I'm renting out my house soon, it there some kind of insurance I can buy to protect me from renter vandalism? I'm living in the Northeast coasts of the US.
The answer is 'no'. Renter vandalism (intentional damage) is not covered by either renter's insurance or landlord's insurance. The security deposit and the courts are your recourse for vandalism.
There is no substitute for placing a reliable tenant. If the relationship turns sour during their stay, Cash-for-Keys may be a good alternative strategy to avoid an angry, destructive exit.
You have several ways to protect your investment.
The security deposit. This generally is an amount equal to the monthly rent. The money is only returned when the property has passes the final inspection. It doesn't serve as the last months rent.
Landlords insurance. This would cover you if the property is unrentable. Check with your insurance agent regarding exactly what it covers.
The insurance company I used in the past calls it Apartment Insurance:
Why you need Apartment Insurance
Don’t let the risks of everyday life affect your property or rental income potential.
Apartment Insurance, designed specifically for apartment owners, covers you against:
- Mother Nature
- Careless tenants
- Damage or repairs that could make your property temporarily unusable
- Lawsuits when injuries occur on your property
If the damages go beyond the value of the security deposit there is always small claims court.
Now if the damage goes beyond an accident, and goes to the level of criminal activity, you can escalate it to the police.