What Are Landlord Insurance Policies?

Massachusetts landlords have a lot invested in their properties. Their investments need to be protected, which is what landlord insurance is for. Landlord policies help safeguard landlords’ properties and themselves from a variety of potential perils.

Landlord insurance policies are a form of property insurance that’s specifically designed for landlords. These policies may be used to insure multi-family units or single-family homes that are leased to tenants.

Do Landlord Policies Provide Coverage for Tenants?

Landlord policies generally insure landlords, not tenants. When landlords have insurance, tenants should still consider purchasing their own renters insurance so that they’re protected. They shouldn’t rely on their landlord’s policy for protection.

For example, even if a landlord had a landlord policy that included landlord contents coverage, a tenant would probably still want to get their own renters insurance that had personal property coverage. Landlords contents coverage may cover all of the items inside a unit that a landlord owns, but it won’t normally provide any coverage for property that tenants own. Personal property coverage can be used insure many of the personal possessions a tenant has.

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Do Landlords in Massachusetts Have to Get a Landlord Policy?

Massachusetts landlords who have borrowed money to purchase rental properties frequently must insure their properties, as lending agreements often include insurance requirements. Lenders use these requirements to ensure that their financial interest in a property will still be protected if something happens to the property.

Landlords who don’t have a loan against their properties typically aren’t obligated to buy insurance, but most decide to anyways. For, rebuilding a property after a covered incident or paying the legal costs associated with a liability suit can be expensive if a landlord doesn’t have insurance.

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What Coverages Do Landlord Policies Offer?

Most landlord policies offer two primary coverages: property insurance coverage and landlord liability insurance coverage. Property insurance coverage is typically used to insure the buildings on a rented policy, while landlord liability insurance coverage helps insure landlords against liability lawsuits filed by applicants, tenants, or other parties. (The exact protections that property insurance coverage, landlord liability insurance coverage, and other coverages provide depend on a particular policy’s terms, conditions and exclusions).

In addition to these two main coverages, landlord policies might also offer:

  • Rent Guarantee Coverage, which might offer payments if a tenant fails to pay their rent
  • Loss of Income Coverage, which may provide compensation for rental income that’s lost after a covered incident
  • Legal Assistance Coverage, which can help pay legal fees associated with covered issues
  • Landlord Contents Coverage, which helps protect items that a landlord owns and keeps inside a rented property (e.g. appliances or furniture)

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Can Landlord Policies’ Premiums Be Deducted When Filing Taxes?

Generally speaking, landlords are able to deduct the premiums they pay for landlord insurance as long as those premiums are a business expense. Landlords who live on a property and rent out a portion of it may only be able to deduct part of their policy’s premiums. To make sure their policies are tax-deductible, landlords should consult an accountant.

Talk to a Business Specialist!How Can Landlords in Massachusetts Get a Landlord Policy?

Landlords in Massachusetts who would like help reviewing their current landlord insurance or finding new coverage should talk with an independent insurance agent near them. A knowledgeable agent in the business insurance field should be able to provide adequate assistance.

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