Investing in real estate is different than investing in Wall Street stocks. Stocks are speculative, and they’re also a “paper asset.” The stocks might go up and down but there isn’t much that can happen to the “financial instrument” itself (especially since they’re stored electronically instead of as stock certificates now). Managing real estate on the other hand, when done properly, provides steady cash flow and is a real asset… which means something could happen to your real estate.
The cash flow is nice… but you need to protect the real asset (and yourself). That’s where rental insurance comes in. Insurance is like a “reset button” to help you recover financially from a loss. If you invest in real estate, maybe you’re wondering, “What insurance should I have for my rental property in Warner Robins?”
Here’s a checklist of insurance that you may need:
Checklist: What Insurance Should I Have For My Rental Property In Warner Robins?
There are many possible insurance products that can benefit you but the primary ones are below. There are many companies in Warner Robins, Perry and Kathleen Georgia that can provide what you need. (You may choose to purchase the relevant ones separately or you might want to ask your insurance broker if they have “landlord’s insurance” since some insurance companies will package the right ones together for your convenience.)
Rental Property Insurance. Also known as a landlord policy, property insurance should protect you financially from many of the events and natural disasters that may damage your property. All policies are different but you might get property insurance that covers you for fire, lightning, wind damage, etc. unlike a homeowners policy (which covers the structure, personal belongings and out buildings for a homeowner), a landlord policy covers the main structure (your rental house) on the property. That’s why rental insurance is cheaper. If you live in an area prone to a certain type of natural event (such as floods), you may need to acquire an additional “riders” for that special situation. A rent loss rider is a cheap addition that is good to have that pay rent for you until the house can be re-occupied. An experienced professional landlord can help with these questions.
Liability Insurance. If a tenant or visitor injures themselves on your property, they may sue you to help pay for their medical bills and loss of employment income. An attorney should be able to advise you on ways to proptect yourself from events like this. Liability insurance also helps to protect you from the financial burden if a lawsuit goes against you personally.
Tenant/Renters Insurance: Tenant insurance isn’t something you need to get for yourself, but we’re mentioning it here because it’s something you should urge your tenants to get. Tenant insurance is insurance for tenants that will cover any financial loss of their belongings. Some property managing companies require it for their tenants. This is another question to ask a competent real estate attorney. Don’t have one? Call us, we know a few.
Here’s How These Insurances Work
As an example, if a fire starts, your property insurance may cover the repairs to the property, the liability insurance may cover you if the tenant chooses to sue you, and the tenant insurance will cover any damage to the tenant’s belongings.
Get The Insurance You Need
There may be other insurance to consider as well, including insurance for your business in case you are injured and unable to work, or there might be other insurance available (such as those through your credit card or bank) to cover bills if there’s a loss of income.
Good property management requires you to know many of these answers because as part of the job. Insurance needs are different for every situation; we’ve covered the 3 basic insurances above to get you started but you should always talk to an insurance professional who can assess your needs based on your individual situation. Sit down with your insurance agent and ask lots of questions like:
– What is the difference between cash value and a full replacement policy?
– In a “worst case”, how much will my current policy pay and how do I adjust it.
– Does my policy cover…? (water heater damage, roof damage, A/C, flood, liability, etc.)