Rental properties are always in high demand near universities and colleges, for a good reason—thousands of students want to live as close to campus as possible, and on-campus student housing isn't the right solution for everyone. Your insurance needs will depend on how many student rental properties you own and other factors. Typically, suppose you own 1 student rental or rent out a basement suite in your primary home. In that case, coverage can be added to your existing homeowner's policy or on a specialty policy. If you own 2 or more student rental properties and operate as a business, you will likely require a commercial business insurance policy.
Renting to university and college students is lucrative because even though students don't typically rent long-term, there's always a steady supply of applicants waiting to replace anyone who moves out. But renting to students can come with some risk exposures that make it extra important to have the correct insurance. Property owners in Ontario can count on the experienced brokers at Morison Insurance to begin a student rental insurance quote or to find the proper insurance options for their unique needs so they can rest easy knowing they have financial protection against the risks to their properties.
Student rental insurance protects rental property owners from financial loss if the property or your personal property is stolen, damaged or destroyed by an insured peril. Student rental insurance also provides liability coverage for legal defence fees and settlement costs should you be found liable for causing third-party property damage or bodily injury at your rental unit. This may also include other types of coverage depending on how your policy is written and your unique insurance requirements.
Two types of student rental insurance offer similar financial protection but are on different policies. The first is adding your rental property to your existing homeowner's insurance policy. This is a good solution for someone planning to rent out a basement suite in their home or on a specialty policy. If you have many rental properties that you run as a business, you need a commercial business insurance policy for your rental properties.
You require student rental property insurance if you own one or more properties you rent to students. With the right rental insurance policy, you will have comprehensive financial protection in the event of a loss. That applies to free-standing houses, duplexes, condo units and more, though it's worth noting that there may be some special caveats for renting a condominium. It is essential to let your expert insurance broker know the type of building and the number of properties/units you plan to rent, so they can take the necessary steps to confirm that you have complete coverage.
Student rental insurance is not a legal requirement. However, it is crucial to have coverage. A rental property is a significant investment. It makes sense to protect the property - and your wallet - in the event of a loss. It is also important to note that mortgage lenders typically require you to have insurance on the property to release a mortgage. When you rent to students, remember that you may be renting to very young adults living outside their parent's homes for the first time. Even if they are tidy and try to take good care of the house, they do not necessarily practice all the life skills necessary to properly maintain a home with all due caution. If you have a dream tenant, accidents can still sometimes happen that no one is to blame for.
Coverage will vary based on numerous factors specific to the policyholder's needs. A significant factor is if your student rental property requires a commercial policy, or if it can be added to your existing homeowner's policy. Some standard types of coverage that your policy will protect include the property itself, your contents you own, loss/damage due to vandalism or theft, and liability coverage.
If your building is damaged or destroyed by an insured peril such as fire, natural disaster or vandalism, your insurance provider will compensate you with funds to cover the restoration, replacement or repair of the building up to the limits listed on your policy. It's essential to ensure your student rental properties are appropriately valued so you can get full replacement costs in the event of a loss and have the house rebuilt the same as it was before the loss.
Contents coverage is another part of your student rental insurance coverage. It offers financial protection to repair or replace damaged, destroyed or stolen items on the property that belongs to the property owner, such as appliances or provided furnishings and décor. It does not cover the tenant's belongings—they must have their own tenant insurance policy. For example, suppose there is a kitchen fire that destroys the unit's stove and other appliances in the kitchen. Contents coverage will replace the damaged appliances. At the same time, the property insurance portion would cover restoration costs for building damage, such as the walls and flooring.
Another essential type of insurance coverage is liability insurance. This third-party liability coverage protects you against financial loss if you are sued for causing third-party bodily injury or third-party property damage at your home or rental property. For example, suppose your student tenant's grandparents came to visit them and slipped on an icy walkway or tripped on an uneven step and injured themselves. In that case, they could bring legal action against you to recoup their medical expenses. Or, if you entered the rental unit to take care of a repair and accidentally knocked over a tenant's expensive laptop, they could make a claim against you for the cost of the electronic device. Your liability coverage on your homeowners or student rental insurance would respond in those scenarios.
These are two different insurance products, though it's easy to see why they get mixed up based on their names. Student rental insurance is designed to give financial protection to rental property owners, while the tenants have tenant insurance for their contents and own personal liability.
It's common for rental property owners to include a clause in their rental or lease agreement that stipulates the tenant must invest in tenant insurance. Proper tenant insurance provides protection if their personal belongings are damaged, destroyed or stolen. It also gives them some personal liability coverage should they be sued and can even provide for additional living expenses in the event of a loss, such as covering hotel costs if the rental property is uninhabitable so they have temporary housing.
But there are also some significant advantages to the property owner when their tenants are adequately insured. It reduces the chance of a legal or personal conflict during a situation that is bound to be stressful for both parties. It makes it more likely that the property owner will be able to receive financial compensation in a situation where the tenant is liable for causing damage. Your insurance company may also require that your tenant have a tenant insurance policy. Including this in the rental agreement will meet your insurance company's requirements.
This is an excellent question because the nature of student rentals means there may be periods when the property is temporarily vacant. Many property owners assume their student rental insurance will carry them through those periods, but that's not necessarily true. If you rent a basement suite in a house covered by home insurance, your home insurance will still apply as long as someone (such as yourself) lives there. If you don't live at the rental property or have many rental properties, it's likely a different matter. Vacant properties have increased exposure to certain risks because the property owner is not there to monitor the house, and nobody else is watching it. However, insurance companies know that rental properties may be vacant occasionally, making it possible to transition smoothly between student rental insurance and vacant property insurance coverage as necessary. Make sure to speak with your Morison Insurance broker when the tenancy status of your property changes so they can alter your coverage to ensure you have complete insurance protection.
Whether you have one or many student rental properties to insure, our Morison Insurance brokers are here to assist you! We have the experience and skill to find the ideal combination of coverages for your unique needs and provide the information and advice you need to sleep easily at night, knowing you're backed with protection against financial loss. Call us at 1-800-463-8074, or inquire about a student rental insurance online quote. Our friendly Ontario insurance brokers are here to help with your unique requirements.
This content is written by our Morison Insurance team. It is provided for general information only. Insurance needs differ from person to person, and this article is therefore not a substitute for professional advice about your individual insurance needs which can be obtained by speaking to one of our brokers.