How to Get Home Insurance For a Duplex

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  • How to Get Home Insurance For a Duplex

A duplex is a residential building with two separate living units. While they’ll share a front yard and at least one wall, the units won’t connect on the interior. There are two distinct single-family living areas with two separate entrances.

You might think this rather unique living situation requires a unique type of insurance, and you’d be partially right. Duplexes either require homeowners insurance, an HO-3 policy, or landlord insurance, typically a DP3 policy. Keep reading to find out which one you need and how to get quotes for both easily.

How to Get Home Insurance for a Duplex

Getting insurance for a duplex depends on whether you’re living in the duplex or not. You’ll likely need homeowners insurance if you’re occupying one side of the duplex. If you’re renting out the duplex to others, you’ll need landlord insurance, which is achieved through dwelling fire policies.

When You Need Homeowners Insurance For a Duplex

You need homeowners insurance for a duplex when you have an owner-occupied duplex – you own the duplex, live on one side, and rent out the other – or when you own and live in the duplex without anyone living on the other side.

The most common form of home insurance is formally known as an HO-3 policy. It’s designed to cover traditional single-family homes, townhomes, and, in most instances, owner-occupied duplexes.

Getting homeowners insurance on an owner-occupied duplex will cover the overall structure of the building from perils. It will also insure other structures on the property, such as pools, fences, and sheds, are covered, too. 

It will cover your personal belongings inside and around the property as well. If you’re renting out the other side of your duplex, your home insurance won’t cover your tenant’s belongings. Your tenant would need their own renters insurance for their stuff.

When You Need Landlord Insurance For a Duplex

You need landlord insurance for a duplex when you own the duplex and rent out both units to other people. You can obtain landlord insurance through any of the dwelling fire (DP) policies (DP1, DP2, or DP3), but DP3 is your best option.

DP1 is the most basic rental property coverage available. It covers the property from a set list of named perils and is often written as an actual cash value plan. A DP-2 policy is a step up, and it’s usually written as a replacement cost policy, but it may not contain some of the perks of a DP-3

Landlord insurance through a DP-3 policy will cover the structure of the building from several perils (more than a DP1), your personal liability, and your medical payments to others

Dwelling fire policies may not automatically include coverage for other structures, so ask your provider if this is something you’re concerned about.

DP-3 policies can also include loss of rent coverage. If your tenants must move out of your rental property after the house sustains damage, loss of rent coverage will ensure that you don’t lose out on those now missing rent payments. Your insurer will pay you what would be your tenant’s rental payments at least partially for a set amount of time while they’re displaced.

A DP3 policy is ideal when you’re renting out your duplex because it provides the most protection in case of disaster. You can also request add-ons for personal property, theft, and ordinance or law coverage.

Know that landlord insurance often only covers properties while rented out. If your duplex is sitting vacant for an extended period, your insurer may want you to get a different policy designed especially for unoccupied buildings.

Also, if you rent out your duplex as part of a commercial property business you own, you may need some sort of commercial insurance, too.

How Much Does Duplex Insurance Cost?

It’s very hard to give an estimate on the cost of duplex insurance because it’s affected by so many factors. One thing is for certain, though: landlord insurance is usually more expensive than homeowners insurance on the same property.

So, if you need landlord insurance for your duplex, you will pay more than if you were getting homeowners insurance. Landlord insurance is more costly because there’s a greater liability. Since you’re not at the property – and tenants who are likely strangers are all the time – the odds of something going wrong are higher.

How much you pay also depends on the risks in your area. Policyholders in disaster-prone locations, such as tornado zones or coastal properties where hurricanes are a concern may pay higher rates to cover their duplexes. Also, having a history of filing insurance claims can make providers wary, and they may charge you more if you’ve filed several damage claims in the past 3-5 years.

Adding endorsements to your policies will also raise the price. For instance, opting for ordinance or law coverage in either your home insurance or your landlord insurance for your duplex will cost extra.

There are ways to save with both policies, though. Going claims-free is always good. Most companies also offer discounts on new houses and houses with security systems.

How to Get Duplex Insurance Quotes

Knowing what policy you need for your duplex enables you to start getting quotes. Whether you’re looking for homeowners insurance or landlord insurance, Clovered’s team of licensed agents can help you with your coverage.

We’re an independent insurance agency, which means we partner with several companies. Since we’re not tied to one carrier, we can give you options so you can find the best policy at the best price. 

Our team has experience with both home insurance and landlord insurance, and our online quoting platform can help you get either one.

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The editorial content on Clovered’s website is meant to be informational material and should not be considered legal advice.

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