Get landlord insurance to protect yourself and your rental condo
Every property you own needs the right insurance to protect the physical property, the contents, and to cover you for potential liabilities. If you’re renting out the property, you will want additional coverage to protect from damage caused by your tenants, and from the possibility that a tenant may default on their rent.
If the property in question is a condo, then it’s likely that both your lender (bank or mortgage provider) and your condo corporation will require that you get landlord insurance before turning over the keys to renters.
What is covered by landlord insurance for your condo?
- Liability – A landlord policy is similar to any home or condo policy in that it will include a certain amount of liability coverage to protect you from lawsuits if someone gets hurt on your property.
- Fixtures and improvements – A condo is unlike a house in that you don’t need insurance for the building itself. Your condo corporation has insurance for that. However, condo bylaws define what is to be insured by the unit owner, and that usually includes floors and fixtures inside your unit, as well as any improvements or upgrades you have done after the condo is built.
- Contents (for furnished condos) – If you rent your condo as a furnished unit, that means you need a certain amount of coverage for the contents you own from theft, fire, water damage and a number of other standard ‘perils’.
- Tenant vandalism or theft – Because your tenants have your permission to be there, you would typically not be covered if they decide to steal your property from the unit, or intentionally cause damage to the unit or its contents (vandalism). It’s a good idea to buy coverage for this eventuality.
- Lost rent – Landlord insurance will typically cover you for lost rent if the unit suffers a loss that makes it uninhabitable for a period of time. A standard policy won’t reimburse you if your tenants simply decide not to pay the rent, but there are policies you can buy for this purpose, and you might want to look into one.
- AirBnB – For insurance purposes, renting your condo on a monthly basis is very different from renting it through a short-term rental service like AirBnB. If you’ve decided to rent your condo out short-term, there are only a few insurers that will cover you, but Mitch can certainly find you the coverage you need.
What other insurance do you need for your rental condo?
When you are renting out your condo unit to tenants, this is one of the most complex insurance situations you’ll ever run into. You actually need 3 separate insurance policies to make sure the unit is fully covered.
- Condo corporation insurance (building) – Your condo corporation has a commercial insurance policy that protects the corporation (including you, as a part-owner) from lawsuits that might arise, as well as from physical damage to the building itself. You likely pay the condo insurance premiums for this policy as part of your monthly maintenance fees.
- Landlord insurance (that’s what we’ve been talking about) – As the owner of the unit, you need landlord insurance to protect for the fixtures, improvements and contents that aren’t covered under the condo corporation’s policy. See above for what other coverages are available.
- Tenants insurance If you have long-term tenants in your condo unit, it is strongly recommended that you make sure they have tenants insurance to cover their own possessions (clothes, furniture, electronics etc.). A tenants policy also includes liability coverage for the tenants in case they are responsible for damage or injuries to others while they are in your unit. This would not usually be necessary for AirBnB tenants.