How risky are you willing to get?
When it comes to your Sonoma County rental properties, we hope you lean towards a risk-averse approach. Renting out a home or a portfolio of properties comes with a lot of risk, and you want to minimize it as much as you can – even if you’re a thrill seeker in other parts of your life.
That brings us to insurance. How can you minimize as much risk as possible by choosing the right insurance for your property and requiring insurance from your renters?
We have some answers to those questions.
Healdsburg Property Management manages single-family homes, duplexes, four-plexes and multi-unit properties of up to seven units throughout Sonoma County’s Wine Country, including Healdsburg, Windsor, Northern Santa Rosa, Cloverdale and Forestville.
Here’s how to insure your rental homes in Sonoma County.
Landlord Insurance vs. Homeowners Insurance
Always, always, always make sure you’re not working with a homeowner’s insurance policy. If you’re renting out a home you once lived in yourself – make sure you change the policy to a landlord policy. Otherwise, the worst case scenario might come knocking on your door, and you’ll find out you aren’t covered.
The main difference between your landlord insurance policy and the homeowners insurance policy you have on the home you live in is that your landlord policy covers the structure of the home and the costs to repair and replace it. However, it doesn’t cover any personal belongings that don’t belong to you.
Liability Protection and Sonoma County Rental Property Insurance
Try not to get sued.
But if you do get sued, make sure you have the liability insurance in place to protect yourself.
A good landlord insurance policy will provide liability coverage that protects you from any potential claims from your tenants or their guests. Anything can happen when tenants are living in your property. Talk to your insurance agent about the required or recommended liability limits. If something happens and you’re sued, you want to be protected.
Don’t Risk Lost Rent
What if there’s a catastrophe and your tenants have to move out of your property for a week or even a month?
They aren’t going to be so willing to pay rent on a home they can’t inhabit.
What will you do?
If you have loss of rent coverage, you won’t have to worry. If your tenants need to move out or you have to put them in a hotel, your loss of rent coverage will ensure you aren’t completely out of pocket in such a situation.
If your landlord insurance doesn’t have this included, make sure you add it.
Sonoma County Renter’s Insurance
The lack of coverage for your tenants’ possessions is why renter’s insurance is so important. We strongly encourage you to require your tenants to have it. Explain to them why your own policy won’t cover the repair or replacement of their personal belongings.
Not only will tenants have their own belongings covered, they’ll also gain some extra liability protection with a renter’s insurance policy. If your tenant starts a fire by leaving a stove on, their insurance will cover the claim before your policy is used.
This shouldn’t be a hard sell. Renter’s insurance policies are pretty cheap.
We can help you evaluate your insurance and decide whether it’s enough. If you’d like to talk about the risk management that good insurance can provide, please contact us at Healdsburg Property Management.