After a brutal winter, the summer season is finally upon us (temps are supposed to hit 90 degrees Fahrenheit in our area today!) and things are in full swing on the Cape and South Shore. Hotels and rental homes are booked to capacity and the beaches and streets are filled with smiling visitors. The seasonal rental business is booming locally and internationally, with websites like VRBO, HomeAway and AirBnB becoming THE place to check out options for a vacation, particularly for large families or groups. The increase in the prominence of home rentals and their supporting websites may have gotten some homeowners thinking…
Could I rent my house out for the summer and make some money?!
Before throwing your house up on a property rental site, you need to evaluate a couple things, first and foremost, your insurance. Smart real estate owners should revisit their many insurance options to protect their properties. Whether you’re looking to rent out your primary residence for the first time, or have regular tenants at a second property, you need to safeguard your investment. With seasonal rentals accounting for a huge portion of the market, high visitor turnaround almost guarantees you’ll run into a troublesome guest or two, and no proprietor can avoid life’s inevitable accidents. Consider the following types of insurance you may need to properly cover your seasonal rental property:
Traditional Homeowner’s Insurance
Say you’re taking a vacation, and you want to make a little money by renting out your primary home. Or, maybe you have an extra room you’d like to offer to a short-term tenant to cover this month’s mortgage payment. Depending on the circumstance, many traditional homeowner’s policies will cover one-time rentals that span one or several weeks. In an owner-occupied house, always check with your agent.
Endorsements for a Limited Time Rental in Your Primary Home
Be prepared to pay an endorsement or “rider” fee for bringing in additional residents. In the event of damage to your property, having an endorsement on your current policy ensures that you cannot be denied coverage because of a one-time rental situation. Companies offer endorsements for replacement cost of the dwelling, its contents, and more.
Landlord or Rental Dwelling Insurance
If your property is a second home, you live off premises, or if you are accommodating regular long-term guests in your primary residence, landlord insurance offers comprehensive coverage to protect your hard-earned assets. When you host a family for a long stretch of time, you are especially vulnerable to unexpected physical damage to your structure. Whether it is weather-related destruction or broken maintenance equipment, landlord insurance will give you peace of mind. In addition, most policies will reimburse lost income if damage results in your property’s inhabitability.
General Liability Insurance
Liability coverage is an important addition to all business owner’s insurance. As the property owner and landlord, you may be financially responsible if a tenant falls or is otherwise injured on your property. Liability insurance will cover hospital bills, funeral costs, and other third-party claims you are legally required to pay as a result of negligence.
Flood and Other Casualty Insurance
Being that we live in a coastal area, you may need special coverage if your seasonal rental is close to a beach, coastline, or other flood prone area. Likewise, residential landlords should ensure coverage for fire, severe storm, and other environmental risks.
Every company bundles its coverage differently, so as a responsible owner, make sure to educate yourself when insuring your rental property. This season, reap the benefits of your investment with the assurance you deserve.