Rent Default Insurance
Landlords can finally have peace of mind knowing that rental income is guaranteed, even when tenants stop paying rent.
Landlord Rent Default Insurance covers landlords for the loss of rent resulting from a tenant’s default on rent payment*. Landlords may choose to cover from 1.5 to 6 months of lost rental income during a 1-year policy period.
What’s Not Covered:
Requirements to Qualify
- New or existing residential lease agreement with a remaining period of more than 6 months.
- The tenant(s) must use the rental unit as a primary residence (no coverage for vacation homes or short-term rentals)
- Tenant credit score greater than 580 (540 in Texas only).
- Tenant’s monthly income ≥ 2.5 x monthly rent; or Tenant’s liquid assets ≥ 80 x monthly rent
- Tenant has no history of bankruptcy, foreclosure, judgments, eviction, or ending a lease owing money to a landlord in last 3 years.
- If the lease has been in effect for less than 12 months, a tenant screening report must be available. If the lease has been in effect for more than 12 months, the tenant’s rent payments must have not been in arrears for the period of the tenancy.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Landlord Rent Default Insurance?
It’s insurance that indemnifies landlords for loss of rent resulting from a tenant defaulting on rent payment obligations. This insurance provides landlords with a guarantee on the lease performance and peace of mind knowing that they can protect the rental income used to service the mortgage, pay property taxes or maintain the unit.
Who should consider getting it?
Any owner of a residential rental unit that has at least 6 months remaining on the lease. This insurance is for rentals that are used as a tenant’s primary residence, and so it is not available for vacation homes or short-term rentals. There is also a list of requirements that need to be met to qualify for the insurance, such as the tenant must have a minimum credit score of 580, a monthly income of 2.5 times the monthly rent, and must not have been the subject of an eviction proceeding, bankruptcy, foreclosure or judgments in the last 3 years. The full list is available in the Qualification Requirements document.
Does my property insurance provide coverage in the event of tenant default?
Traditional dwelling or landlord insurance policies may sometime offer coverage for some portion of the loss of rent resulting from a covered peril, such as fire, but not necessarily for loss of rent resulting from a tenant’s default. Check your dwelling or landlord policy for details.
How much does Landlord Rent Default Insurance cost on average and what’s the refund policy?
The premium depends on a rental unit’s address, monthly rent amount, and the amount of coverage you select. You can choose to cover from 1.5 to 6 months of lost rental income during a 1-year policy period. For example, the estimated annual premium for a rental unit in Downtown Orlando, renting at $1,500/month, would be around $240/year to cover for up to 3 months of lost rental income. Currently, the minimum retained premium is 100%, which means that we cannot provide any refunds if you cancel your policy.
How can I buy Landlord Rent Default Insurance?
You can inquire for the insurance through the contact form on this page. We would need the landlord’s contact information, the rental unit’s address, monthly rent amount, required coverage limit, coverage start date, and by certifying that all the insurance Qualification Requirements are met. Once the completed and signed inquiry form is received, we will survey the insurance markets. If coverage is not available from an admitted insurance carrier, the policy will be bound with a Surplus Lines Insurance company.
What is Surplus Lines Insurance?
Excess and surplus lines insurance is a segment of the insurance market that allows customers to buy insurance that is not available through insurers licensed in the customer’s state. One of the major differences between admitted and surplus lines insurance is that purchasers of surplus lines insurance policies do NOT have the protection provided by the state’s guaranty fund.
COVERAGE AND EXCLUSIONS
What does Landlord Rent Default Insurance Cover?
It covers the insured landlord for loss of rent resulting from a tenant’s nonpayment. There are many life events that can cause a tenant to stop paying rent: job loss, job relocations, evictions, break-ups, marriage, newborn babies, death, military deployment, etc… Any of these or other common life events that can cause a tenant to have to break a lease.
What is the maximum amount of loss of rent covered by the insurance?
When buying the insurance, Landlords can select to cover from 1.5 to 6 months of lost rental income during a 1-year policy period. Currently, the coverage limit options are for 1.5, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 months of lost rent.
What tenant default events would not be covered by the policy?
There are some instances that could result in loss of rent that would not be covered. For example, a default would not be covered under the policy if the default is caused by the rental unit becoming uninhabitable, the landlord failing to comply with applicable law, building codes, or the terms of the lease. A complete list of coverage exclusions is available in the policy.
Does the policy provide coverage immediately when I purchase it?
The policy has a 21-day waiting period, which means that tenant defaults occurring within the first 21 days from the policy start date would not be covered.
Is there a deductible? What if the lease has a security deposit?
There is no deductible! However, the policy could reduce reimbursement by any “rent credits.” For example, the policy provides that proceeds from any security deposit will be applied: 1st) to pay for damages to the rental unit incurred during the lease (excluding ordinary wear and tear); 2nd) to the payment of any legal fee incurred in connection with the tenant’s default; 3rd) to pay for any re-tenanting fee, and 4th) towards unpaid rent as a “rent credit.”
Do I need to take actions when my tenant defaults on rent?
First, notify us as soon as you are made aware of a tenant’s default: simply click on the Make a Claim button when your login into your account and follow the steps. Also, if your tenant’s default is caused by the abandonment of the unit or nonpayment of rent, you need to send the tenant a written notice of default demanding that they cure the default within 15 days, or the number of days required by applicable law, whichever is greater. In any case, you should start an Initial Action (defined in the policy) to regain legal possession of the unit. This can be an official eviction proceeding, a plenary action, or an agreement between you and the tenant terminating the lease prior to the original lease expiration after obtaining our consent. Make sure to read your policy carefully to have a full understanding of the actions you need to take after a tenant’s default. Steady cannot provide legal advice relating to the eviction process.
When do I make a claim on the policy?
You must first notify us of a tenant’s default and provide proof that you have begun an initial action. After that, you can submit a claim upon the earlier of: 1) regaining possession of the unit, 2) the lease expiration date, or 3) the receipt of an official judgement against the tenant. The easiest way to file a claim is to click on the Make a Claim button on your dashboard and follow the steps. You will be prompted to provide a few supporting documents such as a copy of the lease, the tenant’s screening report and income verification documents, the rent payment ledger and any documentary evidence of the tenant’s default.
Do I have to resubmit a claim for each month or months of coverage I am claiming?
After you submit the Initial Claim, you will need to submit an Ongoing Claim (defined in the policy) for each subsequent month of unpaid rent. This can be simply done by following the steps on your dashboard.
How long can I make a claim for loss of rent payments?
You can continue to make Ongoing Claims each month until the earlier of 1) the original lease expiration date; 2) reaching the coverage limit of your policy; or 3) re-renting the unit to a new tenant.
Should I re-rent the unit when making a claim? What happens if I re-rent the unit at a lower amount?
You need to take all the necessary actions to re-rent the unit as soon as possible. If the rent amount of the new lease is lower than the defaulting tenant’s rent, you will be covered for the difference between the old monthly rent amount and the new monthly rent amount until the earlier of: 1) the coverage limit being reached or 2) the old lease expiration date.