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Renting your home out to someone? Things to know.

Whether you are planning to rent out your house, an extra room, or couch, you should contact your insurance agent before you do so. Though it is a nice way to earn some extra money, it can also leave you financially vulnerable, for example if your renter damages your property or if someone is hurt while they are in your home.

It is not terribly unusual for someone to rent out their home (or part of it). Many insurance companies take this type of situation into account when creating a homeowners or renters policy; however, other insurance companies may require the purchase of an endorsement to the policy to provide broader coverage for the renters in your home.

In the event that you want to rent out all or part of your home on a regular basis, the situation changes: you are now running a business. Standard home and renters insurance policies are designed for personal risks and not business ones. In this case, you will need to purchase a business policy.

If you are using a peer-to-peer network to rent a space from someone else, it's a good time to check your own homeowners or renters insurance policy. This way, if your personal possessions are stolen or damaged off-premises you can simply file a claim with your own home insurance company. And, if you accidentally injure someone you would also be financially protected.