You have an extra room in your house, maybe a guest house, and you think it’s a good idea to generate a little extra income by taking in a renter. Just renting a few weeks out of the year (holidays, seasonal)? Your standard homeowners policy will probably be enough. But if you decide to have a permanent tenant, your will need to look at upgrading your coverage.

There is also something called landlord insurance. If you are renting out a house, you may want to look into it. Typically, landlord insurance covers the house itself, other structures on the property such as sheds, the owner’s possessions (but not the tenant’s possessions), lost rental income if the house is damaged and uninhabitable, and some liability protection for the owner in case of injury or a lawsuit.

Again, most homeowners policies will provide cover if you rent your home out a few weeks each year while you are away.  But your winter cabin you consistently rent out throughout the year will likely not be covered by your own homeowners policy. If you are planning to rent out your home for a longer period of time, such as six months or a year, to one person, couple or a family, you will likely need a landlord or rental dwelling policy.

Landlord policies provide property insurance coverage for any physical damage to the structure of the home caused by fire, lightning, wind, hail, ice, snow or other covered perils. It also offers coverage for any personal property you may leave on-site for maintenance or tenant use, like appliances, lawnmowers and snow blowers. The policy also includes liability coverage; if a tenant or one of their guests gets hurt on the property, it would cover legal fees, due to injury claims, and medical expenses.

The point here is coverages depend largely on your insurance company. Except for obvious rental scenarios which are obviously businesses, you may or may not be covered. Check with your insurance professional to see if you are.