverage may help pay to repair or replace your bike if it’s damaged by these or other causes.
  •  Uninsured or underinsured motorist bodily injury. Despite Texas’ legal minimum insurance requirements, not every driver on the road is adequately insured, or even insured at all. And in the event that you or your passenger are injured in an accident caused by another driver, this type of coverage helps pay for the damages.

In addition, there are other optional coverages you may want to consider. For example, if you customize your bike by adding features and accessories, you may want to purchase additional coverage for your customization. You may also want to think about coverage to protect your motorcycle trailer if you purchase one.

It’s best to give us your TXINS agent a call to discuss your options in more detail. We will make sure you have the right protection in place to give you peace of mind while enjoying your freedom. We can also talk about your medical coverage and long-term financial plans to ensure your retirement years are worry free.

Do you have a question for our agents? Email it to us! If we choose your question, we’ll send you a thank you gift! Be sure to include your mailing address and phone number in your email.

You Learn Something New Every Day
– Flamingos can only eat when their heads are upside down.

– Baby rabbits are called kittens.

– 12% of people dream in black and white.

– May is National Hamburger Month. Whether you like your burger dressed with the standard mustard, mayo, lettuce, and pickles or you opt for something a little more fancy, there are thousands of options to tempt every taste bud. Need a bit of inspiration? Check out these great recipes!

Is Your Car Under Recall?
 
Auto recalls are serious business. Every year, thousands of people are injured in car accidents where faulty equipment is to blame. Many times, that equipment has been recalled but the driver never takes their car in for the needed repairs. Don’t let this happen to you!

SaferCar.gov, managed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, is an easy way to check to see if your car is under recall. Simply search by your VIN number. If your vehicle has an open recall, you’ll get all of the information on where to go and how to get the needed repairs.

 

We LOVE Referrals!

 
Congrats to Edith Eggemeyer of El Campo, TX, our April Referral Program drawing winner! Thanks for your referrals, Edith!

If you love Texas Insurance & Financial Services, Inc., tell a relative, friend, or co-worker about us. When they call to receive a quote make sure they let us know that you referred them.

As a thank you, you’ll receive a surprise gift and will be entered into our monthly $50 gift card drawing and our annual Grand Prize drawing for a $1,500 gift card!!!

(Grand Prize drawing will be held on December 1, 2016.)

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