Washington DC Dwelling Insurance Policy Information
Washington DC Dwelling Insurance. Being the landlord of a rental property can be a lucrative endeavor; however, owning, managing, and renting out a property doesn't come without risks.
Dwellings are residential structures built to provide living accommodations for one individual or family through a rental agreement called a lease. The dwelling premises may include outbuildings, such as a storage shed or garage.
Your property could become damaged by a fire, a flood, a mold outbreak, or a pest infestation. Negligent tenants could destroy a unit in your apartment complex. A burglar could break into a duplex that you rent out. A third-party, such as one of your tenants, a repair person, or a delivery driver, could suffer an injury on your property.
These are just a few examples of the issues that could happen to or on your DC rental property, and as the landlord, you are liable for the costs that are associated with them.
How can you protect yourself from potentially large expenses should an unforeseen circumstance arise? By investing in Washington DC dwelling insurance insurance. What is dwelling insurance for landlords? What type of protections does it offer? Read on for more information.
Washington DC dwelling insurance protects landlord's rental properties from lawsuits with rates as low as $57/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do Dwellings Need Insurance?
Dwelling insurance is a form of insurance coverage that is specifically designed for landlords. It covers personal liability in the event that a third-party sustains an injury on your rental property. It also physical damages your rental property that occur as a result of acts of nature - fires, floods, sewer backups, etc. - as well as acts of vandalism and theft.
Washington DC dwelling insurance can also replace lost income that would have otherwise been collected by tenants in the event that your rental property is uninhabitable for any reason - a pest infestation or a mold outbreak, for example - until your apartment, duplex, a house, a fourplex, or other types of rental properties until it is repaired or rebuilt and is habitable again.
Washington DC dwelling insurance is vital for landlords. It protects you from serious financial losses that would otherwise be crippling in the event that you had to pay for damages, medical costs, or legal defense fees out of your own pocket.
In the event that an unplanned for event that you are liable for does occur on your rental property, your insurer will help to pay for the related costs for anything that a DC dwelling insurance policy covers.
What Type Of Insurance Do Dwellings Need?
Washington DC dwelling insurance policies can be customized to meet the needs of landlords. In order to ensure that this policy offers the protections that you need, speaking with an experienced DC agent who specializes in commercial property insurance is encouraged.
Together, you and your broker can determine exactly what types of coverage your DC dwelling insurance policy should offer. Examples of some of the protections that a policy should offer include:
- Commercial Property - Coverage for damage to a rental property is one of the primary features that a dwelling insurance policy for landlords will offer. This portion of your policy will cover the cost of any damages that occur as a result of acts of nature or other unforeseen circumstances, such as fires, pipe bursts, sewage backups, mold outbreaks, pest infestations, vandalism, or robberies. For instance, if a sewage backup were to occur at your rental property, your dwelling insurance policy would help to pay for any related repairs.
- General Liability - Another important element of a robust dwelling insurance policy is liability protections for any third-party property damage or personal injuries that may occur on your rental property. For example, if a friend of a tenant were to slip and fall while visiting your property, suffer an injury, and file a lawsuit against you, this part of a DC dwelling insurance policy will help to pay for any related expenses, including legal defense fees, medical expense, and any settlements that you may be required to pay out.
- Loss Of Rental Income - In the event that you were unable to collect rental income, a dwelling insurance policy will help to cover your losses. For instance, if your apartment complex or duplex were to become contaminated with mold and uninhabitable, your insurance would reimburse you for the lost income until the mold were removed, damages were repaired, and your property could be inhabited again.
These are just a few examples of the type of Washington DC dwelling insurance coverage that landlords should consider for their rental properties.
What Does Dwelling Insurance Cover?
The dwelling policy is offered to most DC dwellings housing up to four families, even if the owner is not an occupant of any of the units in the dwelling. Additionally, dwelling policies may also be issued to mobile or trailer homes, subject to certain conditions.
There are three forms in which the Washington DC dwelling policy is written, as will be outlined below. All the coverage in the forms, however, are structured as follows:
- A - Dwellings
- B - Other structures
- C - Personal property
- D - Fair rental value
- E - Additional living expense (Not available on DP 00 01)
The three forms differ in the perils they cover and they are similar to the coverage provided under the three causes of loss forms available in the commercial property program.
DP 00 01 - Dwelling Property 1 - Basic Form
The basic form covers fire, lightning and internal explosion. By endorsement, the policy can be extended to protect against the perils of windstorm and hail, riot or civil commotion, aircraft, volcanic eruption, and smoke. All of these perils are added as a package, which also serves to broaden coverage for explosion.
Under another option, the policy may be broadened to cover vandalism and malicious mischief, but this is more restricted form of vandalism and malicious mischief than is found on the homeowners forms.
In the DC dwelling policy, this coverage does not insure against damage to glass (other than glass building blocks) constituting part of the building and there is no coverage of theft, burglary, or larceny except for any building damage caused by burglars.
DP 00 02 - Dwelling Property 2 - Broad Form
Of the seven perils that the broad form adds to the basic form, the five perils listed below are the same as their counterparts in the homeowners policies:
- Accidental discharge of water or steam
- Sudden and accidental damage from artificially generated electric currents
- Sudden and accidental tearing apart, cracking, burning, or bulging
- Weight of ice, snow, or sleet
The following perils are not the same as or provided in the homeowners policies and require additional explanation:
Damage by Burglars: The broad form also covers damage by burglars to covered property, not only damage to a building that is covered under vandalism or malicious mischief.
Note: Unless specifically endorsed, the policy does not cover property taken by the burglars. Also, there is no coverage on the described location after 30 days of vacancy.
Water Damage: The policy does not cover loss due to the accidental overflow of water or steam occurring off the premises—even though it damages property on the premises.
DP 00 03 - Dwelling Property 3 - Special Form
The special form covers property that qualifies under Coverage A and Coverage B on an open-peril basis, subject only to the stated exclusions. The special form dwelling policy is similar to the Homeowners 3.
Theft: As was mentioned previously, coverage on personal property against loss by theft is covered for buildings and structures only. Under the dwelling form, coverage for personal property calls for a special endorsement of the dwelling form. In addition, the dwelling form excludes theft or attempted theft to buildings that have been vacant more than 30 (consecutive) days.
Water Damage: The broad form, discussed directly above, specifically excludes water damage to property on the insured premises, if the overflow originates off the premises. The special form broadens the water damage exclusion to cover damage to insured property; even under these circumstances, but only if the damage is to the building.
Damage to Antennas, Aerials: The dwelling form excludes damage to antennas and aerials by wind, hail, ice, snow or sleet, perils that are covered for such damage under the homeowners special form. The dwelling policy also excludes damage from these perils to trees, shrubs, and plants.
Theft coverage may be added by endorsement to any of the dwelling policy forms (basic, broad or special). This coverage is available under a limited or broad basis. On-premises and off-premises coverages are available, but there are specific rules governing the availability of off-premises coverage.
To be eligible for the broad theft endorsement, the residence must be owner-occupied. Similarly, if a residence apartment is to be insured, it must be occupied by a tenant-insured. Off-premises coverage is available only if on-premises is purchased, and the amount of off-premises coverage may not exceed the on-premises coverage.
Both the limited and broad form theft endorsements cover theft, attempted theft, and vandalism, and malicious mischief damage resulting from theft. Under either form, coverage applies to property located at a bank, public warehouse, or at any occupied dwelling that is not owned or occupied by, or rented to an insured if the property is there for safekeeping.
DC Dwelling' Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is limited due to the low number of tenants at each dwelling unit. All dwellings should meet all life safety codes and be in compliance with codes on smoke and fire detection, fire extinguishers, and carbon monoxide detectors.
Lead exposure, particularly on windowsills, must be considered if the dwelling was built prior to 1980.
To prevent slips, trips, or falls, the dwelling must be well maintained with floor covering in good condition. The number of exits must be sufficient and well marked, with backup lighting in case of power failure. Steps should have handrails, be well lighted, marked, and in good repair. Sidewalks and driveways should be free from defects and cleared of ice and snow in inclement weather.
The landlord must provide a secure dwelling to tenants. Locks should be changed when a new tenant moves into a unit. There should be a maintenance activity log to document the owner's response to tenants' needs.
Personal injury losses may occur due to alleged wrongful eviction, invasion of privacy, or discrimination. Clear guidelines for tenant acceptability are important.
Workers compensation exposures are normally service, janitorial, or maintenance-related. Back pain, hernias, sprains, and strains from lifting and working from awkward positions are common. Skin and lung irritation can result from working with cleaning chemicals and paint.
Interaction with tenants can be difficult. Employees should be trained to deal with difficult situations. Animals owned by tenants can bite or kick workers.
Property exposures are light. Ignition sources are from the electrical wiring, heating, air conditioning, and cooking systems. If the dwelling was converted from a prior occupancy, it should meet current residential building codes.
There should be hard-wired smoke/fire alarms. Items provided by the building owner, such as kitchen or laundry appliances, may be stolen by tenants or outsiders.
Crime exposure is generally limited to employee dishonesty. Background checks should be conducted on all employees. Money and securities exposure may be a concern, particularly if there are multiple dwelling units and payment is in cash. Payments by mail and by check are the preferred methods for collecting rents.
Monetary transactions must be controlled through the use of receipts and regular monitoring. Deposits must be made on a regular basis, with appropriate security provided during collections.
Inland marine exposure may include accounts receivables for rents due, computers, and valuable papers and records for lease, mortgage, and tenant information. There may be contractors' equipment for maintenance, repairs, and lawn care. Duplicates of all data should be kept off premises for easy replication in the event of a loss.
Business auto exposure is generally limited to hired non-owned for employees running errands. If there are owned vehicles, such as those used to service dwellings, any driver should have a valid driver's license and acceptable MVR. Vehicles must be maintained and records kept in a central location.
Washington DC Dwelling Insurance - The Bottom Line
To learn more about the type of Washington DC dwelling insurance policies landlords need, how much coverage your properties should have - speak with an experienced insurance broker who understands the unique risks of commercial properties.
Made In Washington D.C. Economic Data, Regulations And Limits On Commercial Insurance
Whether you have a great idea for a business and you're considering your first startup company or you are already operating a business and you're looking to expand, the location of your operations is one of the most important factors you'll need to consider. In order for a business to achieve success, it must be situated in an area that offers a healthy economy and a market that your products and/or services will appeal to.
The unemployment rate of a region paints a picture of the area's economy. A lower unemployment rate indicates that the area has a healthy business climate that can sustain the residents of the region. In addition, it's important for prospective proprietors to find out which industries are thriving in the area they're considering for their operations.
Furthermore, business owners must take into consideration what type of commercial insurance policies they will need to carry in order to protect themselves, those who interact with them, and to ensure that they are compliant with the law.
If you're considering Washington, D.C. for your business, below, we provide an overview of the above-mentioned information so you can determine if the nation's capital offers favorable conditions for success.
Economic Trends For Business Owners In Washington D.C.
In December of 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate in Washington, D.C. was 5.3%. While that rate is considerably higher than what the national average of 3.5% at the same time, the rate had fallen throughout the course of the year.
For example, in July of 2019, the unemployment rate was 5.6%, in August it was 5.5%, and in October, it was 5.4%. This steady decline indicates that more employment opportunities as a result of a healthy business climate have become and are becoming available in D.C.
Washington, D.C. is divided into four specific quadrants, including NE, NW, SE, and SW. While all regions are considered suitable for businesses, those that are situated in commercial areas - Northwest, Southwest, and Southeast - as opposed to Northeast, which is primarily residential, are likely to offer the best opportunities for prospective business owners.
There are several industries that are experiencing growth in D.C. Not surprisingly, government-related sectors and businesses that provide services for the government are seeing the most growth. Additionally, leisure, hospitality, and tourism are also prime industries in the nation's capital, as the region attracts millions of tourists from around the globe. Construction, education, and health round out the top industries in the region.
Commercial Insurance Requirements In Washington D.C.
The Washington D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking regulates insurance in DC. Washington D.C. mandates very few forms of insurance coverage by law. They enforce worker's compensation.
Washington D.C. requires you to have worker's compensation insurance if you hire even one employee on a regular basis. This includes part-time employees, family members, minors, and immigrant employees. It is not required for independent contractors or domestic employees, though you should check to make sure any contractors you have are true contractors, and not employees.
Washington D.C. also requires all business-owned vehicles to be covered by commercial auto insurance. Other types of business insurance that business owners should carry depend on the specific industry.
Additional Resources For Commercial Property Insurance
Read up on small business commercial property insurance, including how business property insurance protects your company's building's and/or their contents from damage, destruction, theft and vandalism.
- Apartment Building
- Business Interruption
- Commercial Flood Insurance
- Commercial Property
- Commercial Property Insurance Policy Coverage Forms
- Condo Association
- Contractors Equipment
- Duplex Rental Property
- Electronic Data Processing Equipment
- Equipment Breakdown Protection Insurance
- Homeowners Association Insurance
- Inland Marine
- Jewelers Block
- Manufacturing And Mercantile Rental Property
- Mobile Home Park
- Non-Residential Building Operators
- Office Buildings
- Safeco Landlord Insurance
- Shopping Center & Strip Mall
- Vacant Land
- Vacant Property
- What Are Commercial Property Insurance Endorsements?
Rental property owners, real estate developers and property managers should keep an accurate survey of each property they own or that is in their care. This survey should include inventories of furnishings and equipment at those properties. These documents establish the extent of their insurable interest, facilitate the arrangement and placement of insurance and minimize controversy and confusion if a loss occurs.
Insurance coverage on property, general liability and professional or errors and omissions liability should be arranged and placed for every real estate and rental property risk.
The main goal of any commercial property insurance program is to protect the insured's real and business personal property. Buildings and their contents property usually represents a significant portion of its total assets, regardless of the size of the business. A commercial property program can provide the coverage you need if a loss should occur.
The ISO Commercial Property Building and Personal Property Coverage Form is an insurance industry standard that provides this needed coverage. As a result, it should always be reviewed and used as a benchmark for comparison when evaluating any commercial property coverage form.
This policy treats business personal property as more than just the contents of a building. When there is a limit of insurance on the declarations, property can be covered if inside the building or structure or within 100 feet of the building or premises and either in the open, or even in or on a vehicle.
There are many endorsements available to tailor the ISO Commercial Property Coverage Forms. Some are mandatory for all policies while others are mandatory for specific classifications and types of business. Others are optional and permit a standard form to be customized to meet a specific risk's coverage needs. Endorsements broaden, restrict, delete, modify, or add coverage.
These policies can provide the following additional coverages for small specific limits of insurance: debris removal, preservation of property, fire department service charge, pollutant clean up and removal, increased cost of construction and electronic data.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Building, Business Personal Property, Business Income and Extra Expense, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Signs, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits, Umbrella, Hired and Non-owned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Earthquake, Equipment Breakdown, Flood, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Contractors' Equipment, Fine Arts, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices, Automobile Liability and Physical Damage, and Stop Gap Liability.
Also find DC local small businesses by General Liability Class Code and learn about Washington D.C. small business insurance requirements for general liability, business property, commercial auto & workers compensation including District of Columbia business insurance costs. Call us (202) 800-5202.