Please help with Home Insurance!

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I was advised to post this here. I had a guest that ran my dishwasher and valve malfunctioned and it flooded my condo. My insurance for my suite is not covering this loss because it is considered commercial. I was never advised or told that my home owner insurance did not suffice. What is the plan of recourse here? The repairs have been complete by the preferred contractors of the insurance company and they sent my unit management an invoice for a 10k deductible.

I really appreciate your help,

Jul 13, 2016
So this was in your rental unit? If so, then yes, home owners insurance typically does not cover paying guests in your unit. This is a money-making, i.e., commercial, enterprise, and as such, you knew commercial insurance. Same as if you were driving your car as an Uber-your regular car insurance does not cover you taking paying passengers.
Likes: ADM
Jan 30, 2018
"I was never advised nor told that my homeowner insurance did not suffice". Did you tell your insurance company that this was not your primary residence? If not, and you had the wrong type of policy, I think you are out of luck.
Likes: ADM


Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
San Francisco
If money changed hands, this is a tenant, not a guest. Homeowners Insurance covers home owners. If you didn't purchase the correct commercial rental insurance, you are out of luck. However, the repair cost for the flooding might be less than the annual cost of commercial rental coverage, so you may not have lost out here. But you may be lucky after all ... it's dangerous to have the wrong insurance coverage, ... if a tenant sets the place on fire, you could be in the same situation with a huge liability.
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Likes: ADM
Mar 14, 2018
Even worse, you may have no liability coverage. If a guest gets hurt or burns down other people's units, you could be liable for hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars of damages.

You should not start a property rental business until you meet with your insurance agent and purchase appropriate coverage (or at least understand the risks you're assuming).

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Dec 27, 2014
New York
Once you took in tenants it’s your responsibility to look into your insurance and verify with your city or town rental is legal and complies with city or town code, especially fire code.

You needed commercial policy if you have renters, did you discuss this with your Attorney when you purchased?

I’m afraid your recourse is fix the damage at your own cost, get the right insurance and make sure the place is up to town code.
Jun 30, 2017
Maui Hawaii
What is my action here? I have been a loyal client with them for a very long time so they should look at this as a technicality?
"Please help with Home Insurance!"-this is the problem. You purchased home insurance, but you needed commercial insurance for a business (rental). It is like buying insurance for a motorcycle and then trying to use the policy for your car. You essentially do NOT have insurance for your business and your insurer will not cover your loss. Loyalty will not matter unless you have purchased the proper policy. You need to obtain the correct policy and then continue your rental business to make up your losses.
Likes: Neil Maley

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Dec 27, 2014
New York
You really need to consult with an attorney about what you need to have for a home rental business. We can’t tell you what you do and don’t need as we do not offer legal advice, nor can we help you because you didn’t check and make sure you had the right type of insurance.

You now know you don’t. Our best advice is to get commercial insurance immediately and you fix the damage yourself. Only a genie can take you back in time for a do-over
Mar 23, 2015
Did your tenant have any renter's insurance that could have covered this in any way? Even when we rented our firs home to our oldest son when we bought our second, we got Landlord insurance for us and made him get Renter's insurance. A GUEST in YOUR HOME is covered by your Homeowner's, but a tenant in a RENTAL PROPERTY is not. Our Allstate agent was very clear on all of that when we spoke to him about renting the house to our son. Think of it as if you owned a store, and a customer fell and got hurt and you expected your homeowner's policy to cover that. They'd say "Oh hell no." I hope you can recoup some of that loss somehow, but I doubt it's going to be from insurance :( Good Luck!