Landlord Insurance

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Delaware Landlord Insurance

Delaware landlord insurance is similar to homeowners insurance but offers many more coverage items that are must haves for any rental property owner. Protection for the building, contents, landlord liability and loss of rents are the key coverage items you need. When looking at insurance for your investment property consider price obviously but don't discount a quality insurance agent and claims history. If you only pick your insurance based on price it will come back to haunt you later when your phone calls are not being returned or a claim is not handled quickly.

There are many home insurance companies in Delaware that offer landlord insurance policies. The top 5 insurance companies by market share in Delaware include, State Farm®, Nationwide®, Allstate®, Liberty Mutual®, and USAA®. Each one of these companies offer different products and may have different recommendations for coverage so be sure to compare the policies.

These are all great insurance companies that offer incredible protection for your rental property. The good news is that agents representing those companies and other trusted carriers have partnered with us to provide a simple insurance shopping experience. Use our service to get quotes from leading insurance companies like these just by entering some basic information about the home and yourself.

Investment Property Flood Insurance for Delaware Landlords

A basic landlord insurance policy will not provide coverage for flooding in DE. It is necessary to get flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program or NFIP if you live in a high risk flood zone. In order to check the risks of flooding in your area go to www.floodsmart.gov where they can determine your risk based on address.

Landlord Liability Insurance in DE

By renting out your home it will increase your risk from a liability stand point. You are now responsible for someone else's safety while they live in your rental home. If you fail to maintain the property and your tenant is injured you are liable for their injuries and property damage. Landlord liability insurance covers your liability in this scenario but make sure you do everything to minimize the potential for safety hazard.

5 ways to make your rental property safer and reduce your liability risk

  • Install multiple carbon monoxide detectors and check battery levels every 2 months
  • Have proper locking windows and doors throughout the house
  • Have fire extinguishers handy in fire prone areas like kitchens and garages
  • Fix any faulty maintenance issues quickly before they become safety hazards (i.e. uneven stairs, slippery walkways, and overgrown trees)
  • Confirm all new additions or changes to the property meet building code specs

Cost of Landlord Insurance in Delaware

The cost to insure your rental property in DE is dependent upon numerous rating factors that home insurance companies use to determine the proper premium. When you own a condo or townhouse the cost of landlord insurance is very minimal because usually you split that cost with the homeowners association which insurers the exterior of your unit. If you insure a single family home or rental complex then your insurance costs are going to be much higher due to the replacement cost of the building is solely your responsibility.

Here are a few of the most common rating factors that insurance companies use to determine your landlord insurance premium:

  • Credit rating - This is your personal credit rating which is similar to a FICO score but can be based on other specific criteria such as payment history and bankruptcy.
  • Location - The zip code or city that your rental unit is located in has a dramatic effect on your insurance premiums as companies who have big losses in those areas will increase rates to get profitable.
  • Building type - This can be numerous things including condo, single family, and townhouse including the materials used to construct the property.
  • Claim history - If you have one or more claims in the past 3 years as a homeowner most insurance companies will surcharge your premium. Some companies may not even accept your business if you have more than two.
  • Discounts - If you have more business with an insurance carrier they are more likely to offer discounts to keep all of your business with them.

How to Find The Cheapest Landlord Insurance in DE

Each insurance company is different in the way they determine your rate and how much the average policy will cost but here are ways to ensure the lowest cost premium based on the factors above.

  • Good Credit - The better your credit the lower the cost of your insurance. Many states are now allowing credit as a rating criteria so get used to it being used. Try to keep your past payment history spotless and a FICO score above 720 is considered excellent.
  • Improve the Location - There is not much you can do about the location once you have purchased the rental property but be sure to keep the home well-kept and surrounding trees cut back to minimize potential hazards. The better your property appears the lower the cost to insure it will be.
  • Building type - Condo and townhouse owners will likely have a home owners association which will cover the exterior of the home so you are only responsible for the interior. This can save you hundreds of dollars each year. If the unit includes custom building and expensive materials expect to pay more because the cost to replace those items is greater.
  • No Claim history - Try not to make a claim if it is a small value of $2000 or less. Most companies look at multiple claims as a sign that you are prone to making claims in the future. If you are deciding whether to make a claim or not contact your insurance agent and ask them personally. Don't call the claim department and ask them because they are likely to document the call and file it for future use.
  • More Discounts - Ask about multiple policy discounts and the combination of auto and home insurance. Sometimes combining your personal auto insurance with this policy can save you 20-30% off each policy.

Delaware's 5 largest cities by population

City
Population
Wilmington 70,851
Dover 36,047
Newark 31,454
Middletown 18,871
Smyrna 10,023

*Data from 2010 Census Population by the Department of Economic and Community Development.

Common Landlord Insurance Claims in DE (Delaware)

Wind
(Most claims cost over $1,500 to repair wind damage)

Fire
(Most claims cost over $22,000 to repair damages from fire)

Water
(Most claims cost over $6,000 to repair damage from water)

Liability
(Most claims cost over $5,500)

Loss of Rental Income
(Most claims cost over $1,500 to recoup lost rental income)

NOTICE: The amounts listed above are for illustrative purposes only and should not be used to decide what coverage limits you need for your landlord policy. Speak with your insurance agent to determine the proper coverage limits.

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