It’s not unusual that a landlord or residential building owner doesn’t know how much of his contents are covered on his insurance policy. Do you know if you’re properly protected with both contents and structures insurance?
Contents vs. Structure
There is a difference between coverage of contents and structure (or dwelling).
Contents includes anything that can be carried away from the building. They are typically personal belongings purchased separately from the building. For instance, furniture, appliances, artwork, electronics and clothing are all contents.
Structural items, on the other hand, are things that are attached to the apartment or unit. Hardwood or tile flooring, counter tops, and other cabinetry are all considered part of the building. This also includes additional structures on the property such as fencing or outbuildings (like a shed or garage). Make sure your agent is aware of any additional structures on your property.
How Much Insurance Do You Need?
This is a little tricky, so let’s start with contents.
A landlord should take inventory of all the contents that belong to the building owner, and assign a dollar amount to determine what the items are worth. Such property may include kitchen appliances, light fixtures, furniture in common areas, etc. Review this list of items (and values) with your insurance agent to make sure you have enough insurance coverage (and also make sure you don’t have too much).
The building structure policy should cover the cost for rebuilding the structure. Determine how much it would take to restore the interior (e.g., cabinets, tile, etc.) if it were damaged.
Review Your Existing Policies
Your agent can determine the current value of your building structure. Schedule a review with your agent to make sure your coverage is up to date and that you have the right amount of coverage for the contents of your building. The agent should also be able to tell you whether any rare or high-value item may require its own insurance rider.