On the evening of August 6, a 16-year old foreign exchange student from China drowned in his host family’s backyard pool. Although reports are still unclear on who was responsible for the accident, his parents still have the right to sue the owner of the house.

In our Chinese community, there are many people who rent out their rooms for others to live in. Whether you’re a landlord or a tenant, there are a few things in your home insurance policy that you need to pay attention to!

Before buying homeowners insurance for the place you’ll be renting a room or two out for, you need to check if your policy protects those other than your family. You should also check what the maximum number of insured is that is allowed under your policy. Since some insurance companies don’t provide coverage for those outside of family, without this, it creates one more thing for the tenant to worry about.

If you are the homeowner or landlord, you should also increase the amount of liability. Liability coverage comes in $100,000, $300,000, $500,000. Because many people want to save money, they purchase the one that seems to be the “cheapest”. In reality, the “expensive” coverage, which provides three times more coverage, is only a $10-$20 difference per year. It might not be worth choosing the cheaper one just to save $10 because if a claim is made in the future, it might not be enough to cover the costs.

Landlords should also consider adding umbrella insurance into their policy. Sometimes, just one claim can exceed $1 million. The minimum for umbrella insurance starts at $1 million and the premiums are different based on the insurance company. For some, you can get it at a premium of $100.

For example, in cases where teens are getting their driver’s license for the first time but their parents don’t have time to add them onto the policy yet, the teen might just secretly take the car and go out for a drive. If they get into an accident, umbrella insurance can compensate for any damages and prevent the entire family from having to pay too much.

Landlords could also require their tenants to purchase renters insurance. In the unfortunate event of a theft or fire, if the tenant’s belongings are damaged or stolen, renters insurance could cover these claims and compensate for these damages. Renters insurance is only about $100 a year and it can help save money and prevent future issues!

Being a landlord means having a lot of responsibilities to take on. Not only do you have to make sure that the rent is being paid on time, but you should also check up on the house every now and then to make sure that nothing crazy is going on in the house.

If the tenant gets injured, you could be responsible. If there’s a pool in the house, make sure that there’s a wall so that not everyone has easy access to the pool. It’s okay to invite friends over for a pool party but it’s also important to make sure that everyone is safe and will not be in harm’s way.

Many insurance companies advertise that they can process their claims quickly after a house or a car gets damaged. But isn’t it more important to prevent accidents like these from happening than advertising that you can process claims quickly?

At KCAL, we have experts who do home inspections for our clients to detect and prevent possible risks.

For example, they noticed that some of the trees in the backyard were very big and were slightly leaned over, making it very likely for the tree to fall onto the house. Another observation that was made was that a lot of the trees surrounding the house were too old and many of the roots were too thick, making the ground rough, bumpy, and unsafe. Many neighbors could get injured while passing through the area—especially at night!

Through these housing inspections, many customers and homeowners were able to make improvements to their home and avoid any future losses.

For many people, a house is a big investment in their lives. Choosing a reliable insurance company and a comprehensive insurance plan is the best way to ensure the safety of you and your family.

If you have any other insurance related questions or would like further assistance, please feel free to check out our KCAL Insurance Agency website www.kcal.net, or contact us at 626-333-1111 to talk to a representative directly!