Landlord gets sued for a dog bite. For dog bite lessons please see “Why you should require your tenants to purchase renters insurance.” Landlord gets ticked at the lawsuit and the prospect of his insurance rates go up, squeezing his cash flow. Consequently, landlords decides to do a little investigative work. Simply because he believes the kid’s parents wanted him to fake the injury, and so the pain and suffering stuff would be hogwash. So, he has the kid followed, and gets sued.
Under what? Invasion of privacy. Question is, is that covered under your policy? The answer is that it depends. There are some companies that will offer personal injury coverage and there are others that don’t. On landlord policies the answer is probably not. Wait, what’s Personal injury? Personal injury is a broad term that covers several things. Most of them mental injury that we could cause to others. For example, defamation, libel, slander, false arrest or imprisonment, malicious prosecution, or invasion of privacy. Now you would never do anything like those types of things, right? Have you ever spoken negatively about a tenant? Have you ever bent the rules on your rights of a home inspection? Have you ever driven by just to see “what’s going on?” You get my point. It’s a fine line, and your tenant views you has the “rich landlord,” and there are plenty willing to take advantage of an opportunity. Not to defame any of your tenants, but you have probably had a tenant like that.
So, what can you do. Well, first off be aware, you might be just driving by, but the tenant might see that as a stifling landlord, or a weirdo, or you name it. Second, be sure you are covered. Not all insurance policies are the same. Do you have the coverage you need? Many landlord insurance policies specifically exclude personal injury liability, and I have yet to see a policy that automatically included an endorsement or “rider” that adds it automatically. In fact, it may simply not be available, in which case you would need to have a different risk management plan. Such as, stick to the lease in terms of inspections, don’t have your tenants followed, etc. That said, the question remains, what kind of coverage do you have? Take away? Ask your agent about personal injury coverage. Start a quote on your investment property today.