Obie Partners With Flock to Bring Institutional, Cost-Efficient Solutions to Retiring Landlords

Grace Halla
Dec 1, 2022

At Obie, cultivating a positive culture that supports all members of our team is a top priority. It’s in our values to do good, and that means treating our team well. It’s for this reason that the Obie team is extremely proud to be recognized by Built In as one the Best Startups to Work For in Chicago in its 2023 Best Places to Work Awards list. We’re deeply grateful for what each member of our team adds to the organization, helping bring the Obie culture to life.

Winners for the Best Places to Work Award are determined through a series of data points, such as compensation, benefits, and other offerings to employees. To be eligible for the startup category, companies must be under 100 employees, with other categories of competition offered to larger organizations.

Life at Obie

The team at Obie is a hybrid workforce, consisting of 74 employees in 22 states. Over the last year the Obie team has grown by a whopping 95%, and we are excited to continue expanding our team and capabilities as a team in 2023.

With the continued expansion of our team, Obie places strong emphasis on intentional connection, celebrating the things that tie us together as a blended remote and hybrid workforce. One of Obie's distinct advantages is having team goals dedicated to helping cultivate a positive culture across departments. The People Operations team supports these initiatives through OKRs targeted to culture goals and the facilitation of events and benefits, in addition to recruiting and hiring top-talent nationwide. A sampling of their initiatives include company led events, such as virtual holiday celebrations, birthday celebrations, a unique slack community to welcome all interests, as well as other learning events, such as ‘Ask Me Anything’ sessions with our founders and brown bag lunch sessions to learn about the valuable work each team contributes at Obie.

To support our growing team this past year, Obie also launched a variety of new initiatives. These include: an education stipend to promote ongoing education, introduced financial literacy and parenting resources, two new committees to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as employee wellbeing. In addition the aforementioned, Obie has introduced a wellness stipend to support employee health and wellness practices. We continue to believe the road to success is paved with the intentional community building and support of our team.

In addition to the above initiatives Obie is also proud to offer employees unlimited flexible time off, with a minimum vacation day requirement to promote a positive work life balance. Obie also offers other benefits such as stock options, 12 weeks of paid parental leave, pet insurance reimbursement, summer hours, and more.

Career Opportunities at Obie

We’re excited to continue adding new talent to our growing team, further building the community within Obie. You can learn more about Obie, our values and current opportunities on our careers page.

Don’t see a role that fits your skills or interest? You can still apply. Send an email to careers@obieinsurance.com with a description of what you’d like to bring to the team at Obie and attach your resume.

Obie announces a new website domain that better represents its brand aspirations.

Obie is now found at obieinsurance.com. The previous website domain, obierisk.com, will still redirect to the website, but will no longer appear in your browser window.

Why change domain names?

This change is part of a larger initiative at Obie to refine and develop the company’s branding, for the purpose of clarifying communication with our customers.

The insurance industry can be confusing, filled with jargon and terminology that isn’t helpful to consumers. A prime example of potentially confusing terminology being the use of the word risk. Outside the insurance industry, the term risk represents danger, and for some, can sound alarming. Within the insurance industry however, risk is a very matter-of-fact term. Within this context, the term is used to describe the potential of perils that a policyholder may represent based on a given quote request. Risk is not a customer centric word, so we changed it.

"As Obie continues to solidify its position as the leading insurance company for landlords, we felt it was the right time to align our brand with the exact product we offer to our clients." —Aaron Letzeiser, Obie Co-founder and COO.

A new standard for landlord insurance

Obie has redefined the landlord insurance process, setting a new standard for how the industry provides insurance. Internally we often discuss how to communicate this effectively, and are continually refining how we describe the support we bring to investors, agents, partners, and anyone using Obie.  

We articulate this idea internally as follows:

Obie is an insurance technology company, hyper-focused on driving value for the modern real estate investor and the partners they work with every day. Whether you are an owner, lender, agent, or property manager, Obie’s mission is to build technology and insurance products that drive efficiency and fundamentally change the way insurance is bought and sold.

Becoming the standard is challenging. We’re frequently working in new territory, aiming to level up an entire industry by unlocking a customer experience that is simple, but faster and more accurate than ever before. This means developing new technology and web interfaces that meet our customers right where they’re at—on partner websites, in the process of securing financing, working with a local insurance broker, or using the Obie website.

What to expect from Obie in 2023

Despite some of the recent economic challenges that exist within real estate, Obie is positioned to experience its best year yet. Growth remains beyond venture levels, allowing for expansion in the size of our team. That growth enables us to tackle bigger challenges—all for the purpose of creating the new standard for landlord insurance.

In the coming year, Obie will be announcing more channel partner integrations, updates to our insurance product offerings, significantly increasing its presence at events nationwide, releasing more free tools and resources for real estate investors, and so much more. Stay tuned for more updates on what’s ahead in the coming year.

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If Obie sounds like a company you want to work at, check out our careers page to see open roles. Don’t see a role fit for you? Email us at careers@obieinsurance.com including why you want to work at Obie along with your resume.

Obie is actively appointing brokers nationwide. To be considered for appointment, visit obieinsurance.com/agents.

Proptech, fintech, and property management companies who want to offer embeddable insurance can request information about becoming a channel partner at obieinsurance.com/partnerships.

You've been a good landlord, providing your tenant with a quality, well-maintained home to live in and offering plenty of notice when you make any changes. But what do you do when it's time to ask them to leave? 

It can be difficult to tell a renter you need them to vacate the property, and there are many reasons why this may be what's best for you and your business. However, not giving proper notice to vacate can lead to costly legal battles and months of lost rent.

This article explains what you need to know about issuing notices to vacate, including what they are, why you might use one, and how much notice each state requires. We also provide a notice to vacate template letter you can use as a starting point for your own notice. 

This guide will help ensure a smooth transition from one tenant to the next.

What Is a Notice to Vacate? 

A notice to vacate is an official document from either the landlord or tenant letting the other party know they intend to terminate the occupancy agreement. 

This written notice states the tenant must move out by a specific date, often determined by state law. Depending on your rental property's location, a notice to vacate may also be called a lease termination letter or a termination of tenancy.

Generally, a landlord sends a notice to vacate when they want a renter to move out of the rental property. It may be issued before the lease agreement ends, or it may serve as notice that the current lease is expiring and will not be renewed. 

As a rule of thumb, tenants with a month-to-month lease must receive a 30-day notice to vacate before the beginning of the upcoming month. Tenants with a longer-term lease usually require a 30- or 60-day notice before the expiration date listed on the lease.

Landlords and tenants need to understand notice to vacate regulations, as laws vary by state. Failure to follow notice to vacate requirements could result in serious consequences, such as a tenant suing a landlord for violating the state's landlord-tenant laws or the federal Fair Housing Act

Why Use a Notice to Vacate?

Landlords use a notice to vacate to effectively communicate to renters that they are expected to leave the property on or before a certain date. 

This notice serves not only as a legal document but offers peace of mind by providing certainty about the future of the tenancy agreement. It eliminates any confusion or misunderstandings between the landlord and tenant regarding whether or not the tenant must move out of the rental property.

Here are 18 reasons why a landlord might send a notice to vacate:

  1. The tenant has failed to pay their rent on time or is consistently late with payments.
  2. There was a violation of the terms of the tenancy agreement, such as having unauthorized occupants on the premises or engaging in disruptive behavior.
  3. Significant damage was done to the property beyond normal wear and tear.
  4. The landlord is seeking to end a month-to-month tenancy agreement after providing proper notice. 
  5. The landlord needs access to make repairs that cannot be completed while a tenant is occupying the property (e.g., replacing roofing). 
  6. The landlord wants to sell or otherwise repurpose the rental unit for another use (e.g., converting it to a vacation rental). 
  7. The landlord has obtained a court order requiring the tenant to vacate the property. 
  8. The tenant has failed to respond to written notices promptly regarding issues related to their tenancy, such as late rent payments or damage caused by their conduct. 
  9. A local ordinance or law affecting the rental unit obligates the landlord to terminate the tenancy agreement and evict any tenants residing there. 
  10. The tenant is engaging in criminal activity at the rental property, which puts other residents and neighbors at risk. 
  11. The tenant has abandoned the property and left it unoccupied for an extended period of time without notifying the landlord. 
  12. The tenant is creating a public nuisance or disturbing other tenants with their behavior. 
  13. The tenancy agreement has expired, and the landlord does not plan to renew it. 
  14. The tenant is refusing to move out after being given notice to do so by the landlord or has remained in the unit after the termination of the lease agreement without authorization from the landlord. 
  15. The tenant is subletting the rental unit without the landlord's permission. 
  16. The tenant has failed to comply with local health and safety regulations or codes applicable to the property. 
  17. The tenant is using the rental property for an illegal purpose, such as manufacturing drugs or running an unlicensed business from the premises. 
  18. The tenant has threatened or harassed other tenants on the property, creating a hostile environment for other occupants of the building. 

These are some of the most common reasons why landlords may issue notices to vacate. Landlords need to be aware of the specific laws and regulations in their jurisdiction when it comes to issuing notices to vacate, as these may vary from place to place. 

How Much Notice Is Required by State Law? 

The amount of notice required when issuing a notice to vacate varies by state. To make this easier for you, the chart below details the notice period requirements for each state, according to the legal resource website Nolo.com

It's important to note this information may change as laws vary and can be updated at any time. Consult with your local legal advisor or real estate attorney when preparing a notice to vacate. 

Additionally, notice periods may be significantly shorter if the tenant has committed any lease violations, so make sure you understand your state’s relevant laws. 

Best Practices for Sending a Notice to Vacate

Since you now know when a notice to vacate is needed and how much notice needs to be given in each state, it's important to understand the best practices for sending a notice. 

First, make sure to properly document everything leading up to the notice. This includes any conversations with the renter or attempts at resolution before giving notice if you are terminating the lease agreement early. 

Additionally, always provide written notice of termination instead of simply telling the tenant they need to move out. This will ensure the situation is officially documented and can protect both parties from potential legal problems down the road. 

Here are the best practices to consider following when you send a notice to vacate to your tenant:

  • Make sure you understand the relevant state and local laws. Every state has its own laws governing how notices to vacate must be sent, so make sure you know what the requirements are in your area before taking action. 
  • Prepare the notice letter carefully. It should include all necessary information about why the tenant is being asked to leave, when they are expected to leave, and any other applicable instructions or guidelines. Be sure your letter complies with all applicable legal requirements for it to be legally enforceable.
  • Deliver the notice properly. In most cases, a written notice must be delivered in person or by certified mail (with a return receipt requested). Make sure you follow the appropriate delivery protocols for notices to vacate in your area.
  • Give the tenant enough time to leave. Depending on state law and other factors, tenants may be given anywhere from 14–60 days’ notice before they are expected to move out.
  • Follow up if necessary. If the tenant does not vacate as instructed, you may need to take further legal action, such as filing an eviction lawsuit, to get them off the property within a reasonable amount of time. 

Finally, consider using a notice to vacate template that includes all the necessary information. We've provided a template for you below.

Notice to Vacate Template 

When creating a notice to vacate document, you want to ensure the notice is well-crafted and in compliance with all relevant tenancy laws. 

Your notice should include the tenant's name, the current address of the rental property, the date notice is being served on the tenant, and the move-out date by which they must vacate the premises. 

Additionally, clearly indicate key information on your notice to vacate. That information includes the complete details of the landlord/agent, notice length depending on tenancy type (month-to-month or rental agreement), and security deposit refund procedures.

Finally, signature fields for both the tenant and landlord should be included in your notice so there is a documented record for both parties.

Here's a sample template of a notice to vacate:

Download your free notice to vacate template here:

Word Document

Google Doc

PDF

After selecting the link for the format of your choice, click on "File" at the top left-hand corner of the page, then select "Download."

Commercial property insurance can protect your building and its assets from unexpected losses. With this coverage, you have peace of mind knowing if disaster strikes, your policy can help cushion the blow. 

As with any insurance coverage, the cost is a chief concern. How much do different policies cost, and how does that impact the coverage they provide?

This article discusses the costs associated with commercial property insurance. You’ll learn everything you need to know to make an informed decision about the type and amount of coverage right for your business. 

Also covered in this guide are the top carriers for commercial insurance and where to find the best commercial property insurance policy options for your needs.

Commercial Property Insurance Coverage Basics

Regardless of how unique your commercial property is, from its location and size to construction materials, there are basic levels of coverage every landlord or property manager must have. A basic policy should protect:

  • Property structure: A property's primary and secondary structures can incur significant financial loss when damaged. Any commercial property insurance coverage needs a building policy protecting these structures from several perils, like fire, explosions, and vandalism. 
  • Landlord belongings: Coverage for the contents within your property is essential if you provide these items to service the building. Landlord belongings most commonly covered include furniture and fixtures, appliances, carpets, and other items used to maintain the property.
  • Loss of income: When your rental property is rendered uninhabitable due to damages caused by a covered risk, the loss of income policy will reimburse you for the lost rental income you would have earned from tenants.

How Much Does Commercial Property Insurance Cost?

The cost of commercial property insurance depends on a range of factors, such as the size and location of the property, any unique risks associated with it, and the amount of coverage you need. 

According to a recent article in Forbes, commercial property insurance costs an average of $756 annually or approximately $63 per month. However, the amount of coverage you purchase is typically based on the value of your assets and inventory (for business owners). 

Since insurance companies offer different pricing structures, compare plans to get the best deal. Generally, insurance premiums are calculated using a combination of factors, including building costs, replacement values, and projected income. You can also tailor your policy by choosing additional coverage that caters to your specific needs. 

Ultimately, working with an experienced insurance broker to find the right plan for your business is key to getting adequate coverage at an affordable price.

Factors That Affect the Cost of Commercial Property Insurance

Every property is distinctive, so insurance rates will vary significantly between commercial properties, even if they share the same zip code. 

Your property's features play a significant role in determining your premiums. Learning what features affect your commercial property insurance rates can help you lower and manage your payments more effectively.

Let's look at the most common factors insurers consider when pricing premiums.

Location

Location is one of the most influential factors in property insurance pricing. Even the tiniest details about an area can drive your insurance to the higher or lower end of the pricing spectrum. 

For starters, carriers consider your exposure to natural disasters like hurricanes, wildfires, and earthquakes. If your property is in an area prone to these disasters, your insurance costs will be higher.

Here’s a tip: search Obie’s Risk Map to learn about any natural disaster risks in your area. You’ll be better prepared to find the right insurance for your rental property.

The second critical factor influencing insurance costs is the crime rate around your property’s location. Premiums will be more expensive for properties in areas with higher crime rates.

Other factors relating to your property’s location include its proximity to fire stations, police departments, bodies of water, and the area’s construction costs.

Replacement Cost

How much would it cost to repair damage to the building or replace stolen items? The property size, construction materials needed, the value and quality of the furniture and household items on the property, and the equipment type all affect your premiums. The higher the replacement cost, the higher your premiums. 

Level of Coverage

Your insurance cost will depend on the covered events and largely depends on whether you have an all-risk or named-peril policy. 

A named-peril policy only covers perils the insurer names on the policy. In contrast, an all-risk policy covers all perils except those explicitly excluded in the policy. All-risk policies cost more due to the extensive coverage they provide.

Deductible

A deductible is the amount of money you must pay out-of-pocket in the event of a claim before your insurance company begins to cover any costs. 

Generally, your premium payments will be lower when you choose a higher deductible. However, this also means you are responsible for paying more if you have to file a claim.

Claims History

Insurance companies consider the frequency of claims lodged against a property and the reasons why they were filed. Their reasoning goes like this: a consistent history of filing claims—even minor ones—sets up the expectation there will be future claims. 

Therefore, the more frequently you’ve filed claims in the past, or the more past claims filed by the previous property owner, the more likely insurance companies expect you to keep doing so.

Policy Limits

Apart from covered perils, how much your carrier will pay for damages also impacts your premiums. For instance, if your policy limit for building coverage is $1 million and the replacement cost is $1.5 million, your carrier will only cover up to $1 million, leaving you to pay the remaining $500,000.

A lower policy limit might save you on premiums. However, to protect yourself against unknowns, it is wise to purchase a policy covering all of the expenses associated with rebuilding or restoring your property to its original condition, or you can consider purchasing an umbrella insurance policy.

Additional Coverages to Consider for Your Commercial Property Policy

Don't settle for just basic coverage. Take the extra step and purchase additional insurance policies as riders, even though it may cost more. 

If you weigh the expense of having good insurance coverage against having to foot the bill for damages yourself, the cost suddenly looks much more reasonable. By getting these added protections now, you can better protect yourself from potential financial trouble in the future.

Business Interruption

This policy replaces lost business income from your property due to a covered event. For instance, if damage from a fire forced tenants to move out during repairs, you would no longer be receiving that income. 

The difference between a business interruption policy and a loss of income policy is the former is more extensive. A loss of income policy only reimburses you for lost rent. A business interruption policy covers profits, fixed costs, payroll expenses, loan payments, taxes, and other business expenses.

Equipment Breakdown

There's more to owning and managing a commercial property than just providing a physical structure to your tenants. Your property will most likely have service equipment, such as boilers, elevators, and HVAC systems. 

This equipment is expensive to acquire and maintain. That's why not having coverage can cost you a staggering amount of money when the equipment becomes faulty.

Debris Removal

In the aftermath of a catastrophic event, like a fire or hurricane, a substantial amount of debris must be cleared before any repairs or rebuilding can occur. The cost of removing this rubble can increase quickly depending on local removal fees and how much you need to discard. 

Fortunately, acquiring additional coverage to cover these expenses can provide some financial security under these circumstances.

Ordinance or Law

Building codes and regulations frequently evolve, and staying up to date with them can be expensive. If your property fails to meet the new standards, you'll need to pay for costly repairs or rebuilding work. 

This is when ordinance or law coverage comes in handy. It pays for these costs and guarantees any reconstruction complies with all current regulations.

Next Steps for Apartment Owners: Get a Free Property Insurance Quote from Obie

Do you need to insure an apartment building with 5 or more units? Standard landlord insurance provides you with some coverage, but it won't protect you against natural disasters, fire, and other large-scale losses. That is why commercial property insurance is essential for larger buildings.

Obie is an online insurance broker dedicated to simplifying the process of buying commercial property insurance. Obie uses cutting-edge technology to streamline the insurance-buying process, providing quotes from multiple insurance carriers quickly and efficiently.

With Obie, landlords and real estate investors with multifamily properties of 5 or more units can find the commercial property insurance that fits their needs without spending hours comparing policies from multiple companies. If you're looking for commercial property insurance, Obie can make the process easier.

Obie gives you access to customized coverage options and offers great customer service to help protect your multifamily property while staying within your budget. To get an instant quote online, just enter your commercial property address on Obie’s website.  

(Note: If you have a property with 20 or more units, visit Obie’s Private Client page.)

Next Steps for Owners of Other Types of Commercial Properties

Reach out the Obie Private Client team to learn what your options are. They’ll be able to provide you with an estimate or can point you in the right direction. Complete the form on this page to get in contact with Obie Private Client today.

The short-term rental market is poised for further growth nationwide, according to a recent article on Hospitality Net, listings, guest demands, and revenues are all on the rise and predicted to increase in 2023.

If you're reading this, you already know that most short-term rental marketplaces offer insurance while you have guests. But did you know these same platforms do not insure your property while it's vacant between guests?

That is why a short-term rental insurance policy is helpful—you're essentially only insuring your property when it's unoccupied. Keep reading to learn more about the cost of short-term rental insurance so you can make the best decision for your rental property.

What Does Short-Term Rental Insurance Cover?

A short-term rental insurance policy covers a rental property leased out for short periods, usually 30 days or less. This policy typically provides coverage for the dwelling, other structures on the property, personal belongings, and liability. Some policies will also cover loss of income if your rental property becomes uninhabitable due to a covered peril.

Short-term rental insurance policies protect property owners against several events, just like standard homeowners insurance policies or landlord policies. These include theft, vandalism, fire, smoke, vehicles, and explosions, just to name a few. 

Although exclusions vary between providers, most short-term rental policies will not cover damages from natural disasters like floods and earthquakes. 

Short-term rental insurance policies will primarily provide coverage for basic hazards:

  • Dwelling protection covers the physical structure of your property, such as the roof, walls, windows, and any detached structures like fences or garages. 
  • Personal property protection covers your household belongings used to service a short-term rental property, including appliances and electronics, furniture, carpet, and other personal items inside the house.
  • Loss of use applies when your rental property gets damaged to the point you cannot host any guests. That translates to lost rental income while your property is under repair. 

Loss of use reimburses you for the rental income you’d otherwise enjoy during this period. However, it only applies when the property suffers damage from a covered peril, not a lack of guests. 

  • Liability coverage protects you from claims or lawsuits filed by guests and other third-party individuals who get injured or incur a loss on your property. This coverage is intended to cover legal costs, medical costs for the injured party, and other damages from the lawsuit.

Besides the basics, some short-term rental policies will also cover you against the excess use of utilities such as water and power. For instance, a guest might forget to switch off the lights or leave a tap running, inflating your utility bill for that period. Your short-term rental insurance steps in, covering the extra cost.

How Much Does Short-Term Rental Insurance Cost?

The cost of short-term rental insurance varies. It depends on several factors, including the location of the property, the value of the property, the type of coverage you need, and more.

Location

A property in an area with a higher crime rate or risk of natural disasters or one that is close to popular tourist attractions is more likely to experience common occurrences that could lead to filing an insurance claim. As a result, the insurance price may be higher than if the property was outside these areas.

Note: If you’re analyzing a property and want to see if it’s in a natural hazard risk area, use Obie’s free Risk Map here.

Condition of the Property

The property age and how often it is maintained, indoors and outdoors, play a role in how much insurance will cost. For example, if the plumbing and wiring are old, that poses a greater risk of fire or flooding to the insurer, which results in higher costs.

Size

Apart from your property’s condition, your insurance carrier will also consider its square footage. Larger properties require more construction materials, labor, and time to rebuild or repair, hence the higher cost of insuring them.

Construction Materials

Were the construction materials used to build your property standard and common? Unique and costly materials usually also mean pricier insurance for the property.

Personal Items

Your insurance company will not only consider the construction materials of your property when determining rates, but they will also consider the quality of your household contents. The replacement cost of higher-end items is more expensive, and your insurance rates will reflect that.

Available Amenities

Having riskier amenities on your property, such as swimming pools, hot tubs, and fireplaces, will result in you having to pay more for insurance. If you decide to install any of these amenities, be sure they are up-to-code and properly maintained. Furthermore, consider investing in additional safety measures such as a pool fence or childproofing a fireplace.

Rental Frequency

As short-term rental insurance only covers the time your property is unoccupied, carriers will assess how often the property has guests. The more frequently you have guests and higher occupancy in your rental, the lower your insurance costs.

Deductible

The higher your deductible is, the less your insurance costs. However, remember a high deductible means paying more out of pocket for repairs if you have to file a claim. A good rule of thumb is to select the higher deductible option only if you're comfortable with being financially responsible for any claims up to that amount.

Is Short-Term Rental Insurance Worth It?

Short-term rental properties present more risk for landlords and property owners than long-term rentals.

The likelihood of theft and vandalism is higher when a short-term property is vacant between guests than when you have long-term tenants. Fixtures that need repair might also go unnoticed if your property has no guests for an extended period. 

Additionally, high guest turnover increases the probability of malicious damage to the property compared to dealing with known long-term tenants.

Short-term rental coverage provides landlords and property managers with essential protection in addition to a landlord insurance policy. To ensure you are getting the coverage you need from your short-term rental insurance policy, here’s what to keep in mind:

  • Premiums: The level of your insurance coverage is based on how much you're willing to pay in premiums. Although it's common for businesses to try and save money or look for discounts, cutting back on insurance coverage could cost you more in the long run.
  • Level of coverage: It is crucial to understand that though short-term rental policies offer coverage for the basics, there are always limits and exclusions to each insurance plan. You should be fully aware of what your insurance carrier covers and doesn't cover. 

For example, how much will they pay for property damage, and how long will they cover you in case of loss of use? Your provider should understand your needs so they can give you the maximum coverage.  

  • Insurer’s history: With the rise in popularity of short-term rentals, not every insurance company has specialized policies to meet those needs. If you are looking for a short-term rental insurance provider, research the carrier’s history to see if they have experience in this niche. 

The risks are higher with short-term rentals, so you need a provider with fair coverage and policy limits who can process claims quickly. Also, consider the company’s financial stability and reputation to ensure it will be around for a while.

The bottom line is that short-term rental insurance is worth it if you want peace of mind knowing your property is covered if something happens when it's rented and when it isn’t. 

Next Steps: Get an Instant Quote Online with Obie

Short-term rental insurance is a necessity when renting out your home or property, either partially or in its entirety, to short-term guests. Given the heavy traffic of guests on your property, the risk of damage and accidents is higher.

Purchasing the right short-term rental insurance will cushion you against financial loss from several perils, including structural property damage, loss of use, and liability. When choosing the right provider, consider the cost of your premiums and the type and level of coverage offered.

You want to be sure you are getting industry-best rates and coverage tailored to your needs when looking for the right short-term rental insurance provider. With a tech-enabled online insurance broker like Obie, you can shop around without ever having to leave your home.

Obie offers competitive rates on policies specifically designed for short-term rentals with additional coverage options such as loss of use and liability. Get the insurance you want without all the headaches of traditional paper applications and processes.

If you need quality short-term rental insurance, consider turning to Obie—the hassle-free way to get the best industry coverage in one place. To get started, simply visit the Obie website and enter the address of your short-term rental property.

As a real estate investor, you may wonder if you need landlord insurance or an umbrella policy. 

Landlord insurance is a type of property insurance that protects landlords from financial losses due to damage to their rental property or from liability claims made by tenants. Umbrella policies provide additional liability coverage above and beyond what is already provided by your landlord insurance policy.

So which one do you need? This guide will help you understand the difference between these two types of insurance and which one is right for you.

What Is Landlord Insurance, and What Does It Cover?

Landlord insurance covers property owners or managers earning rental income. While owning rental property may be a good way to generate rental income and build long-term wealth, rentals also expose you to several risks. 

Rental property insurance can help protect you from damages to your property's structure, loss of rental income if tenants were to move out for repairs, and lawsuits from tenants and other third parties.

Property Damage

Property coverage protects you from the financial loss of repairing or renovating your property when damaged from a covered peril. There is a wide range of covered perils, including fire, smoke, explosions, and theft. Your policy will even cover the replacement cost of contents like household appliances and carpets if you rent a furnished property.

For example, imagine you're a landlord who owns a rental property, and the pipes burst due to extreme cold. The damage is extensive: water has flooded the home, causing significant structural damage and ruining carpets, furniture, and appliances. 

Without adequate insurance, you would have to pay for all these repairs out of pocket. Those expenses could easily cost tens of thousands of dollars—money you could have saved with an appropriate landlord insurance policy.

Lost Rental Income

If your property experiences damage to the extent that your tenants have to move out, the loss of rent policy compensates you for lost income. 

For example, if your rental property became uninhabitable due to a natural disaster like a hurricane, your tenants would have no choice but to leave and stay elsewhere. With a loss of rental income policy in place, you could collect any rent while the house is being repaired or renovated. However, this may result in substantial financial losses if the repairs take a long time. 

Depending on the location of your rental property, the amount of lost rental income due to damages from an event could quickly add up. The most recent report for CoreLogic reveals that single-family median rent prices in the top 10 markets range from $1,847 to $3,689 per month. Insurance coverage offers you valuable income protection.

Third-Party Liability Claims

Third-party liability claims protection in a landlord insurance policy covers the legal costs associated with any lawsuit brought against you as the property owner. Your landlord insurance policy could help protect you from financial losses if you were found liable for any claims incurred by a third party, such as bodily injury or personal property damage. 

Imagine you're renting out an older home with a neglected staircase. A tenant trips and falls down the stairs, seriously injuring themselves. Without proper coverage through landlord insurance, you may be held liable for medical expenses and litigation fees due to the suit brought against you.

While the amount of compensation awarded can vary significantly, Forbes reports that "the median award in premises liability cases — cases holding owners or landlords liable for injuries sustained due to the condition of the property — was $90,000.” With a liability policy in place, your insurer can help protect you from such financial losses.

How Umbrella Policies Can Help Protect Landlords

Why do you need an umbrella policy if your landlord insurance already protects you? Many landlords are surprised to learn that carriers usually only offer up to $1,000,000 in liability coverage. You could be in trouble if you get sued and the costs exceed your policy limit.

An umbrella policy can provide additional protection if you're ever found liable for damages or caught in a lawsuit, particularly if the cost exceeds your standard policy. Fortunately, umbrella policies are an affordable option for extra liability protection. Many carriers provide coverage in $1 million increments for $150 to $350 per year per Kiplinger

Many events might cause claims to exceed the limit of your landlord insurance policy. The additional coverage umbrella policies offer protects you against several liability causes, including: 

  • Property damage
  • Bodily harm
  • Auto liability 
  • Employee benefit liability 
  • Discrimination 
  • Host liquor liability 
  • Personal injury 
  • Contractual liability 
  • Your legal fees 

If a tenant falls on the rental property and sustains significant injuries due to a landlord's negligence, they could take legal action against that landlord. Without an umbrella policy, the landlord would be held liable for any damages that exceed their existing policy limit. That means paying out of pocket for any additional costs due to medical bills or legal fees.

An umbrella policy helps landlords protect themselves from unexpected costs and lawsuits while renting a property. This extra insurance coverage gives you peace of mind should any unforeseen situation arise.

When Would You Need Each Type of Coverage?

Landlord insurance is essential for real estate investors. It offers coverage for property damage and liability protection if someone is injured in the rental unit and decides to file a lawsuit. It covers the loss of a landlord’s personal assets due to theft and vandalism. Landlord insurance will reimburse you if a tenant defaults on their payments.

An umbrella policy provides higher levels of coverage than most standard landlord policies. This coverage is helpful in case someone files a lawsuit related to an injury or other claim against your rental property. 

Umbrella insurance covers legal fees, judgments, or settlements that exceed your landlord policy's limits. This extra layer of protection is particularly important if you have multiple rental properties or a limited liability company (LLC) structure for your real estate investments.

The Benefits of Having Both Types of Coverage

Although it may be costly, having two policies can be very beneficial. 

For example, if your rental property is damaged in a fire and requires your tenants to move out, you would incur significant financial loss. If you neglected to maintain the property and, as a result, someone tripped and fell, you could be held liable for any bodily harm.

Landlord insurance is key to recovering the costs of damages to your building, which could be extensive and expensive. You also lose rental income if tenants have to vacate the property for those repairs. Even if you are otherwise financially secure, landlord insurance protects you from significant losses that could destroy your rental business entirely. 

Your landlord insurance will protect you from liability charges if your tenant sues you. However, if you get sued, you could still face financial losses that landlord insurance doesn't cover. An umbrella insurance policy supplements your landlord insurance and acts as a safety net if something happens and you have to go to court or pay for an emergency. 

Landlord Insurance vs. an Umbrella Policy: Which Is Best for You?

When choosing between landlord insurance and an umbrella policy, assess your personal needs. Consider the assets you have to protect and the coverage level required. 

A basic landlord insurance policy may provide adequate protection for small rental properties. However, what if your rental property has multiple units or costly assets such as furniture or appliances? In that case, an umbrella policy could be the better choice to ensure all those items are covered adequately.

In addition, consider how much liability coverage you need and whether there may be potential risks associated with owning a rental property. Umbrella policies can provide increased levels of coverage that exceed the limits set by even the most comprehensive landlord insurance policies. 

If you live in a state where liability claims against landlords are common, or an area prone to natural disasters, an umbrella policy may be the best option for your rental property.

It's important to remember an umbrella insurance policy does not replace primary coverage; instead, it kicks in after your primary coverage gets used. Ensure you have adequate protection with your standard landlord insurance, then consider adding an umbrella policy for extra protection.

Ultimately, whether landlord insurance or an umbrella policy is best for you depends on a variety of factors. Consider your individual needs and budget when making this decision. An umbrella policy could provide peace of mind and financial security in unexpected situations. 

Talk to a knowledgeable insurance broker who can help you discuss your options and choose the right coverage for your specific situation.

Where to Find Insurance for Your Rental Property

Obie is an online insurance broker who makes finding landlord insurance fast and affordable. 

Obie uses cutting-edge technology to revolutionize the process of buying insurance. Through a platform offering coverage options from trusted global insurance companies, Obie helps you easily meet your specific needs as a landlord.

Check out the Obie website today, and receive an instant quote to see how much money you could save on coverage for your rental property.

You're a landlord who has worked hard to acquire and maintain your rental properties. You know the importance of protecting your property. One potential threat is vandalism, but does landlord insurance cover this damage?

The answer isn't always clear-cut. Read on to learn more about how insurers typically handle vandalized property and what you can do to protect yourself from this costly risk.

What Is Vandalism (Malicious Intent)?

Vandalism is defined as "deliberate damage or destruction of property." It can include broken windows, graffiti, and even slashed tires in the parking area or garage. Essentially, any damage caused by someone with the intent to destroy property can be classified as vandalism. 

Your insurance company may also refer to vandalism as "malicious intent." Believe it or not, vandalism on a rental property is not only done by outside parties Your tenants or their guests can also vandalize your property.

How Much Does Landlord Insurance Cover?

Most landlord insurance policies will cover up to $100,000 worth of damage caused by vandalism (unless you purchase additional coverage). However, it's important to note that most policies have a deductible—meaning you'll have to pay for the first $500–$1,000 worth of damage before your insurance policy kicks in.

For example, say someone threw a rock through one of your rental property's windows and caused $1,500 worth of damage. If you had a $500 deductible on your policy, you would have to pay the first $500 out of pocket then your insurance would cover the remaining $1,000.

In some cases, landlord insurance policies will only cover certain types of damage caused by vandalism—such as fire or smoke damage—so check with your insurer beforehand to find out exactly what is a covered event under your policy and what isn’t.

Landlord insurance typically doesn't cover intentional acts of destruction—such as if you were to deliberately set fire to your own property—so keep that in mind when deciding whether to file a claim with your insurer.

Vandalism vs. Accidental Damage

Vandalism is when somebody maliciously destroys or damages your property on purpose. But accidental damage is different.

For example, your tenant’s child is playing with friends in the backyard, and the ball goes through your window. Since it wasn't planned or intentional, the damage to your property would be considered accidental. 

However, if an angry tenant damages property by throwing a stone through a window, tearing up carpeting, or punching holes in walls—that would be classified as vandalism.

Tips to Protect Your Rental Property from Being Vandalized

Sometimes bad things happen, especially in real estate investing. Luckily, you can always take measures to manage your risks and protect your investment. Below are proactive steps to help landlords safeguard their property against vandalism. 

  • Install security systems like CCTV, motion sensors, alarms, and smart lighting throughout the property, especially in entry and exit areas.
  • Use top security locks and self-closing doors and gates to heighten security on your property.
  • Regular maintenance and landscaping of the property will help eliminate any spots vandals can use as hiding places, like long grass lawns. This step is especially important when you have a vacant rental property.
  • Working with a property management company or hiring a caretaker ensures you have someone available to keep a close eye on your property. Such a measure is also essential when you have a vacant property.
  • Knowing your neighbors and having a good relationship with them can help prevent  mischievous activities happening on your property.  

Not only are outsiders a vandalism threat to your property, but tenants and their guests can be a hazard too. Here are ways to take cautionary measures against both groups' malicious activities and better protect your investment.

  • Conduct a tenant reference check to gain insights into your prospective tenant's character. Have they had issues with other landlords? Who was their previous landlord?
  • Request a high security deposit to help cover repairs from any damages. Tenants are less likely to cause intentional damage with a significant amount of their money on the line as a security deposit. That said, set a reasonable amount within your state's limit that does not drive away prospective tenants.
  • Inspect your property regularly to let your tenants know you are always on top of things. It also allows you to catch damages quickly and avoid surprises when a tenant vacates the property.
  • Create a detailed inventory list, from the fixtures to appliances, stating the condition of each item on the property. Go through this list with the tenant before they move in. Have images and videos as proof. When they are moving out, you can refer to the inventory list to confirm whether any changes to items are through normal wear and tear or malicious damage.
  • Most importantly, have a good relationship with your tenants to increase the chance they will care for your property like it’s their own. Ensure you check on them often, keep tabs on the property's security, and make repairs as soon as they notify you.

Where Can You Find Landlord Insurance with Vandalism Coverage?

There are a few different ways for a rental property owner to find landlord insurance coverage that includes vandalism. One option is to contact insurance companies directly and ask about their coverage options. Another option is to use an online insurance broker like Obie.

Obie uses technology to streamline the insurance buying process, saving time and money.

Obie also offers coverage in all 50 states, so no matter where your rental property is located, you can find the right insurance policy for your needs. Receive an instant quote for landlord insurance simply by entering your property address on the Obie website.

As a landlord, it's important to consider the consequences of requiring too little or too much renters insurance coverage for your tenants.

On the one hand, requiring too little coverage could leave both you and your tenants at financial risk in the event of a disaster. On the other hand, requiring too much coverage could make it harder for your tenants to afford rent and lead them to look for housing elsewhere.

So what is the appropriate amount of coverage? Here's a quick rundown of what landlords need to know about renters insurance, including how much coverage tenants should have.

What Is Renters Insurance, and What Does It Cover?

Picture a scenario where a fire or hurricane ravages your rental property. Your building's structure and contents are destroyed in the process. 

You already have your landlord insurance in place and are therefore protected. If your policy is extensive enough, it could even cover household items you provide to your tenants, like electronics and furnishings. Sounds good so far, right? 

But what about your tenants’ personal possessions? All their furniture, electronics, appliances, collectibles, jewelry, clothes, and so much more? 

Renters insurance protects your tenants against various financial losses, including property damage from accidental or natural disasters, theft, burglary, water damage, liabilities, and living expenses if they need to move out for renovations and repairs.

How Much Renters Insurance Should a Landlord Require a Tenant to Have?

As a landlord, it’s important to consider the consequences of not requiring your tenants to have renters insurance. Without coverage, tenants may not be able to recover financially if their belongings are damaged or stolen. It also protects them from liability in case of an accident on their rental property.

So, how much renters insurance should a landlord require a tenant to have? The best practice is to require a renters policy that covers the replacement cost of the tenant’s belongings and provides at least $100,000 in liability coverage. This protects both parties' interests in the event of an unforeseen circumstance.

Additionally, landlords should thoroughly review and understand any specific insurance requirements outlined in their lease agreement. By following these guidelines, landlords can ensure tenants are protected while minimizing any potential risks for themselves.

Remember to check your state's laws and regulations around this topic too. Some states have a maximum limit on how much coverage you should require from your tenants. You’ll want to find a balance when setting this requirement too high or low.

If you set the bar too high, some potential renters might be discouraged because they’d prefer a place with little to no requirements. Conversely, if you set the policy requirement too low, you are more exposed to risks as the owner.

Can a Landlord Require a Tenant to Obtain Renters Insurance?

In some areas, local and state laws may affect whether or not you can require tenants to have renters insurance. For example, in some jurisdictions, renters insurance may not be allowed unless the lease specifically says renters insurance is required.

However, other states may allow landlords to make renters insurance a mandatory requirement for all tenants. It's essential to be familiar with the laws in your area before implementing a provision for renters insurance. Additionally, consulting with an attorney can ensure that your lease language is legally sound and compliant with applicable laws.

Even without being able to make it a legal requirement, there are still ways for a landlord to encourage their tenants to obtain renters insurance. One option is offering deals or discounts with specific providers. You could also include language in the lease explaining the benefits of renters insurance.

In addition, conducting informational meetings or providing written materials about the importance of protecting one's personal property can aid in educating tenants about the value of obtaining renters insurance. Ultimately, although you may not be able to legally require it, there are still steps you can take to encourage tenants to protect themselves with renters insurance.

Why Renters Insurance Is Important for Both Landlords and Tenants

As a landlord, you have to consider the potential risks and liabilities associated with renting out your property. While it may be tempting to believe that these risks are solely the responsibility of your tenants, in reality, they can also have legal implications for you as the property owner.

This is where renters insurance comes into play. Not only does it offer protection for your tenants’ personal belongings in case of theft or damage, but it can also provide personal liability coverage in the event of an accident on the premises. For landlords, this gives you an added layer of protection against potential lawsuits or financial loss.

Many renters mistakenly believe that their landlord's insurance policies cover their personal belongings in the event of damage or theft. However, this is rarely the case and as such, tenants would benefit from investing in renters insurance.

One of the most significant things renters insurance covers is a tenant’s personal property. If a rental unit catches fire or gets burglarized, renters insurance will reimburse the tenant for the value of lost or damaged belongings. Most renters insurance policies have a limit of $10,000 to $30,000 for personal property coverage, which should be enough to replace most people's belongings. Tenants can also purchase additional coverage if they have high-value items, like jewelry, antiques, or art.

Another important reason for a tenant to have renters insurance is liability coverage. If someone is injured while on the property, they could sue the tenant for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If the tenant is found liable, renters insurance will pay up to the limit of their policy—usually at least $100,000.

Having renters insurance gives the tenant peace of mind knowing they'll be financially covered if something happens on the property.

Renters insurance does not replace a landlord's own insurance policy; rather, it works in conjunction with it to provide comprehensive coverage for both parties. Before renting out your property, make sure to discuss renters insurance with prospective tenants and consider including it as a requirement in your lease agreement.

How Can Landlords Protect Themselves from Potential Liability?

Some common reasons for liability lawsuits include wrongful evictions, failure to refund deposits, and not maintaining the property leading to loss, damage, or injuries.

While you can’t prevent all of this from happening, you can protect yourself from potential liabilities by taking the following steps:

  • Implement adequate tenant screening protocols.  Look for those who get along well with others and will take care of your property as if it's their own.
  • Requiring tenants to have renters insurance coverage helps decrease the chance of facing liability charges for damages caused by your tenant.
  • Properly maintaining your rental property is one of the best ways to protect yourself from potential liability as a landlord. This includes regularly inspecting the property for any damages, promptly making necessary repairs, and keeping the property clean and livable. 
  • By addressing problems immediately, you reduce the likelihood of a lawsuit. If a tenant sues you and can demonstrate that they communicated their concerns to you, but you neglected to resolve the situation promptly, resulting in an injury or damage, you could be held liable.
  • Keeping up-to-date records gives you the paper or digital evidence that proves you have done your job as a landlord. These records include receipts for repair jobs, tenant maintenance requests, inspection reports, and eviction notices. 
  • Carry liability coverage. You can do everything right, including maintaining the property and handling any concerns immediately, but accidents happen. Your liability coverage protects you against these situations by covering legal fees, medical costs, and other damages you might be liable for in a lawsuit. Obie is one insurance brokerage that can help you find the quality coverage you need by getting an instant quote online. 
  • Registering your real estate investment as an LLC separates you from the business. Since an LLC is a legal entity, you are generally not held personally liable as the landlord for any damages. 

Where Can Tenants Obtain Renters Insurance?

Renters insurance is a valuable asset for tenants, providing them coverage for their personal belongings and liability. To obtain coverage, tenants have a few options.

First, they can contact an insurance company and purchase a policy. Alternatively, they can work with a broker or independent agent who can shop around for the best rates on their behalf. Some landlords may even offer renters insurance as part of their lease agreement through their leasing agency or property management company. Also, tenants should ensure that any high-value items, such as jewelry or art, are properly insured under their policy.

By taking the time to choose their renters insurance coverage carefully, tenants can protect themselves from potential financial losses and disasters while helping you, as a landlord, protect your real estate investment.

If you're a real estate investor, landlord, or property manager, you're probably always looking for ways to save money on your properties. One way you can do that is by carefully choosing your insurance policy.

A vacancy clause (also called an unoccupied property clause) is a rider that can be added to your insurance policy and will exclude or limit coverage for certain types of damage while your property is vacant. 

In this article, we'll discuss what vacancy clause insurance is, what it covers, and how to decide whether or not you need it.

What Is Vacancy Clause Insurance, and What Does It Cover?

Vacancy clause insurance is a type of policy usually purchased by homeowners or landlords to protect their vacant or unoccupied property. It can be added as a rider to your standard insurance policy, but because most home and landlord policies do not cover these properties, it often must be bought as a separate policy.

For example, your property may be vacant for an extended period during tenant turnover, the time between one tenant leaving and you finding a new tenant. Or, perhaps you have a small multifamily property or an apartment building. 

If there is a large percentage of unoccupied units, your property could be deemed vacant. Should your property be damaged during this time, your standard insurance coverage usually will not pay for the repairs.

Instead, a vacancy clause rider or policy reimburses you for these damages. Most providers will cover fire and smoke damage, wind, hail, vandalism, and water damage—which are all similar to the risks covered in a standard policy. The circumstances differ, however, because the property is either unoccupied or vacant.

How Do I Know if I Need It, and How Much Should I Expect to Pay for Coverage?

With insurance, there’s a difference between vacant and unoccupied property. 

Unoccupied property is one where the resident is not living on the property for an extended period, but the contents, like furniture and appliances, are still in the house. A vacant property is one where the resident has moved out with all their belongings or contents. So basically, a vacant home has no residents or contents.

For commercial properties, such as apartment buildings, the rules are a bit different. Vacancy depends on the occupation rates of the entire building. Therefore, commercial properties are mostly considered vacant when at least 31% of the building's total square footage area is unoccupied.

Do you manage a vacation rental that usually has no visitors for a large part of the year? Do you own an empty second property that you're trying to sell or rent out? If your building is going to be unoccupied for longer than the terms stated in your standard policy, you may need vacancy clause insurance. Reach out to your insurance company as soon as possible.

Because vacancy clause insurance involves more risk, it’s usually pricier than regular coverage. Malicious mischief and perils such as theft, burglary, and vandalism are elevated in these types of properties. 

Furthermore, maintenance repairs—like pipe or sprinkler leakage—often go unnoticed for extended periods and result in costly damages. The price of vacancy clause insurance will also be contingent on your property's hazard level and the insurer's rate. Typically, this form of insurance costs 1.5 to 3 times more than standard coverage plans.

What Happens If I Don’t Have Vacancy Clause Insurance and My Property Becomes Vacant Unexpectedly?

It’s crucial to read your policy's vacancy provisions clause as insurance companies state the allowed period for a property to remain vacant or unoccupied. The specific definitions will differ between insurance companies, with some setting the limits of vacancy between 30 to 60 days. If your insurer doesn't define clear vacancy timelines, they can interpret it however they want during a claim, which could work against you.

If your property is vacant for an extended period, there are steps you can take to protect it. These steps include making sure the house has contents, checking in regularly, and maintaining the property’s surroundings and appearance by mowing the lawn regularly and leaving lights on.

It’s important to talk to your insurance company. Your standard policy might have a clause for how long an empty property is covered, but you probably won't know exactly how long your property will be vacant.

Are There Other Types of Insurance I Should Consider in Addition to Vacancy Clause Insurance?

Besides your standard policy and vacancy clause insurance, you should consider other policies for extensive coverage, like flood, sewer backup, and law and ordinance. These are usually excluded from your standard policy. 

Whether your property is occupied or vacant, your insurer will not reimburse you for these damages. Adding these as endorsements to your coverage ensures you have comprehensive protection. 

How to Find Vacancy Clause Insurance

As a landlord, you may understand the importance of vacancy clause insurance for protecting a property that’s not currently rented. However, the process of finding and purchasing this insurance can be overwhelming. You may be wondering where to even begin searching for the right policy.

First, ask your current property insurance provider if they offer vacancy clause options, as it may be simpler to add it to an existing policy. Another option is to contact multiple insurance companies directly or work with a local insurance agent who can provide quotes and assistance in selecting the best policy for your needs.

A final option, and potentially the easiest and most convenient one, is to use an online insurance broker like Obie. Obie utilizes technology to streamline the insurance shopping process, making it hassle-free for clients like you to find and purchase the right coverage for your vacant property.

In the end, remember that regardless of how you go about finding vacancy clause insurance, securing this coverage is crucial in protecting yourself from potential losses during periods of vacancy.

Find the right policy for your property with Obie, a trusted online insurance broker featured in publications like Forbes, Fortune, and TechCrunch. Receive an instant quote by simply entering your property address here.

Are you a landlord wondering if public liability insurance is necessary for your rental property? Many landlords are confused about the difference between public liability insurance and their general or umbrella coverage.

While it may seem like just another type of insurance to add to your already growing list, public liability coverage can protect you from certain kinds of lawsuits and damages that fall outside of your general policy coverage. 

It's important to understand the risks associated with renting out properties and make sure that you have the appropriate coverage in place.

What Is Public Liability Insurance?

Public liability insurance protects you against liability lawsuits from third parties who might have suffered or claim to have suffered due to your business operations. As a landlord, these lawsuits could be from your tenants, their guests, and trade or service people. 

In addition, it may also cover you from liability claims by intruders who might be injured while trespassing on your property.

How to Decide if Public Liability Insurance Is Right For Your Rental Property

Landlords sometimes wonder if public liability insurance is really necessary. Here are some rules of thumb to follow to help you decide if it's worth it for you.

First, think about the potential risks associated with your property. Do you have a pool or other potentially hazardous amenities? Are there a lot of visitors coming onto the property, such as contractors or maintenance workers? Is the pavement around your property in good condition? Are there any potential tripping hazards? These are all factors that might make public liability insurance necessary.

Another question to ask yourself is what kind of coverage you currently have. If your general property insurance doesn't include public liability, adding it on could provide some extra peace of mind.

What Public Liability Insurance Covers (and Doesn’t)

The number of events that can result in a liability claim is seemingly endless. Consider someone tripping and falling on your property as an example. This might lead to minor wounds, or it may be as serious as a fatal fall. Some of the most commonly covered events include:  

Property damage

If you failed to maintain the property and there were leaks, falling trees, or a faulty gate that damaged your tenant's or another party's property, you could be liable for this loss. Your public liability coverage steps in and compensates them for this loss.

Physical injuries

These are any bodily harm a third party incurs on your property. For example, an open staircase or faulty handrail could lead to a slip or a fall. Such a fall could lead to fractures and other physical injuries. Your policy will cater to their medical costs if sued and found liable for negligence.

Lost income

If an injured party sues for lost revenue due to physical injuries and you are liable, your public liability coverage will compensate them up to your policy limits.

Accidental death

If someone dies on your property and you are held liable, your public insurance policy will generally cover the claims.

Legal fees

We live in a litigious society, and lawsuits can be expensive, even for minor events. In such cases, your public liability insurance covers your legal fees. If you lose the lawsuit, you could also be liable for the other party's legal fees. With the right public liability policy, you don't need to worry about these costs.

There are a few situations where public liability for real estate insurance won't help you if you're sued by a tenant or member of the public. For example, this type of insurance generally doesn't cover intentional acts or damages caused by gross negligence. So, if you were to harm someone intentionally or if someone was injured due to your complete disregard for their safety, your public liability for real estate policy probably wouldn't help you foot the bill. 

Additionally, most policies exclude coverage for things like professional services, environmental damages, and contractual liabilities. So, if you were to provide professional advice or services to tenants and something went wrong, your policy likely wouldn't cover the resulting damages. The same goes for any environmental damages caused by your property (think: lead paint exposure) or any contractual liabilities arising from agreements between you and your tenants. 

These are just a few examples. Be sure to read your policy carefully so that you know what is and isn't covered before making any assumptions about what protection you have in the event of a lawsuit. 

Why Public Liability Insurance Is a Must for Landlords

There are several reasons why landlords need public liability insurance:

  • Accidents happen and there's always a chance that someone could be injured on your property. If this happens and you're sued, public liability insurance can help cover the cost of legal fees.
  • Even if you're not sued, medical bills and other expenses can quickly add up if someone is injured on your property. Public liability insurance can help reimburse you for these costs.
  • If your property causes damage to someone else's property, you could be held liable. For example, if a tenant's apartment floods and damages the unit below it, the landlord could be held liable for the damage. Public liability insurance can help reimburse you for the cost of repairs in this type of situation. 

10 Questions To Ask Before Buying Public Liability Insurance for Your Rental Property

  1. How much coverage is offered? Make sure you understand the maximum amount the insurance company will pay out in the event of a claim.
  1. Who is covered under this policy? Is it just you as the landlord, or do tenants and visitors also have coverage?
  1. What specific incidents are covered? Are there any exclusion clauses that could leave you unprotected in certain situations?
  1. Are there restrictions on the type of property or location that can be covered?
  1. What claims involving maintenance and repairs are covered? Do routine maintenance and inspection, or only unexpected accidents or damage, fall under the policy?
  1. Is there coverage for loss of income due to property damage, such as if a tenant needs to temporarily relocate during repairs?
  1. How long does the coverage last—is it a one-time purchase, or do you need to renew yearly?
  1. Are there any discounts available, such as for bundling with other insurance policies or having a claims-free history?
  1. Can additional coverage be added at a later date if necessary?
  1. What is the claims process like—how quickly can reimbursements or repairs be made in the event of an incident?

Asking these questions before purchasing a policy can ensure you have the right level of protection for your rental property and potential liabilities. It's always better to be prepared ahead of time rather than face unexpected gaps in coverage after an incident occurs.

How To Choose The Right Public Liability Insurance for Your Needs

Finding the right public liability insurance policy can feel overwhelming, but there are a few key things to keep in mind. First, ensure the policy covers any potential risks that could arise from your property—including physical damage and injury to tenants or visitors.

Next, take a look at the coverage limit. Make sure it's high enough to cover any major accidents or incidents without leaving you with out-of-pocket expenses. 

Additionally, pay attention to the exclusions listed in the policy—while they vary by insurer, common exclusions can include intentional damage or criminal activity. It may also be worth looking into extra coverage options, such as legal expenses if you were to face a lawsuit.

Researching different insurers and comparing quotes can also help ensure you get the best value for your needs. By taking these steps, you can feel confident in finding the right public liability insurance for your rental property.

Where to Find Public Liability Insurance

As a landlord, it's important to protect yourself and your property with public liability insurance. You can try searching for a policy through traditional means, such as speaking with an insurance agent or calling various companies for quotes. However, using an online insurance broker like Obie may be the best option.

Obie uses state-of-the-art technology to revolutionize the insurance buying process and make it as quick and easy as possible. Plus, they have access to a wide range of policies from top providers, allowing you to compare and choose the best coverage for your needs. More than $4 billion in property is insured with Obie and coverage is available in all 50 states.

Don't waste valuable time and energy searching for policies on your own—go with a trusted online broker like Obie for all your insurance needs. Receive an instant quote online by simply entering your property address here.

Mixed use property can be complicated for a building owner to insure. Each type of business conducted on the property - retail, office, or residential - has different insurance needs. 

As a result, landlords must ensure they are properly covered by working with an experienced insurance broker who understands the unique risks associated with mixed use property.

So do you need mixed use property insurance? The answer is maybe. It depends on how your property is classified and what type of coverage you need. 

This blog post will break down everything you need to know about mixed use property insurance so that you can make the best decision for your business. 

Mixed Use Insurance vs. Residential Coverage and Commercial Property Insurance: What's The Difference?

As a real estate investor or landlord, it's important to know the difference between residential coverage, commercial property insurance, and mixed use insurance. Though all of these policies cover physical damage to your property, there are some key distinctions that you should be aware of.

Residential Property Insurance

Residential property insurance is designed for homes used solely for living purposes. This type of policy typically covers loss of use, dwelling protection, personal belongings, liability, and medical payments. 

If you have a residential rental property, it's important to ensure that your policy covers all the risks associated with being a landlord. Things like damage to your property from tenants, liability if a tenant is injured on your property, and even theft can all be costly problems if you're not adequately protected.

Commercial Property Insurance

As a landlord of a commercial property, one of your biggest concerns is facing a lawsuit from either a tenant or the general public. A lawsuit can arise from slips and falls on the property, damage to the property or personal belongings, or even potential discrimination claims. 

In addition, you may also face financial loss due to business interruptions or damage to the property. Commercial property insurance can protect against these risks, offering coverage for both liability and physical damage to the property.

Mixed Use Property Insurance

Mixed use property insurance is designed for buildings that are used for both commercial and residential purposes. This type of policy typically covers loss of income, business interruption, theft, property damage, and liability. If you have a mixed use building, it's important to ensure that your insurance policy covers both the residential and commercial aspects of your business.

Landlord insurance for a commercial or mixed use property is typically more complex than landlord insurance for a residential rental property. This is because these properties are usually larger and have more complex structures than residential properties. 

Buildings with mixed residential and commercial use also tend to have more people coming and going, increasing the risk of damage or theft. As a result, landlords of properties with both residential and commercial components need to be more diligent in protecting their investment.

What Does Mixed Use Property Insurance Cover?

You're likely to face several types of risks when renting out mixed use property. These dangers might include property damage, legal issues, theft, and loss of rental income. Most insurance policies will cover common problems like these:

  • Property damage - property coverage protects you against the financial loss of damages to the property's structures against perils like fire, smoke, and falling objects, among others. It will also cover property contents, like equipment and furniture used to run your business.
  • Loss of use - if your tenants have to move out when the property is unlivable due to a covered event, your insurer compensates you for the rent you would otherwise collect if the tenants were still occupants.
  • General liability - claims or lawsuits from tenants and injured parties could result in thousands of dollars of legal costs, medical bills, and other damages.

It's important to remember that you're not simply a landlord; your mixed use property is an entire business. Therefore, it may require more than the basics above. Other events to have insurance for include:

  • Flood insurance - like many insurance policies, mixed-use coverage excludes flood insurance. This coverage is necessary if your property is in a flood zone.
  • Sewer or water backup - this is when sewer water from drains and toilets is pushed back up to your property. With so many tenants, the chances of sewer backup are even higher. Sewer backup will cover the cost of sewer removal and replacement costs for the damaged main line and your property.
  • Workers' compensation - mixed use properties require a lot of maintenance, leading to the employment of individuals that help manage, like janitors. This coverage covers your employees if they are injured on the job. 
  • Ordinance or law - this covers the costs of updating the property to current building codes.
  • Umbrella policy - the high traffic associated with mixed use properties exposes you to more liability cases. There needs to be more than a standard liability policy. Your umbrella policy kicks in and covers additional liability damages.

Since mixed use building insurance is never one size fits all, it is crucial to understand who occupies your properties and the risks you face. By doing this and working with a professional insurance broker, you can be sure that your policy will be personalized to fit your needs.

How Much Does Insurance for Mixed Use Property Cost?

When determining the cost of landlord insurance for mixed-use property, a few key factors come into play. The first is the location of the property. Areas with higher crime rates or natural disaster risk typically result in higher premiums (if you’re curious to see if your property is in an area with any natural hazards, use Obie’s Risk Map here).

The size and value of the property also play a role, as well as the types of tenants and their related industries. For example, a mixed use property with retail stores and residential units may have lower premiums than one with residences and both retail stores and a restaurant or bar.

Additionally, the level of coverage and deductible selected can affect the overall cost of insurance for a mixed use property. Finally, the age and condition of the building can affect premiums and coverage options.

As you consider landlord insurance for your mixed use property, it's important to keep these factors in mind and work with an insurance provider who can tailor a policy to meet your specific needs.

Where To Find Mixed Use Property Insurance

As a landlord, you have a few options for finding insurance for your mixed use property. You can work with an insurance agent, purchase a policy directly from an insurance company, or use an online insurance broker like Obie.

There are a few things to consider when choosing the right option for your mixed use property insurance. First, you must ensure you're getting the coverage you need. Second, you need to find an affordable policy (on average, landlords are saving 25% on insurance with Obie). And third, you need to find a provider that is easy to work with.

An online insurance broker like Obie can help you check these boxes. When you use Obie, you'll be able to get the coverage you need for your mixed use property at a price that fits your budget. And because Obie uses technology to streamline the insurance buying process, you'll be able to get your policy in place quickly and easily.

To get started, visit Obie today and enter your property to get an instant quote. 

As an apartment building owner or manager, you know that there are a lot of things to keep track of—from maintenance and repairs to rent collection and lease agreements. 

One of the most important things on your list should be finding the right insurance for your property. With so many options, it can be tough to know where to start.

Don't worry - we’re here to help you make sense of things. This blog post will give you tips on finding the best insurance for your apartment building and share some things to keep in mind as you compare policies. So read on, and rest assured, knowing that you're well on your way to finding the right coverage for your property.

Looking to protect yourself and your investment? Get an instant quote from Obie today. No paper applications, week-long waits for quotes, or back and forth with brokers.

How To Find The Best Insurance for an Apartment Building

Having good insurance coverage is important. But it can be hard to choose the right policy. This is especially true when you are dealing with apartments because there are so many things that could go wrong.

It helps to have a list of requirements and minimum coverage an insurer should provide. Here are some of the questions to ask when purchasing insurance for an apartment building:

  • Is the coverage named or special form?
  • Does the policy cover additional structures, e.g., fences, pool houses, landscaping, mailbox clusters, parking, and gates?
  • What are liability coverage limits?
  • Does your liability insurance include discrimination coverage? 
  • What is your deductible, and how can you get the best value?
  • What is the extent of loss of use—the period covered and the amount?
  • Will a future claim be paid in actual value or replacement cost—given that replacement value cost is usually the best option as it does not factor in depreciation?
  • Can you get blanket coverage for multiple properties?
  • Availability of law and ordinance
  • Available riders and costs—for example, sewer backup, flood, and earth movement coverages.
  • If you have employees, what's the level of workers' compensation?  
  • How about contractors, property managers, and other vendors, like landscapers? Are they covered under your policy? And do they need to meet specific requirements?
  • What is the insurance company's history in handling and honoring claims?

Best Apartment Building Insurance Providers

There are many insurance providers to choose from, but not all will be a good fit for apartment building owners. You need to research and find a provider who caters to your specific needs. Sometimes it can be helpful to work with an online insurance broker like Obie to compare different providers and find the best one for you. (If you own an apartment building with 20 or more units, be sure to check out Obie's private client service.)

However, if you prefer to do your own shopping for insurance, here are a few of the best apartment building insurance providers to consider, according to Fit Small Business.

Chubb Insurance

Chubb insurance is one of the largest insurance companies. It is traded publicly and has a Superior (A++) A.M. Best rating. Chubb provides property and casualty insurance to individuals and companies of all sizes. 

It offers various insurance products, from commercial property insurance to workers' compensation and umbrella policies. In addition, it allows you to fill in your details online for an instant quote customized to your needs.

Farmers Insurance

Founded in 2012, Farmers Insurance Group has an A Rating from A.M. Best. It has made a name in the industry as a provider of coverage for homes, vehicles, and small businesses. However, it is widely known for its commercial property coverage wrapped in a Business Owner's Policy. 

Its online portal is quite helpful as it allows you to make claims. It also includes educational resources with a wide variety of information to ensure you are well-educated on all insurance matters.

State Farm Insurance

State Farm Insurance provides various insurance products, including customizable coverage for apartment building owners. Generally, its policy for apartment owners includes coverage against fire, tenant misuse, liability lawsuits, and destruction by natural disasters. 

It also has additional policies you can add as riders, including laws or ordinances. Most notable, though, is its online portal that allows you to enter your zip code and connects you to agents in your location. It also has an A++ A.M. Best rating.

Travelers Inc.

The Travelers Companies, or in short, Travelers Inc., is among the largest insurance providers in the country with an A++ A.M. Best rating. It offers landlord insurance for rental property owners with 1 to 4 units. 

This makes it an ideal provider if you own a duplex, triplex, or fourplex apartment building. Besides covering the property's primary and additional structures, it also covers the landlord's contents, liability, and loss of use.

FAQs

What insurance do I need for my apartment building?

There are several insurance types available for apartment buildings:

  • Commercial property insurance - is available for commercial properties, including apartment buildings with multi-stories. Or if you have multiple properties. It mostly comes in the form of named peril, covering the property against risks like fire, smoke, explosions, riots, and vandalism. It covers more than its primary structure. The coverage extends to other structures, like the fence, storage, and swimming pool. Most insurers will also allow riders for other events, like flood coverage.
  • Business income insurance - this is also referred to as business interruption insurance or loss of use insurance. It provides rental income reimbursements if anything happens to your property or the tenants.
  • General liability insurance - will protect you against financial damages from lawsuits. It covers medical and legal costs if someone is injured on your property and you are found negligent. Some insurers will even damage by discrimination lawsuits.
  • Business owner's policy - is designed for small businesses and would be ideal if you have a small apartment building, e.g., a duplex, triplex, or fourplex. A BOP provides coverage for the property, general liability, and business interruption. Most policies will, however, not include endorsements for perils like earth movement and flood. In addition, a BOP will also exclude professional liability and workers' compensation.
  • Umbrella Insurance - is additional coverage that kicks in when you exhaust the limits of your liability policy. In a litigious society, there is no telling what could land you in trouble. Maybe a tenant's guest fell off the staircase and sued you for negligence. Or you are accused of discriminating against or evicting a tenant illegally. Whichever the case, it helps to have extra protection against liability charges.
  • Law and ordinance insurance - if you were to rebuild or repair your apartment buildings at an extra cost to comply with current building costs, this coverage reimburses you. Law and ordinance coverage is usually added as a rider to your commercial property insurance. While it comes at an additional cost, it is an important endorsement if you have an old apartment building.

How much insurance do I need for my apartment building?

Like any insurance policy, the cost of your apartment building will depend on several factors. These include:  

  • Location of the property
  • Building age
  • Condition of the apartment building
  • Number of units the apartment building has - the more units, the higher your insurance cost
  • Types of construction materials used on the property
  • Property's security features - steps taken to make the property secure, e.g., installing security cameras, could lower your insurance cost
  • Level coverage you choose - endorsements to your policy add up the cost of insuring your property
  • What about coinsurance penalties? Are they waived?

Besides these, carriers set different prices, so the insurance company you choose for your coverage matters. The best way to ensure you have the best coverage at a reasonable cost is to work with an insurance broker who can shop and compare different carriers on your behalf.

What does insurance cover for my apartment building?

The insurance coverage for your apartment building will depend on the risks involved. For example, is your building located in an area that is at risk for natural disasters, like hurricanes and tornadoes? Or is the area known for having high levels of violence, which could lead to vandalism or burglary? Your apartment's insurance should cover property, rent loss, and liability damages.

Is there anything else I need to know about insurance for my apartment building?

Besides the covered perils and standard deductibles, you also need to know if you have other deductibles. For example, wind and hail, flood, and earth movement policies attract separate deductibles. Knowing what your deductible is can help you plan accordingly. 

How can I get the best price on insurance for my apartment building?

Although insurance costs for apartment buildings can be costly, you can still get the best price. One of the best ways to achieve this is to compare quotes from several providers. Every provider has its pricing strategy and perils covered. Sampling the market allows you to compare and contrast.

However, this can be an overwhelming task. That's why it is advisable to work with an online insurance broker like Obie. Obie can help you find the best insurance for your needs and will make the process much easier. They have experience with different carriers and can quickly source the best providers to insure an apartment building. More than $4 Billion in property is insured with Obie, and coverage is available in all 50 states.

Enter your property address and get an instant quote here.

Many investors consider multifamily properties a solid and affordable avenue for venturing into real estate. The increasing demand, which is expected to remain as younger people defer purchasing single-family homes due to high costs, promises attractive returns in the future. To make money in this industry, it is important to consider things that could affect your investment.

That's where insurance policies come into play. Navigating the insurance world requires some guidance. The complexity of multifamily properties makes their insurance needs a little different from the standard property policies. 

This article covers everything you need to know to ensure your multifamily property has the right insurance coverage.

What Is Multifamily Property Insurance?

Multifamily property insurance covers residential properties that are not single-family homes only. Once a building houses more than one unit, insurance companies consider it a multifamily property.

Examples of multifamily buildings include duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, condos, villas, or multistory residential properties. The units might be within the same building. However, they are separated by walls, so each has individual bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, and living rooms. As a result, each unit may accommodate a different family.

How Does Multifamily Property Insurance Differ From Other Types of Insurance?

Multifamily property insurance is quite different due to the setting of dwelling units. For instance, you can insure some multifamily properties with 2 to 4 units with homeowners or a dwelling fire policy based on whether you reside within the property.

A dwelling fire policy may be most appropriate for multifamily properties with at least 4 units. The primary coverage for these policies is the property's structure. However, based on the type of dwelling fire policy, you can get coverage against liability, loss of rent, and personal property.

Buildings with more than 4 units are generally treated like commercial businesses with comprehensive policies that factor in liability, loss of use, and workers' compensation. Other policies will cover equipment breakdown, which insures the property's electrical, mechanical and electronic systems. 

How Much Does Multifamily Property Insurance Cost?

Business property insurance costs can range from $1,000 to $3,000 for every million dollars of coverage for multifamily buildings. But insurance pricing is not a one-size-fits-all kind of outfit. You could pay less or more than this pricing average based on your needs. Below are the 6 factors affecting the cost and general price range:

  1. Location - Carriers consider the property's proximity to high-risk or high-traffic areas.
  2. Condition - The age and condition of a property can affect how much it costs. Newer and modern properties will have lower premiums than older properties because newer properties are less likely to have problems like faulty plumbing or electrical wiring.
  3. Size and number of units - Insurers consider the size of a multifamily property when deciding how much to charge for insurance. Larger properties and those with more units cost more to insure.
  4. Construction materials - Insurance companies look at things like how flammable a building is or how likely it is to be destroyed by a natural event like a flood. Some construction materials are riskier than others, so the insurance costs more. For example, wooden buildings are more likely to catch on fire than concrete or brick buildings. Your carrier will also consider the inside of the home and what kind of high-end or unique materials you have. These materials cost more to repair or replace than standard materials.
  5. Safety features - Installing safety features, like fire alarms, burglar alarms, smoke detectors, and storm shutters, can lead to discounts on your insurance costs.
  6. Firewalls - Firewalls are used to separate units within a building to keep the fire from spreading from one unit to the other. Having firewalls in your multifamily property can help lower your costs as it reduces the risk of damages in case of a fire.

What Does Multifamily Property Insurance Cover? 

Multifamily property insurance policies can vary widely in terms of their coverage. That's why it's important to work with an experienced online insurance broker like Obie, which can help tailor a policy to meet your specific needs.

Some of the coverages that may be available for your multifamily dwelling include: 

Building coverage

Covers physical damage to the structure of your building, including damage caused by fire, wind, hail, and other events. 

Contents coverage

Covers any contents owned by the landlord such as furniture, appliances, and personal items used to service the rental property. 

Business income coverage

This reimburses you for lost rental income if your building becomes uninhabitable due to a covered loss. 

Extra expense coverage

Pays for necessary expenses incurred to keep your business running after a covered loss, such as temporary repairs or relocation costs. 

Liability coverage

Protects you financially if someone is injured on your property or you are found liable for damages caused by your negligence.  

Medical payments coverage

Pays for minor medical expenses incurred by someone injured on your property, regardless of fault. 

Equipment breakdown coverage

Covers repair or replacement costs for HVAC systems, Elevators, and other critical equipment. 

Water backup and sump overflow coverage

Pays for damage caused by water backing up through sewers or drains, as well as overflow from sump pumps. 

Flood insurance

Reimburses you for damage caused by flooding (note that most standard policies exclude flood coverage).

Best Practices for Choosing Multifamily Insurance

When it comes to multifamily insurance, landlords need to remember that one size does not fit all. Your specific property and tenant needs should be carefully considered to choose the right coverage.

1. Determine the type of coverage you need

The first step in shopping for multifamily insurance is determining the types of coverage you need. Do you need property damage coverage? What about liability coverage? If you're unsure, it's a good idea to consult with an insurance broker such as Obie, which specializes in multifamily properties. Obie will be able to assess your property and let you know what types of coverage are available and recommended.

2. Research different insurance companies

Once you know the coverage types, you can start researching different insurance companies. Make sure to read reviews from other multifamily property owners and see what they have to say about each company's customer service, claims process, and rates. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed against an insurer.

3. Get quotes from multiple companies

Once you've narrowed your options, it's time to get quotes from each of the insurers you're considering. Make sure to compare apples to apples when getting quotes by ensuring each quote is for the same type and amount of coverage. This will help you get an accurate comparison of rates.

4. Choose the right policy for your needs

Once you've collected all of your quotes, it's time to choose the right policy for your needs. When making your decision, consider factors like price, coverage levels, customer service, and claims process. By taking all of these factors into account, you'll be sure to choose the right policy for your multifamily property.

Where To Find Multifamily Property Insurance

You know insuring your multifamily property is essential to protecting your investment. But where can you find the right policy?

There are a few options for finding multifamily property insurance. You can work with a traditional insurance agent, an online insurance broker, or a direct insurer.

Each option has its pros and cons, but working with an online insurance broker like Obie is the best way to get the coverage you need at a competitive price. Here's why:

  • Obie has access to a wide range of insurers, so you can shop around for the best rates for multifamily property insurance.
  • Using Obie's state-of-the-art technologies streamlines the insurance buying process making it easier and faster for you to get the coverage you need.
  • Online insurance brokers like Obie are typically more affordable than traditional insurance agents or direct insurers because they don't have the same overhead costs.
  • Obie is convenient. You can work with them from the comfort of your own home, and you don't have to take time out of your busy schedule to meet with an agent in person.

More than $40 billion in property is insured with Obie, and coverage is available in all 50 states. If you're looking for multifamily property insurance, consider working with an online broker like Obie. They'll help you find the right policy at a great price. 

To get started, visit the Obie website, enter your property address, and receive an instant online quote today. You can compare policies from various insurers to help you find the right one for your needs.

(If you own a building with 20 or more units, visit Obie’s private client portal here.)

Short-term rentals have taken over the market in the last decade. Many travelers have opted for this accommodation as it offers a feel-at-home vibe at a lower cost than a hotel room and often more amenities. 

Online accommodation marketplaces alone have properties listed in the millions. For instance, Airbnb currently has over 5 million listings worldwide.     

The short-term rental market presents an opportunity for property owners to make money, whether you are managing a portfolio of vacation homes or are a homeowner with an extra room looking to make some extra cash on the side.

The catch, however, is that your basic homeowner's or landlord's insurance policy is not enough in this case. In fact, insurers consider converting your property into a rental (short-term rentals included) a potentially risky endeavor. That's where getting damage insurance protection comes in handy.

Here's the ultimate guide to damage protection insurance for short-term rental property and why it's crucial.

What Is Damage Protection Insurance for Short-Term Rental Property?

Damage insurance protection is an insurance policy made specifically for landlords renting part of a home or their entire property on a short-term basis. However, it only applies to short-term paying renters. If you offer free accommodation to friends, relatives, and loved ones, your homeowner's insurance policy is still applicable.

Coverage for short-term rental property is usually added as a rider or endorsement to your existing homeowners' policy. Some insurance companies, though, might provide damage insurance protection as a policy on its own. 

In addition, some policies or endorsements allow you to have coverage for only the periods your short-term rental is occupied. This, ultimately, reduces the cost of your insurance. It is important to consider the available option with your agent or insurer before purchasing the policy.

What Does Damage Protection Insurance Cover?

The damage protection coverage kicks in where your standard homeowners' and landlords’ insurance policies do not apply due to a property’s short-term rental status. It provides coverage for different events, mainly focusing on fixing or replacing damages and theft hosts suffer from unruly guests. In addition, many providers may also cover:

  • Loss of income
  • Excessive use of utilities
  • Liquor liability
  • Identity theft
  • Infestation

However, it's important to remember that insurance coverage for short-term rental property does not cover damages to the property from normal wear and tear.

Do You Need Damage Protection Insurance for an Airbnb?

Absolutely. Airbnb has introduced more stringent measures to help hosts weed out bad guests and protect the host’s property better, one of which is that guests must be above 18 years of age. They must also upload valid identification showing their legal names and address. The information is then cross-checked with available public records when making reservations.

Second, you could use the security deposit strategy, where either Airbnb or the host requires guests to have a security deposit for their stay. Although asking for a deposit could potentially limit your Airbnb business compared to other hosts who don’t require it, collecting a deposit ensures you have funds available to pay for damages caused by the guest. 

Some landlords with short-term rentals take additional measures to combat property damage. This may include installing security cameras and noise monitors, and requiring additional personal information to verify the guest's information.

Although these extra efforts are a good first step, they may fall short if a guest causes significant damage. For example, consider the cost of replacing destroyed furnishings in an entertainment unit or repairing a trashed property. Some hosts have had the misfortune of this and much more, from guests leaving them with stained carpets and beddings to broken furniture pieces and utensils.

It is always better to be safe than sorry. That's why investing in damage insurance protection for your short-term rental property is more important than relying on Airbnb. Filing a claim with Airbnb can be lengthy, requiring you to put your rental business on hold. Also, you may not get all of your claimed amount, as was the case for this host.

Damage protection insurance ensures you have the proper protection against damages surpassing Airbnb's limits. Following up on a claim with your insurance carrier can also be easier compared to dealing with Airbnb.

Tips for Getting the Most Out of Insurance for Short-Term Rental Property

With the ever-changing landscape of the short-term rental market, it can be difficult to know what kind of insurance you need. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your landlord insurance policy: 

Talk to your provider beforehand

If you already have an existing policy, contact your insurance provider before you begin accepting reservations. The high turnover of guests associated with short-term rental property increases your risk.

Keeping your insurer in the loop right from the start allows them to customize your coverage to meet your needs. It also removes the element of surprise during the claim process, which could result in a claim being denied.   

Document damages

It is hard to get a claim through without proof of damage. Regardless of how much your insurance premium is, there is always a risk an insurer will not cover or only partially cover damages that guests might cause without proper proof.

That's why it is paramount to document everything, from the moment your guests arrive to when they depart. This will help you get the reimbursement you deserve from your insurance company. Here are some best practices for documenting an insurance claim:

  • Take photos or videos of the damage. Be sure to document the date and time that the damage occurred.
  • Get a written statement from the tenant detailing what happened.
  • Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the claim.
  • Keep all receipts for repairs or replacements related to the damage.
  • Follow up with your insurance company until the claim is resolved.

Choose the right insurance provider

Most carriers cover contents damage, excessive use of utilities, loss of income, and liquor liability. But there is more to lose when it comes to personal liability charges and the destruction of your entire property's structure. Yes, it happens.

Some Airbnbs have gone up in flames due to a negligent guest, leaving property owners with damages in the millions and little coverage to recoup the loss.

Fortunately, you can protect your short-term rental against destructive guests. Some short-term rental insurance providers will provide you with a comprehensive policy that includes personal liability and property structure coverage. A provider that offers these, albeit at a higher cost, allows you to make the most out of this coverage if and when the need arises.

Beware of loss of income specifics

It's important to be aware of what your loss of income coverage includes in the event that your short-term rental property is uninhabitable. This type of coverage typically includes lost rent and rental income, as well as any related expenses like alternate housing costs for tenants.

Be sure to read your policy's fine print to see what is covered and what isn't. For instance, some policies may not cover lost rent if the property is uninhabitable due to a natural disaster. Others may only cover lost rent for a certain number of days or weeks.

It's also important to remember that most policies have a deductible, the amount you'll have to pay out of pocket before the insurance company starts covering expenses.

How Do I Get Damage Protection Insurance for Short-Term Rental Property?

There are a few different options for landlords to obtain damage protection insurance for their short-term rental properties. 

One option is to purchase an insurance policy through a traditional brick-and-mortar insurance company. Another option is to go through an online insurance broker like Obie, which uses cutting-edge technology to improve the process of shopping for insurance specifically used as investment properties (like short-term rentals).

Why have landlords insured more than $4 Billion in property with Obie? 

When you purchase an insurance policy through a traditional brick-and-mortar insurance company, you usually have to go through a lengthy and complicated process. First, you have to find an insurance agent who represents the company. Then, you have to schedule an appointment with the agent and go through a time-consuming process of filling out paperwork. Finally, you have to wait for the agent to find the right policy for you, which can take a surprisingly long time.

In contrast, Obie makes this process much simpler and faster. With Obie, you can get quotes from multiple insurance companies in just a few seconds, and you don’t have to deal with any paperwork or appointments. Plus, Obie’s technology makes it easy to compare different policies side-by-side to find the best one for your needs.

So if you’re looking for an easier and faster way to get damage protection insurance for your vacation or short-term rental property, go with Obie.

Get an instant quote from Obie today by visiting the website and entering the address of your short-term rental property. You can get started here.

A fire in a rental property can have devastating consequences for a landlord. If the right insurance policy is not in place, the landlord could be left with a huge financial burden.

The cost of repairing the damage caused by the fire can be high. If the property is left uninhabitable, the landlord may also have to pay for alternative accommodation for the tenants. In some cases, the landlord may even be liable for damages if their negligence caused the fire.

That's why any property owner needs to understand the available insurance policies to ensure you choose the proper coverage. Speaking of which, did you know that dwelling fire and landlord policies are different? This article explains everything you need to know so you do not get burned by confusing the two. 

Dwelling Fire Policies vs. Landlord Policies: What's the Difference?

More often than not, you will find landlord policies referred to as dwelling fire policies. While both policies are for properties that are not the owner's primary residence, they have a subtle technical variance that makes all the difference. 

Dwelling fire and landlord policies cover the property's primary and additional structures, like fences and garages. However, dwelling fire insurance does not provide content coverage for the landlord's property used in the rental—such as appliances or landscaping equipment—nor personal liability coverage. On the other hand, a landlord insurance policy will cover everything under the dwelling fire policy in addition to providing coverage for liability, loss of income, and contents.

Coverage Included in a Dwelling Fire Policy

Dwelling fire policies come in three varying forms, each covering different perils. DP1, also referred to as the basic form, is the most affordable and basic dwelling fire policy. DP3, or special form, is the most comprehensive and costly policy. Finally, DP2 or broad form offers a middle ground between DP1 and DP2, offering more coverage than DP1 at a lower price than DP3.

DP1 (Basic Form)

DP1 is a named-peril policy, meaning the insurance company will only cover perils named in the policy. It provides coverage against 9 perils:

  1. Fire
  2. Smoke
  3. Lightning
  4. Explosions
  5. Windstorms
  6. Hailstorms
  7. Aircraft
  8. Vehicles
  9. Volcanic eruptions

Besides offering coverage for just nine perils, the claim payout for DP1 also differs from the other policies. DP1 is the only policy that pays out claims using ACV (Actual Cash Value). 

DP2 (Broad Form)

DP2 is also a named-peril type of policy. In addition to the 9 perils covered under DP1, it also covers:

  • Burglary
  • Vandalism
  • Weight of ice & snow
  • Frozen pipes
  • Falling objects
  • Broken glass
  • Electrical damage
  • Cracking, tearing, and bulging
  • Structure collapse

Besides the difference in the level of coverage with DP1, the claim payout method also differs. Claims under DP2 are paid using RCV (Replacement Cost Value). That means you will receive the cost of replacing or repairing damages to the property without factoring in the property's depreciation.

Apart from covering the property's structure, DP2 can also include loss of rent coverage, which provides property owners with rental income reimbursements when the property remains vacant during repairs.

DP3 (Special Form)

Unlike the previous coverages under the dwelling fire policy, which are named peril, DP3 is an all-risk or open-peril policy. It simply means the insurance company covers all perils unless they explicitly exclude them from the policy. 

DP3 is the most extensive dwelling fire policy, covering all the perils under DP2 and then some. Like DP2, DP3 also pays replacement cost value and can include loss of rent coverage.  

That said, the open-peril only applies to the property's primary and additional structures. The named-policy structure kicks in when it comes to personal property. Although exclusions under this policy vary between service providers, they will typically include the below:

  • Earth movement 
  • Flood 
  • Mold, rot, and rust
  • Negligence 
  • Intentional damage
  • Ordinance or law

To help ensure you choose the right insurance policy and coverage for your rental property, search the Obie risk map to learn about the natural risks in your area.

What's Included in a Landlord Policy?

For property owners, damage to the property's structure is not the only risk to one's property investments. Other events, such as losing rental income when the property becomes unlivable, can affect one's investment significantly. So can facing liability lawsuits from tenants, their guests, and other third parties.

That's where a landlord policy comes in. This policy is more comprehensive than the dwelling fire policy. It is inclusive of loss of rent and personal liability. The former ensures your insurance provider refunds you for lost rental income you would otherwise receive were the property to remain occupied.

It kicks in once your property becomes uninhabitable due to damages from a covered peril, allowing you to meet expenses during this period. The latter provides coverage against financial loss you would incur if you were sued for bodily and property damages a third party incurs on your property. This ranges from falls on the property to loss of property from a failure to maximize the security of the property.

In addition, a landlord policy also covers your personal contents used in the rental property. This coverage is important for a landlord renting out a property that may include appliances, furniture, and equipment like a lawnmower or snow blower.

Pros and Cons of Each Type of Policy

Dwelling fire and landlord policies have their pros and cons. A dwelling fire policy is a more affordable option that offers financial protection against property damage and loss of rent, depending on the type of dwelling fire policy. This makes it ideal for a property owner on a budget, with a secondary residence or a vacant property.

However, the disadvantage is that it does not offer protection against personal liability. In addition, some types of dwelling fire policies are not extensive, exposing one to more property damage risk. By contrast, landlord insurance protects one's property, loss of rental income, and personal liability.

Since landlord insurance also includes two additional coverages compared to a dwelling fire policy, it offers a property owner with multiple properties or commercial units better options and protection. However, on the downside, a landlord policy is pricier.

How to Choose the Right Insurance Policy for a Rental Property

The right insurance policy for a rental policy depends on your situation. Here's how to choose the right one:

  • Choose the right policy for your type of property: The kind of property you have matters. For example, a dwelling fire policy might be the best option if you have a residential rental property that you also occupy, like a duplex. On the other hand, a landlord policy could be the best option if you have multiple residential and commercial units. 
  • Coverage: Pay close attention to the perils covered under the policy. The best coverage for a rental property owner should include property, contents, personal liability, and loss of rent coverage. Make sure you speak with your insurance broker or agent to get clarity around this before binding.
  • Understand your needs: Every property owner's needs are unique. Understanding what you need ensures you consider unique risks that affect you. For example, if your property is in a flood zone area, you should really consider coverage against flooding. 
  • Shop around: It's important for landlords to shop around for an insurance policy for rental property to make sure they're getting the best coverage possible. There are a lot of different insurance companies out there, and each one offers different policies. Some might offer better coverage for certain things than others. Shopping around can help you find a policy that's affordable and gives you the coverage you need.

Get an Instant Online Quote From Obie Today

As a landlord, you understand the importance of protecting your investment. But finding the right landlord insurance can be a challenge. There are so many options out there, and it's hard to know which one is right for you.

That's where Obie comes in. Obie is a cutting-edge insurance company that makes it easy to find and buy the right policy for your rental property. Obie uses technology to streamline the process, so you can get the coverage you need without all the hassle.

Plus, Obie’s policies are designed specifically for landlords. That means they offer comprehensive protection against a wide range of risks, including damage from tenants, liability claims, and more. So you can rest assured knowing your investment is safe.

Get a quote from Obie today and see how easy it is to find the perfect landlord insurance policy for your needs. Visit the Obie website and enter your rental property address to get an instant quote.

As a real estate owner, you need to know about building insurance coverage. Sure, you may have property or rental insurance for your tenants, but what happens if there's a huge windstorm or fire that damages the actual structure of your building?

That's where building insurance comes in—it covers damage to the physical structure of your property and any additional structures, including garages or fences. For example, if there's a severe hail storm that wrecks the roof of your building, without proper building insurance coverage, you could be left responsible for thousands in repair costs. On the flip side, having proper coverage could provide peace of mind knowing your expenses will be covered in an unexpected disaster.

This blog post will break down the basics of building insurance coverage so that you can make sure your property is adequately protected.

What Is Building Insurance Coverage?

Building insurance is a property policy that covers the cost of repairing or rebuilding your property's structure. It is most common among financed properties where lenders require borrowers to get enough coverage to cover the cost of their mortgage. 

Though not required, it's recommended to get building insurance for properties that aren't financed. Rebuilding can be expensive, and this type of coverage protects you from major out-of-pocket costs if something happens.

The level of coverage will depend on the type of insurance you buy. For example, the coverage could be named peril or all-risk. If your insurance is named peril, it will only cover damages caused by the covered events the insurer lists in the policy. On the other hand, an all-risk policy protects you against all events unless it is explicitly excluded. 

Generally, most insurance providers will insure your property against these events:

  • Fire
  • Smoke
  • Lightning
  • Vandalism, burglary, and theft
  • Falling objects, like trees, satellite dishes, and lampposts
  • Vehicular or aircraft collisions
  • Earth movements
  • Flooding
  • Subsidence (downward vertical movement of the ground the building sits on)
  • Frozen or burst pipes
  • Malicious damage

What Building Insurance Covers

Building insurance provides coverage against your property's primary structure and structures within the property. The most common detached structures covered in this policy include sheds, garages, and fences. Besides these, most carriers also cover fitted fixtures like:

  • Roof
  • Doors
  • Windows
  • Glass panes
  • Bathtubs
  • Glassware 

However, there is more to damaged property than the financial costs of rebuilding or repairing the structure. For starters, your building insurance might include the homeowner's liability if the property is your primary residence. This covers legal expenses and medical costs for a third party injured on your property.

Second, when a property is partially or wholly ruined, it usually leaves a lot of debris. Depending on the location and the amount of debris involved, the cost to clean up and remove could amount tohundreds or thousands of dollars. Your building insurance coverage might also cover the removal of debris. This saves you from footing the bill out of pocket or getting a separate debris insurance policy.

In addition, building insurance coverage might also include inventory and equipment. This is often the case for property owners with an apartment building where equipment is kept on-site or a fully-furnished short-term vacation rental.

What Building Insurance Doesn’t Cover

Most building insurance policies have specific exclusions, so it's crucial that you read through your carrier's policy and compare offers from different providers. That being said, most building insurance does not cover the following: 

  • Personal property and contents
  • General wear and tear
  • Damages due to negligence and failure to maintain the property
  • Damages from war events
  • Damages by pests, birds, and rodents
  • Leaking gutters
  • Property under construction

How Much Building Insurance Coverage Do You Need

How much building coverage you need will depend on the property's location, type of construction materials, size, and age. 

There are numerous cost calculators that can help you come up with this figure, also referred to as the sum insured. You can also search the Obie Risk Map to learn more about the natural risks in your area and be prepared with the right insurance for your rental property.

One of the best ways to determine how much you would need to rebuild or repair your entire building's structure is to work with a professional, like a contractor. Besides the property's size, location, and age, insurance companies also consider the cost of materials, labor, and professional fees for engineers, surveyors, and architects in your area. A professional considers all these factors, ensuring you get the most accurate amount. This helps you avoid being over-insured or under-insured.

Another option to consider is purchasing unlimited building insurance coverage. As the name suggests, unlimited insurance has no cap on how much you can claim for extensive damages to your property's structure. While it costs more than the standard building insurance policy, it could come in handy when you have a high-value property or are exposed to floods.

7 Tips for Finding The Right Building Insurance

The right insurance coverage allows you to run your real estate business worry-free. While getting the best coverage requires a little extra effort, these 7 simple tips will help make the task a little bit easier:

1. Decide on the level of coverage you need 

The first step in finding the right building insurance policy is to decide on the level of coverage that you need. 

Do you need comprehensive coverage that will protect your property against all eventualities? Or would a more basic policy suffice? 

Depending on the value of your property and the location, you may want to opt for a more comprehensive policy. 

2. Shop around and compare prices 

Once you know how much coverage you need, it's time to start shopping around and comparing prices from different insurers. Make sure to get quotes from at least 3-5 companies (if not using a broker who shops around on your behalf) to compare prices and coverage levels side-by-side. 

3. Read the fine print carefully 

When comparing building insurance policies, it's important to read the fine print carefully to know exactly what's covered and what's not. 

For example, some policies may not cover damage caused by natural disasters such as floods or earthquakes. It's important to be aware of these exclusions to make an informed decision about which policy is right for you. 

4. Consider a policy with a high deductible 

A high deductible means you will have to pay more out of pocket if you need to make a claim on your policy. While this may seem a disadvantage initially, it works in your favor because it helps keep premiums low. Just make sure you choose a deductible amount you can afford in case of an emergency. 

5. Consider adding riders to your policy 

Riders are optional additions to your building insurance policy that provide additional protection against specific risks such as flooding or terrorism. Adding riders to your policy will increase the premium, but it may be worth it depending on the risks associated with your property. 

6. Purchase sufficient liability coverage

Liability coverage protects you if someone is injured while on your property and decides to sue you. The liability coverage you need will depend on factors such as the value of your assets and the risks associated with your property. Be sure to purchase enough coverage to protect yourself in case of an accident or injury. 

7. Review your policy regularly

It's important to review your policy regularly - at least once per year - to ensure that it still meets your needs. As your rental property changes over time - say, if you add another unit or undergo major renovations - its insurance needs will also change, so it's important to stay on top of things.

Where to Find Building Insurance Coverage

As a landlord, you have a few options for finding building insurance coverage. For example, you could work with your current property insurance provider, research and contact individual insurance agencies, or use an online insurance broker like Obie.

While the first two options might seem simple, they often lack the detailed coverage and customization that Obie offers. Plus, using Obie's cutting-edge technology streamlines the entire process - no more spending hours on hold or filling out piles of paperwork. Additionally, having access to multiple carriers means that Obie can offer competitive rates and personalized coverage options that meet your specific needs as a landlord.

Visit the Obie website to get an instant quote today.

Let's talk about rental property liability insurance. How much is enough for you?  

When you're a landlord, there are a lot of risks that come with the territory. Fires, theft, natural disasters, and even lawsuits can all be potential hazards. That's why it's important to have adequate insurance coverage in place. But how much is enough? And what kind of policies should you be looking for? 

Keep reading to find out more about rental property liability insurance and how to make sure your investment is properly protected.

How Much Liability Insurance Do You Need?

The amount of coverage you need will depend on the value of your rental property and the amount of risk you are willing to take. However, it is generally advisable to have at least $1 million in liability coverage.

There are a few factors to consider when determining your coverage amount. The first is the value of your assets. If you have a lot of equity in your property, you'll want to make sure you have enough insurance to cover that in the event you are sued.

Another factor to consider is the amount of rental income you rely on. If your rental property is your primary source of income, you'll want to ensure you have enough coverage to replace that income if something happens and you're unable to rent out your property.

Finally, you'll want to consider the risk level of your tenants. If you have tenants who are more likely to cause damage or be involved in accidents, you'll need to have higher coverage limits.

Generally speaking, a good rule of thumb is to have liability insurance that covers at least the value of your assets. But depending on your individual situation, you may need more or less coverage.

What Liability Insurance Does and Doesn't Cover

Rental property owners know it's essential to have liability insurance. But what does rental property liability insurance actually cover? And what doesn't it cover?

Liability insurance for rental properties typically covers:

  • Bodily injury: If someone is injured on your rental property, your liability insurance could help pay for their medical expenses.
  • Property damage: If someone has an accident that causes damages, your liability insurance could help pay for the repair costs.
  • Personal injury: If someone sues you for defamation, invasion of privacy, or false arrest, your liability insurance could help pay the legal fees.

For example, liability insurance for rental properties would cover a situation where a tenant accidentally damages their neighbor's property. If a tenant was mowing the lawn and accidentally hit a rock through their neighbor's window, the rental property owner's liability insurance would help pay for the repair costs.

Liability insurance for rental properties typically does not cover:

  • Intentional damage: If you or your tenants intentionally damage someone's property, your liability insurance will not cover the repair costs.
  • Business activities: If a rental property owner uses their property to host weddings, parties, or other events, their liability insurance will not cover any injuries or damage that occurs.
  • Damage to your own property: If you or your tenants damage your rental property or personal belongings inside a unit (like appliances), your liability insurance will not cover the repair or replacement costs.

In short, liability insurance for rental properties would not cover a situation where a tenant intentionally damages their rental. For example, if a tenant intentionally punches a hole in their wall, the rental property owner's liability insurance will not cover the repair costs.

How to Choose the Right Rental Property Liability Insurance Policy

When it comes to choosing a rental property liability insurance, there are several key questions to ask yourself:

How much coverage do you need?

There are a few best practices to follow for selecting the right amount of coverage for your rental property:

  • Take into account the value of your property. Your rental property liability insurance should cover at least the value of your property. This way, if there is major damage to your rental property, you can be sure that you'll be covered.
  • Consider the potential for personal injury on your rental property. If you have a lot of foot traffic or your rental property is in a high-traffic area, you'll want to ensure that you have enough coverage to protect yourself in case someone is injured on your property.
  • Think about the type of tenants you have. If you have tenants who are more likely to cause damage to your rental property, you may want to consider carrying a higher amount of coverage.

What is your budget?

Your budget will play a significant role in determining the rental property liability insurance policy you choose. You'll likely want to purchase a policy with lower coverage limits if you have a limited budget. Conversely, if you have a larger budget, you may be able to afford a policy with higher coverage limits. Keep in mind that the amount of coverage you purchase will affect your premium costs.

It's also important to consider the deductibles associated with each rental property liability insurance policy. A higher deductible means you'll have to pay more out-of-pocket if you make a claim under your policy. However, policies with higher deductibles typically have lower premium costs.

What is the rental property's location?

The location of a rental property can affect the amount of coverage a landlord needs. For example, if you own a rental property in a high-crime area, you may need to purchase a policy with higher coverage limits than a landlord who owns a rental property in a low-crime area. And if your rental property is located in an area with a lot of foot traffic, you'll want to make sure your policy covers slips and falls.

What is the rental property's value?

Property value is another key factor that determines how much coverage you need. In general, the higher the value of your property, the more coverage you'll need. This is because if someone is injured on your property and decides to pursue a claim against you or they sue, the potential payout would be higher. As a result, you'll need to make sure that your policy covers the full value of your property. Otherwise, you could be left with a costly bill if someone is injured and decides to take legal action. Another consideration is how much equity you have in your property. If you have a lot of equity, you could lose more if something goes wrong.

What is the rental property's occupancy rate?

As a landlord, you want to ensure you are protected in case of an accident, but you also don't want to pay for more coverage than you need. If your rental property is constantly changing hands and has high turnover, you may want to consider a policy with higher coverage limits. On the other hand, if long-term tenants occupy your rental property, you may be able to get by with a lower limit. Ultimately, the decision comes down to what makes the most financial sense for you and your rental property.

What is the rental property's age?

Age is another factor that landlords should consider. For one thing, older properties tend to have more wear and tear, which can increase the chances of an accident occurring. Additionally, older properties may not have some of the safety features that are found in newer buildings, such as smoke detectors and automatic sprinkler systems. As a result, landlords of older rental properties may want to purchase a policy with slightly higher coverage levels to protect their investment and personal liability.

Does the rental property have any special features or amenities?

While a rental property with attractive features and amenities may generate a higher rental income, they may also create potential problems. These can include things like swimming pools, hot tubs, and playgrounds.

While these amenities may seem like they would be a great addition to any rental property, they can actually increase the risk for a landlord. This is because if someone were to get injured while using one of these amenities, the landlord could be held liable. As a result, it's important to make sure that any rental property liability policy includes coverage for these special features or amenities.

Where to Get the Best Price on Liability Insurance for Your Rental Property

If you're a landlord, you know that rental property liability insurance is a must. But where should you get it? Here are three options:

1. Your existing insurance agent

The advantage of using your existing insurance agent is that they may be able to give you a discount if you bundle your rental property liability policy with other policies you have with them, such as your homeowners' insurance or your car insurance. However, the downside is that they may not be expert in rental property insurance, so you may not be getting the best possible coverage for your needs since they only represent a single carrier.

2. An insurance broker

The advantage of using an insurance broker is that they are experts in all things insurance and can help you find the best policy for your needs. The downside is that a bricks-and-mortar insurance broker may not have access to the best options for rental property liability insurance.

3. Obie

The advantage of using an online insurance broker like Obie is that they can give you the best of both worlds. They're experts in rental property insurance and can help you find the best policy for your needs.

Here are some reasons why over $4B in property has been insured by Obie:

  • Obie is an expert in rental property insurance, so you can be confident you're getting the best possible coverage for your needs.
  • They offer a simple online process that makes it easy to get a quote and purchase a policy.
  • Obie offers competitive prices on rental property liability insurance.
  • Coverage is available in all 50 states.
  • On average, people save 25% on their landlord insurance policy with Obie.

10 Tips for Landlords to Reduce Their Liability Risks

Even if you choose to purchase your rental property liability insurance through Obie, it's still important to shop around first. This is because rental property liability insurance rates can vary significantly from one insurer to another.

There are a number of things landlords can do to proactively reduce their liability risks. Here are 10 tips to consider:

  1. Require all tenants to have renters' insurance.
  2. Conduct regular maintenance on the rental property and make repairs promptly.
  3. Inspect the rental property regularly and document any damage or repairs that are needed.
  4. Screen all potential tenants carefully and require references from previous landlords.
  5. Have a written lease agreement that clearly outlines the rules and regulations for the rental property.
  6. Enforce the rules and regulations in the lease agreement consistently.
  7. Do not allow smoking on the rental property.
  8. Install security features such as lighting, locks, and alarms.
  9. Keep the rental property clean and tidy at all times.
  10. Have an emergency plan in place and make sure all tenants know what to do in case of an emergency.

These are just a few of the things landlords can do to reduce their liability risks. By taking these steps, you can help protect yourself from potential lawsuits and financial damages.

Get an Instant Quote from Obie Today

If you own a rental property, you are probably aware of how crucial it is to have liability insurance. However, with so many possibilities available, selecting the appropriate policy at a fair price may be difficult.

That's where Obie comes in. Obie specializes in providing rental property liability insurance for landlords and real estate investors. There were no paper applications, lengthy waiting periods for quotations, or endless meetings with brokers.

Get a free instant quote for rental property liability insurance from Obie today.

You're a savvy real estate investor. You know the ins and outs of the rental market, and you always keep up with the latest changes in landlord-tenant law. But you have one nagging question: does my landlord insurance policy cover a vacant property? 

The answer isn't as straightforward as you might think. In this article, we'll explore how landlord insurance can (and can't) help if your rental property is unoccupied for an extended period of time.

5 Different Types of Vacancies That Could Occur

Vacancies in rental properties can occur for a variety of reasons. Whether due to tenant turnover, seasonal changes, or an unforeseen natural disaster, vacant rentals can be challenging for landlords and property managers. Let’s look at some common vacancy scenarios that may occur when managing rental properties.

Tenant Turnover Vacancy

This vacancy occurs when tenants move out before or at the end of their lease agreement period. In some cases, landlords may also encounter unexpected tenant turnover if renters break their lease agreement and move out before their lease ends.

Seasonal Vacancy

Due to seasonal demand fluctuations, rental properties in heavy tourism or vacation markets may experience periods of vacancy. During peak seasons, rents are often higher due to the increased demand, while landlords may struggle to fill vacancies and may opt to lower rents accordingly during the off-season. 

Natural Disaster Vacancy

Unfortunately, natural disasters can leave rental properties vacant due to damage caused by floods, fires, earthquakes, tornadoes, and other events that render them uninhabitable. While this type of vacancy is not always preventable, landlords should have an emergency plan in place should such an event occur.

If you want to know which natural hazards your property could be at risk for, use Obie’s free Risk Map.

Maintenance Vacancy

These vacancies are due to necessary repairs or renovations on a rental property. Landlords may need to close off some units while work is being completed, making them temporarily unavailable for rent.

Long-Term Vacancy

These refer to properties that have been vacant for extended periods of time and can become difficult to rent due to their age or location. In some cases, landlords may reduce the rent to attract tenants faster.

No matter the type of vacancy, landlords and property managers should be working proactively to address correctable issues quickly and efficiently. By staying on top of vacancies, landlords can minimize the period of time that their rental property is unoccupied and maximize their return on investment.

Does Landlord Insurance Cover Vacancy?

Unfortunately, standard landlord insurance does not cover vacancies that occur when a tenant moves out or when a lease ends. As a rule of thumb, if it takes longer than 30 days to find a new tenant, your landlord policy won't offer vacancy coverage. In order to be fully covered, you'll have to get additional coverage at an increased insurance cost.

Even though it means spending more money, vacancy insurance coverage may be crucial. Vacant and unoccupied properties are more likely to experience problems like vandalism, squatters or require repairs that may cause significant damage if they go unnoticed.

Depending on your preference, you can get vacancy coverage as a rider to your current landlord insurance coverage or purchase it as a separate, individual policy. Whatever you choose, talk to your insurance agent or broker to understand the specifics of your policy, especially its definition of vacancy and any other exclusions. 

Other Risks Covered by Landlord Insurance

Landlord insurance may not cover vacancies, but it does protect against many risks that could result in significant damage:

  • Property coverage: Insures your property's primary structures against damage from fire and weather, among other types of destruction. It also covers additional property structures, like garages, and interior contents, like appliances, if you provide a furnished rental.
  • Liability coverage: Insures against public liability claims. It covers legal fees, medical expenses, and additional costs when a third party is injured or if their possessions get damaged on your property.
  • Loss of rental income: When clients move out due to repairs or renovations, your insurer reimburses you for lost rental income. This protection enables you to meet payment obligations, such as a mortgage and/or utility bills.  

10 Tips to Prevent Vacancy

You can't always prevent your property from becoming vacant, especially if your tenants are moving out for reasons beyond your control, like relocating to another state or country. However, you may be losing tenants more often than necessary if you’re neglecting to take care of the little things that matter to them.

Here are 10 actionable tips that could help you reduce the vacancy rate on your property:

  1. Research the local market and set a competitive rental price to attract potential tenants.
  1. Advertise widely on popular rental listing websites, social media platforms, and print publications.
  1. Ensure that your property is up to date with necessary repairs or upgrades before renting it out.
  1. Screen all prospects thoroughly, including conducting criminal background checks and credit reviews, to ensure you only allow reliable tenants in your property.
  1. Be mindful of a tenant’s rights when signing a lease agreement, and enforce those laws throughout the landlord-tenant relationship.
  1. Offer prospective tenants incentives, such as lower security deposits or discounts on rent payments, to entice them into signing a lease.
  1. Keep your rental property clean and well-maintained to ensure your tenants feel comfortable in their new home.
  1. Be open to communicating with your tenants, and respond quickly to any questions or concerns they may have about the living arrangements.
  1. Offer flexible lease terms that make it easier for tenants to renew their lease if they want to stay longer than expected.
  1. Consider a minimal or even no rent increase when offering a new lease to the existing tenant, especially if they pay rent on time and are respectful of the property.

Where to Find Vacancy Insurance for a Rental Property

Finding the right vacancy insurance policy can be daunting since most traditional providers limit coverage options or don’t offer the type of coverage you need at an affordable price.

Fortunately, online insurance brokers like Obie can provide more comprehensive and cost-effective solutions by leveraging cutting-edge technology. Obie’s streamlined process simplifies the search for rental property insurance, so it’s easy for you to find the perfect policy that fits your needs and budget.

Obie’s expertise in landlord insurance makes searching for insurance for your rental property simple and more cost-effective. With Obie, landlords are saving an average of 25% on their insurance policies.

To get started, visit the Obie website and enter your rental property address to receive an instant quote.

Second homes and investment properties are a little different from your primary residence in terms of insurance requirements. You may need two separate policies—one for your second home and one for your rental property.

In this article, we'll break down the key differences between the two types of coverage so you can decide which policy fits your unique situation.

What's The Difference Between Second Home Insurance and Rental Property Insurance?

Are you planning on purchasing a second property for specific occasions, like a vacation home? If so, you will need a separate insurance policy for that home. 

For example, say you want to buy a beach house where your family can enjoy the summer holidays. Or maybe you want an upstate cabin for Christmas getaways. Regardless of the reason, as long as you will be the only one using the property, you'll need specialized insurance coverage just for that second home.

Rental property insurance comes into play when you use your second property as a rental home for others. If your property is vacant for the better part of the year, you can use it as a rental for short or long-term stays. 

However, since this exposes you to greater risk,  liability, and potential loss of rental income in the event of a loss, you will need the coverage rental property insurance provides.

Second Home Insurance

Second home insurance is like your primary homeowners insurance policy in that it covers your secondary home against common perils. These include fire, lightning, wind, hail, smoke, explosions, and vehicle damage.

In addition to insuring your property's structure, second home insurance will also cover you for public liability and loss of use should something happen to your possessions while you’re away from your secondary property.

Rental Property Insurance

Rental property insurance can cover either a short or long period, depending on how you plan to use your property. Tell your insurer what your rental plans are, and they can determine which coverage is most appropriate given the level of risk involved.

Some insurance companies allow you to add a short-term rental policy as a rider to the second home’s main insurance policy. Although listing sites like Airbnb offer insurance coverage, it's essential to have your own. Think of it as additional risk management protection in case of extensive damage by your guests.

Long-term rentals, such as six or twelve months, require landlord insurance. This policy covers the primary structure and any detached structures on the property, as well as liability risks and loss of rent. If you are renting out a furnished home, this insurance will also cover the contents inside, but will not cover any of the tenant’s personal belongings.

For greater security, consider requiring tenants to carry renters insurance to safeguard their own personal items.

Do I Need Both Types of Coverage?

You do not need both types of coverage. Remember, insurance policies are customized to meet an individual property's needs. Give yourself financial security by getting a comprehensive policy that protects your property from damage, whether it is a second home or a rental.

If you are using your property as a rental, rental property insurance is the best option. It will give you the extensive coverage needed as a landlord. Be sure to disclose short-term rentals to your insurer to guarantee you are covered against damages by those tenants.

Also, consider you might need additional coverage, such as vacancy insurance. This coverage is helpful in case there’s a chance your second home or rental property will be unoccupied for an extended period.

What Are Some Risks Associated with Owning a Secondary Residence or Investment Property?

Owning a secondary residence or investment property can be a great way to expand your real estate portfolio and increase your wealth, but there are potential risks. These include unexpected costs such as repairs and maintenance issues or periods of vacancy where you may go without rental income.

Additionally, if the property's market value decreases, you could lose money on your investment. You also want to factor in local property taxes, fluctuating rental rates, insurance costs, and other fees that can add to your expenses.

Lastly, financing the purchase of a second home or investment property with a loan could add interest payments to your existing mortgage debt. All these extra expenditures must be kept in mind when planning your budget. 

Weighing the pros and cons of owning a second home or investment property lets you make an informed decision that’s right for your financial situation. If you purchase that second property, an experienced online insurance broker like Obie can help protect your investment so you reap the benefits of increased wealth while minimizing losses.

10 Tips to Mitigate Investment Property Risks

Don't let the risks of a real estate investment prevent you from exploring the potential opportunity it offers. You cannot build wealth if you avoid investing. Instead, learn how to mitigate risk so you can make the most of your investment. 

  1. Work with a professional property manager who can assist you in meeting all your legal and financial requirements.
  1. Screen tenants thoroughly before signing any lease agreements and check their references.
  1. Ensure the property has up-to-date safety features, such as working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
  1. Require your tenants have renters insurance, which covers their belongings and your interests as a landlord.
  1. Purchase adequate liability insurance to cover tenant injuries or damage to other people’s property on your premises.
  1. Regularly inspect your property for signs of neglect or damage and take prompt action to make repairs if necessary.
  1. Have a clear policy for rent payments and late fees stated in your lease to avoid misunderstandings or conflicts with tenants.
  1. Maintain detailed records of all rental property transactions, including receipts for repairs, rental income, and expenses.
  1. Comply with applicable local and state regulations regarding landlord-tenant law and property maintenance.
  1. Take steps to ensure the safety of your tenants by keeping common areas well-lit, securing entrances and exits, and installing security systems.

Where to Find Rental Property Insurance

There are many ways to find rental property insurance, but the most convenient and affordable option is through an online insurance broker like Obie. Obie offers innovative technology and a hassle-free approach, changing how investors and landlords obtain insurance.

Obie’s personalized service helps you quickly compare multiple insurance quotes and select the best coverage at a competitive price. With Obie’s streamlined process, you can easily manage all your policies in one place—saving you time and money.

Obie is the smart choice for rental property insurance with transparent pricing and no hidden fees or extra charges. Everything is handled, from purchasing coverage to handling claims processing, and Obie is always available to answer any questions. Obie’s value and convenience let you focus on what’s most important—your rental property. 

Find the insurance you need without breaking the bank (landlords save an average of 25% on their rental property insurance when switching to Obie). Get started today and see how Obie makes requesting a quote and getting coverage simple, affordable, and transparent.

Are you a real estate investor with a 5-unit apartment building? If so, you need to have the right insurance in place.

Many landlords and property managers mistakenly believe that a standard landlord policy will adequately cover them in the event of a loss. But that isn’t always the case. Depending on your coverage, you may be exposed to unexpected costs in the event of a significant loss. 

That's why protecting your apartment building with the right insurance is one of the smartest decisions you can make. But what type of insurance should you buy? And how much does it cost?

In this article, we’ll break down the basics of insuring a 5-unit apartment building. You'll learn about the different types of coverage available and how to decide on the amount of insurance necessary to protect your investment.

How Property Insurance Changes on 5+ Unit Apartment Buildings

When you own an apartment building with 5 or more units, you must carry a specific insurance policy known as apartment building insurance. This policy differs from those used to insure single-family homes, vacation rentals, and small multifamily buildings. That’s because it covers a larger property and greater potential exposure.

The landlord of an apartment building is vulnerable to several potential liability risks unique to owning a multifamily building. A tenant in one unit may cause damage to another unit or injure another tenant, exposing the landlord to lawsuits and property damage costs. A single-family home or small multifamily building generally does not have that same risk exposure.

Additionally, landlords with 5 or more units may be required to follow certain local laws and regulations regarding fire safety, property maintenance, and other issues, such as fire alarm sprinkler systems or swimming pool safety and maintenance. That further increases their potential liability exposure.

What Does Apartment Building Insurance Cover?

When you purchase apartment building insurance, it typically provides coverage for all your buildings and personal property on the premises. That includes the building itself and any outbuildings or fixtures. Apartment building insurance also typically covers common areas, such as lobbies, hallways, and stairwells that the landlord owns.

In addition to building and property coverage, most apartment building policies provide liability protection for various potential risks. That includes coverage for bodily injury to tenants or visitors on the premises, damage caused by tenants or guests to their neighbors' properties, and legal costs associated with defending against lawsuits filed by tenants or other parties.

Apartment Building Insurance vs. Landlord Insurance

Apartment building and landlord insurance are two distinct forms of coverage, each designed to address the unique needs of different owners. 

Apartment building insurance is typically for buildings with 5 or more rental units and tailored to cover the various risks associated with larger multifamily properties, such as common areas, shared amenities, and numerous tenants. 

Landlord insurance offers protection specifically for single-family homes, vacation rentals, and multifamily buildings with four or fewer units.

The main difference between apartment building insurance and landlord insurance is that apartment building policies often have higher coverage limits due to their higher risk profile. Additionally, they often provide extra coverages not included in standard landlord policies. 

These added coverages may include employee dishonesty, tenant discrimination, and evacuation expenses. Apartment building insurance may also provide more liability protection for claims connected to the property or common areas.

Landlord insurance policies are generally more affordable than apartment building policies since they are for smaller properties and fewer tenants.

They may also cover additional buildings on the same property, such as a detached garage or shed.

How to Choose an Apartment Building Policy

As a landlord, you are responsible for your tenants' safety and well-being and the upkeep of your property. That means you need the right insurance coverage to protect your business in case of an accident or disaster. There are a few different types of insurance coverage to explore for a 5-unit apartment building.

General Liability Insurance

Without adequate liability insurance coverage, you could get stuck with hundreds of thousands of dollars in lawsuits and medical bills. General liability covers injuries on your property and discrimination suits from current or prospective tenants.

Most apartment building insurance policies cover damage from fire and smoke, windstorms, vandalism, lightning, vehicle and aircraft collisions, explosions, and riots. In the event of a covered incident, your insurance policy can help cover the cost of repairs, replacement units, and any lost income from temporarily displaced tenants.

If your apartment building is in a higher-risk location, endorsements for other risks can be included. For example, earthquake coverage, flood insurance, and mold protection might be wise for landlords with properties close to a fault line or bodies of water.

Search the Obie risk map to learn about the natural risks in your area and be prepared with the right insurance for your rental property.

Ordinance and Law Endorsement

If your property gets damaged by a covered insurance loss, you may be required to comply with updated building codes or ordinances when repairing or replacing your dwelling.

An ordinance or law endorsement on your insurance policy can help pay for the increased costs associated with rebuilding according to current building codes and ordinances after a covered loss. These costs may include repairs and replacements to undamaged portions of a structure that need to be updated to meet local zoning regulations.

In addition, this endorsement can provide coverage for the increased cost of materials that may be required to comply with new code requirements. Investing in an ordinance or law endorsement protects you from the financial burden of complying with updated codes and ordinances after a covered insurance loss.

Business Income Insurance

Business income insurance (BIC) is a type of coverage designed to protect businesses from financial losses due to suspended operations in the event of an insured loss. It is particularly beneficial for owners of larger properties like a 5-unit apartment building. It helps cover expenses like payroll, rent, and other operational costs when the business is nonoperational.

BIC coverage can provide owners with the necessary revenue to keep their business running during and after a covered loss. As a recent report from Arbor reveals, effective rent growth in the top multifamily markets has increased by more than 17% year over year.

By investing in business income insurance, owners of a 5-unit apartment building can protect themselves from large sums of lost income resulting from unexpected downtime caused by an insured loss.

Umbrella Insurance

Umbrella insurance is a type of coverage that offers additional liability protection above other existing primary policies. It provides an extra layer of financial security for property owners by helping pay for costs associated with lawsuits and judgments that exceed the limits on other policies.

Umbrella insurance can provide the owner of a 5-unit apartment building extra protection from extensive, unexpected liabilities. 

Investing in umbrella insurance can help ensure your property and finances have the protection they need against unforeseen expenses associated with third-party claims or lawsuits.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Insurance for a 5-Unit Apartment Building

Insurance costs can vary and depend on several things, including property size, type, age, and location. Here are some factors that affect the cost of insurance for a 5-unit apartment building:

  • Location: The location of the apartment building can affect insurance premiums since certain areas may be at higher risk of natural disasters or theft.
  • Size of the building: Larger buildings typically require more coverage and thus will be more expensive to insure.
  • Age and condition: Older buildings are usually more expensive to insure due to their higher risk for damage or destruction. Similarly, buildings in disrepair will also cost more to cover.
  • Occupancy rate: Fully occupied buildings will usually be less expensive to insure than those with high vacancy rates.
  • Types of coverage: Different types of coverage can have different costs depending on the amount of coverage needed and the type of risks associated with the property.
  • Deductibles: Higher deductibles can help reduce insurance costs, but you want to ensure you have enough money saved should you need to use your policy.
  • Security measures: Installing an alarm system, adding surveillance cameras, changing the locks on exterior doors and windows, replacing old wiring and pipes, or repairing broken windows or doors reduces the risk of theft or vandalism.
  • Safety systems: Installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, fire alarms, and firewalls, as well as upgrading the building’s electrical wiring, all help to improve the safety of an apartment building and lower your insurance costs.
  • Claims history: A property owner’s claims history can affect insurance costs. If a property has a history of frequent claims, insurers may be more reluctant to provide coverage at an affordable rate.

Understanding these factors helps owners of 5-unit apartment buildings better compare policies and choose the best insurance plan for their needs. Investing in adequate coverage and taking proactive steps to protect their property ensures their business has protection against unexpected losses.

Obie is changing the way landlords and rental property investors get insurance. Obie makes it easy to request a quote and get coverage, whether you're an experienced investor or just getting started. More than $4 billion in property is insured with Obie, and landlord insurance is available in every state.

Visit the Obie website to enter your building address and receive an instant quote for your 5-unit building.

Are you a rental property owner who needs to file an insurance claim? 

Filing a property insurance claim can be daunting, but don't worry! Knowing where to start is often the most challenging part of filing a claim.

In this article, we'll walk you through the steps to successfully file an insurance claim for your rental property.

Locate the Insurance Company on Your Policy

The first step is figuring out which company handles your policy. Most people go about this by calling their broker. However, it's important to note that you or your agent will need to  contact the insurance provider directly to report any claims.

You can find the name of your insurance company provider by looking at your policy’s declarations page or the insurance certificate your broker or agent provided when binding your policy. 

The declarations page, or “dec page,” of an insurance policy is a concise summary outlining the coverage details and limits of your specific policy. It usually appears at the beginning or end of an insurance policy packet.

Search Online to Find the Insurance Company’s Website

Once you have the insurance company’s name, do a Google search using a phrase like “[insurance company name] file a property claim.” Most insurance companies have a dedicated page for filing a claim that will provide additional details and step-by-step instructions on starting the process. 

If you’re uncertain about any part of the claims process, don’t hesitate to contact the insurer directly via phone or email so they can answer any questions or concerns you may have.

Refer to the Declarations Page of Your Policy Document

The declarations page typically includes information such as named insureds, property address, types of coverage, limit amounts for each type of coverage, deductible amounts, and policy effective dates. 

When filing a rental property claim, refer to the declarations page which will outline what your policy coverage includes and how much you might recover after any losses are sustained to/at the rental property (e.g., dwelling loss due to fire). 

You should review all aspects of this section carefully. You will want to ensure that the coverage provided by your policy is sufficient to cover the potential cost of damages or losses.

Store the Declarations Page for Easy Reference

Finally, keep a copy of the declarations page in an easily accessible place, like on Google Drive or Dropbox. This document will be necessary if you decide to switch insurance carriers or if there are any changes to your existing policy. Doing this will also ensure that all your insurance information is up-to-date and accurate when filing a claim for your rental property.

Are you a real estate professional looking for the best calculators to help you run the numbers? Look no further—we’ve compiled a list of 15 of the best real estate calculators on the internet.

Whether you need to calculate rental income and expenses, estimate renovation costs, or calculate mortgage payments, these calculators can provide quick and accurate answers. With many offering additional features such as loan comparison and amortization schedules, these calculators are essential tools for any real estate professional.

Check out Obie’s list below and find the best calculator for your needs.

Avail Buy and Hold Calculator

A buy-and-hold calculator can help if you’re looking to invest in real estate but need to know if a rental property is the right decision

This free tool takes into account a variety of factors, including your initial investment, property expenses, rent prices, and potential appreciation. By plugging in this information, the calculator can project your overall profit over time and give you an idea of whether or not the investment will be worth it in the long run. It also allows you to tweak different variables and see how they might impact your potential profits.

This buy-and-hold rental property calculator from Avail makes it easy to calculate your ROI (return on investment) and much more. 

Link to this calculator

Real Estate 70% Rule Calculator

The 70% Rule calculator is essential for determining the maximum price you should pay for a property. By inputting the estimated after-repair value and renovation costs, the calculator will quickly determine whether or not the deal meets your criteria. This allows you to eliminate overpriced properties or those not worth the investment quickly. Additionally, the calculator helps to keep you on track during the renovation process by ensuring that expenses stay within budget.

Mortgage Calculator has a 70% Rule Calculator to help determine the maximum allowable offer for a property.

Link to this calculator

FitSmallBusiness Flipping Calculator

Are you interested in flipping property but not sure where to start? A real estate calculator can help take some of the guesswork out of the process. Entering information like the property's current value, expected profit margins, and renovation costs, a calculator can give you an estimated sale price and potential profit. It can also help you make informed decisions about offers and negotiate with sellers.

This free online house-flipping calculator from Fit Small Business will come in handy to calculate your cost, profit, and ROI.

Link to this calculator

BiggerPockets Wholesale Calculator

Wholesaling involves finding a property, negotiating a below-market price with the seller, and quickly assigning the contract to another buyer for a wholesale fee. Sounds simple enough. But for wholesaling to be successful, investors need to have a firm understanding of their potential profit margins and potential expenses. 

By inputting data like the purchase price and estimated repair costs, a wholesale calculator can help you determine your maximum offer and estimated profit margin - crucial information before proceeding with any deals.

BiggerPockets has an array of real estate investment calculators, including a wholesale calculator to quickly and efficiently analyze a home for wholesaling: https://www.biggerpockets.com/investment-calculators

Rehab

When investing in fix-and-flip properties, accurately estimating rehab costs is crucial for determining the project's profitability. Failing to budget properly for renovation expenses can lead to costly surprises and ultimately prevent a profitable sale. A rehab calculator can help real estate investors better assess the cost of repairs by allowing them to input estimated prices for materials and labor, as well as any additional expenses such as permits or project management fees.

Visit the MyHouseDeals website for a list of 5 of the best rehab calculators for real estate investors.

Link to this calculator

Rabbu Short Term Rental

With short-term rentals, it can be easy to accurately predict your potential revenue. To truly understand the bottom line of your investment, it's important to carefully consider all of the variables that affect your rental income stream. 

Data points to take into account include projected occupancy, average daily rate (ADR), revenue per available night (RevPAN), the historical performance of other vacation rentals nearby, and seasonality. This tool also lets you use additional filters such as number of bedrooms, amenities, property type, number of comparables, and guest reviews.

The vacation rental calculator from Rabbu provides you with seasonalized revenue projections for each month and the entire year based on nearby active Airbnb listings simply by entering the address. They’ve provided investors with over 2.2 million Airbnb revenue estimates for any city, county, or zip in the U.S.

Link to this calculator

BRRRR

The "BRRRR" method - which stands for "buy, rehab, rent, refinance, repeat" - is a popular strategy among real estate investors. When using the BRRRR method, it can be challenging to estimate the financial impact of renovating a rental property, as there are many variables to consider. By inputting your initial investment and anticipated expenses, as well as projected rental income and refinance savings, the calculator can calculate your expected ROI and give you an idea of how profitable the investment will be.

Visit the Mortgage Calculator website and use the free BRRRR Calculator to calculate the costs and cash flow for buy, repair, rent, refinance, and repeat in real estate investments.

Link to this calculator

LandlordGurus.com Operating Ratios Calculator

Operating ratios measure the effectiveness of your property's operations, letting you see how well you are managing expenses and profits. One example is the expense-to-income ratio, which shows the percentage of rental income that goes towards expenses such as maintenance and taxes. By regularly using a reliable operating ratios calculator, you can gain valuable insight into the performance of your rental properties and make informed decisions for their future success.

Use the operating expense ratio calculator from Landlord Gurus to see how well you are controlling expenses relative to income. 

Link to this calculator

Internal Rate of Return (IRR) Calculator

IRR is a metric that measures the profitability of an investment, taking into account the timing and size of cash flows. But calculating IRR can be a tedious and confusing process. With an IRR calculator, you can quickly and easily calculate potential returns by inputting cash flow information. The results can then be compared with other potential investments, helping you make more informed decisions about where to invest your money.

IRRCalculator.net has a simple calculator you can use to determine the internal rate of return from an investment property.

Link to this calculator

Mortgage Payment

Budgeting and planning are important for all real estate investments, and one of the most important aspects is determining how much you can afford in mortgage payments. 

By inputting information such as the loan amount, interest rate, and length of loan, a mortgage calculator can quickly give you an estimated monthly payment. This allows you to easily compare different properties and various financing scenarios using alternative down payments and interest rates.

The mortgage payment calculator from Bankrate makes it easy to explore different financing options with variable interest rates, loan terms, down payment, and more based on the zip code your rental property is located in.

Link to this calculator

Loan Amortization Calculator

Loan amortization is the process of gradually paying off a loan through regular payments made over time. Each payment is divided into portions that cover interest and principal. A loan amortization calculator can assist real estate investors by helping them determine their monthly loan payments and showing the breakdown between principal and interest payments. It can also be used to determine the annual tax deduction for interest payments, estimate the payoff date of the loan, and gain insight into long-term financing strategies.

Visit Calculator.net to generate an annual amortization schedule and loan amortization graph.

Link to this calculator

Zillow Refinancing Calculator

Interest rates can have a big impact on your profits. A refinancing calculator can help you determine the financial implications of different interest rates and make informed decisions about whether to refinance or not. 

The calculator takes into account factors like the current loan balance and term, as well as the new interest rate and loan term being considered. This allows you to easily compare how a potential refinancing could affect your monthly payments and total interest paid over time.

With Zillow's free refinance calculator, you can calculate whether refinancing is worth it for your situation.

Link to this calculator

HELOC Calculator

A HELOC - or home equity line of credit - is a great way to access the equity in your property without having to sell it. This can be a great strategy for investors who want to buy and hold onto a property for the long term. 

But how do you know how much you qualify for? That's where a HELOC calculator comes in. Just enter in some basic information about your property, income, and debts, and the calculator will give you an estimate of how much money you could qualify for.

Use this HELOC calculator from Mortgage Calculator to determine the home equity line of credit amount you may qualify to receive.

Link to this calculator

SmartAsset.com Capital Gains Calculator

If you're thinking about selling one of your investment properties, it's important to calculate your capital gains before making any decisions. A capital gains calculator can help you determine how much money you'll owe in taxes on the sale. Just enter in the purchase price, sale price, and any depreciation you've taken, and the calculator will do the rest.

The Smart Asset capital gains tax calculator shows how gains you make when selling real estate or stocks will be impacted by federal, state, and local capital gains taxes.

Link to this calculator

Income Tax Calculator

Investors who own rental properties may be subject to income tax on their rental income and capital gains when a property is sold. An income tax calculator can help you estimate how much tax you'll owe based on your marginal tax rate. Enter your total income, gains, and deductions, and the calculator will give you an estimate of your tax liability.

Calculator.net's income tax calculator estimates the refund or potential owed amount on a federal tax return.

Link to this calculator

Obie is excited to announce a new partnership with Flock, a tech-enabled real estate platform offering the retirement solution for landlords. With Flock, landlords seamlessly exchange their rental properties for interest in a diversified portfolio of professionally managed homes. Flock customers become passive investors, enjoying all the benefits of real estate ownership, without the hassles of being an active landlord. By partnering with Obie, Flock continues to scale a well-insured portfolio and utilize cost efficiencies to benefit customers.

Why has Obie teamed up with Flock?

“With companies like Flock bringing new advancements to proptech, investors have more options than ever in crafting their investment strategy and level of involvement in managing the properties in their portfolio. It’s for that reason Obie is excited to partner with Flock and enable their team to even more efficiently bring solutions and increased agility to investors.” —Aaron Letzeiser Obie, Co-Founder

“Insurance is essential for landlords and Obie is by far the market leader in providing reliable and affordable insurance coverage. We started using Obie when our portfolio consisted of a handful of homes and have continued to scale with them to hundreds of homes across the country today. At a certain point, every landlord, even those that use Obie, will be ready for a cost-efficient, seamless exit. Our goal with this partnership is to provide Obie customers peace of mind when they exit their property with Flock.” - Ari Rubin, Founder & CEO of Flock

Who is Flock?

Flock is a real estate technology company enabling landlords to retire from the day-to-day responsibilities of managing properties while still reaping the benefits of being a real estate investor. The company is the first of its kind, bringing the tax-advantaged 721 Exchange directly to individual owners. With Flock’s 721 Exchange, landlords can seamlessly exchange their rental properties for interest in a diversified portfolio of homes supported by Flock’s investment and property management expertise. The 721 Exchange ultimately allows landlords to defer depreciation recapture and capital gains tax yet still enjoy the financial benefits of owning rental property.

Flock secured $26M in Series A funding led by Andreesen Horowitz (a16z) with support from 1Sharpe Ventures, led by Gregory Watson, and Human Capital, as well as existing backers Susa Ventures, Primary Venture Partners, and BoxGroup.

“Flock is bringing a better alternative to ownership to the millions of small-scale landlords that don't have access to institutional-level tools, resources, and benefits of scale that impact sustainability, renter experience, and efficiency/practicality of owning housing,” said Gregor Watson, Co-Founder of 1Sharpe Capital and Co-Founder and Chairman of Roofstock

How Does Flock Work?

Flock makes the transition from landlord to passive investor seamless. Simply share your property details and have an offer on your property within 24 hours. In less than two weeks, Flock transfers title, pays down any remaining mortgage, and issues units of their diversified portfolio of properties via the 721 Exchange in one elegant motion. Landlords defer taxes while Flock takes care of all property management and passes along net cash flow to owners.

“Liberation for landlords. Flock allowed me to take back more free time, and I am trying to use it wisely,” said Stan, Flock Owner who contributed a portfolio of homes in 2022.

What is the 721 Exchange?

The 721 Exchange is a tax code provision that allows for the exchange of property for interest in a partnership on a tax-deferred basis. This provision allows investors to defer taxes and avoid the costs associated with the traditional sale of a property while maintaining income, appreciation, and tax depreciation through completely passive ownership.

Partner with Obie

Obie is providing leaders in the real estate technology space a solution to aid in providing a more efficient process and seamless customer experience as they scale. Contact our Partnerships Team by clicking here and learn more about how partnering with Obie can add value to your platform.

Industry leading insurtech, Obie, blazes a new trail by appointing independent agents to sell landlord insurance.

The insurtech industry has grown from innovation and automation in the insurance process with a greater goal of improving the customer experience for real estate investors. Obie, a Chicago-based insurtech, plans on utilizing proprietary advances in automation to not only improve the insurance process for real estate investors, but also to support independent insurance agents. This is a first in the space of landlord insurance, with automation becoming a benefit to the independent insurance agent.

Obie announced early today the debut of its agent appointment program, led in conjunction with new partner, Agentero. This strategic partnership grants independent insurance agents access to admitted and non-admitted products in select states. 

Obie Co-founder and CEO Ryan Letzeiser had this to say, “We want to be where our customers are. If they want to work with their hometown agent who also handles their home and auto, then we see it best to partner with that agent. Ultimately, this lends itself to the best experience possible for real estate investors, while also supporting an enhanced experience for brokers.”

The strategy to partner with agents instead of circumventing them stands out as many tech companies, not limited to insurtechs, have created tools to reduce intermediaries and pull consumers in directly. There are roughly 40,000 independent insurance agents in the US. They’re helping consumers find coverage for home, auto, and umbrella—but will now have a way to offer landlord insurance to the 14 million consumers who own investment property.

Agentero, one of the industry’s leading insurance agent networks, is partnering with Obie to bring this exclusive program to agents nationwide. “Obie has built a great product, and we are thrilled to make it available to independent agents,” said Luis Pino, Agentero CEO. “I’m excited for this partnership as it’s a great demonstration of how insurtechs can make both industry professionals better at their jobs and provide end consumers with a better experience.”

Obie remains the only insurance company to offer embeddable insurance with instantly bindable quotes for landlords, was listed on the Inc 5000 for 2022, and has been named a Best Place to Work by Business Insurance. With nearly 75 employees distributed across the country, as well as based out of their offices in Chicago, IL and Sarasota, FL, Obie is setting a new standard for how insurance can be bought and sold.

About Obie

Obie is an insurance technology company, hyper-focused on driving value for the modern real estate investor and the partners they work with every day. Whether you are an owner, lender, agent, or property manager, Obie’s mission is to build technology and insurance products that drive efficiency and fundamentally change the way insurance is bought and sold.

Obie is partnering with PeerStreet to streamline the insurance process for lenders and real estate investors.

Why Obie has partnered with PeerStreet

Obie has partnered with PeerStreet to streamline the insurance process for the borrowers within PeerStreet’s network. PeerStreet’s debt investment platform creates a seamless process for users to invest in real estate debt, and by eliminating insurance hurdles for the originators, Obie helps solve one piece of the puzzle that makes PeerStreet run at maximum efficiency.

Obie’s innovative technology enables borrowers and lenders the ability to secure insurance, meaning borrowers will have proof of insurance faster to secure capital. This increase in transparency, ease, and speed help both Obie and PeerStreet to reduce unnecessary back and forths and deliver a far superior customer experience.

What is PeerStreet?


PeerStreet is a first-of-its-kind online platform for investing in real estate debt.

The platform represents a two-sided marketplace that, on one side, provides hassle-free access to an asset class that was previously inaccessible to individual investors: short-term, real estate backed loans. On the other side of the marketplace, PeerStreet connects a vetted network of private lenders and/or brokers with diverse sources of capital to help fuel their growth and bring lending back to their local communities.

The company’s vision is to align the interests of this ecosystem—from lenders and investors to borrowers and the local communities they represent.

About Obie

Obie is reinventing the insurance process for landlords and rental property investors. Whether you’re a seasoned investor or just starting out, Obie makes requesting a quote and getting coverage simple, affordable, and transparent. Obie simplifies the insurance experience by providing instant quotes. No tedious processes or surprise costs at signing — the way insurance buying should be.

With all the momentum and energy lifting the rental property industry, in particular single family rentals, proptech companies have emerged and partnered together to create an ecosystem that allows the individual investor to have a seamless end-to-end investment experience.

You're a successful landlord who owns several rental properties. One day, while you're out running errands when you get a call from your tenant. Smoke is pouring out of the building, and they can't get in…

There was a kitchen fire, and now your property is totaled.

Without landlord insurance, you would have suffered a substantial financial loss. Don't let this happen to you. Here are 9 reasons why landlord insurance is so important. 

Looking to protect yourself and your investment? Get an instant quote from Obie today. No paper applications, week-long waits for quotes, or back and forths with brokers. On average, landlords save 25% with Obie.

1. Homeowners Insurance Doesn't Cover Rental Property

If you're considering renting out your home, it's essential to understand the difference between homeowners insurance and landlord insurance. Homeowners insurance typically doesn't cover rental property because the risks are different. A homeowners policy requires the property to be occupied by the owner and tailors its coverages for that scenario. A landlord policy requires the property to be occupied by tenants and tailors its coverages for that scenario. If you try to make a claim using homeowners insurance for a rental property, there's a good chance the home insurer will deny it.

2. Protect Your Investment Property From Natural Disasters

Landlord insurance covers your investment property in the event of damage from a natural disaster, such as a fire, hurricane, or tornado. The landlord's policy will also cover the cost of repairs if the dwelling is uninhabitable due to a covered loss

Remember that landlord insurance policies typically do not cover earthquake damage, so property owners in earthquake-prone areas should purchase additional coverage from their carrier to protect their investment. If you rent out multiple properties, consider looking into umbrella insurance, a type of liability insurance policy that provides additional liability coverage over and above your individual landlord policies.  

3. Cover Cost of Repairs or Replacement

Insurance for rental property covers the cost of repairs or replacement after the landlord pays the deductible. The landlord insurance policy will include coverage provisions, exclusions, and conditions that outline what is and is not covered under the policy.

For example, landlord insurance does not cover damage caused by the landlord's negligence, such as failing to repair a broken window. In addition, it typically does not cover repairs needed due to normal wear and tear.

4. Financially Safeguard Yourself From Damage Caused by a Tenant

As a landlord, you have a lot of financial responsibility. Not only do you have to keep up with mortgage payments, but you also have to pay for repairs and maintenance. If a tenant damages your property, you could be faced with a huge bill.

Landlord insurance can help to safeguard you from additional risk. The policy may  cover the cost of repairs up to a certain amount if the tenant causes damage to your property such as with a kitchen fire or burst pipe. It can provide peace of mind in knowing that you are financially protected in case of damage caused by a tenant.

5. Limit Your Personal Liability

If you're a landlord, you're always looking for ways to limit your personal liability. After all, if someone is injured while on your rental property, you could be held responsible. Landlord liability insurance can help.

This type of insurance typically covers things like bodily injury or property damage  if someone is injured while on your property. That way, if someone trips and falls and injures themselves, you won't be on the hook for their medical bills. Instead, your insurance will generally cover it.

6. Provide Legal Representation If You Are Sued

While no one likes to think about being sued; unfortunately, even the best landlords can sometimes find themselves in a legal challenge.If a tenant decides to sue you, landlord insurance may cover your legal fees for any liability related to the property or premises. According to the legal resource website Nolo.com, if you are sued in small claims court, the maximum award is between $2,500 and $25,000, depending on the state.

Common reasons for tenant lawsuits include failure to make repairs, injury sustained on the premises, illegal evictions, and discrimination. While not all of these lawsuit types are covered, it's crucial to have landlord insurance in case the worst happens. With this type of coverage, you can rest assured that you'll have the resources from your insurance carrier that you need to fight any legal battles that come your way.

7. Avoid Having to Dip Into Your Own Savings

One of the most significant advantages of landlord insurance is that it can help to cover unexpected expenses related to the rental property, such as repairs or legal fees. This can save landlords a lot of money, as they would otherwise have to dip into their own savings to cover these costs. 

The size of the deductible amount affects the price of a landlord insurance policy. A higher deductible means that the landlord will have to pay more out of pocket if there is an incident, but it also means that the monthly premium will be lower. 

8. Recover Lost Rental Income

If your rental property is damaged or destroyed due to a covered loss, landlord insurance can help to cover your lost rental income. This type of coverage typically reimburses the landlord for a certain number of months of rent lost due to the damage.

For example, let's say your rental property is destroyed in a fire. You would not be able to collect rent from tenants during the time that it takes to rebuild. However, if you have landlord insurance coverage, you could be reimbursed for up to 12 months of lost rent, depending on your coverage limits. This can help to ease the financial burden during a difficult time.

9. Knowing You Are Protected With Replacement Cost Value Coverage

When it comes to insurance, there are two main types of coverage: replacement cost value (RCV) coverage and actual cash value (ACV) coverage. RCV covers the cost of replacing your property, regardless of its current value. ACV, on the other hand, reduces coverage to subtract for any depreciation that has occured to the property or materials, which may be less than the cost to replace them.

For example, if your rental property is destroyed in a fire, RCV coverage would cover the cost of rebuilding, even if the construction price has gone up since you originally bought the property or the home is older and will cost more to replace with new materials. Imagine your roof is 15 years old. The roof will have depreciated in value because it only has so many years of life left.  If you have (ACV) coverage instead of RCV coverage, the ACV is very low and that’s all the money you’d get towards replacing the roof, rather than the real expense costs to replace the roof that are covered under RCV coverage. You’d be on the hook for the difference. 

Most landlord insurance policies will cover the full replacement cost of the rental property, up to the policy limit. If your rental property is destroyed, you should receive enough money from the insurance company to rebuild it. This can give landlords peace of mind knowing that they can fully replace their rental property if it is ever destroyed.

When shopping for landlord insurance, be sure to ask about the coverage limit and whether the policy covers replacement cost or actual cash value. Doing so will help you choose the right policy for your needs.

Get an instant quote from Obie today

If you're a landlord or thinking about purchasing rental property, landlord insurance is a must. However, with so many options on the market, it can be challenging to find the right policy at the right price.

That's where Obie comes in. With Obie’s easy-to-use online platform, you can get an instant quote on landlord insurance, specifically designed for landlords and real estate investors who don't want to waste time with paper applications or agents. On average, people who use Obie also save 25%.

So what are you waiting for? Get an instant quote from Obie today.

Obie is partnering with RL Property Management Group to improve the insurance experience for Ohio-based property managers.

Why Obie teamed up with RL Property Management Group

With a shared goal of increasing ease for their customers, the partnership between Obie and RL Property Management Group was a natural fit. Through this partnership, Obie will enable RL Property Management Group to streamline the insurance process for their property owners, allowing them more time to focus on what they do best.

Who is RL Property Management Group?

RL Property Management is a full-service property management company based in Columbus, Ohio. Their team serves experienced residential single-family and commercial multi-family investors throughout Franklin County. Through RL Property Management Group, investors are able to turn their investment properties into truly passive income.

The team at RL Property Management Group continues to provide best-in-class service to property owners, as well as best-in-class resources and industry knowledge. Their company blog is a great resource to owners and other property managers. Having been recognized as an industry leader, content from RL Property Management Group is frequently spotted on social media being shared. Co-founder, Peter Lohmann, leads the efforts in providing value through content by having curated a focused, yet large, connected community of successful property owners and managers through his blog and podcast, Owner Occupied.

Check out Owner Occupied

About Obie

Obie is reinventing the insurance process for landlords and rental property investors. Whether you’re a seasoned investor or just starting out, Obie makes requesting a quote and getting coverage simple, affordable, and transparent. Obie simplifies the insurance experience by providing instant quotes. No tedious processes or surprise costs at signing — the way insurance buying should be.

Partner with Obie

Obie is providing leaders in property management a solution to aid in providing a more efficient process for obtaining rental property insurance. Contact our Partnerships Team by clicking here and learn more about how partnering with Obie can add value to your organization and customers.

Are you looking to invest in real estate with a triplex?

For most property owners, triplexes are large enough to reside in, while renting the other two units for rental income that could offset the property's mortgage.

Regardless of the purpose you have in mind when buying a triplex; there is one aspect of property investment you cannot afford to ignore – insurance.

That's where triplex insurance comes in. What is it, how does it work, and how can you get a policy specific to this property type? Keep reading to get the answers to these questions and more to help make sure that your triplex is correctly insured.

What is Triplex Insurance?

Triplex insurance is a type of insurance coverage for multi-family residential real estate with three units under one property.

Most insurers provide these policies to protect property owners against damages from common perils like fire, smoke, wind and hailstorms, lightning, vandalism, and damages caused by burglars. In addition to these perils, which mainly affect the building's primary structure and other detached ones, most insurers will also provide liability and loss of use coverage.

The coverage you need for your triplex will depend on who is occupying the units at any given time. For example, is your property owner-occupied or tenant-occupied? Or, perhaps, you have decided to make one unit your primary residence while generating rental income from the other two units.

Let's take a closer look at how each situation works when it comes to choosing the right insurance policy for a triplex.

Looking to protect yourself and your triplex? Get an instant quote from Obie today. No paper applications, week-long waits for quotes, or back and forths with brokers. On average, landlords save 25% with Obie.

Insurance for an Owner-Occupied Triplex

Is your triplex owner-occupied? It is not uncommon for triplex properties to be fully owner-occupied. Some families are large and prefer living under one building but in different units, albeit separated by a single or two walls.

This could be parents offering the extra units to their children, or extended family joining forces to become property owners. In cases like these, the entire triplex is usually considered owner-occupied, making the standard homeowners insurance one of the best forms of coverage.

Homeowners insurance is coverage for properties that are one's primary residence. It covers the property's primary structure, additional or detached structures like fences, garages, sheds, and their contents. It also provides liability and loss of use coverage, protecting you from financial damages due to negligence and living expenses if you have to move due to repairs from a covered loss.

There are several homeowner's policies to choose from with different features and options, running from HO-1 to HO-8. However, an HO-3 or named-peril policy is the most common homeowner's policy and would be ideal for owner-occupied triplex property. It offers coverage for the specifically mentioned perils. Coverage for the property's structure is typically provided on replacement cost value (RCV) basis and contents can usually be selected on an actual cash value (ACV) or RCV basis.

How to Insure a Triplex That is Rented Out

When it comes to a triplex that’s being rented-out, the insurance rules change due to the occupancy. The triplex could be held entirely for investment purposes. In this case, you have tenants occupying all three units in the triplex. This, of course, makes your property tenant-occupied only. That's where landlord insurance or dwelling fire policy comes into play.

The most comprehensive landlord policy to have is the DP-3 coverage. Like the HO-3 policy, DP-3 will usually cover the triplex's structure, liability, and loss of use. If you are renting a furnished building with personal contents like furniture, carpets, and appliances, your insurer will add these as contents in your policy.

The loss of use under DP-3 pays landlords for lost rental income when the property becomes uninhabitable. Any personal content for the tenant is not covered under landlord insurance. Your tenants must purchase their own renter's insurance to cover their belongings. This coverage could also provide them with living expenses if they must move out of the unit during repairs or renovations.

Cost of Triplex Insurance

Triplex insurance will be pricier than insurance coverage for a standard single-family residential unit. A triplex has more housing units, thus higher risk. However, your particular cost of insurance will depend on a few factors, including:

Location

The location of your triplex rental property can impact the cost of landlord insurance. For example, if your property is in a high-crime area, you may face a higher risk of vandalism and break-ins. As a result, your insurance premium may be higher than if your property were in a safer area.

Similarly, if your property is located in an area prone to natural disasters such as floods or wildfires, you may also face a higher risk of damage. As a result, it's essential to consult with an insurance broker to assess the risks associated with your specific location before purchasing a policy.

Use

Is your triplex owner-occupied or tenant-occupied? Owner-occupied units have lower insurance premiums than their counterparts. That’s because carriers often consider tenant-occupied properties a high risk since tenants are likely to be less mindful of the maintenance.

If your triplex is tenant-occupied, you could lower your insurance costs by moving into one of the units. This means you are on the property and can keep it in good condition.

Condition

There are a few reasons why an older or poorly maintained triplex will be more expensive to insure.

First, there is a greater fire risk, as older buildings often have outdated electrical systems. Second, there is a greater risk of water damage, as older buildings are more likely to have leaks in the roof or pipes. Finally, there is a greater liability risk, as tenants may be injured on the premises.

Fortunately, there are a few things landlords can do to improve the condition of their triplex and lower the cost of landlord insurance. For example, you can ensure that the building is up to code and has a valid certificate of occupancy. You can also regularly inspect the building for fire hazards and water leaks.

Firewall

A firewall is a wall that divides a building into separate units. It helps to prevent the spread of fire by containing it within one unit. Firewalls are typically made of concrete or brick and are usually at least four inches thick. They may also be constructed of other materials, such as gypsum board, metal, or glass.

Firewalls typically have openings that allow for the passage of utilities and cable TV wires, but these openings are protected with fire-stopping materials. They are an important part of any multifamily dwelling, as they help to protect occupants from the spread of fire. As such, firewalls can help to reduce insurance premiums for property owners.

Safety

There are a number of safety and security features a landlord can install in a triplex rental property to help keep insurance premiums lower.

For example, installing deadbolts on all exterior doors is an effective way to deter burglars. Adding smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors can help give tenants peace of mind and may even result in a discount on their insurance premiums. Finally, adding motion-sensing lights to the property’s perimeter can help deter would-be intruders.

By taking some simple precautions, landlords can help make their properties safer and more secure while also keeping their insurance costs down.

Tips for Choosing the Right Triplex Insurance Policy

Here are a few tips to help you choose the right triplex insurance policy:

1. Make sure you understand your risks. Every landlord has different risks, so it's essential to understand yours before you start shopping for insurance. Talk to your agent about the type of property you own and what kind of tenants you have to get a better idea of the risks you face.

2. Know what coverage you need. Once you understand your risks, you can start shopping for a policy that covers them. Ensure you're clear on the coverage you need and how much you want.

3. Compare policies and prices. Not all insurance policies are created equal, so it's important to compare policies before making a decision. Make sure you compare apples to apples by looking at policies with similar coverages.

4. Read the fine print. Once you've found a few policies that look good, it's essential to read the fine print before making a decision. Ensure you understand what's covered and what's not, so you're not surprised if something happens.

5. Ask about discounts. Many insurers offer discounts for things like having a security system or being claims-free for a certain period of time. Ask your agent about any discounts that might be available to you so you can get the best possible price on your policy.

Get an Instant Quote for Your Triplex

With so many property insurance options on the market, it can be challenging to find the right policy at the right price.

That's where Obie comes in. Obie provides insurance coverage for landlords in all 50 states and has insured more than $4 billion in property to date.

With the easy-to-use online platform, you can get instant landlord insurance for a triplex specifically designed for landlords and real estate investors who don't want to waste time with paper applications or agents.

On average, landlords are saving 25% with Obie. So get an instant quote from Obie today.

If you're a landlord, you know that accidents happen. And if something happens on your property, you could be held liable. That's why it's crucial to have landlord liability insurance. This type of insurance can help protect you from lawsuits and other financial damages.

There are a few things to consider when choosing landlord liability insurance, including the cost and the coverage. Keep reading to learn more about landlord liability insurance and how it can help protect you.

What is Landlord Liability Insurance?

As a landlord, you face several risks for which you may be held liable. For example, if one of your tenants is injured on your property because of your negligence, you could be held responsible.

Landlord liability insurance is insurance that protects you from these risks. It can help pay for legal defense fees, settlement costs, and damages if you're sued. Liability insurance for landlords is an important way to protect yourself and your business.

The benefits of landlord liability insurance far outweigh the cost. For a small investment, you can get peace of mind knowing that you're protected from the financial consequences of a lawsuit.

Looking to protect yourself and your investment? Get an instant quote from Obie today. No paper applications, week-long waits for quotes, or back and forths with brokers. On average, landlords save 25% with Obie.

Homeowner's Insurance vs. Landlord Insurance

If you are a new landlord, switching from homeowner's insurance to landlord insurance is an important move. It provides coverage against liability claims and offers other coverages that  homeowner's insurance doesn't provide to landlords.

Homeowner's insurance covers only owner-occupied properties, meaning the house or unit must be your primary residence. However, the situation is entirely different once you rent the home and collect rental income. A tenant-occupied home has additional, and possibly more significant risks,  than when it is owner-occupied.

In the world of rental real estate, risks such as loss of income and questionable claims from tenants can happen more frequently than you might think. This is why liability coverage for landlord insurance usually has higher coverage limit options than homeowner's insurance.

Landlords who attempt to make a claim for a rental property using homeowners insurance may be in for a rude awakening if their claim is denied for not having the right insurance for their rental.

How Much Does Landlord Liability Insurance Cost?

Liability coverage is usually included in landlord insurance policies. The overall cost of your landlord insurance will generally be higher than regular homeowner's coverage. As a rule of thumb, landlord insurance will cost at least 15% to 25% more than homeowner's insurance.

The annual premium for a landlord insurance policy depends on several factors, including:

  • Location: Where is your property located? Does the area have high crime rates or face increased risks for natural disasters? The higher the property's risk, the more you will pay for insurance costs.
  • Property: Is it an apartment block or a house in the suburbs? How big is it, and what is its condition? The number of units (single-family vs. multifamily), the amount of square footage, and how well the home is maintained all impact your annual insurance premium.
  • Deductible: Your deductible is the amount of money you pay out-of-pocket before your landlord insurance coverage kicks in. By increasing the deductible, you can reduce your annual insurance premium. Conversely, a policy with a lower deductible will cost more each year.
  • Coverage: Landlord insurance comes in different forms, such as minimum coverage with DP1 and more extensive coverage with a DP3 policy or an open-peril policy. Each provides coverage for different risks; the more comprehensive your coverage, the higher your premiums.

What Does Landlord Liability Insurance Cover?

Accidents may happen regardless of how much you try to keep your property safe. A slip here and a trip there, a robbery case, a tree falls on the neighbor’s property, and suddenly you could be faced with negligence, bodily injury damages, property damage, and other liability charges.

If and when this happens, you'll be thankful you have landlord liability insurance coverage. Some of the covered risks include:

Medical

Imagine that your tenant, their guest, or a handyman or contractor falls and gets injured on your property. Or an infestation of black mold begins to flourish because a water leak wasn't properly repaired. A personal injury lawyer will claim that you failed to maintain the property and ensure it was safe and up to code. If sued and found negligent, your liability insurance would cover the medical and rehabilitation costs of the aggrieved party up to your policy's limits.

Legal

Legal fees can quickly add up. Your landlord liability insurance will also cover legal representation, including fees for defense, court judgments, and any related fees you might need to pay.

Negligence

Let's say one of your tenants comes to you with a problem. They tell you they’ve been having trouble with their neighbor who has been making threatening gestures and comments. You tell the tenant that you'll look into the situation and ask them to keep you updated. However, the situation escalates, and the tenant ends up getting injured. They decide to sue you for negligence, claiming that you didn't do enough to protect them from their neighbor.

If the tenant can prove that you were aware of the potential for violence but did nothing to prevent it, they may be able to hold you liable for their emotional distress. In this case, your landlord liability insurance will protect you from any financial damages the tenant may be awarded.

3 Tips for Choosing Liability Insurance for Rental Property

At first glance, selecting the best liability insurance can be overwhelming. However, it's much easier when you know what factors to consider. Here are 3 important tips that will make it easier to choose liability insurance for your rental property:

  1. Consider the limit: Your insurer will only provide coverage up to your liability coverage limits. Any costs above the coverage limit will be paid out of your pocket or through your rental property reserve account. That's why it is important to consider the limits of your coverage. Of course, the higher your limits, the higher your insurance premiums. However, a higher limit will offer you more financial protection when and if you need to make a claim.
  2. Compare quotes: While it might be tempting to do so, avoid settling for the first liability coverage you come across. It could offer what you are looking for, but is another insurer offering more for a better price? Comparing quotes from different providers allows you to assess the limits of each provider and what that package offers. Some could have higher limits, while others could be providing coverage for more liability scenarios than their counterparts.
  3. Compare the providers: In addition to comparing quotes and coverage limits, you should also compare the insurance companies offering these quotes. How is their customer service? Will your claims be settled in time, or do you have to jump through a lot of hoops?

How To Get Landlord Liability Insurance

As a landlord, you want to ensure you have the right liability insurance to protect your property and other assets. But with so many options, it can be tough to know where to start.

One option is to work with an online insurance broker. A broker can help you compare policies from different insurers to find the one that best meets your needs. And because they're not tied to any one company, they can offer impartial advice.

Another option is to go directly to an insurer (often called a "captive agent"). While this may be easier in the short term, you may not necessarily get the best deal. That's because captive agents often try to sell you their company's products rather than finding the right policy for you.

In the end, working with an online insurance broker is usually the best way to find landlord liability insurance. With a broker, you can compare policies and prices from different insurers and get impartial advice to help you choose the right coverage for your needs.

Get an Instant Quote from Obie Today

If you want to save money on landlord insurance, consider using Obie. Obie makes it easy to compare rates from different insurers, so you can be sure you're getting the best deal.

As a landlord, it's crucial to have insurance for your rental property in case of any damages or accidents. Obie provides insurance coverage for landlords in all 50 states and has insured more than $4 billion in property to date. On average, landlords save 25% with Obie.

Getting started with Obie is easy - simply enter your property address and receive an instant quote. Then, you can choose the coverage that best suits your needs and budget. Go here to learn more and get your free quote today.

While owning and managing a fourplex can be relatively straightforward, the insurance aspect can be tricky.

Some property owners do not invest in a fourplex for rental business purposes only. Instead, these investors will use part of the fourplex as their primary home while making rental income from the remaining units. Having two occupancy types is where the confusion arises regarding insurance matters.

If you are investing in a fourplex and wonder what insurance is best, this article explains everything you need to know about how to insure these types of properties.

What is Fourplex Insurance?

Fourplex insurance provides coverage for multi-family buildings housing four units under the same building. It may differ from regular homeowner's insurance if part, or all of the fourplex is used for a rental business.

Fourplex insurance usually covers damages to the property's structure, contents, liabilities, and loss of use. However, the right insurance policy for your fourplex will depend on the occupancy type of each unit, which we’ll discuss next.

Looking to protect yourself and your fourplex? Get an instant quote from Obie today. No paper applications, week-long waits for quotes, or back and forths with brokers. On average, landlords save 25% with Obie.

Fourplex Insurance for Owner-Occupied Property

Homeowner's insurance is the best coverage if you occupy part of the fourplex, although the occupancy arrangements will affect your overall policy and costs.

For instance, if the fourplex is only owner-occupied, meaning you do not rent out any of the units, homeowner's coverage alone will work. The HO-3 policy, the most common policy for homeowners, is generally enough. It provides coverage against the primary structure, additional structures, contents, personal liabilities, and loss of use which pays for living expenses when the fourplex is uninhabitable.

However, if part of the fourplex is used for rental business, you will require additional protection against liability, and loss of rental income. In some cases, extra coverage can be added as riders to your homeowner’s  policy, but check with your insurance agent to be sure.

How to Insure a Fourplex That is Rented Out

Once your property becomes tenant-occupied only, you will need to invest in landlord insurance or a dwelling fire policy" coverage. Landlord insurance comes in many forms, each policy providing coverage for varying perils. At the very least, you must ensure the coverage you choose provides:

Property coverage

This policy covers damages to the fourplex's primary structure against common perils like smoke, fire, lightning, explosions, vandalism, and damage from burglars.  If you rent out a furnished building, you can add your personal items to the policy as long as these items are stored at and used to service the units in the fourplex. In addition, the insurer can also cover additional structures within the property, such as fences, detached garages, and sheds.

Liability coverage

You might take all the necessary measures to ensure the fourplex is safe for all tenants, guests, and third parties. But accidents happen, and all it takes is a single slip or fall, among other situations, and you could be slapped with a negligence suit. This could leave you with high legal and medical costs, running your pockets dry.

General liability coverage protects you from financial damages such as a judgment in a lawsuit, up to the limit of your coverage. Fortunately, liability policies for landlord insurance usually have a higher limit than homeowner's insurance policies.

Loss of use coverage

Loss of use or rent coverage provides landlords with rent payments when the property is uninhabitable and under repairs or renovations due to a covered loss. The four units in your property might be an incredible source of income when all units have tenants. However, if any damage were to make the whole property uninhabitable, you would lose the four income streams simultaneously.

Even if just one unit becomes unusable, money is still lost when a tenant moves out for major repairs. This coverage will ensure you receive your rent payments from the insurer, helping you to meet your mortgage payments and other expenses.

Additional coverages

On top of these basic policies, you can get additional coverage for your landlord insurance for better protection. For instance, landlord insurance policies rarely cover damages against flood  or water backup damage. The good news is these coverages are  usually available as a standalone policy or you may be able to add them to your landlord insurance as a rider. These additional coverages may be essential even if your fourplex is not in a flood zone area.

Other additional coverage to consider include:

  • Sewer backup covers damages from sewer backups into the property.
  • Umbrella policy covers extra costs when your individual liability policies hit their limit.
  • Earthquake insurance - some policies exclude damages from earth movement, making this coverage worth considering if your fourplex is in an area marked as high-risk.

Cost of Fourplex Insurance

Multi-family residential properties, especially fourplexes, have higher insurance premiums than single-family units. In addition to having more housing units than a single-family property, insurance companies consider other factors in calculating fourplex insurance costs. These factors play a significant role in determining your insurance costs:  

Location

When you're looking for a fourplex to purchase, it's essential to remember that the location will play a significant role in how much you'll pay for insurance. For example, if the property is located in a high-crime area, you can expect your premiums to be higher than if the property were located in a safe neighborhood.

The same is true for a fourplex located in a part of the country that's prone to natural disasters like hurricanes or earthquakes. In both cases, the insurance company is taking on a greater risk by insuring the property, and they'll charge accordingly.

Condition of the fourplex

Insurance companies always consider the property's age and the status of its features and other fixtures. Generally speaking, the older your fourplex is, the higher your insurance premium will be.

Besides the primary structure, your insurer will also look at the condition of the wiring and plumbing systems.

The good news is you can repair and replace any old items and give your property a newer and better outlook. This could include ensuring stairways and rails are safely installed or replaced, hallways are well lit, exit ways are appropriately marked, and public areas are well-kept.

In addition, insurance carriers also consider fire safety measures, like installed fire alarms, smoke detectors, and firewalls. These measures will come in handy when negotiating for lower insurance costs.

Insurance deductible

The deductible is the amount you must pay out of pocket before your insurance company starts paying for covered damages. So if you have a $500 deductible and $1,000 in covered damages, you would pay the first $500, and your insurance company would cover the rest.

Insurance companies use deductibles to spread out the cost of claims among policyholders. By requiring policyholders to pay a portion of covered damages, insurers can keep premiums low for everyone. And, because fourplexes are more likely to experience a claim than single-family homes, fourplexes typically have higher deductibles than other types of rental properties.

That said, there are ways for landlords to reduce the cost of fourplex insurance. One way is to raise the deductible. You can lower your premiums by increasing the amount you're willing to pay out of pocket. Just be sure that you set aside enough money to cover the deductible in case you do need to file a claim.

Tips for Choosing the Right Fourplex Insurance Policy

Now that you understand how fourplex insurance works, how do you ensure you choose the right policy? The following tips will help you choose the right fourplex insurance policy:

  • Shop early: Fourplex insurance is more complicated for the insurance company than standard insurance policies for single-family units. It has more underwriting requirements and usually takes longer. Start shopping for an insurance provider early enough to ensure you find the right policy. This will allow you time to compare and choose a service provider who meets your needs.
  • Work with an expert broker: Besides being more complicated, fourplex insurance is sometimes difficult to find. Why? Because not all insurance providers offer multi-family building insurance. The best way to save all the hassle of searching for the best insurer is to work with a professional broker specializing in multi-family building insurance. Your broker has a fiduciary duty to you and is thus obliged to meet your needs.
  • Be upfront about your use: Since insurance coverage for multi-family buildings depends on occupancy, it is crucial you be honest about the living situation in your fourplex. This is more important if the fourplex is mixed-use, where one unit is owner-occupied, and the other units are rented out.
  • Choose coverage with replacement cost value coverage (RCV): Some insurance providers offer coverage for multi-family buildings based on the property's loan value. Unfortunately, this can be less advantageous for you. If any damages happen, the mortgage value is likely lower than the cost of replacing the building and other items, reducing the chances of needing to cover these costs with your own money. Make sure you purchase enough coverage to rebuild or replace your property. RCV coverage is better than ACV (actual cash value) coverage because ACV coverage takes into consideration the current value of the property being replaced which includes depreciation. If your roof is nearing the end of its life, ACV will pay only the little cash value remaining whereas RVC would cover the cost to repair or replace it at full value leaving you on the hook to pay the difference.

How to Find the Best Fourplex Insurance

If you're looking for the best fourplex insurance policy, consider using an online insurance broker like Obie. Obie is insurance built for landlords and real estate investors, without the hassle of paper applications and confusing processes.

Obie provides insurance coverage for landlords in all 50 states and has insured more than $4 billion in property to date.

Getting started with Obie is quick and easy. Begin by going to their website and entering your property address to receive an instant quote. Then, you can choose the coverage that best suits your needs and budget.

Visit Obie's website now to get started.

As an investor, you may be wondering if you need a specific type of insurance to protect your duplex.

Duplex insurance is often misunderstood by property owners, leading to the purchase of the wrong coverage. It is important to understand how to insure this type of property, from what it is and how it works, to your checklist for getting the right coverage.

This article will provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision.

What is Duplex Insurance?

Duplex insurance is insurance coverage for a single structure that has two independent units. In some places, a duplex is known as a two-flat. Duplex units can share a common dividing wall, or one of the units may be on top of the other. Given the nature of the building type, which is quite different from single-family home properties, the insurance aspect of duplexes can be confusing for many property owners.

Most insurance providers will cover the primary structure of the duplex against common perils like fire and smoke, lightning, vandalism, as well as wind and hail. In addition, the insurance company will also have coverage for liabilities and loss of use if the property is deemed uninhabitable and is under renovations.

However, duplex insurance coverage will depend on the ownership and occupancy of either side of the duplex. There are 3 possible scenarios to consider when insuring a duplex:

  1. You own one or both units in the duplex. One of the units is owner-occupied, and the other unit is not rented out.
  2. You own both of the units. One is owner-occupied as a primary residence, and the other is rented to a tenant.
  3. Both units are tenant-occupied, and neither unit is your primary residence.

Looking to protect yourself and your duplex? Get an instant quote from Obie today. No paper applications, week-long waits for quotes, or back and forths with brokers. On average, landlords save 25% with Obie.

Duplex Insurance for Owner-Occupied Property

Do you own a duplex, and is it your primary residence? If you occupy both units and don’t rent out one of the units to a tenant, a homeowners policy is usually the best insurance coverage.

A homeowners policy can be either a named-peril or open-perils type of coverage. A named-peril policy provides coverage for specifically named perils, whereas an open-peril policy covers damage by any peril, unless specifically excluded.  Both types of policies cover the duplex’s structure and additional structures on the property. They also provide coverage for personal property. The open-peril type of policy is the most comprehensive insurance policy for owner-occupied properties.

However, even an open-peril policy generally has some exclusions:

  • War
  • Power failure
  • Neglect
  • Earth movement
  • Ordinance or law
  • Flood coverage

In addition to covering the duplex’s primary structure, a homeowners policy also provides coverage against additional structures, like fences and pools, contents, liability, and loss of use. The loss of use coverage provides payments for living expenses, like accommodation costs when you temporarily move out of the property during repairs made in connection with a covered peril.  

If you own and occupy only one unit of the duplex, your only claim under the homeowners policy is to the portion of the property you occupy. In this case, you can only get a homeowners policy for your unit unless the homeowners policy has a specific rider or endorsement that provides coverage for the tenant-occupied unit.

How to Insure a Duplex That is Rented Out

People frequently purchase duplexes for real estate investment purposes. Others buy their duplexes as their primary residence and rent them out when they upgrade to another property or need extra income from the additional unit.

As a duplex owner searching for insurance coverage, how do you insure your duplex when renting it out? When searching for the best insurance coverage for your duplex, the most important question is:

Are you renting one of the units and living in the other, or are you renting both of the units out?

The occupancy of the units - owner-occupied vs. tenant-occupied - determines the type of duplex insurance policy you'll need and the cost of the annual premium.

Duplex as a rental property

If you own and rent out the entire duplex or a single unit of the duplex, a landlord policy would be the best insurance to have. This is made explicitly for tenant-occupied properties. There are different landlord policies, but a named-peril policy (DP-3) is the most common coverage among landlords.

With a named-peril landlord policy, the insurer covers the property’s structure from the most common perils. However, any perils not named in the policy are not covered and there can be other exclusions. These include flooding, earthquakes, mold, government action, and war. That said, you can usually  purchase additional coverage for some of the excluded perils as separate policies or riders for your landlord insurance.

In addition to covering the primary structure of the duplex, the DP-3 policy may also cover additional structures, liability charges, and loss of use. Some landlord policies will cover personal contents, while others exclude these. In most cases, the only contents the insurance will provide coverage for are those that landlords offer together with the property for services, such as appliances that belong to the owner or landscaping equipment stored on-site.

Unlike the loss of use in the homeowners HO-3 policy, where you are compensated for extra living expenses, in the landlord DP-3 policy, you will receive compensation for the loss of income so long as the duplex is  uninhabitable from a covered peril. The insurer then reimburses the rental income during renovations that you’d otherwise receive were it to be occupied.

Mixed-use duplex

A duplex is mixed-use if the owner occupies one unit as a primary residence and the other unit is tenant occupied. If your duplex is mixed-use, you may need both homeowners (HO-3) and landlord (DP-3) policies.

If two policies are required, the HO-3 policy will only apply to the side of the building you are occupying, while the DP-3 policy applies to the rental side of the duplex. Some landlord policies and some homeowners policies will cover both your owner-occupied unit and your tenant occupied unit with the right additional endorsements added to the policy.

As a rule of thumb, most insurers will require a homeowner’s coverage for the unit you occupy and landlord insurance for the unit you rent out.

Tips for Choosing the Right Duplex Insurance Policy

As complicated as it might seem, choosing the right duplex insurance policy can be surprisingly easy when you keep a few things in mind:

  • First, it is essential to note the usage of the duplex. Are you residing in the property, renting it all out, or using part of it as your primary residence? The occupancy type is usually the defining factor in getting homeowner’s or landlord insurance coverage.
  • Second, it is also important to work with a professional. This could be an insurance agent or an online broker specializing in landlord insurance for duplex properties.

Be sure to be up-front with your agent or broker on the occupancy aspects of the duplex. This way, they can ensure you get the right coverage for the property, whether it is owner-occupied, tenant-occupied, or mixed-use.

How to Find the Best Duplex Insurance Policy

There are a few different methods you can use to find the best duplex insurance policy:

Insurance broker

Working with an insurance broker specializing in landlord insurance for duplex properties. This is often the best way to get the most comprehensive coverage at the most competitive rates. Insurance brokers have access to a wide range of insurers, so they can shop around and get you the best deal possible.

Captive agent

Working with a captive insurance agent who represents only one insurer. While this may be convenient, it limits your options, and you may not receive the best coverage or rate.

Shopping around

Shopping around and comparing quotes from different insurers yourself. This can be time-consuming, but some landlords feel it is worth the extra effort.

No matter which method you choose, be sure to compare quotes from at least three different insurers to get the best deal on duplex insurance.

Where to Get the Best Deal on Duplex Insurance

If you're looking to save money on duplex insurance, consider using an online insurance broker like Obie. Insurance brokers make it easy to compare rates from different insurers, so you can be sure you're getting the best deal.

As a landlord, it's crucial to have insurance for your duplex if there are ever any accidents or damages. Obie provides insurance coverage for landlords in all 50 states and has insured more than $4 billion in property to date.

Getting started with Obie is easy. First, go to their website and enter your property address to receive an instant quote. Then, you can choose the coverage that best suits your needs and budget.

Visit Obie's website now to get started.

In this interview on Tech Nest: The Proptech Podcast, Ryan talks a good deal about what is and what is not embedded insurance, why this is such an important feature for proptech and fintech companies alike, and how Obie is working to bring about a much simpler insurance experience for real estate investors. Hint: simpler for investors means incredibly difficult for the tech company—but with big rewards.

Learn more about how you can partner with Obie and leverage embedded landlord insurance. Visit obierisk.com/partnerships to connect the partnerships team today.

More about Obie and Ryan

Obie is the leading insurtech, focused on providing insurance for real estate investors. By focusing on partnerships with proptech and fintech companies, Obie is the first and only company to offer instantly bindable quotes as an embedded insurance experience. Additionally Obie provides insurance via local independent insurance agents or directly to investors through its online portal—changing the shape and feel of insurance for investors by meeting them where ever they may be.

Obie was recently honored as Business Insurance Best Places to Work and one of Inc Magazines Fastest Growing Companies for 2022. Obie is a Y-Combinator and a NAR REACH accelerator alum. To date, Obie has raised $13.7 million from leading proptech investors including Battery Ventures, Thomvest Ventures, MetaProp, Second Century Ventures, and Funders Club.

Ryan is the Co-founder and CEO of Obie. As a seasoned real estate investor and technology executive with years of experience acquiring, developing, managing, real estate, Ryan saw the inefficiencies real estate investors and operators faced with insurance. After much exploration alongside his brother Aaron, he realized the insurance industry was not moving to meet the investor where they were. Obie was created to deliver a greater insurance experience that is more transparent and faster that ever before for the every day real estate investor.

Did you know that at least half a million properties in the U.S. face a risk of flood water damage? To make matters worse, flood risk is growing.

New maps indicate flood damage will increase by at least 26% in the next three decades, thanks partly to climate change. But, perhaps, the most worrying takeaway for real estate investors is that their standard landlord insurance would not cover any damages caused by a flood. Yes, you read that right!

Luckily, online insurance brokers like Obie have got your flood insurance needs covered. Before settling down to enjoy your rental income, here is everything you need to know about flood risk and the coverage that protects you.

Why You Need Flood Insurance for Rental Property

Flood insurance is coverage against damages from flooding. You must purchase it separately from your regular landlord coverage, even if you have purchased the most comprehensive policy.

Rental property flood insurance covers any damages to the property’s fabric, detached buildings like garages, electrical wiring, plumbing, cabinets, cooling system, and heating system. You can add coverage for your personal property if you rent out a furnished home, such as a short-term rental.

However, while it covers detached buildings, flood insurance does not provide coverage for pools, fences, decks, or landscaping. It also does not cover damages to a tenant’s personal property. Therefore, it is important to advise tenants to have renters insurance coverage for their belongings.

Flood insurance for rental properties is quite different from that of owner-occupied properties. It covers the actual cash value (ACV) of the insured items instead of the replacement cost. That means your claim payout from the insurance company will be reduced for the depreciation of the specific items and will not necessarily cover the full cost to replace the item in question.

Not sure if you need flood insurance? Check the Obie Risk Map to see if your property or a property you intend to purchase may be within a flood zone. 

Common Misconceptions About Flood Insurance

The many misconceptions around the subject have often led some landlords down the wrong path. This ranges from completely ignoring flood insurance to not shopping for the best provider for one’s needs. Some of the common misconceptions to be aware of include:

1. It is only available for property owners in flood zone areas

Unfortunately, areas with a low chance of flooding also experience floods. In fact, according to FEMA, more than 40% of National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) claims are from property owners outside of areas with a high likelihood of flooding. Regardless of the property’s location, it is important to have flood insurance as a landlord. If the property is in an area with low chances of flooding, you may be eligible for a low-cost Preferred Risk Policy.

2. Flood insurance is part of standard coverage

Flood insurance is not part of your standard landlord insurance. Even the most comprehensive policy known as DP3 does not usually include water damage from flooding. While this is the case, it does not mean you cannot have it within your policy.

Sadly, many landlords ignore flood insurance since it is not part of their standard policy. But insurers usually allow one to add extra coverages as riders or endorsements at a fee or as a separate policy, including flood insurance. 

3. FEMA’s NFIP program is the only flood insurance provider

There is a common belief that NFIP is the only flood insurance provider. However, private insurers have risen to the occasion and may offer better coverage options for flood insurance.

For instance, NFIP has a coverage limit of $500,000 for business owners. This could expose you to more costs if the property damages exceed this limit. In addition, a private carrier with a higher rating, more customers, and competitive premium rates might offer you better services at more affordable prices than the government-backed program.

4. Flooding only occurs from storms

This cannot be further from the truth. Other factors that could cause flooding include melting snow, dam failure, river or lake bank breakage, or oversaturation of underground water that seeps into the property’s foundation or other vulnerable areas.

5. You cannot buy flood insurance during a storm

The truth is you can buy flood insurance anytime, even in the middle of a storm. However, insurers usually have a waiting period before the policy takes effect, meaning you will not be covered for any damages during this period. While the NFIP usually has a 30-day waiting period, private insurers may offer a shorter waiting period. But don’t wait until the last minute to look for the best flood insurance coverage.

How Much Does Flood Insurance Cost for Rental Property?

Flood insurance varies in costs, but can be hundreds, if not, thousands of dollars annually. Some will have a higher premium, while others might pay lower premiums than the average or their counterparts. It's always a good idea to work with an agent or online insurance broker like Obie to determine how much your flood insurance will cost.

Factors that could affect the cost of your flood insurance coverage include:

  • Location: properties in flood zone areas or close to bodies of water have higher premiums than their counterparts due to the increased probability of flood. In addition, insurers consider the location’s flooding history and elevation above sea level. Properties in areas with a flooding history or a low elevation are likely to mean higher insurance costs.
  • Property’s age: newer homes tend to have more affordable premiums than older homes. That's because insurance companies consider older homes prone to more damage than newer homes, making them riskier to insure.
  • Your desired coverage: how much flood insurance coverage would you like? $50,000 or $300,000? Whatever coverage limit you choose, keep in mind that a higher coverage means more premiums. Still, having a higher premium isn't necessarily a bad thing. You could risk losing a lot during a catastrophic flood, so it's important to have coverage that will protect your asset and minimize your out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Insurance deductible: a higher deductible reduces the cost of flood insurance. However, a bigger deductible could leave you with a higher bill to pay if the actual damages exceeds your coverage limits.
  • State requirements: properties in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA) are required by the National Flood Insurance Program to have flood insurance. Due to this, property owners in these areas have higher premiums than those outside of these zones.

Can You Get Flood Insurance if a Rental is in a High-Risk Area?

Do you know whether your rental property is in a Special Flood Hazard Area? That's an important question to ask and answer because any property within FEMA’s recognized SFHAs must have flood insurance. FEMA’s Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) or Flood Hazard Boundary Map (FHBM) is an excellent tool for checking whether your property is in a high-risk area.

While the language here could be confusing, you can also tell whether your property is in a high-risk area based on the insurer’s label. These labels run alphabetically, with properties with Zone A being more prone to flooding than those labeled Zone B, C, D, etc. Regardless of your property's zone, you can always get flood insurance from most providers. The only difference is that your premiums will be higher if the property is in Zone A.

Tips for Preventing Flood Damage to Your Rental Property

Although having flood insurance is an excellent way to keep your property covered, there are steps you can take to prevent flood damages:

  • Regularly and thoroughly inspect the gutters, splash pads, downspouts, and drainages. These keep water from flowing into the property. Accumulated dirt and debris will prevent water from draining, increasing the chances of flooding.
  • Install water-resistant air bricks on the walls. Also known as flood vents, water-resistant air bricks are designed to allow water to pass through while maintaining your home's structural integrity. They are typically installed in areas where flood waters are likely to enter, such as around basement windows or doors.
  • HydraBarrier or hydration tubes are devices placed around the perimeter of a structure and filled with water. The water in the tube creates a barrier that helps to protect the structure from floodwaters. Hydration tubes are typically made of PVC or other durable materials and can be inflated or deflated as needed.
  • Grade the property's yard with a sloping design. This helps in draining the water more effectively than having a flat design.
  • Applying waterproof sealants and coatings to basement walls and the foundation ensures the sealing of any cracks. In addition, it keeps any accumulated water from seeping into the property.

Where to Find the Best Rental Property Flood Insurance

The National Flood Insurance Program works with a network of insurance companies that offer flood insurance, especially those in flood-risk areas. But these are not the only options.

With Obie, you can quickly and easily compare rates from different insurers to find the right policy for your needs. And in many cases, Obie can help you save money on your premium without sacrificing coverage. 

Coverage is available in all 50 states, and investors have insured more than $4 billion in property with Obie to date. On average, rental property owners save 25% by switching to Obie.

Get an instant quote for landlord insurance from Obie today.

It’s not uncommon for landlords to make lapses in getting the right types of coverage for their properties. Often, it’s not their fault. Understanding the ins and outs of insurance has typically been a complicated process that makes it hard for property owners to figure out what they really need in a policy.

These are 8 important things to consider when looking for landlord insurance. 

1. What Factors Affect the Cost of Landlord Insurance?

When it comes to landlord insurance, there are several factors that insurance companies take into account when determining the price of your policy:

  • Type of property you own: Insurance companies charge different rates for single-family homes, apartments, condos, short-term rentals, and other types of properties.
  • Location of your property: Rates will be higher for properties in high-crime areas or areas prone to natural disasters.
  • Value of your property: The more valuable your property is, the more it will cost to insure.
  • Amount of coverage you need: The more coverage you need, the higher your rates will be.
  • Deductible you choose: A higher deductible will lower your rates, but it will also mean that you have to pay more out of pocket if you need to make a claim.
  • Your claims history: If you have a history of making claims on your insurance, your rates will be higher than someone with a clean record.
  • Your credit history: Some insurance companies use credit history to determine risk, so a better history may mean lower rates.
  • Type of tenants you have: Insurance companies may perceive different types of tenants as more or less risky, so if you rent to high-risk tenants (e.g., students), your rates may  be higher or you may not qualify for coverage from some carriers.
  • Length of your tenant's lease: Short-term leases may result in higher rates as it means your property has more frequent turnover, higher numbers of different tenants, and more risk compared to a single tenant with a long-term lease. 
  • Whether you have other policies with the same company: Many insurance companies offer discounts for policyholders with multiple policies. So, if you have landlord insurance through the same company that insures your car or home, you may get a discount.

2. Understand the Difference Between Replacement Cost and Market Value

A common mistake landlords unknowingly make is underinsuring or over-insuring their property by not knowing the difference between replacement cost and market value. Replacement cost is the amount you would need to repair or rebuild your property if damaged, while market value is how much the property is presently worth or might likely sell for in the current market.

For example, assume a fire burns your rental property to the ground. With  replacement cost coverage, your insurer will cover the cost to rebuild the property to how it was, i.e., using similar materials to rebuild a similar property, up to your policy's limit. The insurer will consider things like labor and construction costs in the area, which impact  the cost of repair or rebuilding. The cost to rebuild often varies significantly from the market value of the property. 

3. Choose the Right Policy Form: DP1 vs. DP2 vs. DP3

Understanding the policy types and coverage options that differentiate landlord insurance policies will give you peace of mind and make it easier to sleep at night. Insurers might have varying carrier titles to describe their policies so it is important to understand what each policy covers.

For instance, words like "basic," "extended coverage," and "limited" are commonly used to indicate named-peril type policies , i.e., DP1 and DP2, while terms like "all-risk," "special," and "open-peril" usually mean an open-peril or all-peril policy like a DP3 policy. The key difference between these policies is the coverage offered, which means settling for the wrong policy could leave you open to several risks without your knowledge. You can compare the differences between DP1, DP2, and DP3 policies in this detailed article.

For example, named-peril policies like DP1 and DP2 policies can be  quite limiting as they cover specific perils or only those the insurer lists in the policy. A DP1 policy is enticing for many landlords, thanks to its low premiums. But it offers limited coverage, covering as few as  nine risks. That may lead to sleepless nights. What happens if you were sued for liability? Do you have money for legal fees? Or a burglar breaks into the property when vacant? Unfortunately, a DP1 policy likely will not offer you the necessary protection against these risks.

On the other hand, an open-peril policy like a DP3 policy is on the higher end of the price range. But it is more comprehensive, providing extra coverage for things like vandalism and burglary. In addition, it typically covers you against liability and loss of use, ensuring you are protected if you are found liable for negligence. Some policies will also reimburse you for lost rental income when a covered loss forces your tenants to move out.

Watch out for "actual cash value" or "replacement coverage/cost" terms on the insurer's declaration page. These terms refer to how much you would receive if there were a claim. A DP1 policy usually will have actual cash value (ACV) coverage, meaning the insurer deducts the property's depreciation from your claim. By comparison, replacement coverage/cost means your payout will be the money required for repairs or renovations at the current cost of items, less your deductible.

4. What are Some Common Exclusions in Landlord Insurance Policies?

An exclusion is a type of risk not covered by an insurance policy. Landlords need to be aware of common exclusions in landlord insurance policies to ensure they are adequately covered.

Some common exclusions in landlord insurance policies include:

  • Flooding: Many landlord insurance policies do not cover flooding, one of the most common natural disasters. Landlords should check their policy documents carefully to see if this coverage is included or can be added as an endorsement.
  • Earthquake: Like flooding, earthquake damage is also often excluded from rental property insurance policies. Again, landlords should check their policy documents to see if this coverage is included or can be added as an endorsement.
  • Sewer backup: This is a common exclusion in rental dwelling policies, so landlords must check if their policy covers this damage.
  • Negligence: Many landlord insurance policies do not cover damages caused by the landlord's negligence. For example, if a landlord fails to properly maintain the property, which results in damage, the landlord may not be covered by their insurance policy.
  • Criminal acts: Many policies exclude malicious damage caused by criminal acts, such as vandalism or theft.
  • Tenant damage: Some landlord insurance excludes damages caused by tenants. Landlords should check their policy documents carefully to see if this coverage is included.

5. Should I Purchase Additional Coverage for My Rental Property?

Some coverages may be excluded from standard landlord insurance coverage. However, they are usually offered as additional or rider coverages for an extra fee that may be surprisingly affordable. Unfortunately, some landlords and insurance carriers leave them off without considering the potential ramifications if damage occurs.

That's why it is important to take a few minutes and consider available optional coverages. For example, your rental property might be in an area prone to flooding. You could find your property filled with water from a backed-up sewer or drainage line. Having additional flood insurance coverage or water and sump/sewer back-up coverage could save you from having to use your capital reserves to pay for damage that, in hindsight, should have been insured against.

If there are optional coverages you need, ask your agent to quote the cost of adding them to your landlord insurance coverage. Additionally, ask them to explain any additional coverages you do not understand.

6. Do I Need Special Landlord Insurance if I Have Tenants with Pets?

Many landlord insurance policies exclude damages caused by animals, so it's important to check the policy documents carefully. In addition, landlords should follow some best practices to minimize the risk of pet-related damage:

  • Require all renters with pets to sign a pet addendum that outlines the rules and regulations regarding pets in the rental unit.
  • Collect a pet deposit from tenants with pets. This deposit can be used to cover any damages caused by the pet.
  • Do not allow aggressive breeds of dogs in the rental unit.
  • Require tenants to provide proof of liability insurance that would cover injury caused by their pet.
  • Inspect the rental unit regularly to look for any pet-related damage.

By following these best practices, landlords can minimize the risk of pet-related damages and ensure their property is adequately covered by insurance.

7. How Often Should I Review my Landlord Insurance Policy?

As a rule of thumb, you should review your landlord insurance policy each time you renew, or sooner if market conditions change or you've made significant improvements to your property.

Remember that the coverage limit is the highest amount your insurance provider will pay for a covered risk. When you have a claim, your insurer will pay up to your limit, leaving you to pay the rest of the repair expenses from your pocket. Therefore, reviewing your insurance coverage before buying the policy is important.

Before automatically renewing your existing policy, pause and ask what has changed in the last year that would affect the cost of rebuilding the property. Have you made any renovations or improvements to the property that would cost you more in case of damages? Have prices for building materials and labor costs increased? 

8. How Can I Save Money on Landlord Insurance?

There are a few things landlords can do to reduce the cost of their landlord insurance:

  • Raise your deductible. A higher deductible means you'll have to pay more out of pocket if you have a claim, but it will also lower your premium.
  • Make sure your property is in good repair and up to date on all maintenance. This will help you get discounts for having a "well-maintained" property.
  • If you have multiple properties, insure them with the same carrier to get a discount.
  • Most importantly, shop around and compare rates from different insurers.

The last point is why real estate investors have insured over $4 billion worth of property with Obie. Obie makes it easy to compare rates from different insurers, so you can be sure you're getting the best deal (and with the coverage you need).

Simply enter your property address and receive an instant quote for landlord insurance. Obie provides coverage for rental property in all 50 states.

Get started today and get the landlord insurance coverage you need at a price you can afford. Visit Obie's website to learn more and get your free quote.

Some landlords assume their homeowner's insurance policy will cover damages to their rental properties as well. 

Unfortunately, this isn't usually the case. In fact, many homeowners policies specifically exclude rental properties from coverage.

Protecting your investment is a top priority, and with the right insurance policy in place, you can rest easy knowing that you're covered in case of the unexpected. This article will explain the types of coverage available for landlords and how to make sure your property is protected.

Homeowners Insurance Typically Doesn't Cover Rentals

Homeowners insurance is for people who occupy their homes as a primary residence. The most common type of homeowners insurance covers your home and contents for most types of perils, including fire, wind, hail, and theft. It also provides personal liability coverage, which can pay for damages and legal defense costs if you or someone in your family causes injury to another person.

However, many new landlords and real estate investors are surprised to learn that a standard homeowners insurance policy does not typically provide coverage for rental property. There are a few reasons for this. 

First, homeowners insurance is designed to protect the policyholder's primary residence. This means that it generally does not cover secondary properties, such as investment properties.  A homeowner policy CAN cover a secondary residence, so long as it is owner-occupied.  We see this with seasonal homes.  The differentiator is that the residence is owner-occupied versus tenant occupied.

Second, homeowners insurance typically excludes damage caused by tenants. This exclusion exists because landlords are considered responsible for their tenants' actions. As a result, any damage caused by tenant activity would not be covered by a standard homeowners policy. 

Finally, personal property and loss of use coverages are specifically tailored for the different needs of a homeowner versus a landlord.  With the wrong policy in place, coverage needs may not be met in the event of a loss.

How Landlord Insurance Protects Rental Property

Landlord insurance is a type of property insurance that helps protect landlords from financial losses due to damage to their rental property. It can also provide liability coverage if a tenant is injured on the property.

The main coverages provided by landlord insurance policies are:

  • Property damage - Protects against damage to the physical structure of the rental property and any belongings owned by the landlord that are kept on the premises for use by the tenants. Covered losses may include fire, smoke, water, or other perils.
  • Liability - Protects the landlord from legal liability that may arise from the operation of the rental property such as  injury or property damage  including any associated legal defense or to help pay for the medical expenses of any tenants injured on the property.
  • Loss of income - Protects against loss of rent while the property is being repaired due to the property being uninhabitable from a covered loss.

Each of these coverages provides important protection for the landlord, and landlords should ensure adequate coverage before renting out their property. When choosing a landlord insurance policy, it's important to make sure that you have enough coverage to protect your investment.

Different Types of Landlord Insurance Policies

There are three types of landlord insurance policies: DP1, DP2, and DP3. Depending on the policy type, covered claims are paid out based on RCV (replacement cost value) or ACV (actual cash value). RCV is the amount it would cost to replace, rebuild or repair your rental property without considering depreciation. ACV (actual cash value) is the replacement cost value minus any depreciation. The differences below are examples only and not inclusive of all the differences between policy types. 

DP1

DP1 landlord insurance policies offer the most basic level of coverage, providing protection for the dwelling itself as well as any attached structures. In addition, claims for covered events are paid out based on ACV(actual cash value)-basis, which will usually result in an owner receiving less than the amount needed to make repairs.

DP2

DP2 landlord insurance policies provide more comprehensive coverage than DP1 policies, covering not only the dwelling and attached structures but also personal belongings and contents inside the rental property. Landlord policies do not cover the tenant’s personal property.  The tenant must purchase a renter’s policy for this type of coverage. The landlord’s personal property would be covered on an ACV basis, but the structure would be on an RCV basis provided the coverage limit selected is adequate to cover the actual cost to rebuild / replace / repair. Often, carriers offer buy-up coverage for personal property to be covered on a RCV basis.

DP3

DP3 landlord insurance policies offer the most comprehensive coverage, protecting the dwelling, attached structures, personal property inside the rental property. In addition, this type of policy usually includes liability coverage if a tenant is injured on the property due to the owner’s negligence. As with the DP2, the landlord’s personal property would be covered on an ACV basis, but the structure would be on an RCV basis provided the coverage limit selected is adequate to cover the actual cost to rebuild/replace/repair. Often, carriers offer buy-up coverage for personal property to be covered on a RCV basis.

Additional coverages to consider

Every landlord has different insurance needs, which is why insurance companies offer additional protection that can usually be added to a standard policy for a fee. Some extra coverages to consider include:

  • Flood insurance: Protects your property in the event of flooding, which is not typically covered by landlord insurance policies.
  • Earthquake insurance: This protects your property in the event of an earthquake, which is not typically covered by landlord insurance policies.
  • Water backup: Helps protect against damage caused by sewage and water backup into the rental property from water that enters from outside the property.

How to Choose the Right Insurance Coverage for a Rental Property

The best way to make sure your rental property is adequately protected in case of an accident or natural disaster is to purchase the right insurance coverage. But with so many different types and levels of coverage available, it can be challenging to know which one is right for your rental property.

Here are a few things to consider when choosing insurance coverage for your rental property:

  1. The value of your property: You'll need to insure your property for its full replacement value in case it's completely destroyed. Make sure to get an up-to-date estimate to rebuild from a qualified resource before buying insurance. The cost to rebuild is not the same as a real estate appraisal value.
  2. The location of your property: If your rental property is in an area prone to natural disasters like floods or earthquakes, you'll need to purchase additional coverage to protect against those risks.
  3. Your personal liability: Your insurance should also cover your liability in case someone is injured on your property, or you're sued for damages related to negligence on the premise.
  4. The deductible: Be sure to choose an insurance policy with a deductible that you can afford to pay out-of-pocket in the event of a claim. A higher deductible will result in a lower premium but ensure you can still cover the cost if you need to file a claim.

Where to Find the Best Landlord Insurance Policy

There are a few ways you can go about finding landlord insurance for your rental property. For example, you can work with a captive agent, who represents only one carrier. Alternatively, you can use an insurance broker.

While a local agent may be the path of least resistance, there are potential drawbacks to purchasing landlord insurance the old-fashioned way via a captive agent. You will only have access to a single insurance carrier. This lack of choice will limit your options and potentially lead to higher premiums. 

Another drawback is that the process can be more time-consuming. You may have to meet with the agent in person and go through the entire application process before you can compare rates and coverage options.

On the other hand, there are some significant benefits to using an insurance broker - especially one like Obie. The process is much simpler and can be done entirely online. This allows you to compare rates and coverage options from various carriers without ever leaving your home.

Additionally, Obie uses technology to streamline the process of purchasing landlord insurance. This includes instant rate quotes, electronic applications, and the ability to purchase insurance in all 50 states. More than $4 Billion in property is insured with Obie to date.

Ultimately, using Obie is one of the simplest and most efficient ways to find the best landlord insurance for your rental property. Get started today by entering your property address on the Obie website to receive an instant quote and see how easy it is to protect your rental property. If that wasn’t reason enough, landlords see an average savings of 25% on their insurance when switching to Obie.

As a landlord, you are responsible for ensuring that your rental property is safe for tenants.

This includes ensuring that there are no potential hazards that could cause tenant injury. Unfortunately, accidents can happen even when all safety precautions have been taken. You could be held liable if a tenant is injured on your property.

For example, if a tenant trips and falls on a step, they could try and hold you responsible for their injuries. Similarly, if a tenant is injured by what they claim is a defective appliance or piece of furniture, you may be held liable if it can be shown that you were aware of the issue and failed to repair it.

This blog post will explain how to insure your rental property against tenant injury. By taking out the right insurance policy, you can protect yourself financially if a tenant is injured on your property.

You’ll learn what types of coverage are available and how much coverage to consider. We’ve also included tips on preventing tenant injuries.

Does Landlord Insurance Cover Tenant Injuries?

Landlord insurance is vital for anyone who owns rental property. Not only does it protect your investment, but landlord policies also provide personal liability coverage in the event of a claim from a tenant, tenant guest, or uninsured third party.

Many common incidents could occur on a rental property where a landlord could be pursued as a liable party including:

  • Slips and falls in common areas due to poor maintenance
  • Inadequate security leading to tenant injuries or property damage
  • Defective appliances or electrical wiring that cause fires or shocks
  • Unsafe stairs, porches, or railings that collapse or cause falls
  • Lead paint or asbestos exposure causing health problems
  • Carbon monoxide leaks from faulty heating systems
  • Pest infestations that lead to bites or disease
  • Mold growth due to damp conditions

There are three types of landlord insurance policies - DP1, DP2, and DP3. Among these three policies, DP3 offers the most comprehensive insurance coverage. DP1 covers the structure of the building, including the walls, floors, and ceilings. It also covers any permanent fixtures and fittings, such as plumbing and electrical wiring. DP2 extends coverage to include loss of rental income and legal fees arising from tenancy disputes.

DP3 provides the most comprehensive protection by covering the property's contents and the building itself. In addition, DP3 also provides personal liability coverage in case of a claim of bodily injury from a tenant, tenant guest, or uninsured third party.

How to Help Prevent Tenant Injuries

As a landlord, you want to do everything you can to prevent your tenants from being injured. There are many ways to help prevent tenant injuries, and by following some simple best practices, you can make your rental property much safer for your tenants.

Performing regular inspections and routine maintenance of a rental property can help prevent injuries in several ways:

  • By identifying and repairing any potential hazards on the property, you can help reduce the chances of an accident occurring.
  • If you are aware of any issues with the property that could potentially cause an accident, you can take steps to mitigate those risks.
  • By keeping up with regular maintenance and repairs, you can help ensure that the property remains safe for tenants.

Another important step in preventing injuries is to create a policy for handling emergencies. This policy should include who to contact in an emergency, what to do in case of a fire or other evacuation, and how to handle medical emergencies. Having a plan in place can help ensure that your tenants know what to do in an emergency and can act quickly to prevent further injuries.

Additional Coverage Options for Landlords

The types of coverage included in a landlord insurance policy can vary. Typically, it will provide protection for the physical structure of the rental property, the personal belongings of the landlord, and any lost income if the property is damaged or uninhabitable.

Sometimes, a landlord may require additional insurance for a rental property. Here are five additional coverage options a landlord may wish to add to a standard landlord insurance policy:

1. Vacant property insurance: This type of insurance protects your property if it is unoccupied for an extended period.

2. Water backup and sump pump overflow coverage: This type of coverage provides protection in the event that water backs up into your property or causes damage due to a sump pump failure.

3. Flood insurance: If your property is located in an area that is prone to flooding, you may wish to purchase flood insurance to protect against potential damage.

4. Earthquake insurance: States like Alaska, California, and Nevada are prone to earthquakes. If your rental property is located in an area subject to earthquakes, you may wish to purchase additional insurance to protect against any damage that may occur.

5. Ordinance or law: When renovations are required to comply with new building codes or ordinances, this coverage can help cover the cost of those upgrades.

With these additional coverages in place, a landlord can help ensure that their rental property is protected against a wide range of risks.

Tips for Choosing a Landlord Insurance Policy

When it comes to landlord insurance, it pays to shop around and compare different policies. Doing so can ensure that you're getting the best coverage for your needs at the most affordable price.

Landlords can get the best deal on insurance by following these best practices:

  • Be sure you have a landlord insurance policy. If a tenant or guest is injured on your property, they may file a claim against you. You could be responsible for paying their medical bills, lost wages, and other damages if you are found liable. A landlord insurance policy with injury coverage can help pay for these expenses, saving you money in the long run.
  • Comparing rates from different insurers is the best way to know you're getting a competitive rate on your landlord insurance policy. However, make sure to compare apples to apples by looking at policies with similar coverage limits and deductibles. Some companies, like Obie, will help shop and compare policies for you.
  • Some insurers offer discounts for landlords who have taken steps to protect their property, such as installing security systems or smoke detectors. Ask about these when you're comparing rates.
  • It's important to know if your insurer will cover the full value of your rental dwelling if damaged or destroyed. Make sure to get an estimate of your property's value from a professional appraiser before shopping for insurance.
  • Read the fine print of any policy you're considering before purchasing it. Pay attention to things like the policy's deductible and any exclusions that could limit your coverage.
  • Some insurers offer "blanket" policies that cover multiple rental properties under one policy. This could be a good option if you have more than one rental property.
  • Ensure you understand the claims process for the insurer you're considering before buying a policy. You'll want to know how to file a claim and what documentation will be required.

It's also a good idea to review your insurance needs annually to ensure you're still getting the best coverage for your needs. Things can change over time, so staying up-to-date on your coverage is important.

Where to Find the Right Rental Property Insurance Policy

A landlord's insurance needs are unique and complex. As a result, working with a captive agent who only represents one company can be limiting.

The potential drawback of buying landlord insurance through a captive agent is that the agent may not have access to the best possible coverage for your needs. Additionally, the agent may not be able to provide you with the most competitive rates because they are limited to the products of one carrier.

That’s why more and more landlords are turning to Obie. Obie is an online insurance broker that uses cutting-edge technology to streamline the process of buying landlord insurance. Obie provides landlords with instant quotes from top-rated carriers so that you can compare rates and coverage options side-by-side.

With Obie, there are no hidden fees or surprises – just simple, straightforward insurance that protects your property and your investment. More than $4 Billion in property is insured with Obie, and landlord insurance is available in all 50 states.

To get started, visit Obie's website and enter your property address for a free instant online quote.

One day you're renting out your extra room to help with the bills, and before you know it, you've got an entirely separate property to manage.

While becoming a landlord brings plenty of new responsibilities, one of the most important is ensuring you have the right insurance. So, do you need landlord insurance? Let's take a closer look.

What Kind of Insurance Do You Need for Renting Your Home?

A tenant is less likely to be as careful with your property and other personal items, like appliances and furnishings left in the dwelling, than you would be. Even if they would care for the property like their own, the chance of ignoring minor wear and tear damages until it is too late is also higher.

That means your property is exposed to more risk when you rent it out. As such, standard homeowners insurance will not cover your rental property.

Homeowners vs. landlord coverage

That's where landlord coverage, also called rental property coverage, comes into play. These are made specifically for landlords with tenant-occupied properties. Apart from covering damages to the property's primary structure, landlord insurance also covers liability claims and loss of use.

Liability coverage covers medical, legal, and other expenses a landlord could be liable for due to negligence. With the loss of use, the insurance company reimburses you for the period your house remains without a tenant during renovations from a covered loss.

On the other hand, a homeowners insurance policy is explicitly made for owner-occupied properties. The insurer covers damages to the property and any liability claims to the homeowners. However, the property must be one's primary residence.

Risks of Not Having Insurance When You are a Landlord

Yes, homeowners and landlord insurance cover damages to the property, personal items of either party, and liability. However, some key differences between both policies can affect your rental business. Without the right insurance coverage as a landlord, you could end up paying out-of-pocket for damage and loss that could have been insured.

For instance, a homeowners policy does not provide coverage for loss of use. Let's assume your rental property was damaged under a covered risk, and your tenant has to move for renovations. If your property is still under a homeowners policy, your insurer will not pay you the rental income reimbursements you would otherwise enjoy under a landlord policy.

Keeping your homeowners coverage means you will pay premiums for a policy that does not protect when needed. Additionally, you would have to pay for any damages that would have been covered under a landlord policy.

What to Look for in a Landlord Insurance Policy

Landlord insurance policies are not usually a one-size-fits-all package. Policies will differ depending on the perils the insurer is covering. Knowing what to look for will ensure you get the right coverage for your property.

Coverage for the property and personal property

Although all providers usually cover the property's primary structure, confirming that fixtures and additional structures are part of your coverage is essential. If you have detached structures like garages, fences, and such, any damages could cost you a lot of money. Does the coverage you are settling for cover these?

Also, personal property or contents is sometimes excluded in policies. However, if you rent out a furnished house, it is also essential to look for coverage that protects your contents against damages.

Liability protection

Not all landlord policies offer liability coverage, and most landlords do not consider the implications of not having it. However, liability protection is one of the most essential features to have in a landlord policy.

Most importantly, you must be sure that the limits of your liability protection can make reasonable payouts. Any liability charges could set you back financially, and it's crucial to ensure you are well covered.

Natural disaster coverage

Natural disasters are devastating but often may not be covered in the most basic landlord policies. That doesn't mean you cannot add such coverage. At the very least, protection against fire and storms should be available.

Insurers also offer protection against other calamities as riders to your policy. While these might cost you additional money, they can be a necessary addition, especially if you own property in areas with a high risk for natural disasters like flooding.

Coverage against rent default

Like liability protection, rent guarantee coverage might not be available in every landlord insurance policy. It protects a landlord against income loss when a tenant defaults or falls behind on rent.

When choosing a coverage with loss of rent from default, or adding it as a rider to your preferred policy, consider checking how long the insurer is willing to cover the rental defaults. Also, ask if the payments are for the total rent or partial rent.

How Much Does Insurance for Renting Your Home Cost?

Due to the high risks of damage, landlord insurance is costlier than homeowners insurance by about 25%. Insurance for rental property can vary quite a bit (from $800 to $3,000 per year for a 3 bed/2 bath single-family rental, depending on the state).

However, some landlords pay lower or higher than the average costs. How much insurance you will pay for renting your home will depend on several factors, including:

  • Location: Properties in high-risk areas have higher premiums than their counterparts. These are properties in areas highly susceptible to natural disasters, like floods and earthquakes or high crime rates.
  • Property size: Homes with more square footage also mean a higher premium. The insurer will also look at the number of units to be insured. For instance, if your property is a stand-alone, the premiums will likely be lower than those of a landlord with a multifamily building.
  • Policy type: The coverage you choose will also affect your premium rates. A basic policy, like DP-1, is quite limiting in the risks it covers. However, it is also more affordable than a DP-3 policy, which is more extensive. In addition, adding riders or extra coverage to your policy, like flood insurance, also increases the cost of your landlord insurance.
  • Deductible: The amount of money you are willing to cover from your pocket during a claim. A higher deductible leads to a lower premium. While this might save you money for insurance premiums, it exposes your finances during a claim. What if the damage is of unexpected magnitude? Can your rental business afford to foot such a bill?
  • Condition of the property: Older and poorly maintained properties have pricier premiums than newer and well-maintained ones.
  • Rental prices: If you charge high rental amounts, your premiums will be higher than those of properties with lower rent. That's because with comprehensive landlord insurance, the insurer covers loss of use and will have to compensate you for your lost rental income when your property is uninhabitable as a result of a covered loss.

How to Make Sure You're Getting the Best Deal on Rental Property Insurance

The good news is that finding landlord coverage as an accidental landlord is not that hard, as long as you know where to look. You can ask for recommendations from your current agent, other landlords in your area, or circles or search online.

However, while all of these are viable options, they're not necessarily the way to find the best type of insurance for your rental property.

If you want to save money on landlord insurance, consider using an online insurance broker like Obie - people switching to Obie save 25% on average. Obie makes it easy to compare rates from different insurers, so you can be sure you're getting the best deal.

As a landlord, it's crucial to have insurance for your rental property in case of any damages or accidents. Obie provides insurance coverage for landlords in all 50 states and has insured more than $4 billion in property to date.

Getting started with Obie is easy - simply enter your property address and receive an instant quote. Then, you can choose the coverage that best suits your needs and budget. Visit Obie's website to learn more and get your free quote today.

The demand for rental properties is high in major Wisconsin cities like Madison, Milwaukee, and Green Bay. Such is the demand that some renters are having difficulty finding units. In addition, ever-rising rent prices make Wisconsin an ideal state for real estate investments.

But what happens when the source of your rental income is threatened or damaged? Wisconsin is prone to natural disasters like winter storms, tornadoes, floods, landslides, and even wildfires.

This is where landlord coverage comes in—to help protect your real estate investment against some of these perils. Although insurance policies offer landlords such protection, coverage and costs will differ depending on the insurer and state.

This article provides you with everything you need to know about landlord insurance in Wisconsin.

What Landlords Should Know About Insurance in Wisconsin

Landlord insurance for rental property owners is not mandatory in Wisconsin, but that doesn't mean you should forego it. As stated above, Wisconsin has a high risk of experiencing some natural disasters. Additionally, the rate of property crimes has increased, albeit by a small percentage.

Unfortunately, all it takes is one unusual storm and your property could be severely damaged. Or a tenant sustains personal injury from a fall. Situations like these could leave you with major expenses.

As you shop for landlord insurance in the state, be aware of what is covered and the costs.

Available Landlord Insurance Coverages in Wisconsin

Insurance companies in Wisconsin might have varying landlord policies. These will vary in terms of what is covered and costs. However, there are basic perils you should ensure are included in your policy for maximum protection of your investment.

Property coverage

This coverage protects your building's primary and additional structures against fire, vehicle damage, lightning, smoke, windstorms, and hailstorms, among others. Although many insurers do not include coverage for personal property, it can usually be added upon request at an extra fee. This addition is important for landlords providing furnished properties.

Loss of use coverage

This coverage compensates you for any lost rental income due to a covered event. It is only available when property damage forces tenants to move out for renovations and repairs. During this period, the insurance company will reimburse you the rental income you would receive if the tenant were still occupying the property and paying rent.

Liability coverage

General liability coverage protects landlords against liability charges from lawsuits and claims. It covers medical costs, legal fees, and other costs that could come about from such situations.

For instance, if a tenant or another party is injured on your property and you were negligent in maintaining the property, you could be liable for damages. Again, the liability coverage in your landlord policy comes to your rescue. It covers your legal costs plus any medical costs and other necessary payments you have to make to the injured party, up to your policy's limit.

Riders

Insurance companies usually exclude some perils, like floods, earth movements, power failure, ordinances, or laws. However, you can add coverage for some of these events to your primary landlord policy.

For instance, flooding is not unheard of in Wisconsin. Without a rider for flood coverage, you are exposed to financial damages if the property were flooded. While riders come at an extra cost, it might well be worth the small additional expense compared to the financial burden you would face if you were uninsured.

How Much Does Landlord Insurance in Wisconsin Cost?

The cost of landlord insurance coverage in Wisconsin averages about $1,100. While this is the average rate in the state, your specific figure can vary significantly. Factors affecting the price of a Wisconsin landlord insurance policy include:

Location

The location of your property plays a significant role in setting your policy's premiums. For instance, the insurer will consider whether there are high crime rates in the area. These expose the property to increased risks of vandalism and burglary.

Additionally, insurance companies consider the risk of damage from natural disasters, like tornadoes and earthquakes. The more exposed the property is to these risks, the higher the premium rates.

Size

The larger the property, the more the insurance costs. That's because houses with more square footage will generally cost more to repair than smaller homes.

Age and Condition

The age and condition of the rental property affects the price of a landlord insurance policy in Wisconsin because these are factors that insurers use to assess risk. If the property is newly built or has updated plumbing, electrical and roofing, it may be less likely to experience a loss, and therefore the policy will be less expensive. However, if the property is older and in poor condition, it could be more likely to experience a loss, and the policy will be more expensive.

Coverage

There are different landlord policies, each protecting against specific events. The cost of your landlord insurance will depend largely on the policy you settle for. For example, one type of landlord policy, known as the DP1 policy, is the most basic and more affordable. However, it only provides coverage against a limited number of named perils (or causes of loss) and may not include liability coverage. On the other hand, another type of landlord policy known as the DP3 policy, is an open-peril policy, covers more, and is more expensive.

Deductible

How much are you willing to pay out of pocket if there is a claim? The more you are willing to pay in cash upfront for a deductible, the lower the cost of your insurance premium. However, a higher deductible could leave you in financial difficulty if the damage is significant because you have to pay more for damages.

How to Find the Best Landlord Insurance Policy for Your Needs in Wisconsin

There are a few different ways to find landlord insurance in Wisconsin. You can contact your local insurance agent, search online, or work with an insurance broker.

You can also use Obie to get simple, affordable, and transparent coverage for your property. Obie makes it easy to get quotes and purchase landlord insurance online, so you can protect your rental property quickly and easily.

Obie provides insurance coverage for landlords in all 50 states and has insured more than $4 billion in property to date.

Getting started with Obie is easy. First, go to the website and enter your property address to receive an instant quote. Then, you can choose the coverage that best suits your needs and budget. Visit Obie's website now to get started.

While the state of Michigan offers great opportunities for landlords, one cannot overlook the risks associated with owning a real estate investment. Therefore, a comprehensive landlord policy is needed to protect one's investment against common risks.

If you are venturing into the real estate world of Michigan, you are probably wondering where to begin with your insurance needs. This article will help you understand the expected risks, the available coverages against these events, and how you can get the best landlord insurance coverage in the state.

What Landlords Should Know About Insurance in Michigan

Landlords across the country face all sorts of risks. Some are usually specific or common to some regions, posing the risk of more damage to landlords.

As a landlord, it is important to understand what risks you face based on your location. This will help you get a policy that offers the coverage you need for your rental property. It also makes it easier to find an insurance broker who can provide you with the best insurance in Michigan.

Common Property Perils in Michigan

Property crime rate

Michigan's property crime rate is estimated to be about 13.46 per every 1,000 residents. This includes 2.31 and 9.33 burglary and theft rates per 1,000 compared to 3.12 and 13.90 in the whole country. According to the same statistics, the chances of being involved in property crime in the state are 1 in 74.

Still, the potential for property crime risk will vary in different towns and cities across Michigan. For example, cities such as Detroit, Flint, Jackson, and Muskegon Heights have been listed as the most dangerous cities in the state. However, there are other statistically safer areas in Michigan, such as Northville, Berkley, Haslett, Huntington Woods, and Troy.

Natural disasters

Michigan is prone to natural disasters like floods, wildfires, winter storms, tornadoes, and severe storms. For instance, flooding is usually expected in several cities in Michigan. While the latest 2021 flood in parts of Michigan caused considerable damage, it does not compare to the historic flood of 2014 that caused damages in the millions.

These events might not happen in your location. However, risk management involves anticipating damage from unexpected incidents and preparing for the outcome.

Liability risks

Did you know tenants can sue a landlord for injuries incurred while on the property? The same applies to any guest of a tenant or service person injured while on the property. Liability coverage in a landlord insurance policy can cover legal fees, medical bills, lost earnings, and other applicable compensations if a tenant or a third party gets injured on your property.

What Types of Landlord Insurance Are Available in Michigan?

It's important to understand all the possible risks you could face in Michigan when shopping around for insurance for your rental property. The most comprehensive landlord insurance policies offered in the state will offer four main areas of coverage:

1. Property coverage

For the building, its primary structure, and additional structures like fences and garages. This policy provides coverage against basic events such as fire, hailstorms, windstorms, and vehicles. In addition to the building, insurance companies can cover the landlord's personal content used to service the property, (e.g. furniture, equipment, and appliances).

2. Liability coverage

Remember the risk of landlord regulations in Michigan? These risks of any physical injury or property damage a third party faces on your property could lead to lawsuits. The liability coverage protects you in such cases, catering to any legal and medical costs accrued in such lawsuits. The limits of this coverage will vary between insurance companies, but you can choose a limit that suits your budget.

3. Loss of use coverage

If your property becomes uninhabitable due to damage from any of the covered risks, the insurance companies in the state reimburse your rental income for the period the house remains vacant. For example, if a fire damages your rental property and it becomes uninhabitable, your landlord insurance policy's loss of use coverage would reimburse you for the loss of rental income while repairs are being made.

4. Additional coverage

Unfortunately, some situations are never covered in a basic landlord insurance policy, even the most comprehensive ones. Policies usually exclude damages from flood, earth movement, power failure, neglect, war, and mold.

That's where additional coverage, or a rider, comes in. These, like flood coverage, are added to your primary landlord coverage for extra protection against water damage.

How Much Does Landlord Insurance in Michigan Cost?

Landlord insurance costs in Michigan average about $1,400 annually and can vary significantly based on the below factors:

  • Location: A high crime rate and potential for natural disaster occurrences drive landlord insurance costs to the higher end of the price range. This means landlords in different locations in Michigan will pay varying premiums. That's not to say you cannot lower the cost of your landlord insurance if you are in a high-risk city. Measures like installing centrally monitored alarm systems, outdoor lighting and high-quality locks reduce the risk of break-ins and theft, which may lower your insurance premium.
  • Property condition: The property's age matters, which is why older buildings generally have higher insurance costs. However, you can renovate older fixtures, like the roof, plumbing, and wiring systems, to help lower your insurance premiums.
  • Size: In addition to the property's condition, insurers will consider its overall square footage. The larger the house, the higher your premiums.
  • Deductible: The higher the amount you have to pay before the insurer affects a claim, the lower the cost of your landlord insurance coverage.

Where to Find the Best Landlord Insurance Policy in Michigan

There are a few different ways that rental property owners can find and purchase landlord insurance policies in Michigan. They can go through a traditional insurance company, or an online insurance broker.

Each option has its own set of pros and cons. Traditional insurance companies with captive agents may be the first option that comes to mind. However, they may not be able to offer the same level of customization or coverage options as an online broker.

Online insurance brokers like Obie have become increasingly popular in recent years. They offer a convenient way to compare quotes from multiple insurers and find the best coverage for your needs. And because they work with multiple carriers, they can often find discounts you wouldn’t be able to get on your own.

Direct-to-consumer insurance providers are a newer option, but they’re quickly gaining popularity thanks to their simple and straightforward approach to insurance. These companies typically have very few (if any) brick-and-mortar locations, which allows them to pass the savings on to their customers.

So, which option is the best for finding and purchasing landlord insurance in Michigan? It really depends on your needs and preferences. If you want the convenience of an online quote comparison tool and the ability to work with a company exclusively focused on insuring rental properties, then Obie is a great choice.

Obie provides insurance coverage for landlords in all 50 states, and has insured more than $4 billion in property to date. On average, landlords save 25% by switching to Obie.

Getting started with Obie is easy. First, go to their website and enter your property address to receive an instant quote. Then, you can choose the coverage that best suits your needs and budget. Visit Obie's website now to get started.

To build a startup that is growing beyond venture level standards while keeping profitability in sight is no easy task. This growth was recently acknowledged by Inc Magazine when Obie was honored to be named 9th Fastest Growing Insurance Company, as well as earned a spot on the Inc 5000 list. But just building a fast-growing company isn’t enough—that’s why we are focused on building a great place to work as well. 

BusinessInsurance.com recently recognized the industry’s top insurance companies to work for in 2022, placing Obie on the list. Recognitions like this don't come easy, however. 

Earlier this year, Obie staff were given the opportunity to complete an anonymous survey. These surveys collect critical information that help determine the working environment of a company and are what Business Insurance uses to determine the Best Places to Work list. Simply completing the survey is not enough to be selected, as companies must meet a series of criteria in response data to be included on the annual list. The employee nomination and engagement are what make this title an honor and accomplishment. Knowing that Obie employees truly stand behind the company as being one of the best companies to work for in insurance.

Company Values

One of the ways in which Obie intentionally works towards building a great place to work, is by setting values to aim for. There are four values Obie has articulated as “legs we stand on”.

Do Good

Everything we do is rooted in respect. Respect for our customers, our team, and ourselves. We strive to be empathetic, helpful, and trustworthy.

Be Curious

No question is a dumb one. Obies love tackling new problems, thinking outside of the box, and pursuing big ideas to grow through.

Play Fair

We built our product on honesty and transparency. We ask all Obies to work with integrity and to pursue a diverse and inclusive atmosphere.

Be Flexible

Life happens. Whether it’s a work project that requires creative problem solving or a family emergency that takes you away from work—we know how to prioritize what matters.

Obie Technology

While the world of insurance may not first strike everyone as the obvious, most exciting industry, being part of a fast-growing insurtech startup like Obie might just change your mind. The technology Obie has built enables real estate investors to quickly get an instantly bindable quote for rental properties that are 1-4 units in size. And for other types of properties, Obie is able expedite the process, beating industry-average wait times for a quote and helping investors get the coverage when they need it. 

Because of our industry-leading tech capabilities, this has also positioned Obie as the go-to insurtech for many platforms that cater to real estate investors, such as Stessa, Doorvest, Baselane, Green Doors—and more. 

Mortgage and lending companies have also jumped on this trend, of wanting to offer an embedded insurance experience. This helps real estate investors satisfy insurance requirements set by lenders, and reduces the friction in acquiring properties. 

Insurtech Career Opportunities at Obie

Obie is expanding its team to meet the needs of platform and lending partners, independent agents, and to continue building our direct-to-consumer brand. You can find current opportunities on the Obie careers page

Don’t see a role that fits your skills or interest? You can still apply. Send an email to careers@obierisk.com with a description of what you’d like to bring to the team at Obie and attach your resume.

See what you need to know about Stessa if you invest in real estate and want to better manage your assets.

Whether you’re new to real estate investing or have been an investor for a long time, Stessa is probably a tool you’ve heard about from a friend or being mentioned online. In this article, we’ll break down what Stessa is, who it’s for, and what features you get with your Stessa account.  

What is Stessa and How Much Does it Cost?

Stessa is a free, online tool for real estate investors. Real estate investors with as few properties as a single rental up to those with thousands of rentals use Stessa to keep track of the performance of their portfolio over time. While Stessa can be used through a desktop computer or mobile phone browser, there is also an iOS and Android mobile app, with certain features, available to account holders.

Stessa has grown in popularity, reaching hundreds of thousands of investors nationwide, partly as a result of its broad set of features and its very low cost. In fact, Stessa is free to use!

That being said, the natural question is how can Stessa provide all that it does and still be free? From the Stessa website, “...we do offer optional, premium services for real estate investors for a fee, to assist with things like rent analysis, and market research.” So you get access to all of Stessa’s features at no charge, plus access to exclusive offerings through the Stessa platform.

Who is Stessa For?

Something about Stessa that stands out from many other tools on the market, is that it was built with many different investors in mind.

Those who buy and hold rental properties by themselves—meaning without outside investors—Stessa is a valuable tool in measuring and tracking your progress. The asset management toolset within Stessa will enable you to see how your portfolio is doing against your goals.

For investors who purchase and manage properties with investors, you’ll also get a lot out of the platform. Stessa enables you to categorize your properties into portfolios and to share the performance with your investors. This helps you keep track of properties in a sensible way and maintain transparency between you and your investors.

If you’re in the business of buying and holding rental properties, which can be done through value-add improvements, BRRRR, house-hacking, or simply buying property turnkey, Stessa will give you the structure you need to manage and measure the performance of your assets.

Rent Collection

One of the newest features to be released from Stessa is its rent collection capabilities. There are many very important activities in managing your investment, and collecting rent is certainly at the top of priorities.

Stessa brings modern technology to the everyday investor. Get automatic rent reminders, auto-recurring ACH payment options for renters, and a secure method for processing rent. Stessa utilizes Plaid integration, making it easy to connect your bank account to your Stessa account for auto deposits of payments.

Many investors over the years have used a myriad of tools like Venmo, PayPal, or CashApp, but that’s against the terms of service on those platforms and they lack the right protocols built into the platforms ideal for landlords, such as blocking partial payments.

Making it easier for renters to pay rent may mean you’re more likely to get rent in full and on time, every month.

Interest-Bearing Bank Account and Cash Back

As an investor, finding additional yield in your deals can result in that much more profit at the end of the year. And Stessa is helping with two newer features, an interest-bearing  banking account and a cash-back debit card.

By using Stessa for cash management, investors can enjoy 2.00% APY* interest rates on deposits, 1.10% cash back when you use the Stessa debit card, and $0 fees on inbound wires. There is a $5 charge for outbound send wires transfers.

Setting up a banking account through Stessa has a few other advantages and features, including no fees for bounced checks, no minimum balance requirements, and no monthly maintenance fees.

Detailed Reporting

Stessa is known for the level of reporting the platform enables the average investor to create. Gone are the days of having to build your own complicated spreadsheets. Directly within the Stessa platform, you can build the following reports:

  • Income Statement
  • Net Cash Flow
  • Balance Sheet
  • Rent Roll
  • Tenant Ledger
  • Schedule of Real Estate Owned
  • General Ledger
  • Capital Expenses
  • Tax Package
  • Stress Test

Stessa Video Tours: Financial Reports from Stessa on Vimeo.

When you utilize Stessa’s features like receipt capture from your phone, integrating your mortgage account, bank through Stessa, and use Stessa for rent collection, your data will be input with less effort and improve the accuracy of your reports.

Document Storage

Despite wanting to manage your properties using modern technology, there are still quite a few documents you’ll need to keep on hand.

Stessa doesn’t specify any limit to the number of documents you can store in your account. For keeping track and to successfully manage your portfolios, we recommend taking advantage of these features. Stessa recommends uploading the following types of documents:

  • Purchase & Sale
  • Offers & Addendums
  • Disclosures
  • Appraisals
  • Inspections
  • Title, Surveys, & Plans
  • Closing Statements
  • Recorded Deeds
  • Leases & Tenants
  • Leases & Exhibits
  • Apps & Credit Checks
  • Notices & Correspondence
  • Move In / Out Inspections
  • Eviction & Legal Docs
  • Mortgages & Loans
  • Mortgage & Loan Agreements
  • Monthly Statements
  • Form 1098s
  • Insurance
  • Quotes
  • Policy Documents
  • Certifications & Binders
  • Vendors
  • Admin & Other
  • Legal & Professional
  • Repair & Maintenance
  • CapEx
  • Utilities

Mobile App for iOS and Android

We all know the struggle of keeping track of receipts—including the product team at Stessa. That’s why they created a pretty slick mobile app, available on both iOS and Android devices, that helps you capture receipts on the go. No more tucking paper receipts into your back pocket or filling the glovebox of your car with crinkled paper.

Simply pull out your phone, snap a scan of your receipt and it’ll sync with your Stessa account. Not only does Stessa sync the receipt to your account, but you also have control over categorizing and organizing these receipts later—making preparation for tax time much simpler.

Obie Insurance for Stessa Users

Get a competitive quote and bind a new insurance policy in minutes, without leaving Stessa, picking up the phone, or filling out complex paperwork. Quotes and policies are from Obie, who specializes in providing insurance to real estate investors. Obie understands your unique needs and tailors each policy accordingly.

Already covered? Most carriers allow you to cancel anytime for a prorated refund. That means you can shop around and start saving money today. Spend a few two minutes and put Obie to the test. No need to answer fifty questions from brokers. No annoying phone calls. Get a quote from Obie directly on any Property Details page in Stessa or at Stessa.com/insurance.

If you haven’t yet, claim your free account at Stessa.com today. It’s a low-cost tool to continually monitor your portfolio’s performance and help you become a better real estate investor.

*Annual Percentage Yield (APY) of 2.00% is effective as of August 30, 2022. Fees could affect earnings on the account. Account holders can earn 1.10% Cash Back on debit card purchases. Cash back earned each month will be credited to the account by the next month's statement. ATM transactions, the purchase of money orders or cash equivalents, loan payments and account funding made with a debit card are not eligible for cash back rewards. No minimum opening deposit and no minimum balance requirements. Stessa is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by Blue Ridge Bank, N.A., Member FDIC. Visa® Debit Card is issued by Blue Ridge Bank, N.A., pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted.

No one wants to think about something going wrong with their rental property, but it's important to be prepared. That's where landlord insurance comes in. This type of insurance can help protect you from a variety of unfortunate events, such as damage to your property or liability claims from tenants.

If you're a landlord in Pennsylvania, here are some things you need to know about this essential coverage.

What Landlords Should Know About Insurance in Pennsylvania

Whether you are a seasoned investor or have just dipped your toe into the game, owning real estate requires you to be aware of things that could affect your investment and rental income.

Here are some of the things landlords should know about insurance in the state.

Risks covered

There are numerous landlord insurance coverages in Pennsylvania, where the risks covered depend on the policy and the insurance company. A policy could cover either or all of these risks:

Property coverage

Property coverage may also extend to detached or secondary structures on your property, like the garage, shed, and fences. Additionally, some coverages might include the landlord's personal property used in the service of the property, such as furniture, appliances, or landscaping equipment. This is the most basic insurance coverage for any landlord. Covered claims may include damages to the physical structure of your property caused by fire, hailstorms, windstorms, lightning, smoke, snow, ice, and other natural disasters.

Liability coverage

Liability coverage protects a landlord from claims made by a tenant, a tenant's guest, or an uninsured handyman or contractor. If you're sued by a tenant for property damage or injury caused by a covered event, your landlord insurance policy can help pay for your legal defense costs and judgments.

Loss of rental income

Loss of rental income reimburses you if your dwelling becomes uninhabitable due to property damage from the covered risks. However, loss of rental income coverage isn't always included in a landlord insurance policy, so it's a good idea to double-check with your insurance agent or consult your policy documents.

Negligence Law in Pennsylvania

Liability insurance is not mandatory for landlords in the state. However, the hefty financial burden one incurs when liable for negligence makes it a critical feature of any policy.  

For instance, landlords in Pennsylvania are required by law to provide an environment that's reasonably safe for their tenants, guests, and other third-party personnel, like utility workers. An injured party can sue the landlord for negligence for failing to do so.  

You could face liability charges if someone falls in a common area and is injured on your property due to negligence. Perhaps, your tenant, a guest, or a utility worker falls due to a neglected renovation. If you are liable, you will have to pay their medical bills, legal fees, and other costs.  

Second, this state's law allows landlords to be held accountable for criminal activities on the property. This applies when the landlord either:  

  • Fails to notify the tenant about known criminal activities in the area or on the property, or
  • Makes it easier for criminal activity to happen. This could be through failing to have the right security features on the property, like providing reliable locks.  

In addition, there are cases where this liability coverage comes in handy. For example, you could be held liable for lack of regular maintenance, lack of control of the property, and mold exposure. Some insurers in Pennsylvania with this coverage also protect you against non-injury claims, like libel, slander, wrongful entry, or wrongful eviction.

Flood Insurance

Flood insurance is rarely included in landlord insurance policies. However, when necessary, it can be included as an add-on or rider to your main landlord insurance policy or purchased as a separate policy. And, if you have a rental property in Pennsylvania, this coverage may become a necessity. The state has a high risk of natural disasters like flooding, dam & water threats, tropical storms, thunderstorms, and tornadoes.  

This coverage helps to protect you from any losses you might incur when a flood damages your property's primary structure, additional structure, and personal landlord contents provided for the property. During a claim, the insurer usually reimburses you the cash for rebuilding or repairing the damages, up to your policy limit.

Landlord Insurance Rates in Pennsylvania

Landlord insurance premiums in Pennsylvania can vary significantly depending on factors such as the location of the property, age and condition of the home, the annual deductible, and coverage offered. For example, DP1 is a lower-priced basic policy that covers specified risks, while DP3 provides the most comprehensive coverage, albeit at a higher price point.

As a landlord in Pennsylvania, it's important to know about the different types of insurance available to you. Rates for landlord insurance can vary depending on the insurer, so it's important to compare quotes before choosing a policy. By shopping around, you can find the best coverage for your rental property at the most affordable price.

How to Find the Best Landlord Insurance Policy for Your Needs in Pennsylvania

There are a few key things you'll want to keep in mind when shopping for landlord insurance in Pennsylvania.

First, make sure that the policy covers the replacement value of your property in case of damage. Secondly, ensure that loss of rent is covered in the event that tenants can't occupy the property due to a covered event.

It's also important to consider legal liability coverage in the event that someone is injured on your property. Finally, take deductibles and policy limits into account to make sure that the policy meets your needs.

Perhaps the biggest question is, how do you choose between so many alternatives if you don't know which policy is best for you?

One way to find landlord insurance is through an insurance agent. Keep in mind that not all agents are the same regarding what they offer and how many coverage options they have. It's beneficial to research different agents before selecting one to ensure you're getting the best possible service. Some may only work with a limited number of coverage options or represent only one insurance carrier, which could restrict your choices for landlord insurance.

Another option is to use an online insurance broker like Obie.

There's no need to spend hours shopping around for landlord insurance in Pennsylvania because Obie has you covered. With instant quotes and the ability to purchase a policy online in all 50 states, it's easy to get the coverage you need and protect your investment. On top of that, you can save an average of 25% when you get your property insurance through Obie.

Working with an online insurance broker like Obie can be a smart move because Obie was purpose built specifically for landlords and real estate investors.

It all comes down to personal preference when choosing which type of insurance agent to work with. Some landlords might prefer the convenience and flexibility that come with working with an insurance broker. Others might prefer working with a captive agent. Ultimately, it's up to the landlord to decide what works best for them.

Whatever your preference, it's important to compare quotes from multiple carriers and read customer testimonials to find the best possible coverage at the most affordable price. By taking the time to do your research, you can be sure that you're getting the protection you need at a price that fits your budget.

What Obie Customers are Saying

Before making a decision on purchasing landlord insurance, it can be helpful to read what current customers of the company have to say. When it comes to insuring a property rental in Pennsylvania, it's worth taking a look at what Obie customers have to say:

"This was a great experience. I was contacted immediately, and Nick was great and very responsive!" - Stephanie A.

"Love Obie! Was able to get a speedy insurance policy that was priced better than quotes from other companies. Would recommend." - T. Baker

“What an easy and professional experience! I worked with Doug Bell. He was amazing. Great rate! Fast response!” – Esther L.

Get an Instant Quote from Obie Today

If you own a rental property in Pennsylvania, you are probably aware of how crucial it is to have insurance. However, with so many possibilities available, selecting the appropriate policy at a fair price may be difficult.

That's where Obie comes in. Obie specializes in providing insurance for landlords and real estate investors. There are no paper applications, lengthy waiting periods for quotations, or back-and-forths with brokers.

So what are you waiting for? Get an instant quote for landlord insurance from Obie today.

Indiana is friendly to landlords, thanks to its low property taxes, no rent controls, a streamlined eviction process, and allowing for security deposits.  

On the flip side, there are several risks to consider, including crime rates and natural disasters. This makes choosing your landlord insurance overwhelming for a first-time investor or anyone with no experience with the state's real estate scene.

This blog post will help you understand how landlord insurance works in Indiana, from coverage options to factors that could affect your premiums.

What Landlords Should Know About Insurance in Indiana

Property Insurance in Indiana

Property damage poses a high risk for real estate investors. Between natural disasters, crime-related activities, accidents, and the possibility of renting to a bad tenant, you could find yourself with a four or five-figure bill for repairs and renovations.    

In Indiana, natural disasters like storms, tornadoes, floods, and landslides can be common, leaving your property exposed to considerable damage. Unfortunately, it is also among the states where property crime is soaring, with the latest statistics showing over 120,000 reported property crimes. Research has also shown there are about 1,971 property crimes per 100k people, with burglary being over 200 per 100k people.  

Although property crimes like theft may affect a tenant the most, landlords could also suffer. For example, robbers might break the door or bust the window to access the house, shed, or garage. Perhaps the premises are furnished with your personal belongings, and they make away with household equipment and appliances. These circumstances could leave you thousands of dollars out of pocket for repairs and replacement.

Given the growing crime rate in Indiana, the risk of natural disasters, and the possibility of damages from careless tenants, it is crucial to have coverage that provides property insurance. However, not all property insurance policies are the same. For example, some policies will cover claims from vandalism and accidental water damages, while others will not. Therefore, when considering available policies, you need to consider the covered risks and exclusions.  

Protection against damages from flooding is usually offered as a separate policy from your landlord insurance. It is important coverage for any landlord in Indiana, considering it is at a high risk of flooding. Flood insurance also can be offered as a rider, i.e. an additional coverage or endorsement added to your landlord insurance at an extra cost.

Liability Insurance

According to the landlord-tenant law in Indiana, a landlord's responsibilities include providing a property with basic habitability, like adequate heating, weatherproofing, and water. It must also be free from danger and hazards, like lead and mold. Additionally, a landlord must do quick repairs and maintenance when required, where major issues are expected to be fixed within 24 hours.  

That's where liability coverage comes in, to protect you against cases where you are found liable for physical or property damages due to negligence. For instance, failing to repair a broken stairway promptly could lead to a fractured bone for your tenant, their guest, or a third party on the property. This leaves you potentially liable for a hefty hospital bill and a possible legal bill if you lose a lawsuit.

Loss of Use

If your property were rendered uninhabitable due to a covered loss, you would lose your rental income while it is under repair. For example, let's assume a storm strikes and the roof of your rental apartment is blown away. Your tenants would have to move as you fix the place, leading to a loss of income. The loss of use coverage ensures you are reimbursed the rental income you would have otherwise enjoyed if your tenants were still renting the property.

Landlord Insurance Premiums

Landlord insurance premiums in Indiana vary based on a variety of factors, including:

  • Age and condition: An insurer will consider the property's age and fixtures like electric wiring, plumbing, and roofing. The older and more out-of-date your property and its fixtures are, the pricier your premium may be.
  • Size of the property: Insurers consider the square footage of a property, where larger homes have costlier premiums because they might require more work during repairs for a covered claim.
  • Location: Landlord insurance premiums are more expensive for properties located in areas with higher crime rates, natural hazards, and environmental risks.

How to Find the Best Landlord Insurance Policy for Your Needs in Indiana

There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to landlord insurance in Indiana.

To begin, it's critical to find out if your policy includes the replacement value of your home in the case of damage. Second, you'll want to make sure that your insurance covers loss of rent if your renters are unable to occupy the property as a result of a covered claim.

You'll also want to ensure that your policy provides legal liability coverage if someone is injured on your property. Finally, it's important to consider the deductibles and limits of your policy to make sure that it meets your needs.

How do you know which policy is appropriate for you when there are so many alternatives available?

An insurance agent can be a good way to learn about the different coverage options for landlord insurance and to find a policy that fits your needs. However, keep in mind that not all agents are the same. Some may only have experience with a limited number of coverage options or only represent one insurance carrier, which could limit your choices.

Another option is to use an online insurance broker like Obie, which offers insurance purpose built for landlords and real estate investors.

When you purchase landlord insurance through Obie, you have access to a wider range of options and better coverage than if you went through an agent representing a single carrier. This is because Obie allows you to compare multiple policies from different carriers, giving you the ability to find the best possible coverage for your needs.

In addition, the team at Obie can often offer insights and advice that captive agents may not be able to provide. The company offers instant quotes and easy online purchase for landlord insurance in all 50 states. On average, people save 25% on their premium when they get their insurance through Obie.

When deciding which type of agent to work with, it ultimately comes down to personal preference. For example, some landlords prefer the convenience and flexibility that an insurance broker offers, while others prefer working with a captive agent.

No matter what your preference, make sure to compare quotes from multiple carriers and read customer testimonials before making a final decision. This will help ensure that you're getting the best possible coverage at the most affordable price.

What Obie Customers are Saying

Reviewing customer feedback can be helpful when making decisions, like choosing landlord insurance. If you're looking to insure your rental property in Indiana, take a moment to see what Obie customers are saying:

"My guy was Nick L, and he was an absolute pleasure to work with. Total professional, I just can not say enough nice stuff about him. Thanks again, Nick!" - L. Fraher

"Received quote and contacted by a representative fairly quickly via email. After doing some comparison shopping, Obie's rates were the most competitive, and I appreciated that they specialized in short-term rentals, as this coverage was for a secondary property I own and rent out frequently. When I decided to purchase the insurance, process was seamless and took less than a few minutes. Haven't had any claims or issues with Obie yet (and hopefully won't need too), but hoping that process is as smooth as the quote / purchase was." - Stephanie D.

“I can't believe anyone would use another insurance company. Great rate and easiest experience ever. Obie will be my insurance company of choice for my portfolio of real estate investments.” – G. Segal.

Get an Instant Quote from Obie Today

As a landlord in Indiana, you know that having insurance is vital. However, with all the different policy options available, it can be difficult to find the right one at the right price.

Obie offers instant insurance specifically designed for landlords and real estate investors. This means no paper applications, long waits for quotes, or endless meetings with brokers.

What's more, Obie provides the coverage you need at a price that fits your budget. If you're looking for peace of mind when it comes to your rental property, speak with the team at Obie. They'll be happy to help you find the right policy for your needs.

So what are you waiting for? Get an instant quote for landlord insurance from Obie today.

As a landlord, it's important to be aware of the different types of rental dwelling insurance policies available.

This blog post will discuss the key things that landlords need to know about rental dwelling insurance policies and also provide tips for choosing the right rental property policy.

Rental Dwelling Policy and Landlord Insurance

When it comes to insuring your rental property, a rental dwelling policy (also called landlord insurance) is designed to protect property owners who rent out their homes.

This type of policy can help cover the cost of repairs if the rental property is damaged by a covered peril, provide liability coverage if a tenant is injured on the property and sues the landlord, and may reimburse a landlord for lost rental income if tenants have to move out due to damages from a covered peril.

Some rental dwelling policies also include loss of rent coverage, which can help a landlord during the repair period after a covered loss. It's important to check with your insurance company to see what types of coverage are included in your policy, as coverage may vary depending on the insurer.

Types of Perils Typically Covered by Rental Dwelling Policies

Rental dwelling policies typically cover damages from common perils such as fire, windstorm, hail, and lightning. Some rental dwelling policies also provide limited coverage for theft, water damage, mold, and sewage backup. Additionally, a rental dwelling insurance policy can provide a landlord with premises liability protection.

When a tenant is injured or killed on a rental property, the landlord may be held liable. A rental dwelling policy can protect the landlord from personal liability in these cases. The policy may cover damages and legal expenses incurred by the landlord.

For example, suppose a tenant slips and falls on some ice outside the rental property. The tenant sues the landlord, claiming that the landlord was negligent in shoveling the sidewalk. If the landlord has a rental dwelling policy, the policy may pay for the legal costs associated with defending the lawsuit.

Does rental dwelling coverage protect against tenant damage?

Property damage caused by tenants is typically not covered by rental dwelling policies. However, many policies do provide coverage for damages caused by tenant negligence, such as a kitchen fire started by a careless cook.

What does loss of rent coverage typically cover?

Loss of rent coverage typically covers the rental income that a landlord would have earned if the rental property had not been damaged and tenants were unable to stay. Loss of rental income coverage can help hold a landlord over during the repair period after a covered loss.

How Much Does a Rental Dwelling Insurance Policy Cost?

As a general rule, rental dwelling insurance costs about 25% more than a standard homeowners insurance policy. However, insurance premiums for investment property can vary widely (from $800 to $3,000 per year for a 3 bed/2 bath single-family rental, depending on the state), because every home is unique and every landlord has different coverage needs.

An excellent way to learn how much a rental dwelling insurance policy costs for your property is by getting a free instant quote online with Obie.

Obie offers insurance specifically built for landlords and real estate investors. Landlord insurance through Obie is available in all 50 states, and investors have insured more than $4 billion in property to date.

When shopping around for a rental dwelling insurance policy, keep in mind there are many factors that carriers take into consideration when calculating premiums. Some of these factors are within your control, while others are not.

Here is a list of some of the most common factors that can affect your rental dwelling insurance rates:

  • Location of the rental property: Insurance companies will often charge higher rates for rental properties located in areas with high crime rates or natural disaster risks.
  • Type of dwelling: Insurance companies will typically charge higher rates for rental properties that are considered to be high-risk, such as those with a lot of stairs or those made of flammable materials.
  • Value of the dwelling: The more valuable the rental property, the more it will cost to insure.
  • Occupancy of the dwelling: Insurance companies will often charge higher rates for rental properties that are unoccupied for long periods of time, as these are considered to be higher risk.
  • Claims history of the dwelling: If the rental property has a history of insurance claims, the insurance company will likely charge higher rates.
  • Credit history  of the landlord: Insurance companies will sometimes use the landlord's credit history as a factor in determining rates, as those with worse credit history are considered to be more high-risk.

As you can see, there are a number of factors that carriers look at when calculating premiums. However, there are also several things that landlords can do to help keep the cost of their rental dwelling insurance policy low.

One is to make sure that their rental property is well-maintained and in good condition. This will help to reduce the chance of a claim being made against the policy. Another thing that landlords can do is to carefully select their tenants. Screening potential tenants thoroughly can help to ensure that only those who are likely to be responsible renters are chosen.

Raising the deductible will also lower the rental dwelling insurance premium, but will result in the landlord paying more out-of-pocket if there is a claim. Finally, landlords should keep up with the latest safety trends and technologies to ensure their rental property is as safe as possible.

By taking these steps, landlords can help to create an environment that is less risky for insurers, and ultimately help to keep the cost of their rental dwelling insurance policy down.

Tenant Renters Insurance Can Also Help Reduce Costs

Renters insurance is a type of insurance policy that helps protect tenants from financial losses in the event that their personal property is damaged or destroyed or in event the tenant is held personally liable for another person’s injuries. By requiring tenants to take out a renters insurance policy, landlords may help reduce the cost of their own rental dwelling policy.

Landlords often require tenants to purchase rental insurance as a way to limit their own liability if something happens to the property. For example, if a tenant's belongings are damaged or destroyed in a fire, the landlord's policy may not cover those losses. However, if the tenant has rental insurance, they can file a claim with their insurer to help cover the cost of replacing their belongings. In another example, a person injured on a landlord’s property can sue the landlord for negligence. By requiring a tenant to have a renters policy, landlords may mitigate this risk as the tenant’s liability insurance may provide coverage.  

In some cases, insurance carriers may even offer a discount on a landlord's rental dwelling policy if tenants can show proof that they have rental insurance. This is because having rental insurance often means that the landlord may have to pay out less in claims, since the tenant's insurer may cover some of the damages.

Requiring tenants to take out renters insurance can therefore help reduce the cost of a landlord's rental dwelling policy. It is important to note, however, that not all states allow landlords to require tenants to have rental insurance. So, be sure to check before including this in your lease agreement with the tenant.

Where to Get a Rental Dwelling Policy

There are a few different ways that you can go about getting a rental dwelling policy.

Two traditional options are to talk with your existing insurance agent or work with an insurance broker. However, you may not be getting the right type of coverage if the people you speak with are more familiar with homeowners insurance than they are with rental property.

That’s why many landlords are turning to Obie. you can purchase a policy online through a rental dwelling insurance broker like Obie. Whether you're a seasoned investor or just starting out, Obie makes requesting a quote and getting coverage simple, affordable, and transparent. No paper applications, week-long waits for quotes, or back and forth with brokers.

Obie works with a variety of top-rated insurers, so you can be sure you’re getting the best protection at the most competitive price. On average, landlords can save up to 25% with Obie.

Give Obie a call today or visit the website to learn more about the rental dwelling insurance policies and how Obie can help you protect your rental property.

As a landlord, it's essential to have the right insurance for your multifamily property. Not every insurance carrier offers good multifamily policies, so it's important to know where to find the best multifamily insurance companies.

In this article, we'll discuss where to find some of the best multifamily insurance companies in 2022, and answer the most common FAQs landlords have about insuring multifamily rental property.

Looking to protect yourself and your multifamily portfolio? Get an instant quote from Obie today. No paper applications, week-long waits for quotes, or back and forth with brokers. On average, landlords save 25% with Obie.

How to Find the Best Multifamily Insurance

Multifamily properties are a bit different than single-family rentals when it comes to insurance. There are more units and more tenants, which means there's a higher risk for something to go wrong. That's why it's so important to have a good multifamily insurance policy in place.

There are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for multifamily insurance. First, you'll want to make sure that the company you're considering offers coverage for multifamily properties. Second, you'll want to compare policies and rates from different companies to make sure you're getting the best deal. And finally, you'll want to read the policy details carefully so that you understand what's covered and what's not.

When you're looking for multifamily insurance, spend the time researching insurance coverage online, getting multiple quotes, and comparing them side by side. You should also look for discounts that can save you money and increase your potential return on investment.

This is where Obie can be helpful. Obie offers instant insurance built for multifamily landlords and real estate investors. With Obie, you can get the coverage you need for your specific property without spending countless hours trying to figure everything out yourself.

To get started, simply enter the property address here and get an instant quote online for multifamily landlord insurance. Coverage is available in all 50 states and investors have insured more than $4 billion in property with Obie to date.

Obie provides full transparency into the insurance process, saving landlords and investors time and money. If you already have landlord insurance with another carrier, you could potentially save up to 25% by switching to Obie.

More Multifamily Insurance Providers

Although Obie is a great way to find multifamily insurance online, you may prefer to shop for quotes yourself.

Here are a few multifamily insurance companies for property owners to consider in 2022, according to Investopedia, MarketWatch, and ValuePenguin, listed in alphabetical order:

Allstate

Allstate Insurance Corporation has a long history of providing quality protection for landlords and multifamily investors. The company was founded in 1931, and since then, it has become one of the leading providers of multifamily insurance in the United States, earning an A+ Financial Strength Rating from AM Best.

Allstate offers a variety of coverage options for landlords and multifamily investors, including property damage insurance, liability insurance, and loss of rent insurance. In addition, the company offers a wide range of discounts and perks for policyholders, such as a discount for installing smoke detectors or security systems.

Farmers

Farmers makes it much easier to insure a property with more than one rental unit, and is rated as providing the best coverage for multifamily properties by ValuePenguin. The company has an AM Best Financial Strength Rating of A (excellent) and is recognized for offering single-policy coverage for multiple rental units, which simplifies the process of insuring multifamily property.

Farmers Insurance has a long history of providing multifamily insurance coverage for landlords and real estate investors. The company was founded in 1928, and over the years, it has grown to become one of the leading insurers of multifamily properties.

Farmers offers a variety of coverage options for multifamily property, including property insurance, liability insurance, and workers' compensation insurance. In addition, the company offers a range of discounts and incentives for policyholders who insure multiple properties with Farmers.

Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual is a well-established company with a long history dating back to 1912. They have an excellent financial rating of A from AM Best and are highly respected in the industry. The company offers multifamily investors a variety of coverage options, including property damage, liability coverage, and rent loss insurance. You can also customize your policy to fit your specific needs with the help of their team of experts.

Policyholders can be confident that they are receiving high-quality protection when they purchase a rental property policy from Liberty Mutual. Not only does the company offer coverage for replacement costs, but they also allow landlords to insure their properties for the purchase price or some other stated amount. This flexibility is not often found among their competitors. In addition, policyholders have the option of adding coverage for personal property, rental value, inflation protection, or umbrella coverage to their existing policy.

State Farm

State Farm Insurance was founded in 1922, and boasts an AM Best A++ Financial Strength Rating, which is the highest rating possible. The company offers several types of insurance coverage for homes and multifamily properties, including a rental dwelling policy, condo unit owners' policy, and insurance for landlords.

Each of these policy options provides coverage against structural damages, damage to additional structures attached to the property, personal property damages, theft, liability claims, and loss of income. No matter what type of multifamily property you have, State Farm has an insurance policy that can protect it. From single-family homes to multifamily properties, they can help you get the coverage you need.

Travelers

Founded in 1853, Travelers is one of the oldest and most well-respected insurance companies in the United States, with an A++ rating from AM Best. The company offers a wide range of coverage options for landlords and multifamily investors with one to four rental units, including property damage, liability, and loss of income.

In addition, Travelers offers a variety of discounts and programs specifically for multifamily investors, making it one of the most comprehensive and affordable carriers in the industry. It provides coverage for structural damage, additional structures like garages and sheds, theft, and rental income loss.

USAA

USAA Insurance was founded in 1922, and has been providing quality coverage to its members and qualifying family members who are landlords and multifamily investors ever since. USAA has an AM Best Rating of A++, which is the highest rating possible.

One of the great things about USAA is that they offer a variety of coverage options for landlords and multifamily investors. The company also offers a variety of discounts for policyholders, including discounts for insuring multiple properties and for installing security systems, and has a team of experienced underwriters who can tailor a policy to meet your specific needs.

FAQs

Now that you know where to find the best multifamily insurance companies, let's take a look at some of the most common FAQs landlords have about insuring multifamily rental property:

Q: Do I need special insurance for my multifamily property?

A: Yes, you will need special insurance for your multifamily property. This is because multifamily properties are a higher risk than single-family homes. You'll want to make sure you have adequate coverage for your property.

Q: How much does multifamily insurance cost?

A: The cost of multifamily insurance will vary depending on the size of your property, the location, and the amount of coverage you need. It's important to compare rates from different companies so that you can get the best deal.

Q: What does multifamily insurance cover?

A: Multifamily insurance typically covers damages to your property caused by fire, smoke, wind, hail, water leaks, and more. It can also cover liability in case someone is injured on your property. Be sure to read the fine print of your policy so that you understand what is and is not covered.

Q: Are there items not covered by multifamily insurance?

A: Yes, there are items not covered by multifamily insurance. These items typically include a tenant's personal belongings, floods, earthquakes, and war. It's important to understand what is not covered by your policy so that you can get the appropriate coverage for your property.

Q: Where can I find multifamily insurance?

A: There are a number of insurers that offer multifamily insurance, so it’s important to compare options to find the best policy for your needs. A good place to start is Obie, which offers a variety of multifamily insurance products online.

Get an Instant Quote from Obie Today

As we covered in this post, there are a number of insurers that offer insurance for apartment buildings. However, it's important to compare options to find the best policy for your needs.

A good place to start is Obie, which offers a variety of multifamily insurance products online. Coverage is available in all 50 states and investors have insured more than $4 billion in property with Obie to date.

Get an instant quote for landlord insurance from Obie today.

When the subject of landlord insurance for rental property comes up, property owners may wonder what a landlord policy covers and if having insurance for a rental property is really necessary. After all, do you need a landlord insurance policy when you have a homeowners insurance policy?

Some first-time real-estate investors are surprised to learn that homeowner’s coverage is only available for owner-occupied properties. A claim could be denied if the dwelling is used as a rental. Where do you turn if you have rented out your house, do not live there, and are faced with damages? Your landlord insurance coverage, of course!

This article takes a deeper look into this coverage to ensure you understand what it means, why it is essential, what it covers and how much it might cost you.

What is Landlord Insurance?

Landlord insurance coverage is designed for individuals with rental properties. Even if it is your residential property you moved from and rented out, you will need this coverage. That’s because renting out property exposes it to more risks and leaves you vulnerable to potential liabilities. Landowner insurance is the most suitable coverage if you do not live on the property and have tenants.

What Does Landlord Insurance Cover?

Landlord insurance policies come with varying coverages. However, a comprehensive policy generally covers 3 main categories of risks:  

1. Property coverage

Property coverage protects you against damages to the property's primary structure, detached structures, and in some cases, personal property such as household furnishings and kitchen appliances if you are renting out a furnished home. In addition, the coverage generally protects against damages caused by some natural disasters, fire, burglary, vandalism, and negligent tenants.

There are several coverage packages available - DP1, DP2, and DP3. As a rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to get a landlord insurance policy with replacement cost value (RCV) coverage rather than actual cash value (ACV).

This is because ACV factors depreciation into the amount of claim paid out, while RCV makes a payout based on the actual cost to repair or replace a covered item based on current prices. In other words, having an insurance policy based on actual cash value could leave you with a higher cash bill to foot, especially if you have an older property.

2. Liability coverage

Did you know tenants can sue a landlord for injuries incurred while on the property? The same applies to any guest of a tenant or service person injured while on the property. That's where liability coverage comes in.

Liability coverage in a landlord insurance policy can cover legal fees, medical bills , lost earnings, and other applicable compensations if a tenant or a third party gets injured on your property.

3. Loss of income coverage

What would happen if your property became uninhabitable? It could be from an electrical fire, a burst pipe, or natural disaster. If you had tenants, they would have to move out while doing the repairs or maintenance.

Apart from the cost of repairs and maintenance, a top concern would be the loss of income. As long as the property is unoccupied, you cannot collect rent. This can prove financially disastrous. But with loss of income coverage, the insurer offers reprieve with rental income reimbursement.

As stated earlier, there are different coverages for landlord insurance policies. For example, insurers will sell these policies under varying packages, DP1, DP2, and DP3. While all of these packages are for landlords, they are meant for different types of landlords and situations.

DP1, for instance, is the most basic and affordable package. It offers limited coverage, only covering nine perils, and doesn't include liability and loss of use coverage. It is ideal for any landlord with vacant rental property. DP3, on the other hand, is the most comprehensive package. It covers damages to the property and other additional structures, personal property, loss of income, and liability. Additionally, it is best for landlords with tenants and not vacant properties.

Common Riders or Endorsements

In addition to the items already mentioned, most insurers allow you to add additional coverage to your policy. These are referred to as riders or endorsements. They might not be as crucial as those discussed above but could come in handy in some circumstances:

  • Flood insurance: if you have a rental property in a flood zone area, consider adding this coverage to your policy. It covers flood damage caused by either Mother Nature or accidental bursting pipes.
  • Guaranteed income coverage: although the loss of rental income coverage offers reimbursements if the house becomes unlivable, it does not reimburse you if the tenant fails to pay or is short of the rent amount. That's where your guaranteed income coverage comes in.
  • Earthquake coverage: earth movement, like earthquakes, can wreak havoc. This makes it essential coverage if you have a property in areas prone to natural disasters such as these. Although this coverage is not available in many landlord insurance policies, some providers sell it separately or can be added as a rider in your landlord policy.
  • Law or ordinance: covers any costs you need to bring your property to current building codes during repairs or renovations required due to covered claims.

Why You Need Landlord Insurance

Protecting one's investment against possible risks is an essential business practice. That's why landlord insurance coverage is a must-have for property investors.

As a landlord, your property faces numerous potential risks, including liability claims from a tenant or guest or destruction by forces of nature. Damages caused by either of these could set you back thousands of dollars in repairs, liability costs, and loss of income.

A comprehensive landlord insurance policy reduces the risk of having to spend a significant amount of cash out of pocket. Instead, your insurer compensates you or the third party from covered property damages or liability claims.

How Much Landlord Insurance Costs

Landlord insurance is costlier than homeowner's insurance coverage, varying between 20% to 25%, due to the potential risks that come with renting out a property. Companies like Obie, which specializes in landlord insurance, are a good option for learning how much landlord insurance costs for your particular property.

You can enter your property address directly on the Obie website, get an instant landlord insurance quote, and compare policies from multiple insurers online. The process is simple and transparent, with no paper applications or lengthy waits.

When shopping for landlord insurance, the cost of a policy will be affected by several factors, including:

  • Size of the property: the square footage, number of stories, number of bathrooms and bedrooms, elevation, and lot size can affect the cost of insurance. A larger home may result in a higher insurance premium because the scope of making repairs under a covered claim is usually more significant than that of a smaller home. The price of insurance may also increase if the property has additional or detached structures that need to be insured, like sheds, pool houses, fences, and garages.
  • Property value: repairs for highly valued properties cost more than repairs for less expensive properties. As such, landlord insurance for these properties may be costlier.
  • Age and construction materials: older homes may be more expensive to insure than newly built homes. In part, that’s because the construction materials might be harder to find or replace and may require additional costs to bring all repairs up to current building codes resulting in a higher annual premium.
  • Location: insurance costs tend to increase when one has property in high-risk neighborhoods. If you own rental property in regions typically subject to natural disasters , like hail and windstorm or snow and ice storms. Your insurance costs will be higher than those of another property owner with a similar home in a different area.
  • Tenancy terms: historical data shows short-term tenants have more claims  than long-term ones. As such, rental properties with longer-term tenancy agreements tend to have more affordable landlord insurance than those with shorter-term clientele.
  • Insurance carrier: insurance companies differ in terms of packages offered, which affects their pricing. So, for example, an insurance company could be offering a more affordable policy at the expense of excluded or not covered perils. That's why shopping around and comparing offers from different insurers is vital.

Riders or endorsements: if you add coverage to your policy you’re getting more coverage than the standard policy includes, driving up your overall insurance cost.

How to Get Landlord Insurance

Regardless of your policy's coverage, having the right insurer is critical. When faced with property damage that leaves you with no rental income, the last thing you need is to deal with an insurance company that doesn't honor your claim. So, how do you get the best landlord insurance?

Working with an online insurance broker like Obie can help save you time and money. Obie can help ensure you get a policy that meets your specific needs at an affordable price (on average, Obie customers save 25%).

When you have your rental properties held in an LLC (Limited Liability Company), the insurance process can be a little more complicated and involve a lot more paperwork.

This blog post will cover everything real estate investors need to know about insuring LLC rental property so that you can make the best decision for your business.

What Kind of Insurance Do You Need For Your LLC-Owned Rental Property?

As a landlord, you're responsible for making sure your rental property is insured, but what kind of insurance do you need for an LLC-owned rental property?

There are three main types of landlord insurance coverage: property damage, liability, and loss of income:

  • Property damage insurance is critical for LLC-owned rental properties because it can help cover the cost of repairs or replacement if the property is damaged by a covered event. This type of insurance can help protect your investment, as well as your tenants, by ensuring that the property is repaired in a timely manner.
  • Liability insurance is also important for LLC-owned rental properties because it can help protect you from lawsuits if someone is injured on your property. This type of insurance coverage may also help if you're accused of wrongful eviction, as it can provide asset protection against legal fees and damages if the landlord is found liable.
  • Loss of income insurance is another type of coverage that can be important for LLC-owned rental properties. This type of insurance can help cover your lost rental income if your property is uninhabitable due to a covered event. This coverage can help ensure that you're able to continue to make mortgage payments and other expenses even if your property is damaged or destroyed and you’re not collecting rent.

How to Get Insurance for Rental Property in an LLC

LLCs can complicate the process of getting insurance for your rental property. Many insurers will only work with LLCs if they are insured using a commercial policy, or each separately named as insureds on the policy. This means that if you have multiple LLCs, you may need to purchase multiple policies.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways to get around these obstacles and find the right insurance for your LLC-owned rental property. By following the steps outlined below, you can be sure to find the coverage you need at a price you can afford.

1. LLC-owned rental properties can be added to a personal lines policy as an additional insured in most cases.

For example, if your rental property is already insured and you transfer it into an LLC, your carrier may be able to add the LLC as an additional insured. To do this, you'll need to provide your insurance company with the LLC's articles of organization and a list of all the LLC's members. In some cases, the insurance company may require additional information, such as a property management agreement.

2. LLC-owned rental properties can also be insured with a commercial policy.

This type of policy is typically more expensive than a personal lines policy, but it can offer more comprehensive coverage. To get a commercial policy for your LLC-owned rental property, you'll need to provide your insurance company with the LLC's articles of organization and a list of all the LLC's members, as well as information about the property, such as its square footage and number of units.

3. In most cases, you'll need to purchase a separate policy for each LLC-owned rental property.

However, some insurance companies offer broader master policies that can cover multiple LLC-owned rental properties. These broader master policies typically have higher limits than individual policies, so they can provide more protection if there's a major loss.

4. When shopping for property insurance, be sure to compare quotes from multiple insurers to get the best rate.

Many investors find using an online insurance broker like Obie is a good way to get simple, affordable, and transparent insurance quotes quickly. Also, make sure to read the policy carefully so you understand what's covered and what's not.

You can add LLC-owned rental property to a personal lines policy in most cases, or you may need to purchase a commercial policy. In either case, be sure to compare quotes from multiple insurers and read the policy carefully to understand what's covered.

Risks of Not Having LLC Rental Property Insurance

LLC rental property insurance is important even though LLCs provide some liability protection for landlords. LLCs help to protect landlords from being held personally liable for debts or lawsuits against the LLC. However, LLCs do not provide protection from all risks.

For example, LLCs would not protect a landlord from a fire that damages the rental property or from a tenant who is injured on the property. In these cases, the landlord would be liable for the damages unless they had rental property insurance.

Rental property insurance can help to protect landlords from these and other risks, making it an essential part of owning real estate. One of the purposes of having landlord insurance is to help provide protection from unforeseen events. Here are some of the potential risks of not having LLC rental property insurance:

  • Fire at the rental property - the landlord could be liable for the damages.
  • Guest of the tenant is injured on the property - the landlord could be liable for the medical expenses.
  • Rental property is burglarized - the landlord could be responsible for replacing the stolen items unless they had rental property insurance that includes theft coverage.
  • Plumbing in the rental property breaks and causes water damage and mold infestation - the landlord would be responsible for repairing the damage using capital reserves or going out of pocket.
  • Tornado or hurricane and the rental property is damaged - the landlord would be responsible for repairing the damage, or risks losing the entire investment if the property was leveled and had to be rebuilt from the ground up.
  • Roof of the rental property leaks and causes water damage - the landlord would be responsible for repairing the damage, which could mean replacing part or all of the roof and making repairs to rafters and trusses in the attic.
  • Tenant slips and falls on the property - the landlord could be liable for the medical expenses, paying for a tenant's loss of income if they are unable to work, and potential claims of emotional distress.
  • Tenant's car is damaged in the parking lot - the landlord may be responsible for repairing the damage, which could easily run thousands of dollars or more, even for a used car.
  • If vandals break windows or spray paint graffiti on the rental property, the landlord would be responsible for repairing the damage as quickly as possible to avoid complaints from the neighbors, fines from the local zoning department, or running the risk of the tenant vacating early.
  • Someone sues the landlord for something that happened at the rental property - the landlord would be responsible for their own legal expenses, even if they win the case.

These are just some of the potential risks that landlords face when they don't have LLC rental property insurance. While LLCs do provide some protection, they don't protect landlords from all risks. It's important to have the right insurance in place to help protect yourself, your investment, and your tenants.

How to Get The Best Deal on Rental Property Insurance

Insurance is a must for any LLC that owns rental property. However, it can be tricky to find the right policy at the right price. Here are a few tips to help you get the best deal on LLC rental property insurance:

1. One way to keep the cost of rental property insurance low is to maintain your property well. This means regularly inspecting the property and making any necessary repairs in a timely manner. By keeping your property in good condition, you can avoid costly claims that would increase your insurance rates.

2. You can also get a discount on your rental property insurance if you install certain safety features, such as smoke detectors and deadbolt locks. These safety features can help to lower the risk of damage to your property and injuries to your tenants, which can save you money on your insurance premiums.

3. When it comes time to renew your insurance policy, be sure to shop around and compare rates from different insurers. You may be able to get a better deal by switching insurers or negotiating for a lower rate with your current insurer.

4. Finally, you can use an online insurance broker like Obie to get the right coverage for rental property held in an LLC. Obie offers landlords a free quote tool that makes it easy to compare rates from different insurers. In many cases, Obie can help you find a cheaper policy than what you would get by working with a captive insurance agent. On average, landlords save 25% with Obie.

So if you're looking for the best deal on LLC rental property insurance, be sure to get a quote from Obie today.

Chicago-based insurtech ranked 9th overall in the insurance category and 35th overall in Chicago for fastest growing private companies.

The Inc 5000 list is well known for featuring up and coming private companies across the country. With strict standards to earn a spot on the list, it’s an incredible honor and achievement for any company that finds they’ve made the list.

Obie, an industry-pioneer in the insurance and proptech space, earned a spot on the 2022 Inc 5000 list at number 685.


Obie is an insurtech company focused on bringing speed and transparency to real estate investors during the process of obtaining insurance. Obie has identified several strategic ways to do this which has helped the company catapult itself to being a leader in insurance.

"Our team has worked tirelessly and collaboratively to grow the business these last few years," said Obie co-founder and CEO, Ryan Letzeiser. "This is a team win and it’s a testament to the job we have done so far. It’s an honor to be part of such an amazing cohort of other companies on the Inc 5000”.

Embedded Insurance with Strategic Partners

The proptech and fintech industries have exploded in recent years. As part of the growth for many successful startups, this includes integrating technology with other industry leaders. Companies such as Roofstock, Stessa, Fund that Flip, Bungalow, Flock Homes, and Doorvest, have selected Obie as their premier insurance partner. 

By enabling partners to feature an embedded insurance experience, their customers can get a quote and instantly bind on properties that are one to four units in size. This dramatically reduces the time spent waiting on insurance quotes, creates better communication between the platform and its customers, and removes unnecessary friction for the end user. 

Ultimately, embedded insurance for proptech and fintech companies has never been easier with Obie. If your company is considering adding an insurance option, reach out to our partnerships team today to see how we can add more value to your platform. 

Better Technology for Insurance Brokers

On the cusp of launching to agents nationwide, Obie is beta-testing with select agent partners. With limited technification of the greater insurance industry over past years, many insurance brokers have been trapped in antiquated processes with limited ability to provide quotes to clients quickly. 

 

Independent brokers will soon benefit from the proprietary technology Obie uses on its website, and with proptech and fintech partners. This is a unique advantage that represents a significant opportunity for brokers to add additional business volume to their book of business with both existing and new clients.

For independent brokers or brokerages looking to leverage the Obie technology, complete this form to learn more.

Direct to Consumer and Branding

The Obie team has been working diligently to connect with, learn from, and directly serve real estate investors in all 50 states, including Washington DC over the last few years. This is clearly demonstrated by the growth of the number of employees in 2022 alone. Obie has grown from 14 employees to 68 employees within the last two years. The growth hasn’t stopped though and Obie is currently hiring for a range of positions. Check out the Obie careers page for more info on available opportunities. 

Of course, it’s impossible to talk about Obie’s growth without mentioning customers. Obie maintains a 4.7 star rating on Google—an industry high rating. Reviews from Obie customers include statements such as, “Unbeatable price and user experience!” and “The overall service was great and I went ahead and signed up another policy with them due to the experience. Definitely recommend Obie for all your insurance needs.”

Obie has raised $13.7M in venture capital from firms such as Battery Capital, Thomvest Ventures, MetaProp, and Second Century Ventures and is a Y-Combinator alum. 

It’s a significant honor to make Inc. Magazine’s list of 5,000 Fastest Growing Companies in America. As individual real estate investors continue to take market share as owners in the one to four unit category, paired with a true omni-channel distribution strategy, and industry leading tech, Obie is poised for continued growth and success. It’s an exciting time for the company, our partners, and our customers.

Obie is partnering with Green Doors Property Management to provide simple and transparent insurance quotes for investors. Green Doors users can get instant insurance quotes without leaving the Green Doors platform.

Who is Green Doors?  

Green Doors is an award-winning, all-in-one property management platform. The Green Doors platform is built for property managers, landlords, and student-housing management services with features that include: real-time analytics, rent collection, document storage, and maintenance tracking. These features landed Green Doors as PropTech Outlook Magazine’s Top Management Solution of 2021.

Green Doors' mission is to help people build their long-term wealth through real estate. Today, a major barrier to investing in the market is understanding how to manage the properties effectively. The Green Doors Team believes that modern technology can streamline management operations, thereby boosting tenant satisfaction and investor returns.

“Landlord insurance is an important, yet overlooked aspect of real estate investing. It offers owners a layer of protection and peace of mind that cannot be overstated. We’re thrilled to have partnered with Obie, the leader in landlord insurance, and to offer this coverage to our owners as we continue our work in making it easier to build and maintain wealth through real estate.” —Rishabh Rastogi Green Doors, Founder

Why Obie has teamed up with Green Doors  

While insurance is only one aspect of asset management, it can be the source of many investor headaches. Obie has partnered with Green Doors to make the insurance process easier and more transparent. With Obie, Green Doors’ users are now able to get insurance quotes for their rental properties and bind policies—reducing unnecessary friction involved in obtaining landlord insurance.

Both Obie and Green Doors have a shared mission of creating a better overall experience for the independent landlord by providing hyper-focused and transparent tools for investors to accomplish everything on their to-do list. By allowing investors using Green Doors the option to efficiently obtain affordable insurance, this partnership allows owners to prioritize other tasks associated with their rental properties.

“Property management can easily take up large amounts of time and energy for real estate investors. Platforms like Green Doors help the individual investor regain that valuable time, allowing them to focus on their larger investment strategy. We’re excited about this partnership because it will allow us to further our mission of simplifying processes for real estate investors and make many investors’ lives much easier.” —Ryan Letzeiser Obie, Co-Founder

About Obie

Obie is reinventing the insurance process for landlords and rental property investors. Whether you’re a seasoned investor or just starting out, Obie makes requesting a quote and getting coverage simple, affordable, and transparent. Obie simplifies the insurance experience by providing instant quotes. No unnecessarily tedious processes or surprise costs at signing—the way insurance buying should be.

Partner with Obie

Obie is actively partnering with technology leaders across the proptech and fintech landscape to help independent investors close more deals and see greater returns. Contact our Partnerships Team by clicking here and learn more about how partnering with Obie can add value to your platform.

Obie is partnering with LoanBase to streamline insurance for lenders, borrowers and brokers.  

Why Obie has teamed up with LoanBase

Cumbersome processes have long plagued real estate investors. From securing funding for new properties to providing the right insurance to close new deals. This is why Obie and LoanBase are working together to reduce friction for real estate investors.

Obie is to modernize the antiquated process of insuring rental properties for real estate investors, with a strong emphasis on increasing transparency. By working with LoanBase, real estate investors can now more seamlessly secure financing and insurance.

Obie’s innovative technology enables borrowers and lenders the ability to secure insurance without leaving the LoanBase environment, meaning investors will have proof of insurance faster to secure capital. This increase in transparency, ease, and speed help both Obie and LoanBase to reduce unnecessary back and forths and deliver a far superior customer experience to investors.

“At the core of what we want to do is provide real estate investors the comfort of knowing their investment is protected. Partnering with LoanBase, who shares similar values, investors will face less friction and hassle in securing both financing and insurance.” —Ryan Letzseiser, Obie CEO

Who is LoanBase?

LoanBase is a digital lending marketplace that provides real estate investors with the financing they need to grow their portfolios.

Borrowers get instant access to thousands of vetted lenders and multiple real-time quotes. LoanBase’s technology cuts the average 3-month closing time in half by eliminating manual data preparation and automating loan applications. LoanBase brings simplicity and transparency to commercial lending.

“LoanBase and Obie, together, empower real estate investors to find the right financing and insurance for their needs, while providing them with a seamless experience throughout the borrower journey.” Ari Shpanya, CEO and Co-founder of LoanBase.

About Obie

Obie is reinventing the insurance process for landlords and rental property investors. Whether you’re a seasoned investor or just starting out, Obie makes requesting a quote and getting coverage simple, affordable, and transparent. Obie simplifies the insurance experience by providing instant quotes. No tedious processes or surprise costs at signing — the way insurance buying should be.

With all the momentum and energy lifting the rental property industry, in particular single family rentals, proptech companies have emerged and partnered together to create an ecosystem that allows the individual investor to have a seamless end-to-end investment experience.

As a rental property owner in California, it's important to have landlord insurance to protect your investment. Rental property insurance can help cover the cost of repairs if your property is damaged, and it can also help you recoup lost rent if your tenants have to move out due to an unforeseen event.  

While you may be required to carry certain types of insurance by your lender, there are other coverage options that you may want to consider as well. If you currently own rental property or are considering purchasing an investment property in California, keep reading to learn more.

What Landlords Should Know About Insurance in California

As a landlord in California, you probably know that there are plenty of natural hazards to be aware of. From earthquakes and wildfires to mudslides and flooding, the Golden State is no stranger to disasters. And while you can't control when or where a natural hazard will strike, you can take steps to protect your rental property from damage.

One of the best ways to do this is by carrying landlord insurance. A landlord insurance policy can help cover the cost of repairs if a covered hazard damages your rental property. It can also help replace lost rent if your tenants have to move out while repairs are being made to the dwelling if loss of rent is covered by your policy . Plus, if you face a lawsuit by a tenant for damages caused by a covered hazard, your landlord insurance policy can help pay for your legal defense costs and damages you may be found liable for.

There are two main types of landlord insurance policies: named perils and all-risk. Named perils policies cover only the risks specifically named in the policy, while all-risk policies provide coverage for any risk that's not explicitly excluded. Named perils policies are generally less expensive than all-risk policies but provide less protection. All-risk policies are more expensive, but they offer more comprehensive protection.

Some of the common perils landlord insurance covers may include:

  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Windstorm or hail
  • Explosion
  • Riot or civil commotion
  • Smoke
  • Vandalism or malicious mischief
  • Water damage (from burst pipes, etc.)
  • Theft
  • Volcanic eruption

Depending on where your rental property in California is located, wildfire, earthquakes, and floods may be a possibility. That's why it's important to consider wildfire, earthquake, and flood coverage in your landlord insurance policy. This type of coverage will protect your property in the event of an wildfire, earthquake, or flood and help you avoid some of the financial burdens that come with repairs. However, remember that earthquake and flood coverage are  typically optional in landlord insurance policies, so be sure to ask about them when shopping for general  coverage. Each of the above forms of coverage is important to consider as each needs to be purchased separately.

There are also a number of things a landlord in California can do to help reduce the risk of having to make an insurance claim for a rental property. Perhaps the most important is to keep up with necessary maintenance and repairs. By keeping the property in good condition, you can help to avoid many common causes of damage, such as water leaks or fire.

Fewer insurance claims mean lower premiums for landlord policies in California. Some landlord insurance companies offer a discount for policyholders who have no claims within a certain period of time, typically three to five years. Other insurers give their best rates to landlords with claim-free histories stretching back even further.

Before you purchase a landlord insurance policy, be sure to check with your mortgage lender to see if they have any requirements for the type of coverage you need. You should also shop around and compare rates from different insurers to find the best deal.

How to Find the Best Landlord Insurance Policy for Your Needs in California

There are a few key things to remember when searching for California landlord insurance.

1. It's important to know what type of coverage you need. There are policies that cover property damage, liability, and loss of rental income. You'll want to ensure you have the right coverage for your particular situation.

2. It's helpful to get quotes from multiple insurers. This will give you a good idea of the range of prices for landlord insurance in California. It's also a good opportunity to compare coverages and find the policy that best meets your needs.

In fact, one of the many benefits of working with an online insurance broker like Obie is the wide range of choices and the simple, affordable, and transparent process:

  • You can compare rates from multiple insurers easily and quickly without making appointments or meeting with multiple agents.
  • You can do all of your research and shopping from the comfort of your own home.
  • Online brokers typically have lower overhead costs than traditional agents, which means they can offer more competitive rates.
  • You can get instant quotes and purchase landlord insurance online without waiting for an agent to get back to you.

3. Finally, be sure to read the fine print on any policy you're considering. Landlord insurance policies can vary widely in terms of what they cover and how much they cost. By taking the time to read through the policy, you'll be sure you're getting the coverage you need at a price you're comfortable with.

With these tips in mind, you'll be well on your way to finding the best landlord insurance policy for your needs in California.

What Obie Customers are Saying

With Obie, you can get an instant quote in all 50 states and purchase the policy online. It's faster than ever before to protect your investment with Obie’s easy process! Plus, people save 25% on average when buying their property insurance through Obie.

Here's what Obie customers are saying about their experience with the company:

"What a fantastic experience! A REAL person answered the phone. I called back with questions 4 times and all 4 times Alexander Park answered the phone and answered my questions thoroughly. Alexander Park was outstanding to deal with! Thank you Obie Insurance!" - F. Cerbone.

"Love Obie! Was able to get a speedy insurance policy that was priced better than quotes from other companies. Would recommend." - T. Baker

"Super efficient and friendly service. Not to mention excellent rates." - Rhett E.

Get an Instant Quote From Obie Today

Landlords and real estate investors know how important it is to have the right insurance. But with so many options available, finding a policy that fits your needs can be tough - especially if you don't want any of those pesky paper applications or weeks-long wait times for quotes!

That’s where Obie comes in. Obie offers insurance specifically built for landlords and real estate investors. No paper applications, weeks-long waits for quotes, or back and forths with brokers. On average, people save 25% on their rental property insurance with Obie.

So what are you waiting for? Get an instant quote for landlord insurance from Obie today.

Obie is partnering with Backflip to create a seamless experience for real estate investors. Backflip is a real estate and fintech startup improving how entrepreneurs invest in residential properties.

Who is Backflip?

Backflip is a real estate financial technology company that supports individual entrepreneurs reinvigorating the housing supply by acquiring and renovating single family homes. The company offers purpose-built technology and capital products that members can use to source, analyze, and finance residential real estate investments. Backflip’s platform democratizes technology, data, and financing strategies previously only available to institutional investors and large corporations. Backlip’s innovative capital solutions allow for greater speed, flexibility and terms than traditional lenders, making them more desirable than private capital or hard money.

“Backflip's partnership with Obie is aligned with our mission to support local real estate investors executing value-add strategies. With Obie taking the insurance headache out of the equation, our entrepreneurial customers are better positioned to maximize their creative potential and deliver authentic and compelling housing products to the market.— Joshua Ernst, Backflip, CEO & Co-Founder” 

Why Obie Has Teamed Up with Backflip?

Backflip’s end-to-end real estate investment platform reimagines how technology shapes the home-buying process, so it was a natural fit to partner with Obie’s tech-enabled insurance offering. Obie enhances Backflip’s platform by providing a seamless and transparent insurance option for their borrowers at affordable rates. Obie and Backflip are unified in their mission of increasing transparency for investors entering a complex real estate landscape.  

“Financing options tailored to the nuances of different investment strategies are critical as an investor pivots and matures in their life cycle of owning real estate. Tech solutions like Backflip will help speed up some of the confusing and challenging processes that real estate investors face today. Together, Obie and Backflip will speed up the timeline it takes to get a deal funded. —Ryan Letzeiser Obie, Co-Founder

About Obie

Obie is reinventing the insurance process for landlords and rental property investors. Whether you’re a seasoned investor or just starting out, Obie makes requesting a quote and getting coverage simple, affordable, and transparent. Obie simplifies the insurance experience by providing instant quotes. No unnecessarily tedious processes or surprise costs at signing—the way insurance buying should be.

With all the momentum and energy lifting the rental property industry, in particular single-family rentals, proptech companies have emerged and partnered together to create an ecosystem that allows the individual investor to have a seamless end-to-end investment experience. To learn more about adding seamless and instant insurance for real estate investors to your product, reach out to us here.

As a landlord in Colorado, you're likely aware of the importance of insurance. Your livelihood depends on your property generating rent, so it's crucial to have the right coverage in case something happens. But what kind of insurance should you get?

This blog post will help explain landlord insurance in Colorado and provide tips on finding the right policy for your needs.

What Landlords Should Know About Insurance in Colorado

Did you know that Colorado is one of the top states for wildfires and hail storms? In fact, 20 of the largest 20 wildfires in the state's history have occurred in the last 20 years, according to Colorado.gov and Colorado consistently has more hail storms annually than 70% of states. In addition to the threat of wildfires, Colorado ranked number 10 for the most property damage claims caused by hail in 2021.

If you're a landlord in Colorado, it's essential to make sure your rental property is adequately insured. A landlord insurance policy can help protect your property from weather-related damage and other types of damage resulting from fire, theft, and vandalism.

There are several factors to consider when choosing the best policy for your needs, including the type of rental property you own, the location of your property, and the amount of coverage you need.

The most important thing to remember is that landlord insurance is not the same as homeowners insurance. Homeowners insurance typically covers properties that are owner occupied and not held as a rental. The coverages can be similar but a Homeowners policy might not pay damages to your home if it’s found to be tenant-occupied. When shopping around for landlord insurance in Colorado, there are three main types of policies to be aware of:

1) Dwelling Coverage

This type of policy covers the physical structure of your rental property. Dwelling coverage can protect against damage from fires, storms, and other natural disasters, such as hail and wildfire. It can also cover damage caused by tenants, such as accidental fires or water damage from burst pipes.

2) Personal Property Coverage

This type of coverage protects the personal belongings that you keep on the premises, such as furniture and appliances, you furnish for use by your tenants. If these items are damaged or stolen, your landlord insurance policy can reimburse you for their value.

3) Liability Coverage

This type of coverage can protect you from being held responsible for injuries that occur on your property. For example, if a tenant is injured while staying in your rental unit, liability insurance can help pay for their medical expenses. Liability coverage can also help if a tenant sues you for wrongful eviction or discrimination.

When it comes to the cost of landlord insurance, there are several proactive steps you can take to help reduce having to make a claim and keep your premiums low. Here are some tips to help you keep your property safe and your insurance costs affordable:

  • Screen your tenants carefully. Thoroughly check references and run a credit check before approving any tenant. This will help you avoid problem tenants who are more likely to cause damage or disturb other residents.
  • Keep your property well-maintained. Regularly inspect your rental unit and make repairs as needed. Doing so can help prevent minor problems from becoming big ones that could lead to a claim.
  • Have a clear rental agreement. Be sure to include all the rules and regulations your tenants must follow. A good lease will help prevent disputes that could lead to lawsuits and a potential insurance claim.

Following these tips can help you avoid making a landlord insurance claim and keep your property safe and secure. If you need to file a claim, document everything thoroughly and work with your insurer to get the best possible outcome.

Last but certainly not least, make sure you’re getting the right coverage before investing in a landlord insurance policy. Check with your mortgage lender about any requirements for types of coverage, and then shop around to find the best coverage options for your rental property.

How to Find the Best Landlord Insurance Policy for Your Needs in Colorado

There are a few things to keep in mind when looking for landlord insurance in Colorado:

1. Make sure you understand the coverage you're getting. Don't be afraid to ask questions to ensure you're getting the right policy for your needs.

2. Be aware of the unique risks of being a landlord in Colorado. For example, because of the state's topography and weather patterns, your rental homes are at an increased risk for weather-related damage, such as wildfires and hail storms, and may require extra coverage.

3. Shop around for the best rates. Get quotes from multiple insurance companies so you can compare and find an affordable policy that gives you adequate coverage for your rental property.

4. Work with an experienced online insurance broker. A broker can help you navigate the process of finding and choosing a landlord insurance policy in Colorado.

One of the most significant benefits of purchasing landlord insurance through Obie rather than a representative from a single carrier is that you have access to a wider variety of options for excellent coverage.

Obie streamlines the insurance process by providing instant quotes in all 50 states with an easy-to-use online platform. As a result, landlords save 25% on average when getting their property coverage through the company, which is why more people are choosing Obie to get landlord insurance in Colorado and protect their investment.

Insurance brokers like Obie are the key to finding a great policy, and they can get you multiple quotes from various companies. This gives more options for what type of coverage might work best for your needs. In addition, online brokers often provide valuable insights into policies that captive on-site agents may not know so well or want to help their clients discover.

Ultimately, the choice of which type of agent to work with comes down to personal preference. Some landlords prefer working through an insurance broker because they offer flexibility and convenience, while others choose to work directly with a captive agent offering insurance from a single carrier.

If you're a landlord in Colorado, getting adequate landlord insurance coverage is important. The best way to do this is to compare quotes from multiple carriers and read customer testimonials before making a final decision. Doing so helps ensure you're getting the best possible coverage at the most affordable price.

What Obie Customers are Saying

When looking for the best landlord insurance in Colorado, reading what other customers have to say about their experiences can be invaluable. For example, here's what several landlords recently said about purchasing insurance for rental property through Obie:

"What an easy and professional experience! I worked with Doug Bell. He was amazing. Great rate! Fast response!" - Esther L.

"I needed an insurance policy for my rental property. Obie Insurance was quick and prompt and gave me several quotes to review. I appreciate all the help that Doug Bell provided to me. He was excellent to work with. I'll use Obie for my insurance needs for other properties that I buy." - V. Pai

"Super efficient and friendly service. Not to mention excellent rates." - Rhett E.

Get an Instant Quote From Obie Today

If you own rental property in Colorado or are thinking about buying, you know how important it is to have landlord insurance. But with so many options available, finding the right policy at the right price can be challenging.

That’s where Obie comes in. With a few clicks of the mouse, you can get instant insurance specifically built for landlords and real estate investors who are tired of waiting on paper applications or getting lost in endless back-and-forth with agents.

So what are you waiting for? Get an instant quote for landlord insurance from Obie today.

Real estate investors have begun to see insurance premiums rise due to inflation. There are several factors at play and a few practical ways to avoid unnecessary increases.

Insurance premiums across the board are increasing at a fever pitch due to rising inflation and the increase in catastrophic weather events. While there are a few practical ways to keep your insurance costs from rising, inflation, labor trends, supply chain issues, and weather events are all out of your control and your wallet is likely to bear the burden.

In this article, we’ll focus on how inflation is directly impacting real estate investors, from an insurance perspective, as well as a few options you have to avoid unnecessary increases in premium price.  

Calculating Insurance Premium Pricing

When calculating premium pricing, insurance companies like Obie look at a variety of factors to determine the policy cost. These factors include, but are not limited to:

  • number of claims
  • type of claims
  • age of the home
  • age of the roof

Here is an example of how the insurance industry determines insurance premium costs:

About 70% of cost of your policy is priced on the value of your properties replacement costs known as coverage A. If materials and labor have risen an estimated 20% since last year, you can typically expect your policy to go up 14% based on your replacement cost alone.  

Here’s what that math ends up looking like:

          70% of Premium x 20% = 14% increase in premium costs

As an example, let’s assume you have a 3-bed, 2-bath, single-family rental located near Cleveland, OH with an annual premium of $1,500. Your premium may now be closer to $1,710/year. Here’s what that math looks like:

          $1,050 (70% of Premium) x 20% = $210 increase in premium costs

Let’s dig in further to see why premiums have gone up for so many real estate investors.

Why Your Insurance Likely Increased This Year

Housing material and labor costs have increased. Material and labor directly affect insurance premiums due to the replacement cost. Replacement cost, based on how it is calculated, makes up a large majority of the cost of your insurance premium.

Rising Costs of Materials

We have all seen the price of lumber rising along with other commodities that are associated with the rebuild costs of a home. Because overall buying power has been greatly reduced, the price for materials alone has gone up exponentially.

Let’s break this down further.

Price per Gallon of Gas

A popular topic in the news on a regular basis is the price of gas by the gallon. This directly affects the cost of the transportation of all goods—including building materials being imported and transported throughout the country. As gas prices continue to rise, suppliers, service providers, and retailers across the country need to adjust their prices. Ultimately, this leads to an increase for nearly all goods and services, including those required to repair and replace homes. For that reason, insurance providers also must account for the increase in prices which is reflected in insurance premiums.

Source: fred.stlouisfed.org

Rising Cost of Lumber

Lumber futures, while down from earlier in the year, are still up tremendously from pre-pandemic levels. The dramatic increase puts strain on all industries requiring lumber, but especially with regards to replacement costs of any dwelling. Combined with the extremely high demand of new housing, this only increases the cost of replacement for existing dwellings.

Labor Shortages Drive Up Wages

The rise in inflation has increased the cost of everyday consumer goods, and in order to maintain buying power we are now seeing an increase in wages for labor.

Source: fred.stlouisfed.org

Wage increases impact the rebuild cost of your home. Supply and demand also increased the cost of skilled labor. Supply of labor has been limited due to a national shortage of trade workers. As of April 2022, the construction industry is down by about a half a million skilled workers. When you combine those two factors the results are wage increases of more than 10% year over year which are not expected to slow down in the coming 12-18 months.

With roughly 20% of the replacement cost of your investment property being labor costs and commodity costs, the price to replace your property has now gone up significantly and it is not the fault of the insurance company. When those costs increase, the price of insurance premiums will likely increase as well, and in certain geographies upwards of 20-30% in some geographies year over year.  

Severe Weather Strains Suppliers and Service Providers

Catastrophic storms have increased in severity and frequency. 2020 produced more individual billion dollar storms than any year on record with 22 storms, which smashed the previous record of 16. Many have predicted that 2022 is likely to be a particularly bad year in terms of weather.

Source: https://www.climate.gov/media/11907

Raising Rents Also Raising Insurance Premiums

A small, but not insignificant percentage, of your policy cost pays for a displaced tenant and the lost revenue on your property (Coverage D with most carriers). As your rental income climbs, so does your premium. This is important to note as anywhere between 5-10% of premium costs land in this section. Rents in many areas have gone up as much as 20-25% in the last 18 months. With increases like this, you can expect on the low end for your policy premium to adjust in kind.

Here’s what this looks like:

          20% (rent increases) x 5% (premium costs) = 1% gross premium increase  

This also serves as a reminder to always be updating the income of the property and to make sure you make these policy adjustments annually.

What are Options for Real Estate Investors to Reduce Premium?

Despite rising costs of goods and services, increased severity of catastrophic weather events, and other factors linked to the rise in insurance premiums, real estate investors are not left without options.

Here are several things you can do as an investor to avoid unnecessary increases in insurance premiums:

  • Remaining claims-free for 5 or more years will have a big impact
  • Maintain consistent property care to avoid deferred maintenance issues and claims
  • Explore payment options like automatic payments or paying for the year in full
  • Increase your deductible
  • Replace roofs that are older than 20+ years old
  • Consider new or different building materials that will help to reduce your risk when building from the ground up

If you’re not an Obie customer, you can get an instant quote or ask your insurance company how they can help you avoid high-cost insurance.

Keep in mind, with Obie you can customize your coverages and manage your risk so you get the best rate.

Additional Sources:

The Washington Post

Climate.gov

Sometimes, purchasing the right insurance for your property is not always as easy as we would wish it to be. In addition to choosing the best landlord policy for your rental property, you also have to differentiate what policy works best.

The most common policies you will see insurers quoting are DP1, DP2, and DP3. At first glance, these categories may seem straightforward enough, but the truth is these three types of policies and how they work can be surprisingly complicated. As a result, it is not uncommon to find property owners purchasing the wrong policy, especially when dealing with DP1.  

What exactly is DP1, and why should you care? What does it cover, and when should you acquire it? What distinguishes it from other insurance plans? How do insurers determine compensation under this policy?

If you're looking for the answers to these questions, this article will help make sense of them.

What is a DP1 Insurance Policy?

A DP1 policy is a basic dwelling fire policy. It is common among property owners whose rental insurance would otherwise not cover the property in question. This will mostly touch on vacant units or standalone structures, like boat houses.  

It is also referred to as a named perils policy, meaning it only protects you against damages from perils (aka risks) named in the policy. The insurance will not reimburse you if your house incurs damages from a peril   not stated in the DP1 policy.

Another aspect that distinguishes the DP1 policy from the others is that it only pays the actual cash value (ACV) during a claim. That means it factors in the property's depreciation. So, your payout may be less than the property's actual replacement cost to repair or rebuild. . That’s because the older your house, the less value it has, at least according to the terms of a DP1 policy.

How does this work? Let’s say you have a rental unit needing a new roof due to a covered peril . The roof will cost you about $20,000, and the old one has been in place for 15 years. The expected lifespan of a roof with fiber cement shingles is about 25 years. You can calculate the actual cash value of your claim using the below formula:

  • Replacement cost - Depreciation  = Actual Cash Value
  • Depreciation = Replacement Cost * (Age / Lifespan)
  • $20,000 Replacement Cost - 60% Depreciation = $8,000 Actual Cash Value

In this example, you would receive $8,000 from your DP1 insurance policy. However, since the cost of a new roof is $20,000, you will be out of pocket for the remaining $12,000.

Nevertheless, some insurers provide replacement cost value (RCV), which does not factor in depreciation in the payout. It will, however, come at an additional cost. Since this option is not explicitly available, ensure you speak to your insurance agent to see whether it is possible to get it.

Perils Covered by DP1 Insurance

As stated, a DP1 policy is pretty basic, meaning it covers some of the most common perils, including:

  • Fires and smoke
  • Lightning and storms
  • Hailstorms
  • Windstorms
  • Explosions, internal and external
  • Riots and civil commotions
  • Volcanic eruptions
  • Vehicles
  • Aircrafts

In addition to these, a DP1 policy may also cover the property’s additional structures, like fences, garages, sheds, and personal property. However, some insurers do not cover additional structures, personal property, or liability. Those that do so may require an additional premium.

Items Not Covered by DP1 Insurance

Although DP1 covers common perils, it doesn’t cover all of them unless otherwise stated in one’s policy, including

  • Vandalism or malicious mischief
  • Water damage caused by freezing pipes during winter
  • Theft
  • Power surges
  • Floods
  • Appliances
  • Falling objects
  • Loss of rental income (with most insurers)
  • Wear and tear

It is crucial for users to go through the provided policy and identify what perils are covered, which are excluded, and whether there is an allowance for additions before settling for any policy.

When is a DP1 Policy Needed?

Considering that DP1 is a pretty basic policy with many exclusions of significant common perils, sometimes property owners question whether it is really necessary to have.

Here are a couple of situations where having a DP1 policy could be a good idea:

You Own a Property That’s Currently Vacant

Perhaps you are waiting for tenants to move into your rental unit, which might take more than 60-90 days. Maybe you are left with an extra house after purchasing and moving into your new home. Or, perhaps, you inherited property and have put it on the market.

Whatever the reason, you can use a DP1 policy as long as that property sits vacant. Although the property is unoccupied so has no risk of tenant damages, it still faces risks from basic perils that DP1 covers.

This coverage ensures you are still protected against these common perils and won’t have to foot the bill for repairs.

You’re on a Tight Budget

It is always essential to have the best possible insurance coverage for your property, but landlords also have to conduct a cost-benefit analysis. A DP1 policy providing basic coverage is better than leaving a rental property uninsured.

However, if you choose this insurance option, remember it is only basic. Any damages that might arise and are excluded from your policy will be yours to bear. And that’s a financial risk that could be higher than it would have cost for a better policy.

Other Dwelling Policies to Consider

Apart from DP1, two other policies to consider are DP2 and DP3. Like DP1, the DP2 policy is also a named peril policy. The main difference is that it offers protection against more common perils than the DP1 policy. By comparison, the DP3 policy is an open perils policy. It covers damages against all risks unless otherwise stated (or specific exclusions).

DP1 is also a more affordable option than DP2 and DP3. A DP3 is the most expensive policy. In addition, both the DP2 and DP3 provide replacement cost value (RCV) where the insurer doesn’t deduct the property’s depreciation from your claim (Note: in some DP2 and DP3 policies for certain roof ages, roofs may be covered for ACV rather than RCV while the rest of the house will be covered for RCV).  

Where to Find a DP1 Policy

One of the most effective ways to find the right policy is to hire a professional insurance broker who has access to industry-best rates for rental property and casualty plans, ensuring that your assets are protected. Insurance brokers also have a fiduciary duty to you, which means they are legally required to put your interests ahead of those of the insurance companies.

An alternative route is to contact other real estate investors. Hearing about others' experiences may help you determine whether the insurer pays claims on time.

Another popular method for real estate investors to locate the right insurance for their property is Obie. Obie can help you get a landlord insurance estimate and inexpensive, transparent coverage entirely online. There are no paper applications to fill out or lengthy waiting periods.

Answer a few basic questions to get the appropriate insurance and coverage for single-family rental properties, multifamily structures with two to four units, and condominiums based on your specific requirements. On average, landlords are saving 25% with Obie.

Go here to get an instant quote today.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the DP1 policy is your go-to coverage if you have a tight budget, have a vacant house. It is a basic policy covering a few common perils, like lightning, fire and smoke, windstorms, hailstorms, and explosions.

Due to its exclusion of some common perils, like theft, vandalism, and flooding, DP2 or DP3 policies may be better if you have the budget for additional insurance coverage.

Before settling on a specific policy, it's advisable to understand the common perils covered and those excluded. Remember that claims with a DP1 policy are paid based on the actual cash value. So, if your rental property is older, you may pay more out of pocket once depreciation is factored in.

A dwelling fire policy - or DP insurance policy - is designed for landlords with rental property that standard homeowners insurance does not cover. Despite the name, these policies cover more perils than a fire.

There are three policies under this umbrella, which can sometimes confuse beginner and experienced landlords alike. Choosing the right coverage between the three - DP1, DP2, and DP3 - requires one to pay closer attention to what each policy does and does not cover.

If you are wondering whether DP2 is the right policy for your property, this article provides all the answers. You will learn what a DP2 policy is, what it covers, what it does not cover, when you can use it, and other options to consider if it is not the best coverage for you.    

What is a DP2 Insurance Policy?

A Dwelling Fire Form 2 policy is insurance coverage for rental properties, commonly known as DP2 or broad form. It is a named peril policy covering only the perils named in the policy. In short, it does not provide you protection against any risk that is not explicitly stated in the policy. There are 18 named perils in a DP2 policy, usually available from all insurers.

Second, DP2 is a replacement cost value (RCV) type of coverage. It means that you receive the amount needed to repair damages to the property during a claim. It will save you from footing part of the bill from your pocket like you would with an actual cash value (ACV) policy such as DP1.

For instance, let’s say you were to rebuild a portion of your house after damages from one of the named perils. The cost of repairs is $200,000. Under the DP2 policy, your insurer will pay for the total cost of doing these repairs at the current prices, assuming the losses are below the policy limits. On the other hand, a DP1 policy that uses actual cash value will have a lower payout since the insurance company factors in depreciation.  

Perils Covered by DP2 Insurance

The DP2 policy covers any damages to the primary structure and detached ones, like garages, sheds, fences, and patios. As mentioned earlier, DP2 has a total of 18 perils:

  • Fires and lightning
  • Hailstorms and windstorms
  • Smoke
  • Explosions - both internal and external
  • Riots or civil commotions
  • Burglary
  • Vandalism
  • Accidental or sudden power surges
  • Vehicle damages
  • Aircraft damages
  • Accidental or sudden water damage
  • Freezing pipes
  • Volcanic eruptions
  • Falling objects, like a tree
  • Snow
  • Structure collapse
  • Glass breakage
  • Accidental or sudden cracking, bulging, or tearing

In addition to these perils, DP2 also provides fair rental value coverage. So if your property is uninhabitable due to any of the named perils and you lose income, your insurer will reimburse you the fair value of the rent up to the limits on your policy.

Considering that you still have to pay some expenses on the property even when vacant, like the mortgage and property taxes, loss of rent coverage is a critical aspect of this policy. It allows property owners to keep earning during such incidents and meet necessary bills without digging into their personal savings.  

Out of the 18 perils, you will notice that three are listed as accidental or sudden. As the definitions suggest, insurance companies only pay these claims if the damage results from an accident or a sudden unexpected event from these three perils.

Some insurance companies include personal liability and personal property on the DP2 coverage. However, you must speak with your insurance agent to determine whether this would be available as an addition. If available, keep in mind that the insurance company may treat it as additional coverage at an extra cost.

When is a DP2 Policy Needed?

DP2 policy is like having an in-between option between DP1 and DP3.

For starters, it is more comprehensive than a DP-1 policy. As a landlord, you can get protection against more perils, including theft and malicious mischief that are not available with the DP1 option. Second, it is more affordable than a DP3 policy, allowing you to not settle for less due to budget constraints while still getting a lot of coverage at an affordable price point.

However, the DP2 policy may not be the ideal choice when you have a vacant house. Many landlords want to use DP2 while their property is on the market, either for sale or rental. Unfortunately, many insurers do not allow this.

While DP2 covers more perils than a DP1 policy, it is not the ideal coverage if you have a property that will sit vacant for more than 60 to 90 days. The exact timeframe for this restriction varies between insurance companies.

Insurers avoid covering vacant homes under DP2 because tiny issues that could culminate into more significant damages can go unnoticed. This leads to claims for higher amounts to fix such damages.  

Other Dwelling Policies to Consider

If you determine that the DP2 policy is not the right coverage, other dwelling policies to consider are DP1 and DP3.

DP1 is also a named-peril policy but with more exclusions than DP2. In fact, the DP1 policy covers only nine perils, making it a more basic policy for a specific niche of property owners.

It is only ideal when you cannot afford DP2 and DP3 or have a vacant property. In addition, the DP1 policy is an actual cash value type of policy, meaning you do not receive the total replacement cost of the repairs at the current price. The payout is usually less due to depreciation, meaning you may need to go out of pocket to pay for some of the replacement costs.

On the other hand, the DP3 policy covers all perils unless they are explicitly excluded from the policy. This makes it the most comprehensive dwelling policy of the three options and the most expensive. Like the DP2 policy, the DP3 policy also pays the replacement cost value for repairs caused by covered perils (except in some cases for roof repairs based on the age of the roof).

Where to Find a DP2 Policy

There are several options for finding the best DP2 policy for your rental property:

Obie

Obie is insurance built for landlords and real estate investors.

You can obtain easy, affordable, and adequate coverage entirely online through a landlord insurance quote. Furthermore, there are no paper applications to complete or lengthy waiting periods.

Obie streamlines landlord insurance, offering instant quotes in all 50 states. Getting a quote and purchasing a policy online is faster than ever before, making it easy to get covered and protect your investment.

Insurance agent

Your existing insurance provider or broker may be a good place to start looking for landlord insurance. This may be the simplest option because you won't have to do much research or compare many quotes from several carriers yourself.

However, while this is the most obvious choice, it isn't always the best way to obtain landlord insurance. Some firms compete on price by providing limited coverage and poor customer service when a claim is submitted.

Other landlords you know personally

Do you know of a friend or family member who has invested in rental property? Most likely, they already have landlord insurance. They may discuss their experiences with insurers and lessons learned and recommend coverage or an agent they've used.

Networking

Finding the best landlord insurance might be as easy as connecting with other real estate professionals through social media. You can also visit property exhibitions and search for organizations willing to include you in their groups.

Final Thoughts

The DP2 policy is the best option if your budget does not allow for DP3. It’s a more comprehensive landlord insurance policy than a DP1, which is a more basic landlord insurance policy.

It provides coverage against numerous perils, more than you would get with a DP1 policy. These include fires and smoke, windstorms and hailstorms, freezing pipes, burglary, and vandalism. In addition, you get reimbursed fair rent value by your insurer if a covered peril leads to loss of rental income.

DP2 covers the property’s primary structure and other additional detached ones, like garages. As much as the DP2 policy is broader than a DP1 policy, it does not protect your personal property or cover liability. However, some insurers might be willing to add these to your policy at an extra fee.

Are you looking to rent out your primary residence or purchase another home as an investment property? Has your insurer stated your homeowners coverage will not be valid in cases like these?

Having the right insurance policy is an essential aspect of property investment. A few damages could set you back thousands of dollars or lead to financial distress. But what coverage is the best when you have a residential property in the market, and your homeowners policy can’t be used?

That's when you'll want to acquire a DP3 policy. This article will explain what the DP3 policy is and why you should get one.

What is a DP3 Insurance Policy?

A DP3 policy is one of the three policies under Dwelling Fire Insurance policies. It is an open peril policy, covering all perils unless the insurer has stated specific exclusions. For instance, if the insurance company says that they do not cover risks from political unrest, it will not compensate you for any damages from such peril.

DP3 coverage pays claims on replacement cost value (RCV) instead of actual cash value (ACV). When you make a claim for a covered peril, the insurer pays the replacement cost of the damages within your policy limits and at current prices.

On the other hand, actual cash value, commonly used with the DP1 policy, deducts the property's depreciation cost from your final payout, which may result in not having enough money to pay for a replacement at today’s prices.

To illustrate, let's say you own an extra home that's 10 years old. You need to make significant repairs after a hailstorm causes substantial damage. These repairs are estimated to cost around $25,000.

If you have the DP3 policy, your insurer will reimburse you the replacement cost for these damages at the current market prices of items. However, if you were under DP1 that uses ACV, you would receive $25,000 less the depreciated value of the items damaged. In other words, you will receive less money under an ACV policy, leaving you with part of the bill to pay for using your own cash.

Perils Covered by DP3 Insurance

Thanks to its broad coverage, the DP3 policy is one of the most popular options. As an open peril policy, it typically covers all risks property owners experience unless otherwise stated in the policy. These include:

Structural Damages

DP3 policy provides coverage against damages on the property's primary structure and detached structures, like fences, sheds, pool houses, and garages.

However, if your policy names an exclusion, the insurer will not provide coverage for any damages by the said exclusion. These are not definite and vary between insurance companies.

They include floods, acts of terror, mold damage, intentional damage, and neglect. It also excludes ordinance or law and water backup and sump pump overflow. O&L is where you are required by law or ordinance to meet current building codes when rebuilding your property. Water back up is necessary when certain causes of water loss are excluded from the general policy (like a sump pump overflowing in the basement or water backing up from a shower drain.) Check your quote or policy to see if these coverages can be added for an additional cost.

Loss of Use

This policy reimburses you for lost income up to your policy limit when the property is not in use. However, the cause of the loss must be from a covered peril. The damage must also make the property uninhabitable, and current tenants have to move out, or no tenant can move in until the property is completely repaired.

Personal Liability

Assume someone is injured on your property, and you are found liable. Could you afford to cater to their medical costs and legal fees? Maybe yes. But would this take a toll on your finances? Absolutely. That's where personal liability coverage comes in—to cater to such costs if an injured party sues you and you are found liable for damages.

Most DP3 policies will cover personal property furnished for use by the tenants, such as appliances. However, if you need additional coverage for household furniture for a fully-furnished short-term or vacation rental property , you may want to speak directly with an insurance agent to confirm you have the proper coverage.

When is a DP3 Policy Needed?

This policy is only available for residential property owners who do not reside on the property. For example, maybe you have bought a new home and intend to make it your primary residence, leaving your current place to a tenant. Or perhaps, you have purchased a single-family home or small multifamily property to use as a full-time rental.  

Homeowners insurance only covers owner-occupied residential properties. It also may not provide coverage for damages made by tenants if you are renting part of your primary residence. That's where a DP3 policy might be ideal for you.

Keep in mind that the DP3 policy does not cover seasonal residences or residences that will be vacant for an extended period (like more than 60-90 days). Such properties are considered a higher risk because no one is there to keep track of any damages. A small undiscovered leak in a vacant property could lead to more damages that would have been fixed earlier if the house had been occupied.

You will need different insurance coverage  if you have a vacation home or suspect your extra residential home will be vacant for a while. Insurance companies usually provide vacant property policies to cover such properties. Another option would be a DP1 policy. Neither of these cover theft and vandalism. However, some insurers may be able to add them to vacant property insurance coverage.  

Other Dwelling Policies to Consider

Dwelling Policies has three policies under its umbrella: DP1, DP2, and DP3.

First, you could opt for the DP1 policy. It is the most basic policy of the three, covering fewer perils. The DP1 policy is a named policy coverage that covers only nine perils. It also pays claims less the depreciation cost of the property, leading to a lower payout for a covered claim. Affordable as this option might be, as a rule of thumb, it is only advisable to get it if your property will be vacant for an extended period or you are on a tight budget.

A second option is a DP2 policy, touted as the middle-of-the-road policy of the three options.

It is more affordable than a DP3 policy and covers more perils than the DP1 policy. In fact, it provides coverage against 18 perils, including burglary, flooding, freezing pipes, and vandalism that are not available under the DP1 policy.

However, it may not cover personal liability or personal property. If you have personal items on the property and would like to protect yourself if someone incurs injuries on your property, the extra cost of the DP3 policy would be worth it.

Where to Find a DP3 Policy for Rental Property

Getting an insurance policy is one thing, but obtaining it from a provider that promises more than it can deliver may cause more harm than good. That's why finding a broker who can assist you in selecting the appropriate property coverage and real estate investment protection is so essential.

Here are four options for finding the best DP3 policy for your rental property:

Obie

Obie is an online insurance broker specializing in landlord insurance built for rental property owners and real estate investors.

You can obtain easy, affordable, and adequate coverage entirely online through a landlord insurance quote. Furthermore, there are no paper applications to complete or lengthy waiting periods.

Obie streamlines landlord insurance, offering instant quotes in all 50 states. Getting a quote and purchasing a policy online is faster than ever before, making it easy to get covered and protect your investment. Go here to get an instant quote today.

Insurance agent

Your existing insurance provider or broker is another option for finding landlord insurance. This may be the path of least resistance because you won't have to do much research or compare many quotes from several carriers yourself.

However, while going to an insurance agent may be the most obvious choice, it isn't necessarily the best way to obtain landlord insurance. That’s because some insurance carriers compete by offering a low-priced policy with limited coverage and poor customer service when a claim is submitted.

Fellow landlords

Real estate investors who have already “been there, done that” are another way to find landlord insurance. People are usually more than willing to discuss their experiences with insurers and lessons learned and recommend coverage or an agent they've used.

Networking

Finding the best landlord insurance might be as easy as connecting with other real estate professionals through social media, networking events, or trade shows. Insurance companies often have booths set up at events where you can meet a representative face-to-face and learn more about the ins and outs of landlord insurance.

Final Thoughts

DP3 policy is excellent insurance coverage for landlords to consider. It is an open peril policy that pays replacement cost value during a claim. As an open peril policy, it protects you against most perils.

However, insurers can name exclusions of risks they will not cover in the policy. Therefore, if you opt for a DP3 policy, it is crucial to compare exclusions between insurers. Any named exclusion, like floods or earthquakes, means the insurer will not reimburse you if your property incurs damages due to excluded perils like these.

Are you faced with the seemingly impossible choice of choosing the best dwelling insurance policy?

You’re not alone. It’s a problem many property owners face, especially those new to property investing. Between understanding all the insurance jargon and analyzing the aspects of every policy, it is not unusual to feel like giving up during the process.

When looking for insurance for your rental property, you will likely come across three different types of policies: DP1, DP2, and DP3. While they all offer some level of protection for your property, they vary in terms of what is covered.

This blog post will break down the key differences between these three types of landlord insurance policies. So, whether you're just starting out as a landlord or are looking to switch policies, read on to learn more!

What is Dwelling Policy Insurance?

Dwelling policy insurance is an umbrella encompassing three different policies. It includes DP1, DP2, and DP3.

Dwelling policies or dwelling fire policies are insurance coverages offered instead of homeowners insurance. Although the name states fire, these policies cover more than just fire peril. They differ in covered perils and exclusions depending on the specific policy.  

What is the Difference Between DP1, DP2, and DP3?

The main differences between the policies are what is covered and the payout methods.

DP1 and DP2 are both named peril policies, where insurers only cover risks detailed in the policies. The main difference between DP1 and DP2 is that DP2 covers more risks, eighteen in number, while DP1 covers nine. DP 1 is the most basic form of coverage of the three.

For instance, DP2 covers burglary, malicious mischief, freezing pipes, and falling objects, while DP1 does not cover these perils. However, both cover fire, lightning, smoke, riots, and damage from wind or hailstorms (see the below diagram for a comparison of both policies).

On the other hand, the DP3 policy is an open peril policy. It covers all risks except those that the insurer has explicitly excluded. This makes it a more comprehensive policy of the three, providing coverage for more perils.

The DP1 policy is quite different from its counterparts when it comes to payouts. While it uses actual cash value (ACV), DP2 and DP3 payouts are on a replacement cost value basis (RCV). Under the DP1 policy, claim payouts are based on the repair cost minus depreciation. On the other hand, replacement cost value with DP2 and DP3 insurance policies pay the replacement costs for damages using current prices but within the limits of your policy.

For example, if you need to repair damages worth $20,000 on a 10-year-old property, a DP2 or DP3 policy will pay the replacement cost value for these damages. The only cost you will pay is the agreed-upon insurance deductible. But if you had a DP1 policy, you would receive less than $20,000 due to depreciation of the property and have to pay the remaining cost with your own cash.

Another difference between these policies is the cost. DP1 is cheaper as it covers fewer perils, while DP3 is the most expensive. DP2 insurance is in the middle, a more affordable option than DP3 that covers more risks than DP1.

A DP3 policy generally covers everything a DP2 policy does, plus extra coverage. However, there are some perils that a DP3 policy typically does not cover, including:

  • Ordinance or Law (aka upgrades to repairs required because building codes and other laws have changed since your property was built)
  • Water Backup and Sump Pump Overflow
  • Intentional loss
  • Mold
  • Neglect
  • War
  • Earthquakes
  • Power Failure
  • Nuclear Hazard
  • Flooding

Which DP Policy Does a Landlord Need?

The need for any DP policy will depend on your current situation. DP1 is an option if your budget does not allow for a DP2 or DP3 policy. It is also suitable for property owners or homeowners who:

  • Have a vacant rental house
  • Moved to a different residential home leaving their previous one vacant
  • Are waiting for a tenant to move into an empty house
  • Have inherited a house but it is vacant as they try to sell it

Unfortunately, DP1 does not provide coverage against vandalism and theft. Vacant homes are more prone to these risks and sometimes squatters. Affordable as it is, it could cost you more in the future if you face any of these risks without insurance.

DP3 policy is best for homeowners renting residential properties only. However, it does not cover residential properties you leave vacant for extended periods, usually 60 to 90 days. These include vacation homes or secondary residences vacant for the better part of the year.

It is also important to keep in mind that most DP2 policies do not provide coverage for properties that remain vacant for extended periods. Why? Because insurance companies term these as higher risk than tenant-occupied residential homes. As such, items needing repair may go unnoticed for an extended time, leading to more significant damages and higher claim amounts.

In addition to covered perils, there is also the aspect of what is covered.

All three policies cover damages to the property’s primary structure and other detached or additional structures, like garages, pool houses, fences, and sheds. DP2 and DP3 will also cover loss of use. This is when you lose rental income when the property is not livable due to any of the covered perils. Finally, DP3 includes personal liability coverage, ensuring you are protected against liability suits if someone gets injured on your property and you are found liable.

Where to Find a Landlord Insurance DP Policy

There are several alternatives for choosing the best landlord insurance package for your rental property:

Obie: If you’re looking for an easy way to protect yourself and your investment, check out Obie. No paper applications, week-long waits for quotes, or back and forths with brokers.

With Obie, you can get easy, affordable, and transparent coverage for your rental property entirely online through a landlord insurance quote. Furthermore, there are no paper applications to complete and no lengthy waiting periods. On average, landlords save 25% with Obie.

Go here to get an instant quote today.

Brick and mortar insurance agent: You can also search for landlord insurance by checking with your existing insurance provider or broker. This may be the simplest solution because you won't have to conduct much research or compare many quotations from numerous companies.

While providing a simple option, it isn't always the best method to get landlord insurance. Some businesses compete on price by providing limited coverage and terrible customer service when a claim is made.

Other real estate investors: Do you know of a friend or family member who has invested in rental property? Most likely, they already have landlord insurance. They may talk about their experiences with insurers and what they've learned and recommend coverage or a specialist they've worked with.

Networking with fellow landlords: Finding good landlord insurance may be as simple as networking with other real estate professionals on social media or local networking events. In many cases, investor groups may be more than willing to include you as a member.

Final Thoughts

Landlord insurance is a must-have for any property investor. Whether you choose a DP1 policy, DP2 or DP3 will depend on your needs. Each of the available dwelling policies will suit a specific situation.

For example, if you have a vacant property or are on a tight budget, a DP1 policy might be best. This policy is affordable, but it covers limited perils. An alternative to this is the DP2 policy, which covers more risks and is slightly less costly than DP3. Still, it doesn't cover vacant houses and has limited coverage compared to DP3.

DP3 policy is the most comprehensive and usually the most preferred by landlords, despite its higher premium. In addition to the property’s primary and additional structures, DP3 covers loss of income and personal liability.

Before settling on any dwelling policy, it's good to work with a professional insurance broker specializing in landlord insurance. In addition, an online insurance broker like Obie can help ensure you get a policy that meets your specific needs at an affordable price.

Landlord insurance is a type of insurance that provides coverage for landlords renting out their property. This type of policy can provide protection against damage to the property, liability claims from tenants, and loss of rental income.

If you're a landlord in Illinois, it's essential to know how insurance for rental property works and how to find the best coverage for your needs. This blog post will take a closer look at landlord insurance in Illinois to help you make an informed decision about which policies are best for you and your rental property.

What Landlords Should Know About Insurance in Illinois

As a landlord, it's crucial to have adequate insurance coverage for your rental property. Rental property is a significant investment, and if something were to happen to your property, you could be left with a substantial financial burden.

Landlord insurance is a type of insurance that specifically covers rental property. It can protect against various risks, including damage to the property, loss of rent, and liability. Landlords and property managers should carefully consider their needs in order to choose the right policy.

For example, some policies may only cover damage caused by fires or storms, while others may provide more comprehensive coverage. In addition, landlord insurance can also offer financial protection if a tenant causes damage to the property.

The risk of owning rental property in Illinois is further heightened by the state's weather hazards, including severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, blizzards and hail, ice storms, and flooding. Your most basis landlord insurance policies will protect against perils and other insured risks such as fire, lightning, internal and external explosions, windstorm, hail, riots, smoke, aircrafts, vehicles, and volcanic explosions.

If your property is damaged or destroyed, landlord insurance can help cover the cost of repairs or replacement. Additionally, landlord insurance can provide liability coverage if a tenant is injured on your property and you are found legally responsible.

Landlord insurance rates in Illinois can vary depending on the city in which the rental property is located. In general, landlord insurance may cost more in a large urban area like Chicago than in a smaller city or town in downstate Illinois. There are several reasons for this cost difference.

First, larger cities tend to have higher crime rates than smaller communities, which can result in increased liability risks for landlords, property managers, and insurance companies. In addition, urban areas typically have a greater density of housing units, which can lead to more wear and tear on rental properties. Lastly, big cities often have a higher cost of living overall, which can translate into higher prices for landlord insurance.

While there may be some variation in price depending on the specific location of the rental property, landlords and property managers should expect to pay more for insurance in Chicago than in other parts of Illinois.

To ensure that you're adequately protected with the right landlord insurance policy at the best price, it's important to work with a reputable insurance broker or agent who can tailor a policy to meet your specific needs.

By having adequate insurance coverage in place, you can better protect yourself from the possibility of financial ruin if something happens to your rental property.

How to Find the Best Landlord Insurance Policy for Your Needs in Illinois

There's no question that being a landlord comes with a lot of responsibility. You need to find reliable tenants and keep your property in good shape, but you also need to ensure that you're adequately insured in case of any accidents or damage.

With so many different landlord insurance policies on the market, it can be challenging to know where to start. The best place to begin is familiarizing yourself with the different types of coverage available.

Here are a few factors to consider when choosing a landlord insurance policy:

1. First, consider the type of property you are renting. For example, suppose you are renting a single-family home. In that case, you may need a different policy than if you are renting a multifamily building. Therefore, choose a policy that covers the type of property you are renting.

2. Next, think about the amount of coverage you need. For example, how much coverage do you need for your personal belongings? For your tenants' belongings? To make repairs and replacements? Make sure to get quotes from several different insurers so that you can compare coverage levels and prices.

3. Finally, pay attention to the details of the policy. What does the deductible look like? Are there any exclusions that could affect you in the event of a claim? Make sure you understand all the policy details before signing on the dotted line.

Once you better understand your needs, you can start shopping around for the best policy. Here are a few tips to help you find the best landlord insurance policy for your needs in Illinois.

One option is to work with a local insurance agent or broker. This can be a good choice if you have a specific insurer in mind that you would like to work with. However, not all independent agents have experience working with real estate investors and may not have access to the best prices or policies to meet your needs.  

Another easy and cost-effective way to find landlord insurance in Illinois is by working with an online insurance broker like Obie. The company is a fantastic resource for obtaining a landlord insurance quote and simple, low-cost, and transparent coverage entirely online.

There are no paper applications to fill out or lengthy waiting periods. Simply respond to a few property questions to obtain the right insurance and coverage for single-family rental property, multifamily dwellings with 2-4 units, short-term rentals, and condominium units based on your specific needs.

What Obie Customers are Saying

Customer testimonials can provide valuable insights into a product or service. They can give you a sense of what other people have experienced and whether or not the product or service is right for you.

Here’s what two landlords recently said about purchasing landlord insurance through Obie:

“I needed an insurance policy for my rental property. Obie Insurance was quick and prompt and gave me several quotes to review. I appreciate all the help that Doug Bell provided to me. He was excellent to work with. I'll use Obie for my insurance needs for other properties that I buy.”V. Pai.
“What a fantastic experience! A REAL person answered the phone. I called back with questions 4 times, and all 4 times, Alexander Park answered the phone and answered my questions thoroughly. Alexander Park was outstanding to deal with! Thank you, Obie Insurance!”F. Cerbone.

Get an Instant Quote From Obie Today

Obie is reinventing the insurance process for landlords and rental property investors. Whether you're a seasoned investor or just starting out, Obie makes requesting a quote and getting coverage simple, affordable, and transparent.

Click here to enter your property address and get an instant quote for landlord insurance in Illinois. No paper applications, week-long waits for quotes, or back and forths with brokers. On average, landlords save 25% with Obie.

Owning a rental property can be a lucrative investment, but it also has its fair share of risks. That's why it's vital to have landlord insurance in Ohio, which can help protect you from financial losses if something goes wrong. 

This blog post will discuss what landlord insurance is and why you need it, and some of the specific coverage options available. So if you're thinking about buying or renting out a property in Ohio, be sure to read on! 

What Landlords Should Know About Insurance in Ohio

As a landlord, you know that insurance is vital for protecting your investment. But with so many different types of coverage available, it can be challenging to know what kind of policy is right for your rental property in Ohio. 

First and foremost, you should consider purchasing landlord insurance to cover the property and potential liability. Covered claims may include the cost of repairs if your rental unit is damaged by fire, theft, or accidents. In addition, a few optional types of coverage are available, such as loss of rent insurance, which can help offset your financial losses if your unit becomes uninhabitable due to damage. However, loss of rent coverage isn't always part of the standard coverage in a landlord insurance policy, so it's a good idea to check with your insurance broker or review your policy documents.

As a landlord or property manager, it's also important to be aware of the typical weather perils in your area. In Ohio, the most common risks include severe thunderstorms, high winds, flooding, and winter storms. 

While you can't control the weather, landlord insurance can help protect you from financial responsibility if your property is damaged by weather or other hazards. As a landlord, you are responsible for maintaining a safe and secure environment for your tenants. 

You can also take proactive steps to prepare your property for these hazards. For example, you can trim trees to reduce the risk of damage from falling branches during a thunderstorm. You can also install gutter guards to help prevent flooding. And in winter, it's crucial to clear sidewalks and parking lots to help prevent slip-and-fall accidents. 

Landlord insurance rates in Ohio can vary significantly depending on the property's location. For example, rates in large cities like Cleveland and Cincinnati may be higher than in smaller towns due to the increased risk of property damage or theft. Some areas may also have a greater likelihood of damage from fires, severe weather, and natural disasters. 

However, many factors can affect rates, so it's essential to compare quotes from different insurers before choosing a policy. By shopping around, landlords in Ohio can find the best coverage for rental property at the most affordable price.

How to Find the Best Landlord Insurance Policy for Your Needs in Ohio

There are a few key things to keep in mind regarding landlord insurance in Ohio. 

First and foremost, you'll want to make sure that your policy covers the replacement value of your property in the event of damage. Secondly, you'll want to ensure that your policy provides coverage for loss of rent if your tenants cannot occupy the property due to a covered claim. 

You'll also want to ensure that your policy provides legal liability coverage if someone is injured on your property. Finally, it's important to consider the deductibles and limits of your policy to make sure that it meets your needs.

But with so many options available, how do you know which policy is best for you? 

One way to find landlord insurance is through an insurance agent. An agent can help you understand the different coverage options and find a policy that meets your needs. However, it's important to remember that not all agents are created equal. Some may only work with a limited number of coverage options or represent only one insurance carrier, which could restrict your choices for landlord insurance.

Another option is to use an online insurance broker like Obie

One of the most significant advantages of buying landlord insurance online with Obie rather than an agent working for a specific carrier is that you have access to a broader range of options for excellent coverage.

Obie streamlines landlord insurance, offering instant quotes in all 50 states. Getting a quote and purchasing a policy online is faster than ever before, making it easy to get covered and protect your investment. In addition, people save an average of 25% when getting their property insurance through Obie.

Insurance brokers represent multiple carriers, so they can provide you with quotes from multiple companies. This gives you a better chance of finding the policy that best meets your needs and budget. In addition, online insurance brokers can often offer insights and advice that captive agents may not be able to provide. 

Ultimately, deciding which type of agent to work with comes down to personal preference. For example, some landlords prefer the convenience and flexibility of working with an insurance broker, while others prefer to work with a captive agent. 

Whatever your preference, be sure to compare quotes from multiple carriers and read customer testimonials before making a final decision. Doing so helps ensure that you're getting the best possible coverage at the most affordable price. 

What Obie Customers are Saying

Reading what a company’s current customers have to say can provide valuable insights before making an important decision such as buying landlord insurance. When it comes to insuring rental property in Ohio, it’s worth taking a moment to read what Obie customers are saying:

“I can't believe anyone would use another insurance company. Great rate and easiest experience ever. Obie will be my insurance company of choice for my portfolio of real estate investments.” – G. Segal.
“What an easy and professional experience! I worked with Doug Bell. He was amazing. Great rate! Fast response!” – Esther L.
“Very impressed with this company! Shoutout to Ryan S, Brian H, and Lauren M!” – J. Talasazan.

Get an Instant Quote From Obie Today

If you own rental property in Ohio, you know how important it is to have insurance. But with so many options available, it can be tough to find the right policy at the right price. 

That’s where Obie comes in. Obie offers instant insurance specifically built for landlords and real estate investors. No paper applications, week-long waits for quotes, or back and forths with brokers.

So what are you waiting for? Get an instant quote for landlord insurance from Obie today.

Most landlords have one or two properties in their portfolio. For others, investing in real estate is a full-time business where they have several rental units in their property portfolio. So, how do you deal with insurance for your multiple properties? 

Perhaps you have more than five units spread across different neighborhoods or cities. Do you have to get landlord insurance for each property? Or can you use a single coverage for all the rental units? 

By the end of this article, you will better understand how to insure multiple properties and where to find the best landlord insurance.

Looking to protect yourself and your investments? Get an instant quote from Obie today. No paper applications, week-long waits for quotes, or back and forths with brokers. On average, landlords save 25% with Obie.

Why Real Estate Investors Need Landlord Insurance

Real estate investing involves numerous risks, from theft and vandalism to fire and damages caused by natural disasters. You never know when these will strike. And when and if there is a disaster, woe unto you if you have to pay for all repairs out of pocket.

Having the wrong insurance or coverage or using a homeowners policy for rental property could bring your real estate investing career to a screeching halt.

Those are just some of the many reasons landlord insurance is so critical for rental property owners.  

Your homeowner's insurance policy will only work if you still reside in the property. Once you rent your home out, landlord insurance is required. It protects against risks associated with rental properties. 

3 Basic Things Typical Landlord Insurance Policies Cover 

Property damage

This covers damages to the property's structure and your contents, like furniture and appliances. The damages could result from accidental fire, vandalism, natural disasters, and irresponsible tenants

Although most insurance plans provide protection against these damages, not every policy out there offers the actual replacement cost you'd incur. Some provide actual cash value or a predetermined lump sum amount to cover the damages, which might not be enough to replace your property to its initial state using today’s prices. 

Loss of income

If a disaster occurs and your property becomes uninhabitable for the residents for an extended period of time, how much rental income would you lose, and could you keep paying the bills? Between the loss of rental income and the costs of getting your property back on its “feet,” reimbursement for the loss of rent revenue could come in handy. 

Liability coverage 

Liability coverage offers protection against legal and medical payments if a third party is injured on your property and you are found liable for the damages. For example, a guest of your tenant could slip and fall and decide to sue you for negligence, or you could unknowingly hire a contractor or handyman who is uninsured.

Additional coverage options

In addition to the three essential covers, landlords can consider adding insurance coverage such as:

  • Flood insurance for additional protection when rental property is in a designated flood zone.
  • Sewer backup and sump overflow can typically be added at a minimal cost and may be a good idea for rental properties with basements.
  • Workers’ compensation if you have W-2 employees.
  • Builder’s risk insurance if you are a real estate investor who does a lot of renovating or fixing-and-flipping.
  • General contractor insurance coverage is worth considering if you build a home from the ground up or reposition an existing building into residential rental property.
  • An umbrella policy offers extra insurance coverage that kicks in when coverage from other policies ends.

Can a Landlord Have One Insurance Policy for Multiple Properties?

If you're a landlord or property manager, you know that insurance is vital for protecting your investment. But what if you have multiple properties? Can you have one insurance policy for all of them? The answer is yes! 

There are a few different ways to insure multiple properties under one policy. First, you can add them as scheduled items, which means each property is specifically listed on the policy. 

Alternatively, you can add them as an endorsement, which adds coverage for the additional properties without specifically listing them. You can also purchase a blanket policy, which covers multiple properties with one limit of liability. 

Regardless of the method used, having an insurance policy for multiple properties helps you:

  • Manage your coverage easily, since you deal with only one insurance carrier and a single point of contact for the multiple properties you own.
  • It is also easier to compare different policies from various insurance companies by not having to read through countless pages of legalese.
  • Multi-property insurance can also save an incredible amount of time. Imagine how hectic it would be to follow up with several insurance companies for quotes for every property. In addition, renewing your policies will no longer be a hassle since you’ll have a single renewal date.
  • Save money on insurance premiums because most insurers offer a discount if you have multiple coverages.

The exact number of properties you can put under this coverage varies between insurance companies. However, most insurers have this multi-property coverage available for real estate investors with more than four properties as a rule of thumb. 

In addition to saving time and money by bundling many properties under one coverage, a multi-property policy will offer the same protection as the landlord insurance for a single property. You will receive protection against damage from fire, covered natural causes, vandalism, loss of income, and liability.

Helpful Hints for Insuring Multiple Properties 

As you shop for the best portfolio insurance, there are several factors to keep in mind:

  • Coverage amount: The amount of coverage you need will depend on the value of your property and the amount of rent you collect. Make sure to get a policy that covers the replacement value of your property, so you can rebuild if necessary.
  • Additional liability: Consider adding extra liability coverage to your policy. This will protect you if someone is injured on your property and sues you, and the more properties you have, the greater the risk may be.
  • Deductible: A higher deductible will lower your premiums, but you'll have to pay more out of pocket if something happens. Choose a deductible that you're comfortable with and that won't break the bank if you do have to make a claim.
  • Management fees: Some insurers might charge you an administration fee every time you have to change your policy.
  • Adding other people: If you have multiple properties, there is a possibility you have an administrative assistant. In situations like these, it might be a good idea to give them access to the policy. They can always make updates whenever necessary and avoid missing essential deadlines. 

By keeping these things in mind, you can choose a landlord insurance policy that will give you the protection you need at a price you can afford.

Where to Find Landlord Insurance for Multiple Properties

If you like the idea of insuring multiple properties under the same carrier, be sure to look for the best landlord insurance. In addition to having the right coverage at the right price, look for a company with excellent customer support and a reputation for a positive claims experience.

There are a few different options to consider when looking for landlord insurance for multiple properties, each with its own set of pros and cons. 

  1. One option is to work with an online resource like Obie, which specializes in landlord insurance and can help you compare policies from multiple insurers entirely online. The process is simple and transparent, and there are no paper applications and no lengthy waits.

It can be confusing and time consuming to figure out the exact amount and type of coverage you need for rental property, which is one of the main reasons investors turn to Obie for the property insurance needs. If you own 10 or more properties, contact the Obie private client team and ask for a master policy.  

  1. A second method for purchasing landlord insurance is to work directly with a local insurance company that offers coverage for landlords. This can be a good option for people who prefer to shop everything around themselves, but it's crucial to carefully compare rates and coverage options to ensure you're getting the right coverage. 
  2. You can also work with a local insurance broker who represents multiple companies. This option allows you to get personalized service and advice, but again it may be difficult to know if you’re getting the right coverage unless the broker is extremely experienced in rental property policies and coverage. 
  3. Finally, you could ask your banker if you are financing your real estate properties through mortgages. Bankers work hand-in-hand with insurance companies, while other banking institutions have insurance subsidiaries. Since bankers require mortgage-financed properties to be insured, they will refer you to an institution that will provide coverage for your properties.  

Ultimately, the best option for finding landlord insurance will depend on your specific needs and preferences.

Closing Thoughts

When it comes to protecting your investment in rental properties, landlord insurance is a must. And when you have multiple properties, buying coverage from a single insurer can save you time and money. In addition to securing the same protection as a regular landlord policy, multi-property policies offer additional benefits like added flexibility and convenience. 

To find the best deal on landlord insurance for multiple properties, be sure to compare rates and coverage options from multiple insurers. And when you’re ready to purchase a policy, working with an online insurance broker like Obie is the simplest and most convenient way to get the coverage you need.

While short-term rental properties can be an attractive way to generate income, investors frequently face a dilemma when it comes to handling insurance issues. 

For example, what would happen if a guest stole a precious art collection, “borrowed” your brand new big screen TV, or had a slip and fall and decided to sue you for negligence? Would your current insurance policy protect you in case of a liability suit?  

Situations like these can be all too real for real estate investors, but fortunately, there are insurance policies specifically designed to cover the risks of short-term rental properties. 

This article will delve deeper into the meaning of short-term rental insurance, how it works, why you need it, and some of the best insurers you can use.

Looking to protect yourself and your investment? Get an instant quote from Obie today. No paper applications, week-long waits for quotes, or back and forths with brokers. On average, landlords save 25% with Obie.

What is Short-Term Rental Insurance?

Short-term rental insurance covers individuals renting their property or a part of it on a short-term basis. For instance, staying in a cozy, homey place with great amenities when traveling has become a popular alternative to boring and expensive hotel rooms.

Online rental platforms like Airbnb, have made it possible for property owners (known as hosts) to turn their second homes into short-term vacation rentals by renting them out for shorter periods like days or weeks. 

Short-term rental insurance comes in handy when there are damages to your dwelling, including fixtures and fittings, stolen items, loss of income when the property is uninhabitable, and a liability claim due to injuries sustained due to negligence on your part. 

Depending on the insurance carrier, there may also be optional coverage for situations such as excessive use of utilities and liquor liability coverage. Coverage in the event a short-term renter consumes alcohol you had on the premises and is injured. Some insurers might even cover damages from identity theft, i.e., when someone steals your identity and uses it to access your online rental accounts. 

Short-term rental insurance coverage can stand alone. However, some insurers might offer it as a rider or endorsement of your current homeowners or an existing landlord policy. 

Why Landlords Need Short-Term Rental Insurance

Many individuals entering the short-term rental business assume that their existing homeowners insurance policy is enough, until they have a rowdy guest for a weekend and are left with broken furniture or other personal property or damage to the property's structure and a hefty bill. 

Turning your home into a short-term rental unit makes it a business venture. Homeowners policies only apply where the landlord is not collecting income from anyone residing on the property. 

On the other hand, landlord insurance covers real estate investors with long-term tenants  (i.e. those who stay a year or more). 

As you can see, both homeowners and landlord insurance coverages are meant for specific niches, long-term real estate investors, and owner-occupied properties. This, of course, leaves a gap for investors in the short-term rental business. 

If any damages happened to your property or an injured guest sued you for negligence, it is likely neither of these insurance options would cover these expenses. That's where short-term landlord insurance comes in— to offer you protection in the case of damage caused by short-term stay guests. 

Where to Find Short-Term Rental Insurance

With any type of insurance coverage, it is crucial to have the right insurance company watching your back. You certainly don't want to be faced with debt from having to make repairs to your rental property or replacing personal belongings within it because you didn’t have the right insurance policy with the right insurance company. 

Here is a list of the 10 best short-term rental insurers for you to consider: 

Obie

Finding the right insurer is not an easy task. One option is to work with your existing insurance agent, but that can take a lot of time, and it is difficult to compare different short-term rental insurance policies side by side.

A better way to shop for landlord insurance for a short-term rental property is using an online resource like Obie.

Obie allows you to obtain insurance for your short-term rental property quickly and easily, ideal for real estate investors and landlords. You won't have to waste hours attempting to figure everything out yourself since Obie's simple quote request process will match you with the right insurance for your short-term rental. 

Enter the property address and get an instant quote online for landlord insurance. Coverage is available in all 50 states, and investors have insured more than $4 billion in property with Obie to date. 

Obie gives landlords and investors complete insight into the insurance procedure, saving them time and money. Consider switching if you already have landlord insurance with another provider. Obie clients typically save 25% compared to their prior carrier!

You may feel the urge to shop around for the best insurance. One way you can do so, and spend less time is using a service that compares quotes for you, like Obie. Go here to get an instant quote today.

Allstate 

Allstate Insurance offers comprehensive protection for landlords with short-term and vacation rental property, whether you're renting out a condo, townhouse, or house. Allstate's Short-Term Rental Property Insurance covers liability, property damage, loss of income, and more. And if you have any damage from a hurricane, tornado, or another natural disaster, Allstate will cover it as well. 

American Family 

American Family Insurance offers a variety of landlord insurance options for those with vacation rental property. They have an extensive list of covered perils, including damage from weather events, fire, theft, and vandalism. In addition, they offer coverage for loss of rent due to a covered event. This is important coverage for landlords, as it can help offset the cost of repairs if your property is damaged and can’t be rented out for a time. 

American Family Insurance also offers convenient online tools, such as a Vacation Rental Property Calculator, that can help you determine the amount of coverage you need. Landlords with vacation rental property should consider American Family Insurance when shopping for landlord insurance. 

American Modern 

As a landlord, you know that safeguarding your property is key to maintaining a successful business. American Modern gives investors the peace of mind that comes with knowing your property is appropriately protected. The company offers insurance solutions tailored specifically for short-term and vacation rental property landlords. Comprehensive policies cover everything from damage caused by tenants to loss of income due to unoccupied units. 

CBIZ 

CBIZ has years of experience insuring vacation rental properties, so the company knows what it takes to protect your investment. Short-term rental policies are designed to cover all potential risks of renting out your property, including damage to the property itself, liability for injuries that occur on the premises, and loss of income if your property is uninhabitable due to a covered event. In addition, CBIZ offers 24/7 claim reporting and will work with you to help get your property repaired or replaced as quickly as possible. 

Farmers 

Farmers Insurance can be a good choice for insuring vacation rental property for several reasons. First, they have a long history of insuring rental property, so they understand the unique risks of this type of property. They also offer a variety of coverage options that can be tailored to the specific needs of your rental property. In addition, Farmers offers competitive rates and discounts for landlords with multiple properties. Lastly, their customer service has an excellent reputation, and they are always available to answer any questions you may have about your policy. 

Foremost 

Foremost (a Farmers Insurance Company) has over 50 years of experience insuring vacant and tenant-occupied properties, and their team of experts understands the unique risks associated with short-term rentals. The company is well known for its industry-leading coverage and claims process, which makes it a great option to consider for those with rental property. In addition, Foremost offers many discounts for landlords who insure multiple properties or who have their property professionally managed. 

Nationwide 

Nationwide offers comprehensive protection for landlords with short-term and vacation rental property. They are a well-respected company with a long history of providing quality coverage. Their policies are designed to protect your investment and give you peace of mind. They offer competitive rates and flexible payment options. You can customize your policy to fit your specific needs. They also have 24/7 customer service and a team of professional agents who are always ready to help. 

Progressive

As a landlord, you understand the importance of insuring your property. But when it comes to short-term and vacation rentals, you need coverage specifically designed for this type of property. That's where Progressive Insurance comes in. The company offers comprehensive protection for landlords with short-term rentals, including coverage for damages caused by tenants and third-party guests. In addition, policies include liability protection if a tenant or guest is injured on your property. 

Proper Insurance 

While there are many different insurance options available, Proper Insurance offers a unique combination of features that may make it ideal for landlords. For starters, the company offers flexible coverage options that can be customized to meet your specific needs. Additionally, Proper has a team of experienced underwriters familiar with the risks associated with short-term rentals and can offer competitive rates and comprehensive coverage. 

Final Thoughts

Investing in short-term rentals can be an excellent way to maximize returns on your properties. But like any other real estate investment, it is crucial to get the right insurance. 

In most cases, your landlord or homeowners insurance policies will not cover any damages when guests stay for short periods. Luckily, short-term insurance policies are available for this niche. Numerous insurers have made it easier to manage your short-term rental insurance needs online. The above list is not exhaustive but provides some of the best insurers to consider.

Once you decide to rent out a home, you'll need different insurance. New landlords sometimes do not realize that existing homeowners insurance coverage for a primary residence may result in a claim being denied once the property is turned into a rental.

Keep reading to learn how much landlord insurance you need for a rental property. This article will discuss the main types of landlord insurance coverage, how landlord insurance differs from homeowners insurance, and the best places to find landlord insurance for rental property.

3 Types of Landlord Insurance Coverage

Landlord insurance provides an extra layer of protection when you own and operate rental property. While all landlord insurance policies are different, there are 3 main types of coverage to consider:

1. Property Insurance Coverage

Covers the physical structure of the rental home, including:

  • The dwelling - for helping you to repair property damage from fire and natural causes on a rental home, apartment, or condo
  • Personal property covers personal property in the rental house. This could include pieces of equipment and furniture, but it does not cover the renter's personal items (your tenant needs renters insurance for that)
  • Other structures - covers additional and detached structures within your rental property, like a free-standing garage or sheds

Although this coverage provides protection for damages to your rental property, including personal property used to service the home, it does not cover damages from normal equipment breakdown or maintenance costs. 

It also does not apply to any shared property. If you live in the home and rent an extra room, it would be best to consult your insurance agent and see whether that rented space can be covered under your homeowners coverage. The property insurance coverage only applies to non-owner-occupied rental properties.   

2. Liability Insurance Coverage

Liability coverage is critical when the tenant or a third party is injured on your property. For example, let's say the railings on the property were faulty, and someone fell and got injured. If you are found liable for damages, your liability coverage can pay for medical bills and legal costs up to your coverage limit.

3. Loss of Income Insurance Coverage

This coverage provides temporary rental income reimbursements should your property become uninhabitable. It could be fire, smoke, windstorm, water damage, broken water pipes, AC leak, a natural disaster, or other things beyond your control. However, the property needs to be occupied when it is declared uninhabitable for you to claim from the insurer.

home burning related to insurance needs

How Much Landlord Insurance Do You Need?

The specific amount of landlord insurance coverage needed varies from property to property and from one investor to another. 

In the worst-case scenario, you may wish to consider how much money it would take to rebuild your property after damage. Factors affecting a landlord insurance premium include the type of structure insured and the deductible amount. 

Here are a couple of rules of thumb to follow when deciding how much landlord insurance you may need.

Tips for choosing the amount of property coverage

First, you need to estimate how much it would cost to replace the rental structure. Note that the keyword here is “structure.” That’s because a landlord insurance policy provides coverage for the structure or building and improvements, but not the land the property is sitting on.

For example, if the total value of your rental property is $300,000 and the land value is $50,000, you would need to insure the property for $250,000. An easy way to know how much the building alone is worth is to look at your tax records or a recent appraisal made when the property was purchased. The assessment will have the cost of the land separate from that of improvements (buildings). 

That said, keep in mind that, unlike land, buildings depreciate, and the value on your tax records is not necessarily the correct representation of how much you would need for repairs. So instead, think about the present value and factor in inflation rates. 

To illustrate, assume your property is worth $250,000 according to the most recent tax records. However, due to rapidly rising home values, your home's current fair market value is actually $325,000. Therefore, if a disaster strikes and your property needs to be entirely rebuilt, you would need $325,000 in coverage versus the amount listed by the county assessor’s office. 

That's why it's crucial to work with a company that offers a variety of transparent insurance plans. Having too much coverage could be as bad as having too little because you’ll be paying higher premiums but will only receive payment for what it costs to rebuild your home if and when a claim is made.

Liability coverage and loss of rental income are harder to determine compared to property coverage, where it is easier to calculate the cost of construction materials. 

For example, how much would it cost to mend a broken leg and pay legal fees if someone fell on your property? Or, how much rental income would be lost if your property was severely damaged and making the home habitable again took several months?

The amount of liability and loss of rental income coverage you may require depends on factors such as the extent of an injury and liability in the event of a lawsuit and how much capital you are holding in a reserve account for when there is no rental income coming in. As a rule of thumb, it is best to consider taking liability coverage that is high enough to cover serious injury lawsuits and fits within your financial ability. 

Also, how many tenants or properties you have will significantly affect how much liability coverage you need. The more tenants there are, the more potential risk there is and the more coverage you will need. For instance, landlords with 1 to 4 units tend to take liability coverage worth $1,000,000. If you have more units, the chances of a lawsuit increase, meaning you need more coverage.

Difference Between Homeowners and Landlord Insurance

While both homeowners insurance and landlord insurance provide coverage for a home, they are used for different purposes. 

A homeowner policy is used for a primary residence occupied by a homeowner. In some cases, coverage may also be available for a guest room rented out or short-term rental arrangements where you rent out the home when you are away on vacation. 

On the other hand, landlord insurance is a policy that provides protection for property not occupied as a primary residence, such as a single-family rental home, townhome or condominium, or a short-term vacation rental.

Another difference between homeowner and landlord policies is the cost of coverage. As a rule of thumb, insurance for a rental property is about 25% more than a standard homeowners insurance policy. 

However, landlord insurance premiums can vary quite a bit, typically from $800 to $3,000 per year for a 3 bed/2 bath single-family rental depending on the state, because every home is unique and every landlord has different coverage needs. 

An excellent way to get a free instant quote online for landlord insurance is with Obie

Obie offers instant insurance specifically designed for landlords and real estate investors. Landlord insurance is available through Obie for rental property in all 50 states, and investors have insured more than $4 billion in property to date.

Where to Find Landlord Insurance

There are several ways to find the best landlord insurance coverage for your property. These include: 

Search Online

The internet never runs dry of information, including information on insurance matters. A simple online search will give you information about insurers like Obie, which offers landlord insurance. 

You can request a landlord insurance quote and obtain simple, affordable, and transparent coverage entirely online. Best of all, there are no paper applications to deal with and no lengthy waits.

Simply answer a few property questions and get the right insurance and coverage for single-family rental property, multifamily buildings with 2-4 units, short-term rentals, and condominium units based on your specific needs.

Insurance Agent

Another option for finding landlord insurance is through your current insurance agent or broker. This may be the path of least resistance because you don't have to do much research or compare numerous quotes from multiple carriers by yourself. 

However, while this may be the easiest option, it isn't necessarily the best way to find landlord insurance. Some companies compete on price by giving you minimal coverage and minimal customer service if and when a claim is filed.

Other Landlords

Do you know a friend or relative who has converted their residential home into a rental? Chances are they already have landlord insurance coverage. They can share their experiences with insurers and lessons learned and might even recommend coverage or an agent they have used.

Networking

Networking with other individuals in the real estate industry can be an excellent opportunity to find the best landlord insurance. Visit property expos and look for groups with other landlords on social media to join. 

Final Thoughts

Landlord insurance is a must-have once your residential home becomes a rental. How much coverage you need, though, will depend on many factors. 

How much would it take to rebuild your house if it was ravaged by fire? Or how much do you think it would cost in medical and legal fees if someone is severely injured on your property? 

Knowing this can help you estimate how much landlord insurance you need. It is also best to get a professional insurance company to help you find a policy that doesn't leave you exposed.

Investing in real estate comes with a handful of responsibilities, including keeping your rental property in good condition and protecting the value of your investment. 

While having the right landlord insurance policy in place is vital for owning a rental property, finding the best landlord insurance coverage can sometimes be challenging. This article is intended to make your research a little easier!

Keep reading to learn more about finding the best landlord insurance and some of the top companies to consider when purchasing insurance for a rental property. At the end of this article, we'll cover some of the frequently asked questions real estate investors have about landlord insurance for rental property. 

Looking to protect yourself and your investment? Get an instant quote from Obie today. No paper applications, week-long waits for quotes, or back and forth with brokers. On average, landlords save 25% with Obie.

How to Find the Best Landlord Insurance

Finding the best landlord insurance for your rental property can be more complicated than looking for homeowners insurance because so many options are available. 

It's essential to spend enough time researching insurance coverage online, getting multiple quotes, comparing them side by side, and looking for discounts that can save you money and increase your potential return on investment. 

Obie offers instant insurance built for landlords and real estate investors, so you can get the coverage you need for your specific property without spending countless hours trying to figure everything out yourself. 

Enter the property address and get an instant quote online for landlord insurance for properties with one to four units. Coverage is available in all 50 states and investors have insured more than $4 billion in property with Obie to date. 

Obie provides full transparency into the insurance process, saving landlords and investors time and money. If you already have landlord insurance with another carrier, consider switching. On average, people can save up to 25% with Obie.

Best Landlord Insurance Providers

Although Obie is a great way to find the best landlord insurance online, you may prefer to shop for quotes yourself. Here are some of the top landlord insurance providers for rental property, listed in alphabetical order, according to research from Bankrate, Investopedia, The Ascent, and Value Penguin.

Allstate Insurance

Allstate Insurance Corporation was founded in 1931. It has an A+ Financial Strength Rating from AM Best and an AA- from S&P Global Rating. The company is known for its affordable coverages, including landlord coverage. 

Its coverage includes damages to the property's structure, additional structures, loss of income, medical protection, burglary, vandalism, and liability claims. It also consists of a building code policy that applies when you are fixing the unit, and there are applicable costs to meet building codes. 

In addition, you can get coverage when your rental unit is undergoing renovations, or you are constructing a new rental unit. Additional coverage you can consider includes flood insurance and personal umbrella insurance. 

While you cannot get a quote online, there is an online search you can use to find a local agent to help you. You can also use its online tool to search for common and expensive claims in your area. Knowing about potential claims can help you prepare better and add additional policies before purchasing your coverage. Most importantly, you can enjoy discounts that lower your insurance costs, such as bundling policies. 

Liberty Mutual 

Liberty Mutual Group is over 100 years old and has made a name for itself since it was founded in 1912, becoming the country's sixth-largest casualty and property insurer.

We live in the digital era, and Liberty Mutual saves you time by providing a quote for any insurance needs on its website. This service even allows you to bundle two types of coverage together. In addition, the carrier has an A rating from both AM Best and S&P and offers various coverage options. 

You can call for a customized quote that meets your specific needs for starters. Its landlord insurance provides coverage against the property's structure, loss of rent, and liability claims. In addition, it has 24-hour claims assistance. 

But perhaps what makes their option worth considering is that you can have an inflation protection add-on. Inflation protection add-on automatically increases your coverage over time to reflect rising costs of materials and labor. But, of course, any add-on to the standard coverage will come at an additional cost in your premium. 

In addition, you get to enjoy discounts when:

  • You insure your home and rental property
  • Shop for the coverage early, preferably before the expiration of your current coverage with another insurer
  • Go for 5+ years without a claim, including a claim with a previous insurance carrier

State Farm Insurance

State Farm Insurance was founded in 1922 and has grown over the century into a powerhouse with an AA S&P Global Rating and AM Best's A++ Financial Strength Rating. It offers various financial services, including banking, investing, and insurance. 

It offers several insurance coverages for homes and properties. Its rental dwelling policy is a good option to consider if you rent out a single or multi-family home unit. If you have a condo or an apartment unit, the rental condo unit owners' policy and insurance for landlords are great. 

Whichever policy option you have, you will still enjoy coverage against structural damages, damage to additional structures attached to the property, personal property damages, theft, liability claims, and loss of income. The coverage also includes law or ordinance coverage, which protects against loss of value or the rise of costs arising from enforcement of an ordinance or municipality laws that regulate the repairing or the construction of damaged properties. 

You can add more coverage to ensure you are protected against any additional risks. However, this will incur more expenses, raising your premiums perhaps more than anticipated. State Farm also offers online services, like getting an agent nearby, direct quotes, and paying your insurance bills automatically. 

Travelers Insurance

Travelers Insurance, or The Travelers Companies, Inc., was founded in 1853 and is one of the oldest insurance institutions in the United States. More than 165 years later, the company still ranks as one of the best insurers, with an A++ Financial Strength Rating (FSR) from AM Best. 

Its landlord insurance coverage is aimed at landlords with one to four rental property units like condos, apartments, and family homes (single or multi). It provides the usual structural damage coverage and covers additional structures like garages and sheds, and covers theft and loss of income. 

In addition, if you are renting a furnished unit with furniture and appliances, the policy will provide coverage against damage to these. 

Travelers can also help you find a professional agent close to you through their website. This can help you save time searching for a local insurance agent to work with. 

Other Landlord Insurance Companies to Consider

The above list of landlord insurance companies is by no means exhaustive. Other options to consider when looking for insurance for your rental property include:

  • American Family is rated by Bankrate as the best for enhanced liability coverage
  • Farmers is ranked as the best insurance company for providing all the “bells and whistles” by The Ascent
  • Foremost Insurance Group is ranked as the best for landlords with multiple rental properties by Investopedia
  • Geico is the best insurance company for cheap policies, according to Bankrate
  • USAA is rated as the best landlord insurance company for military members by Bankrate

FAQ’s

Do I really need landlord insurance? 

Yes. If you plan to make money by renting out a home, homeowner's insurance will no longer apply. Unlike the homeowner’s coverage, landlord insurance can include additional liability and loss of rental income. 

What is the difference between homeowners and landlord insurance? 

Apart from the covered risks that are more extensive with landlord coverage, it also matters who resides on the property. A homeowner’s insurance policy will still apply if the rental is your primary residence. Perhaps you have converted a room or two while still living on the property. But if you rent the entire property and no longer reside there, you should have landlord insurance. 

What influences the cost of landlord insurance coverage?

Although landlord insurance costs vary between insurers, some common factors affect your policy price:

  • The property’s geographic location, including its known risks like flooding and hurricanes
  • Size of the property
  • Age and condition of the property
  • The property’s electrical wiring condition and age
  • Available security features in the property, like a burglar alarm and smoke detectors
  • Risks covered in the policy
  • How many rental units you are insuring
  • Additional structures or outbuildings on the property

Does landlord insurance have exclusions? 

Yes, landlord insurance has some exclusions. For example, although it covers damages to the property's structure, it does not cover repairs, updates, and maintenance costs. It also excludes:

  • The tenant's personal belongings. Your tenants need to have renters insurance to cover losses against theft or damage to their personal property. It is always recommended you have this as a requirement for your tenants, provided that local and state landlord-tenant laws allow it. Some insurers will even have it as a requirement for landlord insurance.
  • Damages from earthquakes, floods, and water backups. However, you may be able to get these as additional policies in your coverage if you live in an area prone to such risks.  

Final Thoughts

The best landlord insurance is different for every real estate investor. That’s why it’s important to research and compare quotes to find the right insurance for your rental property. Choosing the best insurance policy for a rental property is about more than price. Consider coverage limits and exclusions, how customizable a policy is, and how transparent the entire process is.

If you’re looking for an easy way to protect yourself and your investment, get an instant quote from Obie today. No paper applications, week-long waits for quotes, or back and forths with brokers. On average, landlords save 25% with Obie.

Real estate investors spend a lot of time, money, and effort finding the right rental property, screening tenants, and taking care of and making upgrades to the property to maximize return on investment.

A key part of owning rental property is having the right landlord insurance coverage to help protect your valuable investment.

However, it can be challenging to find the right policy coverage at the best price, especially given the number of insurance carriers there are to choose from. Similar to a typical homeowners policy, landlord insurance for rental property comes in all shapes and sizes, with different pay-out options and types of coverage.

This article sheds more light on how much landlord insurance costs, the factors affecting the annual premium for landlord insurance, and the different coverage options available. Let’s begin by discussing the three main risk categories covered by landlord insurance.

What Does Landlord Insurance Cover?

A landlord policy covers three main categories of risk.

1. Property Damage: Covers damages to the property's structure caused by natural disasters, vandalism, or intentional damage caused by a tenant due to negligence or during an eviction.

2. General Liability: Claims a landlord may face from injuries to a tenant, a tenant’s guest, or a neighbor. As a rule of thumb, covered costs can include medical expenses, legal fees, costs to settle a lawsuit, and funeral costs.

3. Loss of Income: One of the main reasons investors purchase rental property is for the recurring income stream. But sometimes, things like natural disasters can leave the property uninhabitable. Landlord insurance may reimburse a landlord for lost income when the property is being repaired, and a new tenant is located.

Additionally, you could add extra coverage or riders to your policy to cover claims arising from flooding, water backup, natural disasters, personal items used in a rental property – such as furniture and appliances owned by the landlord – and more.

Landlord Insurance vs. Homeowners Insurance

A common question that many beginning real estate investors have is whether landlord insurance is really necessary when a homeowners insurance policy is already in place.

The answer is yes because the property is rented to somebody else instead of being used as the primary residence for the owner. If a homeowners insurance claim is made on a property that is really being used as a rental there’s the very real risk that coverage may be denied when the claims adjuster discovers the home is renter-occupied.

Although the two types of insurance coverage have many things in common, there are several items landlord insurance covers that homeowners insurance does not:

  • Being sued for physical injuries, mental duress, or even death by a party claiming a landlord was negligent or failed to keep the home safe and habitable
  • Vandalism, theft, and malicious damages caused by tenants or guests, such as stealing copper wire from the electrical system, pouring quick-drying cement down a drain, or stealing hardware and plumbing fixtures
  • Loss of rental income if a property temporarily becomes uninhabitable due to a covered loss such as major mold remediation, a fire, or flooding caused by a broken pipe or rainstorm

How Much Does Landlord Insurance Cost?

As a rule of thumb, landlord insurance currently runs about 25% more than a standard homeowners insurance policy. However, insurance for rental property can vary quite a bit (from $800 to $3,000 per year for a 3 bed/2 bath single-family rental, depending on the state), simply because every home is unique and every landlord has different coverage needs.

An excellent way to get a free instant quote online for landlord insurance is with Obie.

Obie offers instant insurance specifically built for landlords and real estate investors. Landlord insurance through Obie is available in all 50 states, and investors have insured more than $4 billion in property to date.

When shopping around for a landlord insurance quote, there are several factors insurers consider when calculating a premium, including:

  • Type of rental property, such as a single-family rental, small multifamily property, larger apartment building, condominium unit, or short-term rental
  • Neighborhood of the area the rental property is located, taking into consideration important criteria such as median home values, income levels, employment rates, and school district quality.
  • Physical characteristics of the rental property including square footage and lot size, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, elevation and number of floors, outbuildings such as a freestanding garage or guest house, and renovated basement or attic
  • Type of construction materials used in the home, original build date, and recent updates done such as a new roof, energy-friendly features such as double-paned windows, or a newer heating and cooling system
  • Location of a home within the neighborhood and proximity to a hydrant or fire station, and the estimated amount of time it would take to extinguish a fire in the unfortunate event that one occurred
  • Area of the county the rental property is located in, and whether the region is typically subject to natural disasters such as coastal flooding, hurricanes or tornadoes, or snow and ice storms

It is important to remember that the more comprehensive you need your landlord insurance to be, the pricier it will get. Therefore, it is crucial to go through the provided policy to ensure it covers the risks your property faces.

Some companies compete on price by giving you minimal coverage that might save you a few dollars upfront but may cost you dearly when and if a claim occurs.

Benefits of a Landlord Insurance Policy

Buying a landlord insurance policy might seem complicated, given the wide variety of coverage options available. However, purchasing insurance written explicitly for a rental property is necessary for investing in real estate.

A landlord insurance policy will help shield you against risks that could cost you a lot of money to repair damages on the property's structure and legal fees for claims against you.

For example, let's say your tenant or a guest is injured at your property and decides to file a claim against you. This could include their medical costs, settlement fees, legal costs,  loss of income for missed work, and mental duress.

Without the right landlord insurance coverage, you might have to pay for these claims from your hard-earned savings. Fortunately, a comprehensive landlord insurance policy with liability coverage will take care of these costs and save you from the possibility of losing your investment when faced with such incidents.

That's just one example. A landlord insurance policy also protects against burglary, vandalism, theft by tenants, damages arising from natural disasters, and loss of rental income. So you can rest easy and run your business knowing your investment is insured against a myriad of risks.

Tips for Buying Landlord Insurance

As you can see, buying landlord insurance requires some time and energy. But here are a few tips to help you ease the process of choosing the best insurer:

Understand the Different Categories

There are three landlord insurance categories, often referred to as dwelling policies (DP). You will see insurers showing packages under DP-1, DP-2, and DP-3. DP-1 are often offered at a low rate due to often excluding general liability, leaving gaps in policy coverage. DP-2 is more comprehensive and could extend to damages from natural disasters, while DP-3 is the most comprehensive and pricier. DP-3 covers every peril unless otherwise stated. Ensure you are aware of what risks your preferred category covers and excludes.

Make Comparisons

Do not settle for the first insurance company you stumble upon while researching. Get quotes from different insurers and compare the premiums and coverage. One insurer might have a pricier premium but provide you with more value that helps mitigate most of the risks. The end goal is to have an affordable policy covering as many risks as possible.

You can take the time to call several companies, or have Obie provide a quote from the many carriers they work with.

Have a Professional Agent

They say that the 'devil is in the details,” so it's essential to work with an insurance broker that specializes in providing insurance for landlords and rental property investors.

Any type of insurance can be tricky to understand because there is a lot of detail. Somewhere among all the industry jargon, many landlords misunderstand some of the terms and conditions and basic descriptions of their policy, only to realize later that they have made a mistake. The best landlord insurance broker will work hard to match you with the right insurance for your rental that best meets your needs.

Require Tenants to Take Out a Renters Insurance Policy

Depending on the landlord-tenant laws where a rental property is located, a landlord may be able to require a tenant to obtain a renters insurance policy before moving in.

Sometimes known as tenant insurance, renters insurance is paid for by a tenant. It provides coverage for loss of personal property, liability for damage caused or a guest's injuries, and additional living expenses such as a hotel bill if a rental property becomes temporarily uninhabitable due to damage.

Final Thoughts

Having landlord insurance is an essential part of owning and operating rental property. While there are countless companies that offer insurance, very few specialize in insuring landlords. The best landlord insurance company will help you find the right policy for your specific needs, with affordable transparent coverage and customized pricing plans to help reduce risk and protect you from the unexpected.

In the real estate business, “things happen,” and not having the right insurance coverage could result in significant financial damage.

Investors spend a fair amount of time searching for the best landlord insurance and reviewing various coverage options. However, the fact of the matter is that insurance policy language and fine print can be confusing even to the most experienced investors. Just as every rental property is unique, and so are an individual investor’s insurance needs.

In this article, you will learn about the different types of insurance for real estate investors so you can decide which ones are right for your specific needs.

Looking to protect yourself and your investment? Get an instant quote from Obie today. No paper applications, week-long waits for quotes, or back and forths with brokers. On average, people save 25% with Obie.

Does Rental Property Require Special Insurance?

A standard homeowners insurance policy and a landlord insurance policy for rental property have many coverages in common, but how the home is being used is what differentiates the two.

Landlord insurance provides coverage for liability and damages when a property is rented to a tenant. In contrast, homeowners insurance provides coverage for an owner-occupied primary residence.

Having the right insurance for rental property can protect against unanticipated and potentially devastating losses from things like a tenant’s slip-and-fall claim or a natural disaster.

The challenge is choosing the right type of insurance for your rental property because every property and investor has different needs. For example, a home located in a coastal area may require extra coverage for damage or flooding caused by a hurricane. Or, an investor with significant capital reserves may opt for a higher deductible to help keep policy costs low.

10 Types of Insurance Coverages for Real Estate Investors

The right insurance coverage is a critical part of owning and operating a rental property. Having too much insurance coverage may unnecessarily increase operating expenses and decrease potential returns, while the wrong coverage may lead to having a claim denied.

That’s why it’s vital to protect yourself and your investment by working with an insurance broker specializing in policies for landlords and real estate investors.

While every investment property and investor situation is unique, here are 10 types of insurance coverage to consider.

1. Hazard and Fire

Covers damages from fire and hazards, including water, lightning, smoke, explosion, storms - ice, sleet, and snow. However, one thing to keep in mind is whether the compensation from a claim will be enough to cover the damage.

Rising property values and increasing inflation could result in insufficient coverage the following year or even within a few months of buying the policy. That is why many in real estate investing opt for the total replacement cost of the property instead of its current cash value when the claim is made.

2. Liability

Imagine a tenant, guest of a tenant, or repair person was injured at your property and decides to file a lawsuit. As the property owner, you could be liable for paying out a significant amount of money to the injured party for medical expenses, missed work, and mental duress, among other damages.

That’s where liability coverage comes in. It protects you against risks of injury or damages that occur on your property. Liability insurance will cover the pay-out and legal costs if you are found liable for these damages. When purchasing landlord insurance, be sure to choose a high enough liability limit so that all costs are covered.

3. Flood Insurance

A standard hazard insurance policy helps protect you against water damage on your property. For example, it could be from a broken pipe. But what happens if your house floods due to heavy rains? Flood insurance is best (and may be required if you have a mortgage) if you have a rental property in an area designated as a flood zone or are worried a natural occurrence like a hurricane could lead to flooding.

4. Sewer Backup & Sump Overflow

Additional coverage for sewer backup can usually be added to a landlord insurance policy at a minimal cost. Sump overflow coverage is also recommended in geographies with basements.

In many municipalities, the owner is responsible for maintaining any part of the sewer line that is on the property. A backed-up sewer can quickly render a single-family rental home uninhabitable and inconvenience all tenants in a multifamily building.

5. Loss of Income

Whether you are a real estate investor with a single property or an extensive portfolio, you likely rely on the rental income. So, what happens if a disaster or peril covered in your insurance policy renders your rental property uninhabitable for a significant period?

It means you’ll endure months of no cash inflows. Loss of income insurance comes in handy here as it provides you with compensation for when you cannot rent the property following a catastrophic event, like a fire.

6. Rent Guarantee Insurance

In addition to losing rental income due to a disaster, you could also incur the same loss if you had a tenant skip rent payment for one reason or the other. Unfortunately, things happen in life regardless of how much due diligence you do to ensure you let your property to trustworthy tenants.

If the tenant fails to pay, you could find yourself without the cash inflows. A rent guarantee policy ensures that you receive reimbursement when such happens, so you do not experience an interruption in cash flows.

7. Worker’s Compensation

A worker's compensation policy covers medical care, death, and disability benefits for employees injured at work. It will also protect you as the employer if the employee files a case against you for the injury. Having an insurance policy with worker’s comp coverage is not necessary for all real estate investors. But if you have employees in your business, consider talking to your insurance broker about adding worker's compensation coverage.

8. Builder’s Risk Insurance

If you invest in real estate by buying and renovating houses, you may require builder's risk insurance. Coverage options vary, but as a rule of thumb this insurance may cover claims such as property damage, vandalism, or injuries to crews renovating the home.

Not every investor requires builder’s risk insurance. However, this additional special coverage may be well worth considering for extensive renovations and upgrades lasting longer than 60 days since coverage may be excluded by a regular landlord policy.

9. General Contractor

Some investors grow their rental property portfolios to the point where they can perform general contracting work independently, such as creating a rehab plan and hiring subcontractors to perform individual pieces of the project. General contractor insurance provides coverage for items such as pulling permits and individuals and companies working under the general contractor.

10. Umbrella Policy

There may be instances when a standard landlord insurance policy may not be enough to cover damages incurred. For example, the amount needed for an injured person’s medication, rehabilitation, and legal fees is more than your coverage limit. An umbrella policy provides extra insurance that kicks in when coverage from other policies ends.

Where to Find Insurance for Rental Property

Getting an insurance policy is one thing, but getting it from an unreliable insurer could be almost as bad as having no coverage at all. That’s why it’s essential to take the time to shop for an insurance broker who can help you choose the right coverage options for landlords and real estate investors.

One of the best ways to go about this is to work with a professional insurance broker who has access to industry-best rates for rental property and casualty plans to help ensure that your investments are protected. In addition, insurance brokers have a fiduciary duty to you, meaning they are mandated by the law to have your best interest in their dealings, not the insurance companies.

A second option is to ask other real estate investors. Hearing about first-hand experiences from others can help you determine whether a specific carrier is the best match for your insurance needs.

Another very efficient way for real estate investors to find insurance is to search online. The internet is a treasure trove of never-ending information, and you can find reviews from other investors and comparisons.

For example, Obie is an excellent source for requesting a landlord insurance quote and obtaining simple, affordable, and transparent coverage entirely online. There are no paper applications and no lengthy waits.

Simply answer a few property questions and get the right insurance and coverage for single-family rental property, multifamily buildings with 2-4 units, short-term rentals, and condominium units based on your specific needs.

Before purchasing landlord insurance, it’s a good idea to compare policies and the coverage included, in addition to the price. That’s because some insurance companies compete on price by giving you minimal coverage and little customer service when filing a claim.

Closing Thoughts

While real estate can be a profitable investment, there are potential risks to keep in mind as well. Having the right insurance policy for your rental property is critical because having the wrong coverage could result in receiving a lower than expected reimbursement or even having a claim denied entirely.

Your goals as an investor and the condition of your property will determine the type of coverage you need. The above types of insurance for real estate investors are an excellent start. Still, it is crucial to work with a professional insurance agent to ensure you get coverage that matches your needs.

Obie and Here have partnered to enable real estate investors to more easily expand their portfolios into the vacation rental market.

Why has Obie teamed up with Here?

Obie believes that partnership is key to further simplifying the insurance process for landlords and real estate investors. Partnership with Here is a perfect compliment to this goal, as their mission is to make investing in short-term rentals approachable and attainable for all. By partnering together, Obie is able to insure properties with Here more quickly and efficiently. This ultimately leads to better customer experience for Here customers.

Insurance should be simple and transparent for investors. By integrating with Here, a platform working to reduce the barriers to entry in real estate investing through fractional ownership in the vacation rental market, we are shaping the future of real estate investing, creating a future where processes are transparent and attainable for all. —Aaron Letzeiser Obie, Co-Founder

Who is Here?

Here is a fintech company that has increased accessibility to the short-term rental space. With Here’s first-of-its-kind marketplace, accredited and non-accredited investors are both able to purchase shares of luxury homes and vacation rentals. Investors can expect high yield from the high cash-flow vacation market, while remaining fully passive through fractional ownership. This means lower cost of entry and less time spent managing investments, while still retaining the benefits of direct property ownership, such as depreciation and expense write-offs.

By removing many barriers to entry in the short term rental space, Here is empowering all people to step into real estate investing. They are also increasing agility for current investors, allowing them to easily diversify portfolios and expand into the $1.8 trillion short-term rental market.

How Does Here work?

Here makes investing easy with their 3-step process. Simply browse their online marketplace to select the SEC securitized properties you want to invest in, fund, and then relax.

Here makes relaxing after you fund your investment especially easy. Their team takes care of all operational responsibilities, including insuring each property through Obie, while you get transferred your returns from the property while also retaining the tax benefits of property ownership.

Partner with Obie

Obie is providing support and ease to companies with a focus in tech-forward real estate solutions through partnership opportunities. To learn more about how to reduce friction in the process of insuring your assets through partnership with Obie, click here.

Obie has partnered with New Silver to make getting insured simple and quick for real estate investors who have leveraged New Silver’s lending technology. Investors can now get approved and close on a loan with New Silver in seven days and insure their asset instantly with Obie.

Why has Obie teamed up with New Silver?

Improving the experience of the investor is at the core of both our identities, so the partnership between Obie and New Silver is a natural fit. With this partnership, investors experience a seamless lending and insurance process that removes many frustrations experienced otherwise and will help New Silver close more deals, quickly.

“Securing capital has previously been a cumbersome process involving weeks of waiting and obtaining insurance has historically been a contributor to that slow process. We’re excited to provide those who have secured capital through New Silver the same speed and ease in obtaining the right property insurance. Partnering with New Silver allows us to collaboratively build a better experience for real estate investors that can help to reduce some of the administrative burden for both the originator and borrower.”—Ryan Letzeiser Obie, Co-Founder
“This is a very exciting time for New Silver and Obie. The partnership will allow for investors to have the proper tools to find a property along with easy solutions for insurance coverage to match their property. New Silver is all about simplifying solutions for real estate investors, and we believe this partnership to be the right step in the next direction.” —Kirill Bensonoff New Silver, CEO

Who is New Silver?

New Silver is a private lender for the modern day real estate investor to secure capital. New Silver funds fix and flips, buy and holds, and new construction real estate projects. From their competitive rates to their impeccable speed and agility, New Silver is redefining the borrowing process.

Not only does New Silver make lending quick, but they also make it simple. After applying online, you’ll view loan terms, complete automated underwriting using their proprietary underwriting model. Upon completion, you get approved instantly online with options to personalize your loan. All that’s left upon approval is downloading your proof of funds and completing your appraisal and closing. Taking a once stressful experience and turning it into a painless 6-step process.

How Does New Silver Work?

New Silver has built technology to originate and underwrite short-term bridge loans with more efficiency. Their automated underwriting model is a proprietary tech advancement that allows for the speed you see in the loan process. New Silver then securitizes those loans on the blockchain with capital from DeFi (Decentralized Finance) protocols. DeFi protocols use computer code to operate within the blockchain, reducing intermediaries and replacing traditional centralized institutions. The use of DeFi protocols helps New Silver further increase efficiency and reduce cost, directly improving the lending experience.

Partner with Obie

Obie is actively partnering with technology leaders across the proptech and fintech landscape to help independent investors close more deals and see greater returns. Contact our Partnerships Team by clicking here and learn more about how partnering with Obie can add value to your platform.

Obie and Fund That Flip are working together to eliminate the insurance headaches associated with closing on a loan on your investment property.

Who is Fund That Flip?

Fund That Flip is the nation’s leading lender of residential rehab loans — and the fastest-growing real estate fintech marketplace. The platform and team provide funding solutions for real estate entrepreneurs for rehab, new construction, and rental investment projects, and investors can earn up to 9% annual returns by passively investing in fractional shares of those loans. 

One of the biggest challenges for real estate entrepreneurs is accessing fast, reliable capital to fund their projects and scale their businesses. Banks can take up to 60 days to close on a property, and they usually don’t want to back a distressed property. Private money lenders can invest their money elsewhere with short notice, or the interest rates can be unsustainable. 

Fund That Flip is a relationship-based, hard money lender. By partnering with Fund That Flip, experienced developers can get pre-approved for funding up to $5 million, so they can confidently make winning offers on their next investment property. Because the company is powered by technology, application is easy and behind the scenes, things are happening fast. The team responds in 24 hours for funding commitments,  terms are flexible, and every developer gets a dedicated account team for 24/7 support. Plus, deals close in 5 to 7 days. Fund That Flip is  using technology and relationships to help real estate entrepreneurs scale their businesses and transform communities.

​​"Obie is quick, efficient, and competitive in pricing. They're easy to get in touch with, and their process is convenient. They've been a great partner for us and our borrowers." – Jen Sitko, VP of Closing, Fund That Flip

Why Obie has teamed up with Fund That Flip

Obie works with lenders like Fund That Flip to alleviate insurance-related headaches for a quick and easy lending process for real estate investors. Especially in today’s market, time kills deals, making speed the competitive advantage for lenders. Therefore, in addition to a team of dedicated account managers supporting Fund That Flip’s borrowers, our technology allows us to store Fund That Flip’s insurance requirements, ensuring each policy is compliant.

"Being introduced to Obie by our lender, Fund That Flip, was the best! We have saved so much time and money with Obie. We would recommend it to anyone." - Dekoro Homes, Real Estate Investor

About Obie

Obie is reinventing the insurance process for landlords and rental property investors. Whether you’re a seasoned investor or just starting out, Obie makes requesting a quote and getting coverage simple, affordable, and transparent. Obie simplifies the insurance experience by providing instant quotes. No back-and-forth with brokers or surprise costs at signing — the way insurance buying should be.

Obie is teaming up with Roofstock to help streamline investment property transactions. Now Roofstock and Stessa users can get instant insurance quotes in minutes without ever leaving their platforms.

Who is Roofstock?

Roofstock is building the world's leading real estate investment marketplace. Their mission is to make ownership of investment real estate radically accessible, cost-effective and simple.

Roofstock lets everyone from first-time investors to global asset managers evaluate, purchase and own residential investment properties with confidence from anywhere in the world. Since launch, they’ve surpassed $4 billion in transactions and continue to disrupt the industry with cutting edge technology and innovations.


Stessa, a Roofstock company, is a free software platform purpose-built to help investors track, manage, and report on their investment properties. Today, more than 100,000 investors use Stessa to track over 190,000 properties, valued at over $50 billion.

Why Obie has teamed up with Roofstock 

Insurance is among the most cumbersome components of getting started in real estate, especially when it comes to optimizing coverage for individual portfolios and budgets. Investors on Roofstock and Stessa can now purchase insurance for their eligible investment property through Obie.  

“Transacting on investment properties was a siloed process involving countless vendors and stakeholders. We teamed up with Roofstock because their trailblazing technology creates a seamless experience for purchasing, selling and managing properties. We are excited to be a part of the Roofstock customer journey - helping navigate the complex world of obtaining property insurance - without ever leaving Roofstock or Stessa. Ultimately, Roofstock is opening the doors for more people to build wealth through real estate.” 

The entire team at Roofstock has been amazing to work with and we are extremely excited to grow with them and continue serving the real estate investor community.” - Ryan Letzeiser, Co-Founder of Obie 

About Obie

Obie is reinventing the insurance process for landlords and rental property investors. Whether you’re a seasoned investor or just starting out, Obie makes requesting a quote and getting coverage simple, affordable, and transparent. Obie simplifies the insurance experience by providing instant quotes. No back-and-forth with brokers or surprise costs at signing — the way insurance buying should be.

With all the momentum and energy lifting the rental property industry, in particular single family rentals, proptech companies have emerged and partnered together to create an ecosystem that allows the individual investor to have a seamless end-to-end investment experience


Landlords have enough to worry about, from finding tenants to keeping up their property. Insurance and rent shouldn’t be another stressor. With Baselane and Obie’s new partnership, landlords can now keep track of all their expenses and obtain landlord insurance all within Baselane’s platform.

Who is Baselane? 

Baselane is an all-in-one banking and financial platform for individual real estate investors and landlords, designed to help them save time, increase returns, and automate their finances. Baselane offers banking, bookkeeping, rent collection, analytics, and more, in one simplified platform. 

Why Obie has partnered with Baselane 

This partnership provides a seamless and transparent way for investors to purchase or renew insurance policies on their rental properties.  

Baselane values its position as a one-stop-shop for financial management for landlords and real estate investors. With Obie’s integration, Baselane customers can do more than ever on the Baselane platform, including obtaining proper insurance at the most competitive rates.

In addition, Obie and Baselane share a mission to simplify investing in and managing rental properties. Both companies aim to help their customers grow their investment portfolios and optimize their finances – together, they can now serve a larger market of landlords on property insurance and financial management.

“We are very excited to partner with Obie to bring our customers the best coverage, prices, and digital experience when purchasing essential insurance for their investment property. Our Obie partnership allows our users to seamlessly obtain coverage and the best prices for their properties in minutes.”
- Mathias Korder, Baselane Founder

About Obie

Obie is reinventing the insurance process for landlords and rental property investors. Whether you’re a seasoned investor or just starting out, Obie makes requesting a quote and getting coverage simple, affordable, and transparent. Obie simplifies the insurance experience by providing instant quotes. No back-and-forth with brokers or surprise costs at signing — the way insurance buying should be.

2021 was anything but normal. For the world, as we entered the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, and for Obie, as we grew and expanded both our team and our product. Our mission from day one has always been to provide a fast, transparent, and affordable way to buy landlord insurance. To that end, we want to be as honest and open as possible with our customers, our employees, our partners, and our investors. Join us as we reflect on our progress this past year. 

Our product

This year was an exciting year of growth for Obie. We kicked off the year by closing on our $10.5 million Series A funding, led by Michael Brown and Battery Ventures and followed by Thomvest Ventures and a host of previous investors including Funders Club, Second Century Ventures, and Metaprop.

And from the business side, our growth was exponential. We wrote over $13 million in premium – an increase of 100% from 2020 and an increase of 1,200% from 2019.

Bar graph showing Obie's written premium growth from 2019 to 2021

As our product grew, so did our brand name. In Q4 of 2021, there was a 480% YoY increase in search volume around Obie and our product. More and more customers are choosing Obie, telling their networks about us, and renewing their policies. In fact, our renewal rate has never been higher, with 95% of customers choosing to stay with Obie for their insurance needs.

Customer satisfaction is one of our main goals. And although customers can get instant quotes through our website without ever having to talk to anyone, our team goes the extra mile to provide exceptional customer service.

We’ve received nearly five stars across the board. Frank C. summed up  the Obie experience well: “What a fantastic experience! A real person  answered the phone. I called back with questions 4 times and all 4 times Alex answered the phone and answered my questions thoroughly. Thank you, Obie Insurance!”

Our partnerships

What a year for partnerships! We are thankful for every single person and partner who has spent time reviewing our product, brainstorming ideas, and inspiring us to do bigger things.

In the past year, we’re pleased to have announced partnerships with:

        •Doorvest

        •Belong

        •Fractional

        •NestEgg

In 2021, our partners have helped us insure roughly $200 million in property. We choose these partners carefully, to ensure that they support not only our own goals, but our customers’ as well. These partnerships — from property management tools to investment platforms — make it easier than ever for landlords and investors to obtain instant insurance. 

Stay tuned for more partnership announcements coming in 2022!

Our team

Last, but definitely not least, are the talented group of individuals whose passion and hard work make Obie what it is today.

In the past year, we are proud to say we added 29 employees and created 13 new roles. We’ve added team members to every department: from a Channel Operations Manager to a Chief Risk Officer to a Content Marketing Manager and much more. 

At the beginning of the year, we were a small group of 12 people working from our office in Chicago, from an RV traveling the country, and from a handful of several other cities. Now, we’re a global company with 46 employees in 16 states and 2 countries.

As our team grows, so does our capacity for recognizing the talent of our team members. In October we rolled out our Top Dog program – an employee appreciation program that comes with both bragging rights and fun prizes. 

And because we work hard, we’ve got to play hard too, which is why we’ve launched the Obie Fun Committee to plan fun team-wide activities. To date, we’ve hosted Digital Drinks, Spooky Sips, trivia, a gingerbread house building competition, and holiday-themed Family Feud. 

Our team represents an incredible group of diverse and talented individuals and we can’t wait to continue celebrating them and their work.

Looking ahead 

As the fastest growing landlord insurance platform in the market, we finished 2021 strong, setting the stage for a successful and busy 2022.

We are only at the beginning of Obie's journey. You can expect to see new and exciting partnerships with companies and platforms who are the bedrock of the landlord space. And, you can expect technology that continues to improve the insurance experience with a growing team that puts clients at the forefront of everything we do (after all, half of us are landlords ourselves). We’re on track for our best year yet and can’t wait to show you what we have planned. 

Winter is here. And if you are a landlord with an empty property, you might find yourself worrying. It’s true that demand for rental housing dips slightly in the winter months (October through April). However, supply is also slimmer, which can work in your favor if your property is in a prime location.

If you’re looking for help attracting tenants and securing your rental income for the coming months, look no more. We’ve rounded up the top tips for renting out a property in winter.

6 Ways to Secure Tenants in Winter

1. Keep the property in good shape.

 A vacant home can be easy to overlook in terms of maintenance and care, especially if you own multiple units or properties. But prospective tenants don’t want to live somewhere that has been clearly neglected.

Stop by once a week (or more, if possible) and complete a few chores to keep your property in tip-top shape. Shovel the snow, dust the inside, and check that all appliances are working. While there, you’ll want to also make sure that pipes haven’t frozen and that no welcome critters have burrowed inside.

2. Boost your marketing.

You may be used to posting your listing on Zillow and leaving it at that. However, in the winter, you’ll want to ramp up your marketing efforts. Consider putting some money into advertising; Facebook advertising lets you post to specific locations, which can help you find tenants in your area.

Make sure you have high-quality pictures of your property when you do choose to post the ad online. Focus on the inside if the outside is snowy and barren. Or, if you have pictures of the property in the summer, you can add those to show prospective tenants what your property looks like outside of winter.

In addition to photos, why not add a 3D video walkthrough? This can help out-of-town renters who are moving see your property. This can also save you time on individual showings – a big win if you are managing multiple properties.

3.   Bring in the warmth.

Does your property have a fireplace? Heated floors? A connected garage? These are all things to bring to the forefront of your rental listing in the cold winter months. When you schedule a showing, be sure to turn up the heat too – prospective tenants want to imagine themselves in a well-insulated, cozy home. Even if you have set the heat down to save on costs, consider bumping it up a bit the day before a showing.

4. Stay flexible on lease terms.

If you are really struggling to attract tenants, why not sweeten the pot a bit? Offer short-term lease agreements. This can help you avoid getting into a long lease with a subpar tenant and opens doors to tenants who only need seasonal housing.

The downside to this is that you may be looking for new tenants in only a few short months. However, this could give you a chance to adjust rent during peak season to account for demand, offsetting the time your property sits empty.

5. Offer incentives.

You don’t want to lose your full rental income, but you also don’t want to wait too long to get a tenant into your unit. Consider running a rent special. Whether it’s a month of free parking or a lower rental price, this can widen your pool of applicants. 

Be careful on this one. You don’t want to slash rent prices so much that you’re below your minimum rent and don’t turn a profit. You also don’t want to sound like something is wrong with the property. Strike the perfect balance of appealing to tenants while maintaining a healthy profit for yourself. 

6. Talk to your current tenant.

Do you have current tenants who are looking to move when their lease is up? While this tip may not work in every situation, it’s worth talking to your tenants to see if they’d extend their lease. You may be able to compromise on a new lease if you reach out, saving both parties time and money.

Rent your home, sooner

 Don’t get the winter blues about your property. These tips should help you draw in a pool of qualified tenants. Not sure if it’s worth renting your house out at all? Check out our article Should I Sell or Rent My Home? 8 Factors to Consider.

Anyone renting out a property will need landlord insurance. Make sure you’re covered, no matter what the time of year. Try Obie and get a quote in two minutes or less.


Ah, the holidays. The season for relaxing, spending time with family, and enjoying some time off. You can’t wait to kick up your feet, drink some hot cocoa, and not think about work for a long weekend.

If you’re a landlord, this dream may not be 100% possible. Your tenants and property are always in the back of your mind. And when it comes to your tenants and the holidays, they are likely doing the same thing you are – staying inside, cooking, and having family and friends over.

While most tenants have good intentions, the holiday season brings an increased risk of accident – either to the tenants themselves or to your property. Here we’ll explore common home disasters to watch out for and whether your landlord insurance will cover the damage.

7 Holiday Home Disasters to Avoid

1. Cooking chaos 

Unless your tenants are traveling out of town (more on that later), they are likely cooking and baking up a storm in the kitchen. Gingerbread cookies? Sign us up!

According to the National Fire Protection Association, Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. Whether it’s a grease fire on the stovetop or a turkey left too long in the oven, fire and smoke damage can cause havoc on your walls.

Is it covered?

If your tenant calls you at dinnertime from the front lawn and you can hire sirens in the background – don’t worry. Your insurance will cover accidental fire damage. Your insurance may also cover loss of rent. This means if the damage is so extreme your tenant needs to move out for a few months, your insurance will pay you the rental income you’re missing out on.

2. Slip ‘n slide Christmas

 Wintertime means cold, wet weather. And while we love a white Christmas as much as the next person, we don’t love the dangers snow and ice can cause. Whether it’s your tenant sliding on the driveway and hurting themselves, or a tenant’s visiting grandma toppling over into the snow, winter accidents aren’t uncommon.

 Is it covered?

Hopefully your tenant is diligent about snow removal, unless otherwise stated in the lease. If he or she falls and is injured, your landlord insurance will protect you from being sued and will cover medical bills. And don’t worry, your tenant’s grandma is also covered under your landlord insurance.

3. Plumbing problems

Your tenants may not understand what you can and cannot put in a garbage disposal. Turkey bones? Hard no. Hot grease straight from the pan? No way!

Holiday food belongs in the garbage, but that won’t stop your tenants from clogging drains. And plumbing problems that prevent water or sewage from draining properly are usually an emergency. We don’t want to ruin your holidays, but you’ll want to respond ASAP to any plumbing problem.

Is it covered?

This one really depends on your policy and on the damage. If your tenant is using the garbage disposal as a garbage bin (that is, throwing everything and everything inside), then you'll be covered if you have an additional water backup endorsement. If you do not have a water backup endorsement, you may have to pay out-of-pocket (or out of your tenant's security deposit) to cover the damages.

4.  Burglar break-in

You know your tenant will be out of town for the holiday, leaving your rental property empty. Home break-ins spike around the holidays, as you know if you’ve seen any of the Home Alone movies. While security cameras and alarm systems can come in handy, not every property is 100% secure. So, if your tenant comes back to find a window broken and their TV gone, what do you do?

Is it covered?

Damage to your rental property – such as the broken window in this case – will be covered. Your tenant’s stolen property? Not covered under your policy, but your tenant should have renter’s insurance which will replace stolen items in this situation. 

5. Frosty pipes

Your tenant goes out of town on vacation and uh oh, they forget to turn the heat up to keep the pipes from freezing. You’ll want to advise your tenants to keep the thermostat set to at least 55 degrees. Frozen pipes lead to burst pipes, which leads to flooding, mold, and more.

Is it covered?

Luckily for both parties, landlord insurance will absorb the cost of repairing damages to the property if pipes freeze and burst. If there is any kind of water damage in your rental property, you’ll want to file a claim as soon as possible. Wait any longer and mold might grow – which may or may not be covered depending on your policy.

6. Decoration disaster

 This is a fun one that you may not discover until your tenants move out. Picture this: Your well-meaning tenants are decorating for the holidays and have some ideas for the décor. While your lease may mention normal wear and tear is accepted, your tenants accidentally break down some drywall.

Is it covered?

Yikes. It’s normal for tenants to decorate, and you should have a statement in your lease agreement about what can/cannot be done to the walls. Unfortunately, your tenant wrecking the walls is not covered. You’ll have to either dip into the security deposit to cover the damage or in the worst case, sue your tenant for damages.

Related reading: Does Landlord Insurance Cover Tenant Damages?

7. Holiday light fiasco

We all love a good holiday light show. But when lights are not attended to, or the wrong lights are used, your holiday light show might be a little too lit. Whether inside or outside, holiday lights pose a fire hazard.

Is it covered?

Yes, thankfully for you and your property, electrical fires are covered. And since any trees or shrubs in your backyard are part of your property, landlord insurance covers damages to those too. However, the amount of reimbursement may vary depending on the cause and extent of the damage.  

Stay safe this holiday season

We want you and your tenants to have a holly, jolly holiday season. If you manage your property on your own, consider reaching out to your tenants with a quick holiday safety guide. You may know if your tenants are going out of town and hopefully you or your property manager can keep an eye out for any potential hazards (e.g. lights left on, unsecured doors, extreme weather). 

No matter where you live or who your tenants are, you’ll want to invest in landlord insurance before it’s too late. And because we know you have enough on your holiday plate as is, we offer quotes 24/7 online. So why not choose the fastest and easiest insurance option? Get your quote today.

Considering buying a rental property? Smart decision! Investing in real estate is a great way to build another income stream and diversify your finances.

The only problem? You have no idea where to start. There are so many properties available and so much conflicting advice on how to buy a rental property. It’s easy to get overwhelmed.

The good news is buying a rental property doesn’t have to be complicated. That’s why we’ve put together this post with the top tips to simplify buying a rental property for first-time investors. Let’s get started with the first, and most important, tip — whether you want to be a landlord.

Tip 1: Make sure you want to be a landlord

Owning a rental property can provide additional income. However, being a landlord can be time-consuming, expensive, and stressful if you don't know what you're doing.

Finding, screening, and managing tenants can take time. Then once you find tenants, you'll have to respond to any issues or concerns they have (like a broken toilet or noisy neighbor), which could be a significant time commitment if you don't have a property manager.

Owning a rental property additionally comes with some stress and uncertainty. There may be times when your property sits vacant. Other times, a rowdy tenant might cause damage that needs your attention immediately.

If you're already stretched thin in both time and money, being a landlord might not be the right choice at this point in your life. However, if you have determination and grit, owning a rental property can be a great option.

Tip 2: Choose an experienced team

Especially when buying your first rental property, you need a great team to help. Your team should include professionals like a real estate agent, real estate attorney, home inspector, appraiser, property manager, contractor, and more.

Your real estate agent is a helpful resource for finding top-notch professionals. However, it’s important to choose a real estate agent well-versed in investment properties. That’s because buying an investment property is a different process than buying a primary home. A good real estate agent and investment team are key to being a successful investor.

Tip 3: Get your finances in order

This may seem obvious, but you'll need to be in good financial standing to buy a property. If you have a lot of debt or other monetary commitments, it can be hard to find extra money to buy and manage your property.

If you’re planning to buy your rental property with a loan, it’s also important to save up for a down payment. A 20% down payment means you don’t have to pay mortgage insurance, saving you a nice chunk of money. Having a sizable down payment also means you'll have a lower monthly mortgage payment.

After saving your down payment, you should look for a mortgage. Loans for investment properties are considered riskier by lenders. So, you have to meet higher requirements to qualify – like a good credit score, debt to income ratio, and personal savings. Once you meet the requirements, you can shop around for a mortgage with the most favorable terms (like a lower interest rate).

Financing your property isn’t the only option. You can also pay for your property in cash. This option can cut your expenses and make it easier to deal with vacancies (because you have no mortgage payment). It can take a while to save up to buy a rental property in cash so this may not be feasible for everyone.

Whatever method you choose to buy your rental property, you'll need to do some research before beginning the buying process.

Tip 4: Find the right location

After getting your finances together, it’s time to start thinking about where you want to buy a rental property. Choosing the right location can increase your profit, make it easier to find tenants, and minimize damage to your property. The wrong location can doom your investment from the start.

First, determine what general area you’re interested in. Do you want to buy a local rental property? Or do you want to buy a property in another city? Consider market trends – like whether the area is growing or shrinking in value. You should also consider whether the location has desirable amenities, such as good schools, close shopping, and outdoor activities.

You can also look at rentals in the area to see how much they’re charging for rent. This can give you an idea of how much your rental could make compared with the purchase price. If purchase prices are high and rental rates are low, you should probably avoid the area.

Tip 5: Decide on a property type

Along with location, you should also determine what property type you’re looking for. Do you want a single family or multifamily property? Do you want a free-standing house, duplex, condo, townhouse, or some other property type?

As a first-time landlord, you might want to choose a smaller property type. Instead of buying a 10 unit multifamily property, you likely want to start with only a few units. A single family house or a duplex/triplex are great starter options.

Tip 6: Evaluate individual properties for profitability

Once you know where and what you’re looking for, it’s time to find your rental property. You should evaluate each property that is a serious contender for profitability. Otherwise, you could be stuck with a money pit of a rental property.

To determine profitability, you first need to know what you could charge for rent. Then you need to subtract expenses from your expected rent. Your mortgage, taxes, and insurance are one category of expenses to consider. You also need to take into account reoccurring costs – like pest control, landscaping, or a property manager. For unknown expenses (like maintenance or vacancies), you can expect to pay roughly 15% of your rental income.

After subtracting these expenses, you should turn a profit. If the expenses are more than expected rental revenue, you shouldn’t buy the property. If you have positive cash flow after this calculation, the property could be a good choice.

Tip 7: Invest in landlord insurance

After you buy a property, you need to make sure it’s protected.

You put in all this work to find a great investment, so why leave it vulnerable to unexpected disasters? All it takes is one event, like a fire, hailstorm, or frozen pipes, to damage your property and make it unlivable. Without landlord insurance, you’ll have to pay for these expenses out of pocket – which can be thousands of dollars.

Instead of risking being on the hook for costly repairs, you should get landlord insurance. The right landlord insurance can protect your property from common perils (like natural disasters). It can also protect you from liability for tenant injuries.

Get a Quote

Landlord insurance is essential for any first-time investor. However, it’s important to choose the right policy. At Obie, we can help you find the insurance you need. Our modern approach is fast, transparent, and completely online. You can get a quote in minutes. Plus, you can save 25% on landlord insurance.

Get your quote today to start protecting your rental property.

At Obie, we believe real estate investing shouldn’t be complicated. And to that end, we are partnering with Fractional — a social platform for real estate investing with others. Through this partnership, investors can buy rental property and get coverage all in one place. The policy cost is immediately integrated into their cash flow models on the Fractional platform, creating a straightforward and simple approach to investing.

Who is Fractional?

Fractional makes real estate investing accessible. Members can co-own properties, collaborate on creative projects, and share ideas within the community. Fractional opens the door to the real estate market and creates a space where investors can build their confidence, portfolio, and network.

Fractional owners typically make 40% more compared to REIT and syndicate investors by taking advantage of direct ownership tax benefits and avoiding asset management fees. 

Fractional’s investors include Y Combinator, Will Smith, Kevin Durant, Goodwater Capital, Unusual Ventures, Global Founders Capital, On Deck, Contrary Capital, Soma Capital, and more.

Why Obie partnered with Fractional

Obie’s integration with Fractional means less barriers to real estate investing, a win-win for both newcomers and seasoned investors. By integrating with Obie, Fractional users can seamlessly obtain quotes and coverage for their properties. 

For Obie, this opens doors to those interested in investing but who may not have had the funds to singularly purchase rental property. Now, real estate investment is a little simpler and a lot more accessible.

“We are thrilled to partner with Obie! The partnership was a no-brainer as we are both aligned in our missions to deliver technology driven solutions to disrupt traditional industry models.”
-Fractional team

About Obie

Obie is reinventing the insurance process for landlords and rental property investors. Whether you’re a seasoned investor or just starting out, Obie makes requesting a quote and getting coverage simple, affordable, and transparent. Obie simplifies the insurance experience by providing instant quotes. No back-and-forth with brokers or surprise costs at signing — the way insurance buying should be.

Whether you’re a first-time landlord, an accidental landlord, or an experienced landlord with a new property, it can be hard to figure out how much to charge for rent. Charge too little and you could be leaving money on the table. Charge too much and you may have trouble finding tenants. So how do you calculate the right rent to charge?

We’ve got you covered. We’ll explain how to find the perfect rent to charge and even how to charge more for your property. Let’s get started.

How much should you charge for rent?

Get ready to rent out your property in no time. Here are four steps to calculate rental income:

Step 1: Look at other rental properties

The best way to calculate rent for your property is to research similar properties. You can check out other rental listings by browsing sites like Zillow or Apartments.com. These sites give you an idea of what other rentals are charging in your area, which is a good starting point.

You can also talk to property managers or other rental professionals (like a leasing agent). These rental professionals will have an idea of current market conditions. And they’ll know what similar properties are successfully charging for rent.

Another option is touring similar properties for rent. During this tour, you can ask the landlord, property manager, or whoever is conducting the tour how they decided on the rental price. This can give you insight into what factors you should consider when setting your rent.

Step 2: Adjust for property characteristics

After looking at similar listings, you should get a ballpark range for the average rental listing. You can use those listings to get a general idea of what market rate is. You'll then want to factor in your property's specific characteristics, including:

        • Square footage

        • Number of beds and baths

        • Closet and storage space

        • Updated design (appliances, counters, flooring, fixtures)

        • Layout (open concept vs. divided floor plan)

        • Single vs. multistory

        • Location (schools, crime rates, proximity to shopping)

        • Parking (attached garage, driveway parking, or street parking)

        • Security (gated community, safe neighborhood, alarm system)

        • HOA amenities (fitness center, swimming pool, outdoor gathering space)

Depending on your property, you should adjust the average rate up or down.

For example, you might find that the average property is renting for $1,500 a month. If the average property has four beds and two baths, but your property only has three beds and one bath, you should adjust your rent down. However, if the average property has outdated fixtures and is 1,700 square feet, but your property is updated and 2,000 square feet, you can adjust to a higher rent.

The average rental property probably isn’t an exact match for your property. Our recommendation is to do your research and .

Step 3: Consider minimum and maximum rent

After you’ve adjusted the average rent to better fit your property, you need to compare that number to your minimum and maximum rent.

Minimum rent

Your minimum rent is the lowest rent you can charge to cover all expenses. Along with your mortgage, insurance, and taxes, you also need to cover any maintenance problems that crop up (like a broken HVAC). Depending on how involved you want to be, you should also consider the expense of hiring a property manager.

Charging less rent than the minimum means you’ll lose money on your property. If you charge the minimum rent, you’ll break even but not turn a profit on your investment.

Maximum rent

The maximum rent is the maximum amount you can charge to cover all your expenses, make a profit, and attract the best tenants. Charging this rent will help you generate a strong cash flow and grow your property value.

After adjusting your rent in step two, you should arrive at a number that’s close to the maximum rent. You can tell if the rent you calculated is above your maximum rent if you have trouble attracting tenants.

Some landlords choose to charge slightly under their maximum rent. This can help you attract and keep tenants fairly easily. Tenants feel like they’re getting a bargain when they see that your property is priced slightly lower than others. However, you should only charge less than your maximum rent if you can still turn a good profit at that price.

Step 4: Keep an eye on the market

Unfortunately, the rent you set now likely won’t work in the future. Inflation pushes your expenses higher, meaning you have to charge more periodically.

Real estate market conditions can also change with the economy. In hard times, you might see rents going up because people can no longer afford to buy a home. This increased demand means you should also raise prices.

Seasonality can also impact rental pricing. In most places, people want to move when it’s warm. So, there’s more demand in the summer pushing rents up. However, in the winter, there’s lower demand – so rents fall.

Keeping an eye on the market can help you adjust the rent you charge to maximize profit. However, before increasing rent, make sure to check your local rent laws. That way, you won’t face legal consequences for raising rent.

How can you charge more for rent?

If you calculate rent for your property and it’s lower than you want, you have a few options to increase rent:

Make it pet-friendly

Making your rental pet-friendly can help you attract more renters. Be careful though. Unruly pets can cause havoc on your property. Consider a monthly pet charge to cover any repairs you’ll need to make when the tenant moves out.

Update appliances and fixtures

If your rental property is out of date, you can make simple changes to make it more attractive. You can swap outdated carpet for stylish wood or wood-look floors. Updating paint to neutral and on-trend colors is another easy way to improve your property. You can also update appliances. Switching out old appliances for new, energy-efficient appliances can be attractive to renters and reduce utility costs.

Include utilities

If you include utilities (gas, electricity, water, trash, internet)in your rent, you can charge a higher rent. However, you should make sure the higher rent more than covers utilities to increase your profit.

Turn a profit and keep happy tenants

Figuring out how much to charge for rent can be tricky. However, it’s important to charge the right amount to maximize profit and attract the best renters. By looking at similar properties, considering your property characteristics, figuring out minimum and maximum rent, and keeping an eye on market conditions, you can charge the best rent for your property.

Along with charging the right rent, it’s also important to protect your property. The right landlord insurance can protect your investment from unexpected events (like fire or natural disasters).  

If you’re looking for the quickest and easiest way to get landlord insurance, Obie is the way to go. Obie’s modern, transparent, and completely online process can get you a quote in minutes.

Get your Obie quote today.

At Obie, we want to help everyone achieve the dream of owning and renting property — whether that’s a young family renting out their first home, or a seasoned investor with a portfolio of properties.

That dream shouldn’t be complicated and stressful. And as a company streamlining the way landlord insurance is bought, we value partners who provide similar transparency. This is why we have partnered with Belong to help provide new landlords with rental property insurance. 

This partnership will connect those looking to move and rent their homes with a simplified way to get a landlord insurance quote. Instead of spending hours (or days!) shopping around for property management companies and insurance, this partnership provides the convenience and ease of getting both in one place. 

Who is Belong?

Belong is a full service end-to-end home management company backed by A-list investors such as Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), GGV Capital, and Battery Ventures to name a few. Their mission is to create authentic belonging experiences for those who own much-loved homes, and those longing for that feeling.

For the homeowner, Belong will handle everything for you. For starters, they are going to treat your home exceptionally well. Their in-house, full-time team of Pros will take care of all maintenance and reconditioning on your home, showing up on time, and doing work correctly the first time around.

They'll find really great Residents that will love your home almost as much as you do. And because Belong is building for the future, everything is handled right through their platform, from rent and maintenance requests to communications with your dedicated Concierge. 

What is property management?

Property management is all the maintenance and administrative work involved with renting out a property. From collecting rent to handling repairs, property management companies help landlords with a variety of services. Property management companies are ideal for landlords who live far away from their properties or those who would prefer to relax and collect passive income without being too involved.

Many property management companies offer basic services such as:

        • Tenant screening

        • Rent collection

        • Mortgage and utility payments

        • Repair and maintenance service

        • Navigating landlord-tenant relationships

Why Obie has partnered with Belong 

In addition to the property management services listed above, Belong offers even more services to take the hassle out of renting. These services include moving, cleaning, storage, and even furnishing your home to make it Instagrammable. Belong partnerships offer tons of discounts. Because Belong is truly a full service end-to-end home management company, it only makes sense that new landlords be able to find insurance for their properties while using Belong’s services.

Here is where Obie comes in. We want to eliminate as many hurdles as possible to getting affordable, straightforward rental property insurance. And by partnering with Belong, homeowners new to the landlord world can eliminate one more touchpoint in the rental process. 

“We were able to save my homeowner almost $4,000 by having him go through our partnership with Obie for his landlord's insurance. The first of many (hopefully) residents and homeowners we will be able to help get insured and save them money moving forward!" - Will Leavitt, Member Success Manager

Obie also works with Belong Home customers to help them understand the differences between Homeowners Insurance (HO3)  and Landlord Insurance (DP3) because the coverage and risks each policy protects against are different. Landlord insurance is designed to protect non-owner occupied properties - so DP3 policies usually cover the residence and other structures on the property. If you’re interested in learning more about the differences check out the video between Belong and Obie’s co-founder Aaron Letzeiser here. 

About Obie

Obie is reinventing the insurance process for landlords and rental property investors. Whether you’re a seasoned investor or just starting out, Obie makes requesting a quote and getting coverage simple, affordable, and transparent. Obie simplifies the insurance experience by providing instant quotes. No back-and-forth with brokers or surprise costs at signing — the way insurance buying should be.

Get your Obie quote today.

At Obie, we want to reduce barriers to becoming a landlord, which is why we’ve created a streamlined insurance product that provides a coverage quote within minutes. And to further our mission, we are partnering with Doorvest — a full service real estate investing platform that helps everyday people buy and own rental homes completely online. 

Who is Doorvest?

Doorvest is an entirely-online platform for owning income-producing private real estate. They empower individuals to unlock homeownership, passive income, and equity by simplifying the process of buying and managing an affordable, high-yield rental home. It is the only platform that provides complete transparency via a comprehensive breakdown of monthly cash flow, property activity, legal documents, and reports through an investor dashboard. 

How does Doorvest work?

Doorvest enables customers to own a rental home and generate passive income without ever having to visit the home. Doorvest works with the individual to identify and understand their investing criteria, goes out and sources the home, renovates it, resells it outright to the customer making them 100% homeowners,, then takes over long term operations. 

Doorvest offers customers a Home Renovation Guarantee for all renovation-related repairs and maintenance on investment properties for one year in tandem with guaranteed resident placement for one year, meaning customers can anticipate all costs affiliated with their investment upfront. 

Why Obie partnered with Doorvest

Obie sees Doorvest as a future leader in the real estate industry. Doorvest expands access to real estate investing by using their technology to buy and manage high-yield investment homes for the independent investment community. Obie empowers Doorvest to focus on their core offerings, while eliminating the headache of procuring insurance on every property as they continue to scale.

“We feel confident using Obie for our coverage needs, as well as referring our clients to Obie because they are extremely responsive, offer many coverage options, and have significantly simplified our process when it comes to obtaining insurance.”

About Obie

Obie is reinventing the insurance process for landlords and rental property investors. Whether you’re a seasoned investor or just starting out, Obie makes requesting a quote and getting coverage simple, affordable, and transparent. Obie simplifies the insurance experience by providing instant quotes. No back-and-forth with brokers or surprise costs at signing — the way insurance buying should be.

As a landlord, you want to keep your tenants happy. Happy tenants stay longer and (hopefully) treat your property with respect. Unhappy tenants cause a high tenant turnover, meaning more time and money on your end to find new tenants, and are more likely to cause damage to your property

To keep tenants happy, you’ll need to address tenant complaints quickly and effectively. Unresolved issues can lead to some seriously angry tenants at best and a lawsuit against you at worst. As a good landlord, staying on top of tenant complaints and dealing with them in a quick, professional manner can go a long way to keeping tenants.

Wondering how to do this? That’s what we’ll cover in this post. We’ll go over the top common tenant complaints and ways to resolve them. Let’s get started with the first common complaint, maintenance issues.

8 Tenant Complaints to Address Now

1. Unaddressed maintenance problems

One of the most common tenant complaints is unresolved maintenance issues. Whether it’s a blown-over fence, flooded basement, an appliance that doesn’t work, or anything else, tenants expect you to fix the issue promptly. After all, they are paying for everything to be in working order.

The fix:

It’s important to respond to tenant maintenance requests as soon as possible. If it’s not something you can fix immediately, keep tenants updated on what you’re doing to fix it and how soon they can expect a fix.

You should also have a good maintenance recording and tracking system. That way your tenants have a convenient way to report a problem and you can respond as quickly as possible.

2. Rent Increases

Another common tenant complaint is rent increases. You need to increase rent periodically to keep up with inflation and the rental market. Not surprisingly, tenants hate paying more to rent your property. A rent increase, especially a high one, can lead to dissatisfied tenants.

The fix:

You should inform tenants of any rent increases way in advance. That way they aren’t surprised when it’s time for them to renew their lease. Be sure to explain any increases; a small bump in rent due to inflation is reasonable and means tenants aren’t actually paying more, which can resolve tenant frustration over rent increases.

3. Security deposit

Tenants might also be unhappy with your security deposit requirements. Maybe you require a full month’s rent as deposit or maybe you have strict cleaning requirements. Either way, no one wants to part with money they may or may not get back. If you do have to keep part of or all the deposit to address any tenant-caused issues, tenants may feel like you are overcharging them.

The fix:

To resolve this complaint, you should have clear wording in your lease about what damages will result in keeping the security deposit. You should also verbally explain this. That way, if you have to keep the deposit, there are no surprises as to why.

4. Communication

An unresponsive or hard-to-reach landlord is also a common tenant complaint. It can be frustrating for tenants to wait days or weeks to hear back from you – especially if they need help with an urgent issue.

The fix:

Give tenants an easy way to contact you, whether that’s your personal cell number or an email address you check daily. Make it your goal to respond within 24 hours and sooner if it’s an emergency. This ensures you’ll see any tenant communication and be able to respond quickly.

5. Lack of privacy

Tenants also often complain about a lack of privacy. You own your property and may want to check-in on it from time to time. But when tenants are renting it, you can’t come in whenever you’d like unannounced. If you are popping by with random inspections all the time, tenants feel their privacy is invaded. There’s another reason to avoid doing this — frequent inspections are illegal in many states.

The fix:

First, you should look at your local rent laws to see how often you can enter your property and how much notice you have to provide tenants. Then, you should reduce how often you inspect your property. Reducing inspections provides tenants privacy and makes sure you’re legally compliant. Your rental agreement should have an acceptable notice period for when you can enter the house or unit — a common example is giving tenants 24-hour notice before you schedule any inspection or routine work.

6. Safety concerns

Safety concerns are another common tenant complaint. Whether it’s a door that doesn’t lock, a run-down fence, a dangerous walkway, a high neighborhood crime rate, or any other issue, tenants may not feel safe on your property.

The fix:

If any locks or other safety measures are broken, you should promptly fix them. For a high crime neighborhood, you can invest in an alarm system, high-quality locks, security cameras, and other measures to make tenants feel safer on your property.

7. Loud neighbors

Along with safety concerns, tenants commonly complain about noisy neighbors. Your property’s neighbors might frequently throw loud parties, have loud music playing all night, or just generally be noisy all the time. Dealing with excessive noise can tank tenant happiness.

The fix:

If the loud neighbors are also your tenants, you can resolve the issue by talking with the tenant. You might have to evict the tenant or not renew their lease if they won’t change their behavior.

You have fewer options to deal with noisy neighbors who aren’t your tenants. You could try the old-fashioned way of walking over and talking with your neighbors. If they are renters, you may have to resort to contacting their rental company or the extreme last resort of filing a noise complaint to the police.

8. Pests

The last common tenant complaint is pests. Ants, roaches, rats, mice, and any other insect or rodent infestation can not only cause your tenants to be unhappy, but these unwanted pests could damage your property. Not addressing the infestation can pose serious health risks to your tenants and violate rent laws.

The fix:

While some creepy crawlies are a natural part of life, any infestation of rats, mice, termites, and other potentially hazardous creatures should be dealt with ASAP. To prevent future infestations, you should have a pest control service regularly treat your property.

Happy tenants, happy landlord

To be a successful landlord, you need to keep tenants happy by addressing any complaints. Happy tenants are more likely to renew their lease, or at the very least, leave you a positive review online. The key is communication. Address complaints as soon as they crop up. If that’s not possible, communicate with your tenants on what you plan to do regarding the situation.

However, before you even have tenants to keep happy, you’ll need to protect your property. The right landlord insurance can help you make sure that unexpected events (like fires, natural disasters, and frozen pipes) don’t put your property out of commission.

As a landlord, you don’t have time to go back and forth with traditional insurance. Or, wait weeks for a quote. That’s why Obie has a modern, transparent, and completely online approach to landlord insurance. You can get a quote in minutes and save an average of 25%.

Get your free Obie quote today.

As part of the goal to simplify the rental process, Obie has partnered with NestEgg. NestEgg is available for current landlords who are looking to achieve financial independence and passive income with one simple property management app. This partnership lets landlords manage their properties while saving time and money all in one place. 

Who is NestEgg?

NestEgg is a property management company that takes the stress out of being a landlord. Using smart technology backed by real human support, the NestEgg team provides automated rent collection, financing, maintenance support, and much more. 

NestEgg offers on-the-ground support including contractors, local leasing agents, yard care companies, onsite cleaners, and more. Each NestEgg landlord has a dedicated rental manager who handles the day-to-day responsibilities of being a landlord. And with three distinct pricing options, NestEgg landlords can be as hands-off or involved as they want.

Why Obie partnered with NestEgg

Obie’s integration in NestEgg’s platform creates a seamless insurance experience for NestEgg users. Traditionally, insurance has been a manual and time consuming process, but with Obie’s embedded solution, users can easily request and bind quotes without ever leaving the NestEgg platform. This partnership creates a new level of convenience for landlords while providing them the protection they need. 

"Our mission at NestEgg is to help smaller independent real estate investors reach financial independence faster. We partnered with Obie because they've built the first insurance solution uniquely focused on their needs and success." - NestEgg Team

About Obie

Obie is reinventing the insurance process for landlords and rental property investors. Whether you’re a seasoned investor or just starting out, Obie makes requesting a quote and getting coverage simple, affordable, and transparent. Obie simplifies the insurance experience by providing instant quotes. No back-and-forth with brokers or surprise costs at signing — the way insurance buying should be.

It's every landlord's worst nightmare. Your tenants move out and instead of finding your property in good condition, you discover your tenants trashed your property.

Whether intentionally or through wear and tear, your tenants caused thousands of dollars of damages. You now have to deal with fixing up your property on top of finding new tenants.

Your first thought may be: Can landlord insurance help me pay for the repairs?

We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but unfortunately, many landlord insurance policies don’t cover tenant damages. The good news is there are other ways to pay for tenant damages. We’ll cover that and what tenant damages are (and aren’t) covered by landlord insurance in this post.

Let’s start with a look at the different types of tenant damages.

What tenant damages does landlord insurance cover?

Tenant damages fall into three main categories — accidental, intentional, and wear and tear. Landlord insurance usually only covers accidental damages. Here’s a closer look at each type of tenant damage.

Accidental tenant damage

If a tenant accidentally damages your property, such as starting a grease fire or causing pipes to freeze, landlord insurance will likely cover it.

What accidental tenant damage is covered depends on your landlord insurance policy.

Intentional tenant damage

Unlike accidental damage, intentional tenant damage is caused on purpose. From spray paint graffiti, to smashed walls, broken doors, and more, an angry tenant can cause a lot of damage to your property.

Many landlord policies don’t cover intentional tenant damages. If your tenant intentionally damages your property, you can potentially cover the damages with the security deposit. In extreme cases, you can also sue your tenant for the damage.

Wear and tear

Wear and tear damage is the most common type of tenant damage. Even the best tenants can cause damage to your floors, walls, appliances, counters, and more from everyday life. With the right tenants, you can minimize this damage. But, you probably can’t avoid it altogether.

Like maintenance issues, landlord insurance doesn’t cover wear and tear tenant damages. Instead, you can often use the security deposit to fix any of these damages.

What can you do about tenant damages?

If your property has intentional or wear and tear damage, you can’t pay for the damages with an insurance claim. This doesn't mean you have to pay for the damages out of pocket either.

Security deposit

Instead, you can first use the security deposit to repair tenant damages. If tenants only left wear and tear damage, hopefully the security deposit will cover everything. Before using the security deposit to pay for damages, be sure to check your local rent laws. Many states have strict laws and procedures landlords need to follow when keeping the security deposit.

Sue for damages

The security deposit may not completely cover intentional damages. There are two options if that’s the case. You can either pay for the rest of the damages yourself. Or, you can sue your tenant for the damages. This legal process can be time-consuming and expensive, so it should be a last resort.

Eviction

Most tenants who intentionally damage your property will take off after causing the damage. However, some will stay on your property to continue causing damage. If this is the case, you need to get the tenants out of your property.

You can’t just kick out tenants though, as this violates your lease and rental laws. Instead, you need to evict your tenants. This involves filing the right paperwork and going before a judge. If you need to evict your tenant, it’s a smart idea to work with a lawyer. That way, you can resolve the issue as quickly as possible –— without getting into legal trouble.

How can landlord insurance help with tenant damages?

Depending on your policy, landlord insurance will usually cover accidental tenant damage. But, if tenants cause so much intentional or wear and tear damage to your property that you can’t rent it out, landlord insurance could help.

If you have loss of rental income coverage, your landlord insurance could reimburse you for rent while you’re repairing your property. You’ll still have to pay for damages yourself or with a security deposit. But, you won’t have to worry about the lost rent during repairs.

Does landlord insurance cover tenant belongings?

Landlord insurance covers accidental damage and many natural disasters that can damage your property. So if your landlord insurance covers damage to the structure, does it cover tenant belongings that were also damaged?

Nope, it doesn’t. That’s why your tenants need renter’s insurance. Landlord insurance only covers the structure and your liability. Depending on your policy, you can also add coverage for other structures on your property and loss of rental income coverage. Because landlord insurance is designed to protect you, it doesn’t cover any tenant belongings.

How can you prevent tenant damages?

The best solution to tenant damages is preventing them in the first place.

To prevent intentional tenant damages, you need to meticulously screen potential tenants. This can help you weed out any tenants who have caused damage elsewhere. By thoroughly screening tenants, you can choose tenants who have a great rental history. This rigorous screening significantly decreases the risk of intentional tenant damages.

For wear and tear damages, you should inform tenants of repair costs. You can usually put the security deposit towards wear and tear damages. If it doesn’t completely cover the damage, you can bill tenants for the remaining cost. Tenants will be more motivated to take care of your property if they know how much they’ll have to pay for any damages.

Finding the right landlord insurance

While landlord insurance doesn’t cover all tenant damages, it can protect you and your property from events like:

        • Fires

        • Water damage

        • Freezing pipes

        • Hail

        • Windstorms

        • And more

Plus, landlord insurance covers accidental damages and can help make up for lost rent from tenant damages. It's important to choose the right landlord insurance to get the correct coverage. Check out our guide to DP1 and DP3 policies to learn more about different types of landlord insurance.

Once you figure out what type of landlord insurance you might need, it’s time to get a quote. With Obie’s fast, transparent, and completely online process, you can get a quote in minutes.

Get your Obie quote today.

You love your home. You’ve probably put a lot of time, work, and money into it. But now it’s time to move on. Maybe you outgrew your home, need to relocate, or found a better property — whatever the case, you’re wondering what to do with this property.

The most obvious answer is to sell your home, right? You can’t live in two places at once and you might still have a mortgage on the first property. Selling your home means an instant lump sum of cash. No stressing out about two properties and no complicated taxes at the end of the year.

But you have another option: renting out your house. With renting, you could establish a stream of steady passive income, and your home will likely appreciate should you want to sell in the future.

So, how do you know if renting or selling is the right choice? We’ve broken it down for you in this article. Let’s start with a look at reasons to rent out your home.

Should I rent my home?

Selling is the more common of the routes, but renting can help you build an additional income stream and hold on to your home if you ever want to go back. Even if you're a new landlord, transitioning a property from your own home to being a rental is doable—even for first-timers. Here are four factors to consider for renting out your home.

1. Rental profit

One of the best reasons to rent is for the extra income. When you rent your home, it should bring in enough to cover your mortgage, any upkeep costs (like maintenance, HOA, or management), and still turn a profit. If you can earn more from rental income than your total expenses cost you, you should consider renting out your house.

When considering profitability, you need to make sure your home is a good rental property. This means that it’s attractive to renters with in-demand finishes and amenities. You'll want to make sure your home is in a desirable location and that everything is in working order before renting — the more up-to-date your house is, the more rent you may be able to charge.

2. Selling return

You might also want to hang onto your home if it won’t sell for a lot. Depending on how much equity you have in your home and any selling fees, you might make little to nothing from selling your home.

Even if you make a decent profit from selling, you could stand to make more long-term from renting it out. In this case, it’s a smarter financial move to rent your home instead of selling it.

3. Future market

A buyer’s market probably isn’t the right time to sell. When the market favors buyers, you’ll get less for your home. Waiting out the market until it swings in favor of sellers could be a better idea.

And, if your home is in an up-and-coming area, you’ll make more from holding onto your home. You can likely charge more for rent every year. Plus, after waiting a few years, your home could be worth much more than it is today — making renting your home a better option.

4. Sentimental value

Another reason to rent out your home is if it has sentimental value. While you have to leave your home for now, you might hope to return some day. If you sell your home, there’s not much hope for ever getting it back.

For this reason, renting is best. Your rental income will pay for your mortgage and any upkeep. And when the time is right, you can come move back or pass the home to someone else in your family.

Should I sell my home?

Renting out your home is a great option for most people. However, there are some cases where selling is better. Here are four signs you should sell your home.

1.  Seller’s market

Selling could be the right option in a strong seller’s market. A seller’s market helps you get the most for your home, with fewer contingencies and concessions. This type of market is the best time to sell your home.

A lot of equity in your home could make it even more profitable to sell during a seller’s market. The more equity you have, the more you earn from selling your home. With a lot of equity, selling in a favorable market could make you more short term than renting.

2. Fewer expenses

Renting out your home can be a great way to generate more income. However, renting out a house also comes with all sorts of expenses. You’ll have to worry about extra taxes, maintenance, HOA fees, administration, property management fees, and more. If you don't have the time or money to deal with the administrative costs of renting, selling is a better option.

3. Managing tenants

Finding great tenants is key to successfully renting out your home. However, finding tenants involves marketing, tenant screening, applications, and more. After you find the right tenant, you then have to keep tenants from damaging your home, respond to any tenant maintenance requests or problems, and make sure you’re compliant with all landlord laws.

While you can hire a property management company to make managing tenants easier, it can be a lot of work for an unseasoned landlord. Don't have time to look into tenants? Consider selling.

4. Bad rental

You likely weren't thinking of rental potential when you bought your house. And that's okay. Some properties may not be great rentals. You may not have kept up with home maintenance, or maybe the property isn't in an ideal location. Either way, it may be more hassle than worthwhile to try renting out your home, and you may stand to lose money if your home sits unoccupied.

Like the idea of renting but your current property just isn’t right? Consider taking the profits from selling your “bad” rental and invest in something new.  

Should I sell or rent my home?

After considering these eight factors, you might still wonder whether to rent or sell.  

For many people, renting is a better option than selling. Renting can help you build an additional income stream and can be more profitable in the long run. Between rent and appreciation over time, you can often make more from renting than selling. You also get to hold onto your home if you’re sentimentally attached.

However, renting out a home isn’t for everyone. Your home may not be in shape to be a rental or maybe you owe too much on your mortgage that you couldn’t turn a profit. In that case, it’s better to sell and then invest in a different rental property.

If renting sounds like the right fit, you can check out our guide to becoming a landlord and top tips for first-time landlords to get started.

But before you start renting out your home, you'll need landlord insurance. Specifically designed for a property you don’t occupy, landlord insurance can help you protect your investment. And, this insurance could protect you from liability for tenant injuries.

The easiest way to get landlord insurance is with Obie. With our transparent, modern, and online approach, you can get a quote in minutes.

Get your free landlord insurance quote today to start renting out your home.

When you purchase a house, the paperwork is staggering. And when it comes time to pay, there seems to be an endless number of people on the receiving end of your checks. A financial institution, the government, realtors, the list goes on.

To make life easier, mortgagee billing exists. In this article, we define mortgagee billing and escrow accounts, explain how it all works for insurance, and show you how to switch insurance policies mid-term.

What is mortgagee billing?

Mortgagee billing refers to the situation in which a mortgage lender (usually a bank or credit union) pays for the homeowner’s, or borrower’s, insurance premium through an escrow account. You may also see this referred to as escrow billing.

What do I need to set up mortgagee billing?

In order to set up mortgagee billing with your insurance company you will need a few pieces of information.

        •The mortgagee clause

        •The loan number

        •Optional: An email or fax number so your insurance agent can send policy documents.

If you already have your policy set up on mortgagee billing, the mortgagee clause and loan number will be listed on your policy declarations page. If it is a new purchase, your lender will be able to provide that information. Be aware that the mortgagee address is usually a different address than where you send your checks.

What is an escrow account?

An escrow account is similar to a savings account, but it is managed by your lender (your mortgage provider). When you close on your new property, your lender will estimate how much you will owe for yearly property taxes and insurance. That total is divided up and added into your monthly mortgage payments. 

Note: This is an estimated total and you may owe more money at the end of the year. We always recommend having savings on-hand if you do receive a bill at the end of the year.

Why choose mortgagee billing?

In some cases, you may not have a choice as to whether you use mortgagee billing or not. If you are using a mortgage lender and have less than a 20% down payment, your lender will likely require you to use an escrow account.

Benefits of having an escrow account

Mortgagee billing makes life easier for all parties involved. Some benefits for you are:

        •An escrow account may help you budget your money. By paying monthly, you don’t need to make large annual payments for taxes and insurance.

        •The lender generally takes care of paying your hazard insurance and property taxes. Without an escrow account, you’d be on the hook for paying for these individually.

Mortgagee billing FAQs

Now you know what mortgagee billing is. And chances are, if you have a mortgage, you’ve been using mortgagee billing anyway. While you have little control over your property taxes, your landlord insurance is completely up to you (as long as you are sufficiently covered). You likely have some specific questions regarding insurance and your escrow account, so let’s dive in.

How does mortgagee billing work for my new purchase?

Congrats on the new property! For a new purchase, you’ll need to choose a new insurance carrier and send a declarations page to your lender.

During the closing process of your property, your carrier will inform the client and lender at the closing of the total premium. At the closing, it’s the title company who cuts the check and sends it to your carrier, usually by mail.

How can I switch carriers before my policy period ends?

Say you find a better policy, either because it’s more affordable or provides better coverage. You’re halfway through your current insurance policy, but don’t know how the cancellation and refund process works. 

The first step you’ll want to take is to reach out to your current insurance company. Let them know you’d like to cancel and ask if they have any specific steps you need to take to get a refund for your unused policy.

We highly recommend signing a new policy before canceling your old one or at least making sure you are canceling your old policy on the same date your new policy starts. Any lapse of coverage could result in you paying more to your lender, who may put forced placed insurance on your property during any lapse.

Once you cancel your old policy, your insurance company will typically send the refund of an unused premium directly to you. Since your lender pays for the premium up-front out of escrow, you’ll want to check with them regarding any outstanding balance on your escrow account. Since the lender pays for your new policy, they’ll want a refund to be reimbursed in your escrow account, otherwise you can expect a higher escrow payment next year.  

What happens if I don’t tell my lender?

If you are switching policies midterm, you will need to tell your lender. If you forget, your lender will assume you are not covered at all and will put forced-place insurance on your property.

While your new insurance company will send documentation to your new lender via mail or email. It is always important for you, the client, to inform the lender that you are switching insurance policies as they may have a specific website, email, or fax number you or your insurance company would need to send documents to to make sure the policy gets paid.

What is forced-place insurance?

Forced-place insurance is insurance your lender will automatically enroll you in if your current coverage lapses or if they deem the coverage to be inadequate. Forced-place insurance is usually much more expensive than a traditional policy so we recommend avoiding it at all costs

If you are put on forced-place insurance even though you have other coverage, you can call your lender and let them know as soon as possible. They should backdate to when your new coverage started.

What if my loan gets sold?

This is a common situation. Lenders make money by selling your mortgage loan to other companies. If this happens, don’t panic. Your mortgage and insurance premiums will stay the same. Once your loan gets sold, your new lender should reach out to your insurance company.

Sometimes this doesn’t happen, or the new lender sends something to the client (you) to do, like forwarding over documentation or contacting your insurance provider. It’s important that you pay attention to anything your new lender sends you or asks of you.

What happens if my premium changes?

Your insurance premiums may change on an annual basis. If this happens, you may owe more money at the end of the year. Your lender will increase your escrow payment as needed to cover the additional cost – this applies to any increase in taxes too. And, in the case that you are overpaying, you’ll get a refund for any extra money in your escrow account.

It’s the end of my policy term. How do I renew?

If you are staying with your carrier, this one is easy. Your carrier is required by law to send a renewal notice to both you and your lender. Your carrier will bill your mortgage lender and the lender uses your escrow money to renew the policy. Then, the cycle of escrow continues where you make monthly payments that are used to pay off this premium over the course of a year.

Your one stop shop for landlord insurance

Still have questions as you look to close on your property or switch carriers? We’ve got your back. Obie offers a streamlined process to getting a new quote on your rental property. Our team is on-hand to answer your questions and help you save time on insurance shopping. Let us do the hard work for you. Start your Obie quote today or reach out to our team with questions.

It’s been raining for days. With the dreary weather, you want to stay inside where it’s dry. Only, your property isn’t completely dry. You or your tenants notice water on the walls, floors, or even the basement. Somehow, water is getting in — and causing potentially lasting damage to your property.

Sounds like a nightmare, right? Your roof isn’t leaky, and your siding is in good shape. How would water get in?

The culprit is likely right outside your door: Clogged gutters. Not cleaning your gutters regularly can lead to a host of problems, including water damage to your property.

Luckily, there are easy ways to spot clogged gutters and if noticed early on, are easily remedied. Don't let clogged gutters ruin your property. In this post, we’ll give you tips to fix even the most stubborn clogged gutters. To start, let’s take a look at what damage clogged gutters can cause.

What kind of damage can clogged gutters cause?

Gutters — almost every property has them. Yet gutter maintenance is probably not something you think about regularly. Compared with managing current tenants, finding new tenants, fixing any appliances or equipment that breaks, gutter maintenance can seem unimportant. You can always get to it later, right?

Wrong! Gutter cleaning isn’t something you should be skipping. In fact, it should be on your checklist of home maintenance chores to do twice a year. Clogged gutters can cause mold, foundation damage, basement flooding, roof leakage, wall and ceiling damage, and more. All of which can be expensive (not to mention time-consuming!) to fix.

The good news is that regular gutter cleaning can prevent these problems. Whether you DIY or hire a professional, keeping up with gutter maintenance can save you a big headache down the road.

What are the signs of clogged gutters?

You know that clogged gutters can lead to pretty serious problems for your property. But how do you know if you have clogged gutters? We’ve got you covered with the top nine signs your gutters are clogged.

1. Sagging, collapsing, or pulling away gutters

This seems obvious, but if your gutters are old and in rough shape, there's a good chance you may have a clog. Debris can weigh down your gutters and eventually, your gutters will sag or collapse under this weight. Before collapsing, your gutters might also start pulling away from your roof. If it looks bad, it probably is bad.

2. Water spilling over

Your gutters should direct rainwater to the downspout and away from your property. If you see water spilling over the sides of your gutters, there's likely debris built up inside, blocking the water from properly flowing.

3. Standing water or washed away dirt

Another exterior sign of clogged gutters is standing water and eroded dirt. If your gutters are working properly, you shouldn’t see any water around the foundation of your property. When it’s not raining, washed away dirt around your house can also be a sign your gutters are clogged.

4. Stained siding

Your siding can be stained for a variety of reasons. One common reason? You got it — clogged gutters. If your gutters are clogged, they can’t direct water away from the sides of your property. This leads to water stains on your siding.

5. Exterior mildew or rust

Along with stained siding, mildew or rust on the exterior of your home are signs of problematic gutters. Trapped or overflowing water inside your gutters contributes to the growth of mildew and mold. If you have vinyl or metal siding, you may also see rust spots. While rust is comparatively harmless if caught early, mildew and mold can lead to health problems for you and your tenant if left to spread.

6. Plant growth

Do you have a tree close to the side of your house? You could have more than a few pesky falling leaves to worry about. Tree and plant debris that get stuck in your gutters can actually lead to plant growth. Seeds get trapped in your gutters, and with the right amount of water and sunlight, they can start to sprout in your gutters. Keep the plants in your garden and clean your gutters.

7. Birds and other animals

That plant growth and debris can be quite inviting for little critters to nest in. If you notice excessive debris in your gutters, keep your eyes peeled for small nests. You could have birds or other wildlife living rent-free in your gutters.

8. Water in living spaces

You can also spot clogged gutters from inside your property. If you see water or dampness on your walls, ceilings, or floors, it’s a sign that your gutters are clogged.

Related reading: 11 Signs of Water Damage on Your Property

9. Water in your basement

One last way to spot clogged gutters is by looking at your basement. Water in your basement can be caused by many problems, but it's usually never a good sign. Clogged gutters could once again be at work here, allowing rainwater to hang out near your foundation and seep into your basement.

How can you fix clogged gutters?

You now know how to spot clogged gutters. But what happens if you find a clog? You can either unclog them yourself or hire a professional.

If you go the DIY route, it’s important to be safe. Cleaning your gutters usually involves getting on a ladder. Without the proper safety precautions, it’s easy to fall and be seriously injured. Before cleaning your gutters, you need to make sure you have a sturdy ladder and someone on-hand to hold the ladder or assist you.

Before you climb the ladder, you need to gather supplies. Sturdy gloves are a must to protect your hands from any sharp debris. You also need a bucket to collect whatever is clogging your gutters. And, you might need an extension tool to clean hard-to-reach spots.

Once you have your supplies, it’s time to clean your gutters. With your gloved hands (or a scoop!), you need to reach into your gutters and pull out any debris. You then put the debris in your bucket and repeat the process for all gutters around your property.

Sound time-consuming, tedious, and even a little gross? It can be, which is why DIY gutter cleaning isn’t for everyone. Hiring a professional can be more expensive. But, a professional can save you hours — which could be worth the cost. Plus, if you have a clog in harder-to-reach areas (like your downspout), you might need a professional anyway.

Whether you DIY or hire a professional, it’s important to clean your gutters as soon as possible after spotting a clog. That way, you can prevent any damage to your property.

Time to get cleaning

Cleaning your gutters is one of the less glamorous parts of being a landlord. As much as we hate pulling gunk out of gutters, clean gutters are key to preventing problems ranging from mold to foundation damage.

If you can’t remember the last time you cleaned your gutters, don’t worry; you can start any time. And if you spot any of the signs of clogged gutters, you can try DIY gutter cleaning or hire a professional.

Another way to protect your property is with landlord insurance. From natural disasters, to fires, to any other unexpected event, landlord insurance can help you protect your investment. The easiest way to get landlord insurance is with Obie’s fast, modern, and transparent approach. You can even save up to 25% with Obie.

Get started protecting your property today with your free quote from Obie.

Picture this: You’ve successfully moved into your second house. You decided to keep your first house as a rental property — with the help of your new tenants, your property expenses are more than covered. You get to hold onto the property you put your sweat and tears into while earning passive income.

Sounds great, right? If only things could be as easy as a snap of your fingers. To get to the point of earning income through a rental property, you’ll need to learn how to successfully rent out a house. Renting out a house can be a long, stressful process if you don’t know what you’re doing. But with a little help from friends (us!), you can get the ball rolling sooner.

Your guide to renting out your house

1. Research, research, research.

Before spending any time or money on your property, make sure your property is rentable. Look into your local laws — do you need a rental license? Research zoning laws, tax laws, and landlord tenant laws. Check your homeowners association covenant for specific rules on renting. You may also want to look into property management companies, if you would prefer someone to manage your property for you.

Lastly, research rent rates in your neighborhood or area to see how much you should charge for rent. Look for properties with similar square footage, rooms, and location. While you’ll want to charge enough to cover your expenses, if you charge too much, it’ll turn away prospective tenants.

Tip: As part of your research, look into your rights and responsibilities as a landlord. Understand what you are responsible for vs what responsibilities your tenants have. This can prevent conflict down the road and help both parties coexist successfully.

2.  Prepare your property.

Next, you’ll want to make sure your property is a desirable place to live. Now is the time to go through your house thoroughly and look for any damages or repairs that need to be fixed. Legally, you need to adhere to safety standards in your state. This means having working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, as well as meeting other local safety and building codes. Make sure to address any safety hazards such as missing railings, loose steps, and broken appliances.

Take note of the condition of your home. You’ll want to either do a walkthrough with your new tenant open move-in or have them fill out a move-in checklist, but now is the time for you to note how your property currently looks. Take photos.

3. Draw up a lease.

Your rental lease agreement is the binding contract between you and your tenant. If you have a lease that’s too vague, you may be on the hook for certain damages. If your lease is too restricting, you may be infringing on your tenants’ rights.

One way to ensure your lease covers all rules, requirements, and disclosures, and without violating any local or federal laws, is to hire a lawyer to review the document. You can also go online and use a free template. Just remember that online templates may not cover everything you need.

4. Attract tenants.

Now that your property is in good shape and ready for showings, you’ll need to find tenants to move-in. Here you may want to list the help of a professional, such as a real estate agent, who can help with showings and open houses. You can also list your property on sites such as Craigslist, Zillow, or Trulia to draw in your own tenants.

5. Screen tenants.

Screening tenants can save you headaches later down the road. While certain laws are in place to prevent discrimination against race, sex, disability, religion and more, you can set rental criteria to make sure you rent to upstanding tenants.

Common criteria include a minimum credit score, sufficient income, positive references from previous landlords, a clean background check, and/or proof of steady income. 

You may disqualify a tenant who has a low credit score, history of evictions, criminal history, or who doesn’t fit your screening requirements. Other valid disqualifications include rejecting a smoker for your smoke-free property or refusing to rent to someone who has a pet if you choose to keep your property pet-free. 

6. Shop for landlord insurance. 

If you were previously living at your property, you likely have a homeowners policy. While this was great for your previous situation, you’ll want to update to an insurance policy specifically for landlords. Homeowners insurance may not cover your tenants or your property if damage is done while you are not living there.

As soon as you find a tenant to inhabit your property, you’ll want to set up a landlord insurance policy. Landlord insurance doesn’t have to be complex. Obie makes the process straightforward and easy — you can get a quote in minutes without having to speak to anyone. Get your quote today.

7. Start collecting rent.

At this point, you’ve successfully rented out your house. You’ve priced your rental just right to attract a trustworthy tenant, you’ve ensured your property is as safe as can be, and you’ve got your property insured against unforeseen events.

Now it’s time to start making that passive income. Collect a security deposit and place it in an escrow account, if applicable. Then, decide how you will collect rent. If you live close by and are planning on managing the property singlehandedly, you may prefer a direct check. Otherwise, you can use online rent collection tools for a quick and easy payment method.

As a landlord, you likely have more questions than “How do I rent out my house?” Check out our article, 11 Tips for First-Time Landlords, to learn more about being a landlord.

Drip drip drip. It’s that leaky faucet again. You’ve been meaning to get around to fixing it but haven’t had the time.

Besides, what’s the worst that could happen?

Unfortunately, even the smallest leak can lead to costly water damage, mold, and more. Good news: If it’s caught early, it can be easily fixed. To do that though, you need to know how to spot the signs of water damage on your property. We’ve rounded up 11 common signs of water damage to help you.

1. Dark or discolored spots

Notice any dark or discolored spots on your walls, ceilings, or floors? There’s a chance it could just be dirt, or it could be water damage.  

Start by looking around toilets, sinks, washing machines, and other sources of plumbing. Water may have seeped down to floors below so remember to look up at the ceiling too.

2. Paint problems

Another sign of water damage is paint problems on the interior or exterior of your property. You should check for any paint that’s bubbling, cracking, flaking, or otherwise damaged. This can indicate that water is sitting behind your walls, siding, or any other painted surface.

3. Warped flooring

Along with paint issues, problems with your flooring can also indicate water damage. Walk around barefoot. Water damage will cause carpets to feel damp, wood floors to warp, and vinyl flooring to buckle.

If you feel or see water damage to your floor, be sure to investigate. There’s a chance the subfloor is also damaged, which you’ll want to fix ASAP as it’s an important structural component.

4. Damp surfaces

While it’s normal for areas like bathrooms to be slightly humid after showers, most surfaces in your home shouldn’t be damp or moist. Feel your walls, especially around windows and pipes. If you feel any moisture where you wouldn’t expect it — you may have water damage.

5. Pooling water/ puddles

Pooling water and puddles are also indicators your property could have water damage. Unless you had a flood, or your toilet is overflowing, you shouldn’t have pools of water anywhere.

Clean up any pooling water as soon as you see it to prevent further damage. If the water keeps coming back, you likely have a leak somewhere. Check out your basement or crawl space, as it’s the most common area for pooling water.

6. Bad outside drainage

The outside of your property can also provide clues that you have water damage. Look at the grating and drainage of your property. If water flows towards or pools near your property, you could have water damage.

7. Clogged or broken gutters

Cleaning your gutters is like going to the dentist — you should be doing it twice a year for optimal results. If you put it off, you’re in for a bad surprise when you see water overflowing onto your roof or foundation. Leaves and debris need to be cleared out so rainwater can be redirected away from your property.  

If you’re diligent in your gutter cleaning, you should have no problem. Otherwise, check your gutters! They may need to be replaced to keep water flowing away from your house.

8. Roof damage

Your roof exists to protect your home from the elements. However, if it has missing shingles, is sagging, or even has a small hole, it's not keeping out water. Instead, your roof could be a source of water damage to your property. Part of this could be because of your gutters (see #7) or because of the age of your roof. Either way, you may want to call a roofing pro to check it out. 

9. Water sounds

Hear that dripping sound even when the faucet is off? Water damage isn’t always visible. If you hear constant sounds of running water (even when no water should be running), it’s time to check your pipes for any leaks and inspect your walls for any damage behind them.

10. Moldy/Musty smell

Not to be too obvious, but if it smells like mold — it probably is mold. Walk around and notice if there’s a particular area that smells musty. Maybe it’s down in the basement near a leaking water heater. Or perhaps it’s in the walls behind a sink. Mold can cause many health problems so if your water damage has progressed that far, it’s time to call in an expert.

11. Increased water bill

If your tenants are complaining about a high water bill, it might be time to investigate. Either they’re taking way too long of a shower, or you have a leak that’s causing your property to use up more water than usual.

Inspect your property for leaky pipes or fixtures — or hire a plumber if you’re not sure what you’re looking for. It may be a simple fix that will prevent headaches down the road.

How can I fix water damage?

Finding water damage can be alarming. The key is to catch the problem early on. Whether that’s a leaky pipe, roof damage, poor drainage, or any other cause, you need to stop the water before you can address any damage.

Then, you need to work on repair. Hopefully the damage hasn’t spread yet. Start by cleaning up any standing water and then assess the area. You may need to remove drywall or flooring — a task you can do on your own or hire out.

Any mold, even the smallest spot, will need to be treated ASAP. Otherwise your tenants’ health could be at risk. We prefer calling in the professionals for this job.

Does landlord insurance cover water damage?

Fixing water damage can be costly, especially if the damage has spread. But with the right landlord insurance, you could have help paying for repairs. Depending on your policy, you may be covered in the event of a burst pipe or ruptured water heater.

If you’re looking for the right landlord insurance, consider Obie. With Obie, you can get a transparent quote online in minutes. Plus, landlords save an average of 25% with Obie.

Get your landlord insurance quote today to protect your property from water damage and other damaging events.

You know you need landlord insurance. The only issue? Landlord insurance is confusing — especially trying to find the right policy. Two common policy options you’ve probably come across are dwelling policy 1 (DP1) and dwelling policy 3 (DP3).

But, what are the differences between those two policies? And how do you know which one is right for you and your property? We’re here to answer your questions. Let's start by taking a look at the differences between DP1 vs DP3.

What is DP1 insurance?

DP1 insurance offers the least coverage of the dwelling policies. It is a named peril policy, which means that it only covers the perils explicitly stated in the policy.

These perils typically include damage from:

       • Fire and smoke,

       • Lightning,

       • Explosion,

       • Wind and hail,

       • Riots, and

       • Volcanos.

DP1 insurance typically doesn’t protect against many common damage-causing events including:

       • Frozen pipes,

       • Roof damage from falling trees,

       • Theft, or

       • Water damage.

DP1 generally only covers the main structure. However, you can sometimes add surrounding building (also known as other structures on your policy) and personal property coverage to DP1 insurance. 

If your property is damaged by a covered peril, DP1 insurance will typically pay actual cash value (ACV) to repair the damage. ACV is the replacement cost minus any depreciation. 

So, for example, if your 10-year-old roof is damaged in a covered peril, DP1 insurance will pay you what your 10-year-old roof is worth today — not the cost of a new roof today. This depreciated value is often well below what it costs to fully repair the damage. With DP1 insurance, you may have to pay tens of thousands out-of-pocket to fix any damage.

What is DP3 insurance?

Whereas DP1 insurance offers the least coverage, DP3 insurance offers the most coverage. As such, DP3 insurance is the most popular landlord insurance. 

DP3 insurance is an open peril/risk policy. This means it covers all damage-causing events except those explicitly listed in the policy. Some common exclusions you might see are nuclear hazards, war, and mold. 

Along with being an open peril policy, DP3 insurance generally includes additional coverage like liability and personal item coverage. With liability coverage, you’re protected if a tenant injury occurs on your property. This coverage means you won’t be on the hook for the tenant’s medical or legal expenses. Many DP3 policies, but not all, will provide some coverage for your personal belongings at the home, such as appliances and lawn equipment.

With DP3 insurance, you can also add loss of rent coverage. A damaging event like a fire or natural disaster could make your property unlivable until it’s repaired. This means you can’t collect rent. If you have DP3 insurance with loss of rental income coverage, your insurance will pay you this lost rent if the damaging event is covered. 

For any covered damage, DP3 insurance pays the replacement cost value (RCV) in most cases (an exemption example is in the case of a roof older than 15 years; here, depreciation would be factored in). Instead of paying for the depreciated value, RCV pays the current market rate for materials needed to repair your property. With DP3 insurance, you could receive the full amount needed to make any repairs — potentially saving you tens of thousands in out-of-pocket costs. 

Do I need DP1 or DP3 insurance?

Now that you know some of the differences between the policies, you’re probably wondering which one is right for you. 

Reasons to choose DP1

If you’re on a very tight budget, DP1 insurance could work for you. Because it offers less coverage, DP1 premiums are generally lower than DP3 premiums. Just remember, cutting corners on cost now may backfire. If your property is damaged, you’ll end up paying more to repair it. 

DP1 insurance could also work for you if you have a vacant property or expect to be without tenants for at least a month. Since there’s no one living in the property to cause damage, you likely don’t need as much coverage. This can make DP1 insurance a good fit. 

Reasons to choose DP3

However, if you want the most protection for your property, DP3 insurance is the way to go. It provides protection for the most events. And, DP3 insurances provide additional coverage for liability, personal items, or even loss of rent. Overall, DP3 insurance will protect your property better than with DP1 insurance. 

You might also choose DP3 insurance if you want to reduce out-of-pocket costs. Your premiums will likely be higher with DP3 insurance, but the amount you have to pay if your property is damaged is often much lower. That’s because DP3 typically pays RCV for any damages. So, DP3 insurance is the right choice if you want to keep unexpected out-of-pocket costs to a minimum. 

Let's review: DP1 vs DP3

When choosing landlord insurance, you might be stumped on which dwelling policy to choose. DP1 insurance provides the least coverage and is cheaper.  DP3 insurance provides comprehensive coverage with the option to add additional coverage. However, DP3 premiums tend to be higher. 

We can't tell you which to choose, but we hope this article helps break down the differences in DP1 and DP3. Once you’ve figured out which dwelling policy is right for you, it’s time to get a quote. The easiest, fastest, and most transparent way to get your landlord insurance quote is with Obie. Completely online, Obie’s modern approach to landlord insurance saves landlords an average of 25% on insurance. 

Check out your Obie quote today.

As the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the nation, everything closed — leading to record high unemployment and economic turmoil. Many faced widespread job losses and an alarming number of tenants couldn't pay their rent. But, having renters out on the streets or in homeless shelters could accelerate the already rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus. Because of this, Congress, and later the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), decided evictions posed too large of a health risk and shouldn't continue.

More than a year later, the CDC has attempted to extend the eviction moratorium through October 3, 2021 for counties with high community transmission rates. Although the Supreme Court has ended the CDC moratorium, individual states have their own eviction protections still in place.

If you’re wondering what that means for you and your property, you’re in the right place. In this post, we’ll explain what a moratorium is, what you need to know about it, and what options you have if you’re struggling due to tenants not paying rent.

What Is the eviction moratorium?

The eviction moratorium is a COVID-19 pandemic measure put into place in March 2020 by the CARES Act. It prevents landlords from evicting tenants due to nonpayment of rent. While the original moratorium expired on July 24, 2020, it has been extended several times since by the CDC.

While the eviction moratorium protects many tenants from eviction for not paying rent, tenants must meet the following criteria to qualify for protection:

      • Earn less than $99,000 as a single person or $198,000 if married and filing jointly.

      • Have attempted to get rental assistance to pay their rent.

      • Are experiencing a large loss of household income due to things like losing a job, having work hours reduced, or having high medical expenses.

      • Must be paying as much rent as they can.

      • Need to show that they would be homeless if evicted or that they would have to move in with family or friends.

If a tenant can meet all those requirements, landlords cannot legally evict them under the moratorium. This stay on evictions is intended to give tenants time to recover financially. However, the eviction moratorium does not erase back rent. Tenants are still obligated to repay all missed rent once they cover financially.

Where does the eviction moratorium stand now?

Although the CDC attempted to prolong the national eviction moratorium in counties with high community transmission rates, the Supreme Court effectively ended this mandated moratorium as of August 26, 2021.

However, eviction moratoriums do still exist in some states with high transmission rates. States such as California, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, and New York are a few states who have protections in place for tenants. See an updated list of state eviction protections to view all states.

How does the eviction moratorium impact landlords?

While the eviction moratorium was designed with renters in mind, it significantly impacts landlords. During the eviction moratorium in 2020, renters fell behind an estimated $30-$70 billion in unpaid rent. As that figure is only for 2020, tenants are expected to be behind even further in 2021. Over six million households are currently struggling to pay rent.

This lack of rental income has caused several problems for landlords, especially small, mom-and-pop landlords. Without rental income, landlords may struggle to pay their mortgages and/or their property taxes. Plus, no rental income can make it impossible for landlords to maintain their property, leading to long-term property issues.

Although the eviction moratorium protects tenants from being homeless, it creates problems for landlords who are dependent on monthly rent.

What if landlords go against the eviction moratorium?

Landlords who evict qualified tenants can face fines as high as $100,000. If the eviction results in a tenant's death, the maximum fine can jump to $250,000. Along with fines, landlords can also spend up to a year in jail for violating the moratorium.

Although the eviction moratorium prevents evictions for nonpayment of rent, it does allow landlords to evict tenants in certain situations. With a court order, landlords can evict tenants for any of the following reasons:

      • Conducting criminal activity on the property.

      • Endangering the health and safety of other tenants.

      • Damaging or posing an immediate risk of damage to the property.

      • Violating health and safety codes.

      • Breaking the lease in ways other than nonpayment of rent or late fees.

What can landlords do about missed rent?

If you're struggling due to tenants not paying rent, certain programs can help. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 created a $25 billion rental assistance relief fund. And, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 allotted a further $21.55 billion in emergency rental assistance for both landlords and tenants.

As a landlord, you can apply to this program to get 80% of the rent you're owed covered. In exchange for this rental assistance, you have to forgive the other 20% of what tenants owe. While this won't make up for all the rent owed, it can go a long way to help you pay for your mortgage, taxes, and other property expenses.

Tenants can also apply for rental assistance directly for up to 12 months. With this assistance, tenants can pay missed rent and utilities. By default, this rental assistance is paid directly to the person owed payment (such as the landlord). In the case that the landlord or utility providers don't want to accept direct payments, the assistance can be paid to the tenant.

Wrapping up

At the beginning of the pandemic, Congress enacted an eviction moratorium, which was later extended by the CDC and then on a state-by-state basis. This eviction moratorium prevents landlords from evicting tenants due to nonpayment of rent if tenants qualify for protection. If you are a landlord or tenant struggling due to missed rent, rental assistance established by two congressional acts can help.

With eviction moratoriums still in place in a few states, the last thing you need to worry about is how to pay for damages to your property. Whether it's a natural disaster, an accidental fire, or other damages, you need the peace of mind and protection the right landlord insurance coverage can provide.

With Obie, you can save an average of 25% on landlord insurance. Not to mention the time you save by using Obie's modern, transparent, and completely online process.

Get your landlord insurance quote today to protect your property.

Fall brings to mind cozy sweaters, colorful leaves, and cooler weather. And for many homeowners, it may be a reminder that winter is coming and homes need to be winterized in preparation.

As a landlord, you may not have winterizing as a top-of-mind activity, especially if your rental property is in a state not known for cold weather. However, with the weather being increasingly unpredictable due to climate change, it’s a good idea for anyone to prepare their home for cold snaps. 

Here, we’ve rounded up our top list of fall chores to help you prepare for winter. Get started early so your tenants aren’t left in the cold come winter.

8 fall chores to winterize your rental property

1. Clean out the gutters

If your home has gutters, there’s a good chance leaves and debris are collecting inside and blocking water from flowing down. Gutters should be cleaned twice a year, once in the fall and again in the spring.

There’s a reason gutter cleaning is a regularly outsourced job; chances are high that you have a local gutter cleaning company in your area. If you’re looking to save money, gutters can be cleaned out in a few hours with the help of a sturdy ladder, a small shovel, and a hose. 

Left uncleaned, gutters can cause a whole host of problems. Overflowing gutters can lead to flooding in basements, water damage to the roof, and damage to landscaping. If you’re going to start with a chore, this one should be high-priority.

2. Seal any cracks or holes

While you’re outside checking out your gutters, take a look at the exterior of your building. See any cracks between the siding, trim, windows, and doors? Caulk is an inexpensive way to close off these gaps and protect your house from cold air seeping in. You’ll stop moisture from coming in too, which can save you the worry of mold later down the road.

Sealing up holes will also prevent unwanted wildlife from sheltering in your home. Mice can fit through holes that are only millimeters wide, so be sure to not overlook even the smallest of gaps. We love our furry friends, but we’d prefer them not to be chewing through bags of food in the pantry.

3. Have your HVAC serviced

Servicing your HVAC system should be a must-do on any landlord’s maintenance list. Furnace filters should be changed about every three months, depending on usage and size of the filters. Letting your filters get too dirty can lead to a faster breakdown of your furnace and inefficiencies.

An HVAC technician will also check to make sure your furnace is running properly, that there are no leaks or problems with wiring, and that your thermostat is working efficiently. 

Tip: Companies are busier with emergency calls for broken furnaces later in the season. If you don’t want to be the emergency call, schedule your service before a cold snap hits.

4. Prepare your plumbing

There’s nothing worse than getting a call in the middle of the night from your tenants after a pipe has burst. Flooding, water damage, mold...the list of problems this can cause goes on. 

Be prepared early. If applicable, turn off your outdoor water supply or insulate it using pipe foam insulation. Disconnect any hoses and let the water fully drain out. Check the outside of your building for any cracks — cold air can seep in here and lower the indoor temperature, causing pipes to freeze and burst.

Tip: Tell your tenants to keep the thermostat at 55 degrees or higher, even if they are going out of town. This can prevent your indoor pipes from freezing while the unit is unoccupied. 

5. Clean your chimney

Chimney sweepers have evolved since Mary Poppins’ time. If you have a chimney in your property, it’s recommended you have your chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional once a year. Without this, flammable creosote may build up and cause an unwanted fire.

Think your tenant doesn’t use the fireplace? You may have some unpaying tenants you don’t know about — squirrels, birds, and other critters often seek refuge inside chimneys. Regularly attending to your chimney can clear these friends out and keep your flue clear. 

6. Buy a good deicer and other winter tools

Don’t leave your tenants to brave icy sidewalks on their own. Whether or not you have snow removal in your rental agreements, be a good landlord and keep a bag of a deicing agent such as salt or sand in any common outdoor spaces. 

Tip: Only use as much deicer as needed. Salt can damage wood, rust metal, and harm plants.

No one wants a tenant to slip and fall on their property. If you don’t provide snow removal services, consider keeping a shovel on-hand in a common area such as a basement or garage. 

7. Set up a schedule for snow removal

If you own a larger property, such as an apartment building, you may be legally required to clear snow from sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, and other common areas.

Hiring out snow removal reduces liability for people falling or hurting themselves on your property. For buildings with parking lots, it’s worth hiring a plowing service to clear the way for your tenants’ vehicles.

Tip: Snow removal companies book up — don’t wait until the first major snowfall to call. Start researching companies in the fall to sign a contract before winter.

8. Clean up your yard

In addition to hiring a snow removal company, consider a landscaping company to help clean up leaves, trim dead branches, and aerate your lawn. If you have a smaller yard, these are likely easier chores. Make sure to rake well — leaves left on the ground all winter will smother grass, leaving you with dead spots come spring.

Also keep an eye on any overhanging branches on your roof or garage. Heavy snow can snap these branches, causing damage to the exterior of your house. 

Winter is coming. Get ahead while you can

While winter weather has certainly been unpredictable these past few years, there’s one thing we know for sure: you can never be too over prepared when it comes to your investment property. Being proactive now saves time, money, and headaches later down the road. Follow this fall checklist for homeowners to reduce your chance of damage to your home or your tenants.

You can never be too careful though — and that’s where landlord insurance comes into play. Does your insurance cover everything you need it to? Try Obie, instant and modern insurance for landlords. No paperwork. No hassle. You’ll get a quote same-day. 

Get started with your Obie quote.

Do you regularly inspect your rental property? Sure, you invest in your property upfront. Buying it, updating it, advertising it, and more.

But, do you periodically check on your investment once renters move in? If you’re like many landlords, the answer is no.

However, without regular inspections, you’ll miss small problems until they become costly and difficult to fix. And, you have no idea how well tenants are taking care of your property. So, routine inspections are a must if you want to protect your investment.

How should you conduct regular inspections? That’s what we’ll cover in this post. But, first, let’s take a look at what exactly property inspections are.

What is a rental property inspection?

A rental property inspection is a survey of the condition of your property inside and out. By looking at things such as walls, floors, faucets, landscaping, and more, you can get an idea of how tenants are taking care of your property. 

Why are rental property inspections important?

Rental property inspections help you get in front of issues. For example, your tenants might notice a leaky faucet. But, they don’t think it’s a big deal. So, they don’t mention it to you until water damage signs are obvious. If you had inspected your property, you could have addressed the leaky faucet before it caused expensive water damage. 

And, property inspections also help you reduce your liability. By regularly inspecting your property, you can find any potential injury-causing problems. And, fix them quickly. This minimizes the risk of tenant injury and your liability. 

What types of rental property inspections are there?

There are 4 main types of rental property inspections:

Move-in inspection

A move-in inspection happens when a new tenant moves into your property. You walk through the property with the tenant and record its condition. That way, you know what damage was already there. And, what damage your tenant caused when they move out. 

Drive-by inspection

As the name suggests, you conduct this inspection by driving by your property. This is a quick way to check for exterior issues. And, check for any tenant problems – such as unauthorized roommates or pets. You should do drive-by inspections on different days and times. That way, you can catch a variety of problems. 

Routine inspections

Routine inspections involve going into your property to check for any issues. Generally, you walk through the interior and around the exterior with the tenant. You should check for any issues tenants miss – like leaky faucets that could be causing water damage. And, you should check for tenant damages – so they can fix them before moving out. Tenants can also bring any issues they’ve noticed to your attention during routine inspections.

Move-out inspection

When your tenants move out, you also need to do an inspection. You should compare the current condition of the property with your notes from the move-in inspection. While wear and tear is expected, you should check to make sure tenants haven’t damaged anything. If you do find tenant damages, you can usually pay for the repairs with the security deposit. 

How can I make sure my inspections are legal?

Although you own your property, you don’t have the right to access it whenever after you rent it out. Tenants have the legal right to privacy and quiet enjoyment of their home. So, you can’t spring random inspections on tenants. And, you can’t inspect so frequently that it makes it impossible for tenants to have quiet enjoyment.

To make sure your inspections are legal, you should give tenants at least 24-hour notice before entering the property. Some states require 48-hour notice or more. So, you should check your state laws to make sure you’re notifying tenants early enough.

You should also explain to tenants the purpose of the inspection. That way, tenants don’t feel like you’re arbitrarily showing up just to bug them. 

And, you shouldn’t inspect more than every three months. Otherwise, you could be preventing your tenants from quiet enjoyment of their home. While these tips are a starting point, always be sure to check your state laws before conducting routine inspections.

How often should I inspect my rental property?

There is no one-size-fits-all for how often you should inspect your property. However, a common routine inspection schedule is either quarterly or twice a year. You can also do seasonal inspections twice yearly to make sure your HVAC and other seasonal equipment is in good shape. 

What should I look for during a rental property inspection?

Here are the top areas you should check during your routine inspections:

Overall exterior condition

You should look at all aspects of the outside of your property. From roofing, to gutters, to siding, and more, you should check to make sure everything is in working order. You should also check on any trees and plants. Dead trees can be a hazard to your property. And, a weed-infested and messy yard can lead to neighbor complaints.

Overall interior condition

While you need to check specific aspects of the inside of your property, it’s also a good idea to access the overall condition. You should take notice of any odors, clutter, overflowing trash, and other signs your tenants may not be taking care of your property.

Floors and walls

You should inspect for any holes in the walls or unauthorized paint. For the floors, you should check the condition of any carpet, wood, or other flooring. Any tears in the carpet are easy to fix if you catch them early. The same is true for scruffs or scrapes on wood floors. If you notice any of these issues caused by tenants, you can ask them to change problematic behavior (like dragging furniture) to prevent further issues. 

Doors and windows

For doors and windows, you should check for any cracks, loose seals, or leaks. You should also make sure door and window locks are working properly. And, check to make sure tenants haven’t rekeyed any locks.

Water leaks, damage, and mold

It’s easy for tenants to miss water leaks, especially when they’re in out of the way places (like under the kitchen sink). Water leaks are much easier to fix than damage. So, you want to catch leaks before they lead to damage. 

You should also look for any mold. Even if you don’t find mold, you should make sure your property is as mold-proof as possible. This includes lower humidity, regular bathroom cleanings with mold killers, and even mold-resistant paint. That way, you can prevent the problem – instead of paying for costly mold remediation. 

Appliances

Another area you should inspect is appliances. You want to make sure they’re clean and in working order. This reduces the chance of any appliance fires or other dangerous malfunctions. 

Air filters

Clean air filters are essential to a properly functioning HVAC. Dirty air filters put more strain on your HVAC – shortening its lifespan. So, you might have to replace it sooner if your tenants aren’t changing air filters at least quarterly. During your inspection, you should check the air filters. And, discuss with tenants the importance of routinely changing their air filters.

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors save lives. So, it’s important to make sure all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working during your inspection. Plus, even though tenants are responsible for changing detector batteries, you could face liability problems if tenants are injured due to detectors not working. 

Pests

Pests like termites, mice, ants, bees, scorpions, and more can all cause issues for your tenants and your property. So, you should regularly inspect your property for any pests. And, you should have your property routinely sprayed to prevent pests.

Unauthorized pets

Whether you allow some pets or none at all, you don’t want unauthorized pets on your property. However, most tenants won’t have unauthorized pets present for routine inspections. So, to catch any unauthorized pets, you should look for signs like pet toys, hair, or even chew marks. 

Smoking

The smell of smoke can be almost impossible to get rid of. You have to strip all paint and completely replace any carpet. So, if your lease prohibits smoking, be sure to check for any signs of smoking during your inspection. That way, you can catch and stop it early – minimizing damage.

Ask tenants

Your tenants live on your property every day. So, they’re a great resource for uncovering problems. During your inspection, be sure to ask tenants if they’ve noticed any problems. If they have, you should fix them promptly. That way, you can reduce any damage and minimize your liability. 

Schedule your inspection and protect your property

Property inspections can help you catch any problems before they become costly to resolve. Whether the issues are tenant caused or not, property inspections help you avoid any unwanted surprises. And, routine inspections can help you minimize the likelihood of tenant injury and your liability.

While property inspections can help you catch problems, there are some issues out of your control. Events like natural disasters, floods, and accidental fires can cause significant damage to your property. And, it’s hard to prepare for these problems. 

So, what can you do to protect your property from these types of events?

The right landlord insurance is your best bet. Landlord insurance can help you pay for repairs. And, some policies can even help replace lost rental income. 

Looking for great landlord insurance? Consider Obie. We take a modern approach to landlord insurance – with a fast, transparent, and online quote. And, you could save an average of 25%.

Get an instant landlord insurance quote online today to fully protect your property.

Any property owner understands the importance of insurance. It protects against financial destruction if your property suffers damage from natural disasters, vandalism, or theft. The biggest question, though, is do you have the right coverage?

Sometimes real estate investors are surprised to learn they don't have the coverage they need, especially regarding homeowners and landlord insurance.

Say, for example, you have a secondary home you have decided to rent out as an investment property. Do you sit back, enjoy the rental income, and hope your homeowners insurance will cover any damages? Certainly not, because it doesn't! That's where landlord insurance comes into play.

While both homeowners insurance policies and landlord insurance are categorized as property insurance, they are quite different in several ways.

What is Landlord Insurance?

Landlord insurance is coverage designed specifically for property investors with rental units. The dwelling must be non-owner-occupied or tenant-occupied to fit under this coverage.

Generally, landlord insurance covers perils like fire, windstorms, hailstorms, vandalism, burglary, falling objects, and liability claims from a tenant or guest. But the kind of coverage you get will depend on your policy type.

DP1

DP1 is the most basic coverage, protecting against 9 perils only:

  1. Fire
  2. Lightening
  3. Smoke
  4. Explosions
  5. Windstorms and hailstorms
  6. Vehicles
  7. Aircraft
  8. Riots or civil commotion
  9. Volcanic explosions

It is a named policy, meaning the insurer does not cover any peril that is not named in the policy. DP1 pays out claims as actual cash value (ACV). That means the insurance company will deduct depreciation from the payout amount during a claim. So, the older the property or damaged item is, the higher the depreciation amount and the lower the payout.

Due to the limited number of covered perils, the DP1 package is the most affordable coverage but also the least comprehensive. As a rule of thumb, it may be best for landlords with vacant properties.

DP2

DP2 is an in-between package of DP1 and DP3. While it is also a named peril policy, it covers more perils than DP1. In addition to covered perils in DP1, DP2 will provide coverage for:

  • Falling objects
  • Freezing pipes
  • Burglary
  • Vandalism
  • Broken glass
  • Accidental water or stream overflow
  • Weight of snow and ice
  • Cracking, bulging or tearing
  • Collapse
  • Damages to the primary structure
  • Damages to detached structures

DP-2 pays out claims based on replacement cost value (RCV), which doesn't factor in depreciation in the payout. Instead, covered claims are paid out based on the cost of making repairs at current prices.

DP3

DP3 provides the most comprehensive coverage for rental property and is often the most desirable insurance package. It is an open peril policy that covers all perils unless that peril is explicitly excluded in the coverage.

In addition to more coverage for more perils  that are covered in DP1 and DP2, DP3 provides coverage for loss of use, premises liability, and personal property you provide for use by your tenants. This is also an RCV type of coverage, saving you from potentially paying thousands of dollars out of pocket in event of a claim.

What is Homeowners Insurance

Homeowners insurance or home insurance is property coverage for private residencies where the policyholder resides on the property. It covers damages and losses incurred by homeowners to the structures of their homes and personal property.

It also includes personal liability, allowing property owners to protect themselves against claims from individuals injured on the property or from damages the insured is found liable for. In addition, this liability coverage can sometimes extend to damages caused by one's pets or family members.

The Differences Between Landlord Insurance and Homeowners Insurance

Occupancy

One of the significant differences between landlord and homeowners insurance is who occupies the premises at any given time.

With landlord insurance, the property must be a rental, meaning it must have tenants for an extended period. The policyholder, or the landlord, in this case, is not the resident of said property. On the other hand, homeowners insurance is meant for owner-occupied properties. In other words, the policyholder must be a resident of the covered property.

Some individuals rent out portions of their homes while they still reside there. Under such circumstances, one should reveal to the insurance company that they are collecting rental income on the property. The reason is that your homeowners coverage may not cover any property damage due to the tenant's negligence. Neither would the insurer cover damages to the tenant's personal property.

Such a rental arrangement would require additions to your homeowners insurance. This will come at an additional cost but provide the necessary coverage for your property.

Covered contents

Both homeowners and landlord insurance provide coverage against damages to the primary structure and detached structures. However, coverage for personal property varies.

For instance, your homeowners coverage will cover everything on the property, including personal property, like jewelry and household goods. But as a landlord, personal property such as kitchen appliances, landscaping equipment, or furnishings included on the premises must be considered to ensure you have enough coverage should your property be damaged in the event of a claim.

A landlord's insurance policy does not cover the tenant's personal property. If allowed by local and state landlord-tenant laws, a landlord may choose to require tenants to have renters insurance, which clarifies who is liable for what. Your landlord insurance provider may also require that your tenant have renters insurance. It provides coverage for things such as the tenant's personal property, defense costs should your tenant be named in a lawsuit, and living expenses, if they must temporarily move out of the property during repairs.

Loss of use vs. the loss of rent

Both policies provide coverage when the property is uninhabitable and under repair, but the type of coverage differs.

Homeowners insurance provides loss of use coverage. This is where the insurance company reimburses your living expenses, like hotel accommodation and meals, if your home becomes unlivable due to a covered peril.

Under landlord insurance, the landlord receives rental income reimbursements if the property is uninhabitable due to a covered peril in the amount they would otherwise collect if tenants were still renting the property. The idea is to help landlords cover expenses like mortgage and utility bills while the property is under repairs.

Pricing

Landlord insurance is pricier than homeowners insurance. This is because historical data shows owner-occupied properties have fewer losses than tenant-occupied properties. The increased risk of tenant-occupied properties can be due to periodic vacancies, less maintenance and loss prevention upkeep to the property, and general differences in mindset and behaviors of renters.  These added risk factors contribute to the increased price of landlord insurance. In fact, landlord insurance can cost about 25% more than homeowners insurance.

Which One is Right For You?

If the property is your primary residence, homeowners insurance is for you. But if you are using it as a rental and do not reside there, landlord insurance is what you need to protect your investment.

With so many landlord insurance plans on the market, choosing where to start is difficult. The ideal approach to get started is to become knowledgeable about the various coverage available.

Here are some things to think about when selecting a landlord insurance policy:

  • Take a look at the sort of property you're renting. For example, if you're renting a single-family house out, your policy will be different than if you were leasing a multifamily unit or condo.
  • Consider how much coverage you'll require. How much insurance do you need for your personal belongings, for example? Repairs or replacements? Weather exposure? Protect against water backup? Make sure to obtain quotes from various providers so that you can evaluate coverage levels and pricing.
  • Pay close attention to the terms of the coverage. What is the deductible? Are there any exclusions that might impact you if something goes wrong? Make sure you understand all of the policy conditions before signing on the dotted line.

Where to Find Landlord Insurance

When you know what you want, it's time to look for the best landlord insurance policy. Here are some pointers to help you locate the right rental property policy for your needs.

One option is to engage a local insurance agent or broker. This can be a good choice if you want to work with a specific insurer. However, it's crucial to remember that not all insurance salespeople and brokers are created equal. Some may be more focused on selling you a policy than assisting you in obtaining the best coverage for your requirements.

Working with an online insurance broker like Obie is another simple and cost-effective approach to obtaining landlord insurance. Obie is a great resource for getting a landlord insurance quote and straightforward, low-cost, and transparent coverage entirely online.

There are no paper applications to fill out or lengthy waiting periods. Simply answer a few property questions to obtain the right insurance and coverage for single-family rental property, multifamily dwellings with 2-4 units, short-term rentals, and condominium units based on your specific needs. On average, people save 25% with Obie.

So, you want to be a landlord? You want to rent out your property to earn extra income and build wealth. Plus, it’s pretty easy to rent out a home, right?

You just need to post an ad and great tenants will find you. Or so you think.

Unfortunately, renting out your property is a bit more complicated. Good tenants can be hard to find. And, keeping your property in good physical, financial, and legal shape can be challenging. Especially for a first-time landlord. 

However, with a solid plan and the right tips, you can be a successful landlord. That’s why we created this post. In it, you’ll learn the top tips to help you thrive as a landlord. Let’s start with the first tip – screen your tenants.

1. Rigorously screen tenants

Having good tenants is essential to having a successful rental property. Good tenants pay rent on time. And, they take care of your property. Bad tenants, however, rarely pay rent on time (or at all). And, they can cause extensive damage to your property. This could end up costing you more than you make from your rental. 

So, how can you make sure you have good tenants?

You should conduct a background and credit check. And, you should look for tenants with steady income, no history of evictions, a good credit score, references from past landlords, and a history of making payments on time (to name a few). 

2. Don’t be friends with your tenants

If you screen your tenants properly, you’ll end up with good people as your tenants. As cool as your tenants may be, you shouldn’t befriend them.

You’re in a business relationship with your tenants. At the beginning of every month, you need to collect money from them. It’s harder to collect rent from or charge late fees to friends. Or, if the worst happens, evict them. 

So, it’s important to be approachable and friendly, while maintaining a professional relationship. 

3. Charge the right rate

If you price your rental too high, no one will rent it. But, if you price it too low, you’ll lose money each month. Plus, having your property priced correctly can help you get tenants quickly. 

When setting your rate, you should look at other similar properties nearby. This can give you a base rental price. Then, you can adjust it up or down based on interior finishings, amenities, neighborhood desirability, and more. 

It’s important to make sure your rental rate covers your expenses. Like mortgage, maintenance, and HOA. And, you should aim to make a profit on top of covering your expenses. Pricing your property right can help you do that and attract great tenants. 

4. Make smart updates

To get the most for your property, it needs to be in good shape. Not outdated or dirty. So, you should think about sprucing up your rental with things like a fresh coat of paint, durable and stylish flooring, and midrange appliances (if needed). 

However, you should avoid any over-the-top upgrades. Renters won’t pay significantly more for top-of-the-line appliances, quartz counters, or spa bathrooms. So, you won’t get a good return on investment for lavish projects. 

5. Make it easy to pay rent

Making sure your tenants pay rent is your top priority. If tenants have to jump through hoops to pay rent, they’re less likely to pay rent on time – or at all.

So, it should be easy for tenants to pay rent. Technology is a great way to make paying rent easy. One option is an online rent portal. You could also have an app tenants can use to pay rent. Whatever tech you choose should make it effortless for tenants to pay rent. 

6. Know rent laws

The last thing you want is to get in legal trouble over your rental property. So, you need to know federal, state, and local rent laws. That way, you know how you might have to accommodate tenants. And, what rights tenants may have once they move in that could be detrimental to you. 

7. Have a good lease

Your lease is a legally binding agreement on rules you and your tenant have to follow. If you have a weak lease, your tenant could get away with paying rent late, damaging your property, and more. 

A good lease should have the rental term, rental amount, payment schedule, rental insurance requirements, repair and maintenance policies, maximum number of occupants, and rules and regulations (to name a few).

8. Keep records

Renting property is a business. As such, you need to keep detailed records of your income and expenses. Otherwise, you won’t know if your property is profitable. And, you’ll lack the documentation you need at tax time. 

You should also keep records of leases, tenant documents, interactions with tenants, and more. That way, you have records in case of a problem down the road. Or, if tenants need their rental records. 

9. Save rental income

When you first start renting your property, it’s tempting to spend rental income. After you pay your mortgage, your rental profit is fair game, right?

Not exactly. It’s a smart idea to save excess rental income in an emergency fund. That way, if you find yourself without tenants unexpectedly, you can still pay your mortgage. You should save 3-6 months mortgage and expenses to make sure you’ve covered. 

10. Have a good team

Running a rental property is so much more than just finding tenants. You need to make sure you’re legally protected. And, you need to have your finances in order. Plus, you need to fix things that go wrong on your property and do regular maintenance. 

You can’t do everything your property needs yourself. So, you need a great team to help. Your team should have an accountant, handyman, rental/eviction attorney, real estate agent, appraiser, and insurance provider (among others). That way, when something goes wrong, you have a team of professionals to help you get through it. 

11. Get landlord insurance

Often overlooked, landlord insurance is crucial to your success as a landlord. If a natural disaster strikes, a fire burns down your property, or any other event damages your rental, you could have to pay for the repairs yourself. 

You could also be on the hook for repairs if you have a homeowner’s insurance policy instead of a landlord insurance policy. 

However, if you have landlord insurance, you could get help paying for repairs. And, landlord insurance could protect you from liability if tenants injure themselves on your property. Plus, landlord insurance could compensate you for missed rent while making repairs. 

With all the time and resources you put into being a landlord, it only makes sense to protect your investment. 

Wrapping it up

Being a first-time landlord is exciting. It offers you an additional revenue stream. And, helps you get the most out of your property.

But, it can also be challenging to ensure your property is profitable. You need great tenants, the right rental rate, an awesome team, and more. Following the tips in this article can help you reach profitability quicker. And, with less stress. 

One way to make being a landlord less stressful is by choosing the right landlord insurance provider. The traditional landlord insurance process is time-consuming and tedious. Instead, choose the modern approach. That’s what we do at Obie. You can get a quote in minutes. And, the process is online and transparent. 

Plus, with Obie, you could save an average of 25% on landlord insurance.

Protect your rental property by getting your quote from Obie today.

It is an important day for the Obie team. Today we are announcing an $10.7M Series A led by Michael Brown and Battery Ventures who are joined by a host of new and previous investors including Thomvest Ventures, Funders Club, Second Century Ventures, and Metaprop.

We are a company started by two brothers – first real estate investors and now insurance junkies. We saw chronic problems throughout the real estate insurance market so we’re reinventing the process from the bottom up. We are starting at the intersection of insurance and technology which allows us to address the insurance needs of independent investors and landlords that have largely been ignored by insurance carriers despite the majority of real estate investment being in small unit count and small square foot properties.

Whether you are a landlord with one rental or an investor with over 2,500 units, the process to obtain insurance is dysfunctional. We knew this process needed to change. That notion, and a love for building products that make people happy, became our mission.

We are proud to be reinventing the insurance experience by providing a simple, affordable, and transparent insurance process for landlords and real estate investors. We are using technology to make the process faster and more efficient, and humans to help make the experience more friendly and enjoyable. Whether you are a seasoned investor or just getting started, Obie is right for you. We treat all our customers how we would want to be treated, a philosophy that has allowed us to offer the best insurance and cover over $3.5 billion in rental property within the past 24 months. 

Building something from the ground up is incredibly hard; building something that challenges the status quo is even harder.  

We have been building a team that is diverse in knowledge and experience and half of our team are landlords themselves - we understand the problems first-hand and are committed to finding a solution. We could not do any of this without our team members, both past and present. This announcement is dedicated to each one of you: 

Aaron, Adam, Andrew, Audrey, Brian, Bryan, Brandon, Curtis, David, Dominic, Danielle, Evan, Erin, Giancarlo, Geo, Huy, Joe, JB, John, Jonathan, Kara, Laura, Leslie, Matt, Nem, Nikita, Pablo A. and Pablo B., Richard, Ryan, Steve, Tim, Thomas, and Zack.

Thank you for your hard work. You have made it possible to get this far.

Interested in joining the team? We are hiring! We have a few openings for some impressive people that want to join us for this journey.

Want to learn more about Obie? Get a quote.

Please send any press inquiries to press@obierisk.com

It’s the middle of the night. Your tenants are sound asleep. Outside, a storm is raging. Lighting flashes every few seconds.

After a loud clap of thunder, a stray bolt of lightning hits your property – catching it on fire. Your tenants make it out safely. However, your property isn’t as lucky — it has extensive fire damage.  And, until you repair it, your tenants can’t live there.

But, how are you going to pay for repairs? And, how are you going to make up for lost rental revenue during repairs?

If you have the right landlord insurance policy, you don’t have to worry. The replacement value of your property could be covered. And, some policies will also cover lost rental revenue. All you have to pay is a deductible. 

However, if you have a standard homeowner’s insurance policy, everything won’t be covered. As such, you’ll be on the hook for tens of thousands to repair your property. 

To fully protect your property, you need a landlord insurance policy. Don’t know how to choose the right one? We’ve got you covered. In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know about landlord insurance. To start, let’s look at what exactly landlord insurance is. 

What is landlord insurance?

Landlord insurance (also known as a dwelling fire policy) provides financial protection if your property is damaged or becomes unlivable after events like fires. 

Unlike homeowner’s policies, landlord insurance typically doesn’t cover all contents of your property. Some contents like fixtures could be covered. Instead, it covers the dwelling itself, surrounding structures, and anything you leave there to help maintain the property (like a lawnmower). 

While not in every landlord insurance policy, you should make sure your policy specifically covers lost rent due to damage to your property. This lost rent coverage doesn’t cover vacancies unrelated to property damage. And, some landlord insurance policies also offer liability protection. If someone gets injured on your property, this liability coverage protects you from having to pay for their expenses out of pocket.

What does landlord insurance cover?

A landlord insurance policy covers your property – not the contents. But, what exactly does this coverage include?

It depends on the policy you choose. There are 3 common landlord insurance policies:

DP1

DP (dwelling policy)1 insurance has the least coverage of the 3 types. This insurance only covers 10 perils – which are events that could cause damage. If your property is damaged by a peril that’s not included, the policy doesn’t help you pay for repairs. 

If one of those events happens, the policy will pay you the actual cash value (ACV) to repair the damage. ACV is the replacement cost minus any depreciation. 

There can be tens of thousands of dollars difference between depreciated materials and new materials. As such, you have to pay more out of pocket to fully repair your property. 

DP3

DP3 offers the most comprehensive coverage. It’s also the most popular landlord insurance type. Instead of only covering specified perils, DP3 is an open peril/risk policy. So, it covers a wide variety of damage causes. 

Unlike DP1 policies, DP3 policies may pay out replacement cost value (RCV). So, if your property is damaged by a covered event, your insurance may pay out the full cost to restore your property to its undamaged condition. Not the depreciated value of the materials. This can save you tens of thousands of dollars if your property is ever damaged. 

And, DP3 insurance can also cover loss of rent. If you can’t pay your mortgage without rental income, you should consider having loss of rent coverage. That way, you don’t risk losing your property if damage occurs. 

And, DP3 policies generally include liability protection. If a tenant injured themselves on your property, you could have to pay for their medical expenses. With DP3, your insurance will cover any medical expenses related to liability. 

Landlord Business Owner Policy (BOP)

Business owner policies are typically for small, low-risk businesses – like real estate investments. 

A Landlord BOP combines business property and liability coverage into one policy. So, it can cover damage to your property. And, it can protect you in the case of liability from things like tenant injuries on your property.

This policy can also include loss of income protection. If tenants can’t live in your property while you’re repairing covered damage, a landlord business owner policy could compensate you for this missed rent.

Optional Coverage

Along with the main landlord insurance types, you can also opt for supplemental coverage for events not covered by your policy. Some examples include vandalism and burglary coverage and building code protection. If any of these events happen, you’ll be protected if you choose optional coverage. 

What isn’t covered by landlord insurance?

What’s covered is determined by the policy type you choose. But, there are a few things that aren’t covered by landlord insurance.

Maintenance problems

Your landlord insurance won’t cover all appliance breakdowns or equipment (like your furnace) malfunctions. Some mechanical problems and equipment breakdowns could be covered. But, you may have to pay out of pocket to fix maintenance or equipment issues. 

Tenant contents

Landlord insurance protects your property, mainly the dwelling itself. It doesn’t include any protection for tenant items – like their furniture or other personal belongings. So, it’s always a good idea to encourage tenants to have a rental policy. That way, both you and your tenant are protected in the event of damage.

Shared property

If you live on the property and rent out part of it, a landlord policy likely won’t cover anything. It’s best to get a comprehensive homeowner’s policy if you own a shared property. 

Do I really need landlord insurance coverage? How is it different from homeowner’s insurance?

At first glance, homeowner’s and landlord insurance can seem nearly identical. But, landlord insurance offers a few important benefits that make it essential for every landlord.

Liability coverage

Many homeowner’s policies offer personal liability coverage. However, this liability protection doesn’t extend to business activities – like renting out property. So, if you rely on a homeowner’s policy, you could be on the hook for tenant medical expenses if they’re injured. 

Landlord insurance provides business liability protection. So, you’re covered if any injuries happen on your property. 

Additional coverage

Homeowner’s policies focus on covering the structure and its contents. 

Instead, you need specialized coverage like lost rental income or ordinance and law coverage. If you rely only on a homeowner’s policy, you’ll have to make up for the lost rent on your own. Or, pay for building code updates during repairs yourself. So, having a landlord insurance policy ensures you’re better covered.

What's not covered

Some homeowner’s policies won’t cover a property you don’t live in. So, you might think your rental property is covered by your homeowner’s policy. But, when you need to file a claim, you’ll find that the property isn’t covered because you don’t live there.

To avoid paying for repairs entirely out of pocket, you need a landlord-specific policy. Since these policies are made for landlords, you can rest easy knowing you’re covered.

What’s the cost of landlord insurance?

Landlord insurance usually costs between 15-20% more than homeowner’s insurance. That’s because insuring renters is a higher risk. Since they don’t own the property, renters aren’t as careful. This results in more damage and claims – which costs the insurance company more. 

In recent years, the average homeowner’s insurance policy costs $1,249 a year. So, at a 20% increase, the average landlord insurance policy costs $1,499 yearly. Things like age, location, and rental type (short vs. long-term) play a role in how much your landlord insurance will cost. 

While landlord insurance is more expensive, there are ways you can lower your premium. One way to do that is with security and smart home features. They provide an early warning for problems like break-ins, flooding, and more. Having these features means any problems will be less severe – lowering your insurance risk and premium.

Getting your landlord insurance quote

You know you need landlord insurance. But, where do you start? With a quote of course!

The traditional process for getting your quote can be time-consuming. You go back and forth with your broker trying to find the right policy. But, brokers can be slow to respond. So, you have to wait and wait and wait for your quote.

And, when you get your quote, you have no idea why it costs what it does. Comparison shopping for landlord insurance can make the process even more time-consuming and frustrating. So, it hardly seems worth it. But, you have no idea if you’re overpaying.

Don’t go through the lengthy and difficult traditional landlord insurance process. Instead, take the modern approach. That’s what we specialize in at Obie. With our innovative approach, you can get a quote in minutes. And, the whole process is online and transparent. 

The best part? Landlords save an average of 25% on insurance with Obie. 

If you want the right coverage at an awesome price, get started by getting your quote from Obie today. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a lot of challenges for tenants and landlords alike. With an eviction moratorium in place for most of 2020 and still in some states in 2021, landlords have faced pressure to keep tenants on, regardless of their ability to pay rent.

This loss of rental income may be a burden to landlords dependent on rent to pay their mortgage, property taxes, and general expenses. If you are a landlord who has suffered a loss of rental income, keep reading to find out if your landlord insurance can cover you.

Does insurance cover loss of rental income?

The short answer is yes, but only if you have the right type of insurance. While homeowners insurance will provide some liability and property damage coverage in case of an event such as a fire, landlord insurance adds extra coverage to protect landlords from risks associated with renting a property. This includes coverage for loss of rental income. 

Commercial property owners might have rental loss insurance as part of a commercial real estate policy or business interruption insurance, which covers income loss due to an unexpected event. 

Which policies typically cover loss of rental income

Landlord insurance, also called rental property insurance, covers risks associated with renting your home, apartment, or condominium to tenants for long periods of time. Coverage typically includes loss of rental income for landlords along with property damage and liability costs. A landlord insurance policy is often recommended for homeowners who rent a property for at least six months.

Loss of rental income protects landlords against the risk that a property will be unable to be rented out due to damage caused by an event covered by insurance, such as fire, lightning, wind, or hail. This rental reimbursement will ensure you do not lose the income you would have collected from rent.

A property owner’s commercial real estate insurance also may include rental loss insurance. This coverage often covers one month of rental income, but extended coverage can be added. Rental loss insurance also could be included in business interruption insurance. 

How to claim loss of rental income

Rental income losses can be reported on the Internal Revenue Service tax form 1040 Schedule E. For tax purposes, rental property losses often are considered passive losses. A passive activity loss (PAL) allows owners to deduct losses if they collect income from other sources, such as positive income from another rental property. If your rental income does not cover your losses in the tax year, you typically can carry the excess forward into future tax years.

If you are in the property management business working in activities related to that business at least half of your annual working hours, rental property income may be considered active income for taxes. A real estate professional also can deduct rental income losses. If you actively participated in a rental real estate activity, you may be able to deduct up to $25,000 of loss incurred from a rental property. Check the IRS guidelines on the rules for more information.

Note that the IRS requires taxpayers to turn a profit from a business in at least three of five consecutive years. If you claim a loss for three out of five years, the IRS will classify your business as a hobby, meaning you cannot claim related expenses on your taxes.

Get insured to claim loss of rental income

Landlord insurance and rental property insurance policies often include coverage to protect you and your business from a potential loss of income due to unexpected events. Policies can vary, so it is important to check with your insurer to confirm that the coverage includes what you need.

Looking for a new landlord insurance? Try Obie, a tech-enabled insurance with competitive rates and instant quotes. No hassle. No paperwork. See how you can get instant coverage with Obie. Start your quote now.

Natural disasters are a nightmare for your property. From brutal winter storms to hurricanes, wildfires, tornados, and more, natural disasters can cause havoc on your property.

After a disaster, cleanup isn’t the only thing you have to worry about. While you’re busy trying to repair broken pipes or patch your roof, scammers are looking to make a quick buck at your expense. 

If you’re not careful, these fraudsters could clean you out, rather than helping you clean up. So, how can you avoid these natural disaster scams? That’s what we’re going to cover in this post. Before we get into how to avoid fraud, let’s take a look at common natural disaster scams.

Common types of natural disaster scams

Not all disaster fraud is the same. So, you need to watch out for multiple different types of scams. Here are some of the most common:

Insurance

These scammers will approach you claiming to be contractors who can get to work immediately. If you sign their form, they can work directly with your insurer. Because of this, they claim they can waive insurance deductibles and offer discounted rates. 

In reality, these scammers want you to sign an assignment of benefits. This insurance document allows them to collect payments from your insurer. After they get the money, they’ll disappear. All without doing any work. 

Contractor 

Along with posing as contractors to get you to sign an assignment of benefits, scammers pose as contractors to get your money. They’ll go door to door offering to do repairs quickly, cheaply, or both. Then, they’ll demand prepayment. 

Once they get your money, these fake contractors will take off. You’ll be out the entire cost of a repair – without getting any work done. 

Posing as FEMA

Another way fraudsters might target you is by posing as Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) agents. A FEMA home inspection is the first step to getting federal aid for damages. 

Scammers use this to their advantage to collect your personal info. They’ll claim they need your social security number, bank account, or other information to process your claim. And, they might even demand payment right then for an inspection. 

In reality, FEMA agents will never ask for this information. All they need is a FEMA identification number – which you can easily register for online. 

Charity

Even if you aren’t hard hit by a natural disaster, you could still be targeted by scams. Fraudsters will set up fake charities claiming to help storm victims. But, the money you donate to these fake charities won’t help anyone. Instead, scammers will keep your donation as a profit.  

Signs of insurance scams

Along with knowing the common types of scams, you should also know the red flags to watch out for. If you encounter any of these red flags, you might be in danger of getting scammed. 

Demanding prepayment 

One common red flag is contractors or other service providers demanding prepayment. Before even beginning work, these scammers want you to pay them in full. That way, they can take off without having to do the work.

Pressure to sign a contract

Another warning sign is pressure to sign a contract. Before they can help you, fraudsters say they need you to sign a contract. But, this contract is likely to be something harmful – like an assignment of benefits.

Insisting on an assignment of benefits

Similar to pressure to sign a contract, fake contractors may pressure you to sign an assignment of benefits. That way, they can get paid directly from your insurer before taking off. 

Repair upsells 

Scammers may also inflate the number of repairs you need. So, you’ll pay them for work you don’t need. Since those repairs are unneeded, they won’t do much of the work you pay them for.  

Offering steep discounts

Claiming to have materials left over, fraudsters will tell you they can do the work much cheaper than others. However, these scammers never intend to do any work. Instead, they’ll take your money and run. 

Out of state plates

One last way to spot a scammer is by checking their license plates. Many fraudsters travel from out of state to take advantage of the disaster in other states. Since it’s hard to get a license in multiple states, you should be wary of out-of-state service providers. 

How to avoid scams and fraud

Now that you know scam types and red flags, here are some steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim of natural disaster fraud. 

Skip door to door salespeople 

One way to avoid being scammed is to avoid companies that go door to door. Many reputable contractors won’t go door to door to get customers. This is usually a sales technique reserved for fake contractors, electricians, and other repair people. 

Instead, you should look for reputable companies online. Or, get recommendations from friends or family who are happy with the work done. 

Confirm identities 

You should also confirm that people are who they say they are. Scammers will often pose as government workers to get you to trust them. 

So, if a FEMA agent or other government employee approaches you, you should ask to see identification. Then, you should call the organization they claim to work for. If they can’t produce an ID or don’t check out with their organization, they’re likely trying to scam you. 

Talk to your insurance company

Your insurance company is a reliable resource to assess what repairs you actually need. Scammers will often try to upsell you. But, your insurance company will tell you what you need fixed. That way, you can avoid spending unnecessarily. 

And, your insurance company can recommend reliable contractors and other repair providers. Using their recommendations is one way to ensure you’re not scammed. 

Get multiple estimates

Another way to avoid fraud is to get multiple estimates for any work you need done. High-pressure sales tactics are a favorite of scammers. But, if you’re determined to get multiple estimates, it’s unlikely you’ll fall for their scam.

And, getting multiple estimates can help you get the best price possible.

When you get multiple estimates, you should research each company. Make sure each company has a reputable website and verified positive reviews before deciding to go with one. This reduces the chance that you’ll end up with a fraudster. 

Verify insurance

To avoid getting scammed, it’s also important to make sure your contractor or other service provider has the right insurance. So, you need to verify that they’re licensed, bonded, and insured. This helps protect you if anything goes wrong while they’re making repairs. 

If you want to further protect yourself, you can consider asking to be a named insured while they work on your property. This means you’ll be covered by their policy if something goes wrong. Another option is adding additional limits and coverage. That way, you’re not liable if there’s a problem. 

Withhold the final payment

You should only make the final payment when you’re happy with the work. Once you pay the contractor, they have little incentive to correct any problems with their work. So, you’ll be stuck with shoddy repairs. Or, in the case of fraudsters, no repairs. 

Don’t give away personal information

One last way to avoid fraud and scams is to protect your personal information. Contractors, FEMA agents, and other disaster professionals shouldn’t need your social security number. Or, your banking information. Scammers will use this information to clean out your account, take out loans in your name, and more. 

So, if anyone demands your personal information, you shouldn’t give it to them. And, you should look for another contractor or other repair service provider. That way, you avoid getting scammed. Plus, you’ll get reputable repairs done. 

Stay vigilant

After a natural disaster, you have so much to worry about. Making repairs, cleaning up debris, and more can all be costly and time-consuming. 

Unfortunately, that’s not all you have to worry about. Natural disasters are a great opportunity for scammers to take advantage of unsuspecting landlords. 

But, by knowing the types of scams, red flags to look out for, and steps you can take to avoid fraud, you can stay safe from natural disaster scams. 

Another way you can protect yourself if a natural disaster hits is by having the right coverage. As a landlord, you need a policy crafted for your specific needs. Not just an extension of your homeowner’s policy. 

If you want insurance designed for you as a landlord, that’s also fast and easy to get, consider Obie. With a speedy and transparent quote, you can be protected in the event of a natural disaster in no time at all.

Get your quote today

What is an umbrella insurance policy?

An umbrella insurance policy can provide the extra amount of liability coverage needed to cover unexpected expenses. It is used to supplement other policies’ liability coverage, including renters’, auto, and home insurance. The umbrella policy will kick in once basic liability coverage is exceeded.  

What is covered under an umbrella insurance policy?

Umbrella policies will cover excess liability costs up to the policy limit. An umbrella policy is typically used when you are sued and found at fault for an accident, such as someone getting injured at your home. Most coverage includes property damage and bodily injury liability claims. The umbrella policy also may cover expenses you are found responsible for such as others’ medical bills or funeral costs; property damage; your legal defense bills; and, if you are a landlord, injuries suffered by a tenant. It also typically covers loss of wages if a person cannot work due to injuries for which you are found liable. 

Does umbrella insurance cover lawsuits?

Umbrella insurance policies ensure protection against potential lawsuits. The insurance will protect your assets if you are found liable for property damage or bodily injuries. It also will cover costs for your legal defense if you are not found liable. 

What does an umbrella insurance policy not cover?

An umbrella policy usually does not cover costs for your own injuries or property damage; intentional or criminal acts; or liability relating to agreed-upon contracts.

Who needs an umbrella insurance policy?

If you are sued, your current and future assets, such as properties, stocks, bonds, savings, and retirement funds, could be at risk. If you want to mitigate risk and boost the protection of your assets, you should consider an umbrella insurance policy. 

When is umbrella insurance necessary?

Umbrella insurance supplements your standard insurance policies. The coverage protects your assets in many instances when you could be found liable for damages or injuries. Policies can vary, but examples of what might be covered include:

        • Your dog bites another dog or person and causes bodily injury;

        • Your teenage son or daughter drives, gets into a serious car accident and damages exceed your automobile insurance policy;

        • Someone drinks too much alcohol at your house then drives and gets into an accident; or

        • Your child’s friend is injured while using your backyard playground equipment.

Landlords might purchase an umbrella insurance policy to protect against the risk that a tenant or guest is injured at their property due to negligence, such as a wobbly handrail. An umbrella policy also may cover issues typical insurance policies do not cover, such as defending yourself and paying damages in cases of slander, libel, or false arrest. Further, an umbrella policy typically will cover liability claims for “pain and suffering,” which is often costly and associated with the psychological ramifications resulting from an incident in which you are found liable.

Is it worth having an umbrella policy?

An umbrella policy can be a relatively low-cost way to shield your assets from unexpected liability expenses and lawsuits. Legal defense costs alone can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. The first $1 million of personal excess liability coverage costs about $150 to $300 per year, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Umbrella liability coverage can be a good way for anyone to protect against claims that put your finances at risk. People with more assets tend to buy umbrella policies more often.

When deciding whether to purchase an umbrella policy, you should also consider your lifestyle and how likely it is that you might be found at fault for someone’s injuries. For example, if you are a landlord, own a dog, hunt, or have a swimming pool, an umbrella policy might be a good investment. An umbrella insurance policy is designed to cover costs and protect your assets if you are sued by a third party and found at fault. It covers a wide variety of claims and can be a reassuring layer of protection to preserve your current and future assets.

Standard homeowners insurance policies may cover damage, liability, and sometimes theft of building supplies for properties under construction. But other types of insurance can be purchased to supplement a typical homeowners policy.

How to insure a building under construction

When building or remodeling a property, it is a good idea to close any gaps in a standard homeowners insurance policy by purchasing additional insurance. Parties such as property owners, developers, contractors, lenders, or architects might carry insurance related to a specific construction project.

Types of insurance policies for buildings under construction

There are various types of insurance policies that can be purchased to cover properties under construction. These range from protection against theft; coverage for third-party claims of damage tied to the construction project; and coverage to protect materials in transit.

What is builder’s risk insurance?

Builder’s risk insurance, also referred to as a course of construction insurance, covers properties under construction or renovation. Contractors, the property owner, or developer often carry builder’s risk insurance policies once a project is underway. This policy provides protection in case of theft or vandalism of tools or construction equipment.

Some policies also cover building materials and equipment being stored off-site. Standard coverage typically includes the cost to repair or replace building materials damaged due to fire, weather, or vandalism. The policy may provide coverage for costs associated with delays in construction due to property damage, such as lost sales or real estate taxes.

A builder’s risk policy can be customized for each project. For instance, coverage can include specific items, such as scaffolding or debris removal and disposal.

What is contractor insurance?

Contractors can choose from a variety of business insurance policies to protect them against risks associated with their projects. Among these policies are a general liability policy, workers’ compensation, builder’s risk, and commercial property. A contractor can select the policies that best suit a particular project.

A contractor typically carries a general liability policy. This covers third-party claims such as bodily injury, medical payments, or property damage related to the contractor’s work. Claims related to slander or libel also may be included in the coverage. The insurance also can cover lost, damaged, or stolen tools/equipment/damage done to the equipment being installed inside a home.

Additionally, pollution liability insurance coverage can be purchased to protect contractors found responsible for creating pollution at the construction site. Some states require contractors to show proof of a minimum amount of liability coverage before being assigned a project. Many states also require a contractor to carry worker’s compensation insurance to cover costs associated with employees with job-related injuries or illness. Workers’ compensation covers expenses such as medical bills, lost wages, and legal fees.

What is construction insurance?

Construction insurance is the general term for various insurance policies that provide protection during construction projects. 

Choosing the right building under construction insurance policy for you 

While contractors typically purchase general liability and worker’s compensation insurance, construction policies can be tailored to fit individual projects. Factors determining the type of policy required include whether an individual or business is purchasing the insurance; the person’s role in the project – such as property owner or contractor; and the type of property being insured. There are a variety of insurance options to protect property owners, developers, and contractors from risks associated with construction projects. The level and details of the coverage will vary by project. Learn more about Building Under Construction insurance and more related topics in our insurance term glossary.

Learn what earthquake insurance coverage includes and what types of plans are typically available. While not every earthquake will harm your home or business, it is a good idea to plan for potential property damage from the sudden shaking of the ground by purchasing earthquake insurance

How does earthquake insurance work?

Earthquake insurance is typically excluded from standard homeowners and renters policies. It can be purchased as an add-on to homeowners or renters insurance or as a separate policy.

It typically will cover costs up to the same amount as your homeowners’ insurance coverage amount, minus the deductible, which is usually 10 percent to 20 percent of the coverage limit.

Can you write off earthquake insurance?
Earthquake insurance premiums typically cannot be written off on income taxes.
Does FEMA cover earthquake insurance?
Earthquake insurance cannot be purchased from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Private insurance companies offer earthquake insurance as an add-on to homeowners or renters policies or it can be purchased separately.

What does earthquake insurance coverage include?

Coverage varies by policy, but earthquake insurance usually covers the cost to repair damage to your house and personal belongings inside your home resulting from an earthquake. It also will cover additional living expenses if you need to relocate while the area is evacuated or the home is being repaired.

What does earthquake insurance not cover?

Note that earthquake coverage usually excludes damage or losses from a flood or tidal wave, even if it results from an earthquake. Policies should be read closely to determine whether additional flood insurance should be purchased. Further, an earthquake policy might not include coverage for structures on your property -- such as a detached garage -- landscaping, or a pool. 

What is typically included for CRE earthquake insurance?

Commercial real estate earthquake insurance typically covers damage to your building and business property such as inventory and equipment. It also might cover the loss of income caused by the earthquake.

Coverage will begin when the damage exceeds your policy’s deductible, which is the amount you pay out-of-pocket before insurance pays. Deductibles are determined in part by a property’s age, location, and condition.

Earthquake coverage is not usually part of a general business insurance policy and must be purchased separately. Some building upgrades may be required before earthquake insurance is provided. For instance, a property might need to be bolted to its foundation. 

Is earthquake insurance worth it?

Earthquakes can strike suddenly and cause extensive damage. People in 42 states are at risk of an earthquake occurring, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

Since standard homeowners and business insurance policies do not include earthquake insurance, you should consider purchasing earthquake coverage to protect your assets. 

Natural disaster insurance

A natural disaster can include events such as a hurricane, tornado, wildfire, flood, ice storm, windstorm, hail, or earthquake. 

Make sure to discuss what is covered under your policy with your insurance agent. Insurance coverage for these types of events will vary by policy, but flood and earthquake coverage is generally not covered by a homeowners policy. Also, check to see how high deductibles are and what coverage is excluded from your policy. 

What to do if your home or business is destroyed by an earthquake

Funding from federal and state programs may be available if an earthquake destroys your home or business, but it will depend on the situation and on the program’s eligibility criteria.

Generally, following an earthquake, you should notify your insurer of the property damage. You also should survey your home or business and document the damage. Take photos or videos to secure a visual record for any insurance claims. Your insurance company also might want to send an inspector to note the damage. You also might consider hiring an independent inspector to assess the damage and costs.

Utility companies also should be contacted so they can turn off water, gas, phone, and electricity lines at the property.

What happens if you don’t have earthquake insurance?

Earthquake insurance is not required by law, but you should consider purchasing insurance to protect your assets. Repairing or rebuilding a property damaged by an earthquake likely will be more expensive than purchasing insurance protection.

Earthquake insurance is not covered in standard homeowners or business policies, so it is a good idea to consider purchasing additional insurance to best protect your assets.

Learn more about earthquake insurance policies as well as other important landlord insurance terms in our dedicated insurance glossary.

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