Types of Property

Homeowners insurance for a second home

Homeowners insurance for rental property

Condo insurance

Homeowners insurance for rental property

Homeowners insurance may cover your guests during a short-term stay, but if you’re renting out your property for a long period of time, you’ll need rental property insurance, or landlord insurance.

If you rent out your home for short periods of time, homeowners insurance may cover your property and liability while it’s being rented, but if you rent out your home for longer periods of time, you’ll need rental property insurance, or landlord insurance to be sufficiently covered.

As the landlord, you’re only responsible for the building and your own property. Tenants’ personal belongings are not covered by your policy — so they’ll need renters insurance to cover their own personal property.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • If you rent out your property for short periods of time, standard homeowners insurance may cover your guests, but some insurance companies may require you to add short-term rental coverage to your policy

  • If you plan to rent out your property for a longer period of time, you’ll need rental property insurance, or landlord insurance

  • As the property owner, you’re only financially responsible for the building and your own property, but not your tenants' personal belongings

Do I need homeowners insurance for a rental property?

If you buy a house and plan on living there full-time, you'll need homeowners insurance to protect your property and personal belongings. But if you're using the home as a rental property, your insurance needs may change, as standard homeowners insurance may not cover your rental property or any injuries you’re responsible for as the owner.

If you plan on renting out the home long-term, you’ll likely need rental property insurance, or landlord insurance, which is a type of policy designed to protect rental properties. In terms of insurance risk, insurers view a rental property differently than a home you primarily live in but rent out intermittently. Be sure to talk to your provider to discuss your coverage needs.

Do I need to change homeowners insurance if I rent out my house?

If you live at your home most of the year and rent out the entire property or a room intermittently, your existing homeowners insurance policy may cover your guests, provided you let your insurance company know the deal beforehand.

While some insurers may be cool with covering short-term guests, others may, at the very least, view it as a contentious issue, as rental properties present an increased risk for insurance companies.

Homeowners insurance for Airbnbs

If you rent out your property intermittently through short-term rental services like Airbnb, be sure to let your insurance company know in advance of the rental period. Some insurers may not require additional coverage if you let them know in advance, but others may require you to purchase a home-sharing coverage endorsement that supplements your homeowners insurance policy.

Additionally, Airbnb provides a couple of their own options, including:

  • Host Protection Insurance - Host Protection Insurance is Airbnb's native insurance policy that provides up to $1 million in liability coverage per occurrence for bodily injury or property damage and covers property damage in common areas of the building (if you're renting out an apartment or condo
  • Host Guarantee Insurance - Host Guarantee Insurance provides up to $1 million in protection to hosts in the event that a guest damages your property and the loss happens to exceed the security deposit. The Host Guarantee doesn't cover belongings like cash, jewelry, or expensive art, and should not be considered a replacement for homeowners or renters insurance

Be sure to read the fine print carefully to see what your carrier's policy is regarding insurance coverage for guests, or speak with a licensed representative at Policygenius who can walk you through your policy's terms and conditions and let you know if you need to add coverage.

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What does rental property insurance cover?

If you're planning on renting out your home long term, you're going to need rental property insurance, or perhaps more commonly known as landlord insurance.

Landlord insurance generally costs about 25% more than standard homeowners insurance policies, and provides:

  • Dwelling coverage - Covers reconstruction or repairs to the structure of the rental property
  • Coverage for landlord’s personal property - Covers items and appliances on the premises that are owned by the landlord, like dishwashing machines, washer and dryers, and items used for maintenance like shovels, rakes, and lawnmowers
  • Liability coverage - Covers legal expenses if your guests or tenants if are hurt on your property and file a lawsuit
  • Loss-of-rent coverage - Reimburses you for lost fair rental value if you're unable to rent out property due to a covered loss

Renters insurance

If you rent out property, your rental property insurance will cover the structure of the building and your financial interest in the property, but your policy won’t cover your tenant or guest’s personal property. Your tenant will have to purchase their own renters insurance policy to cover their personal belongings and liability.

Homeowners Insurance Expert

Pat Howard

Homeowners Insurance Expert

Expertise
Pat Howard is a homeowners insurance editor at Policygenius in New York City. He has written extensively about home insurance cost, coverage, and companies since 2018, and his insights have been featured on Investopedia, Lifehacker, MSN, Zola, HerMoney, and Property Casualty 360.

Education
Pat has a B.A. in journalism from Michigan State University.

Property and Casualty Insurance Expert

Stephanie Nieves

Property and Casualty Insurance Expert

Expertise
Stephanie Nieves is an insurance editor at Policygenius in New York City, specializing in auto and home insurance. She's been writing about insurance, finance and financial planning since 2018, and loves helping readers get the knowledge they need to make financial decisions with confidence. Her words can also be found on PayScale, Fairygodboss, and The Muse.

Education
Stephanie has a B.A. in writing and rhetoric from Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

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