Renting property can be lucrative and rewarding, as long as you’re prepared. You may be worried about risks, but a good landlord insurance policy can protect your investment.
When it comes to rental property insurance, not all companies are created equal. The best landlord insurance companies offer reasonable prices for great coverage. This combination can help you stay profitable and protected as a landlord.
With a little time and patience, you can find the best landlord insurance to meet your needs. When searching online, be sure to have all the basic details on your mortgage and the property itself. You’ll find online quote forms will ask you to provide accurate information about your property and what it will be used for, including rental activities.
What is landlord insurance?
Before we dive into the best landlord insurance companies, let’s briefly cover what landlord insurance is. Landlord insurance typically covers losses to the dwelling, other structures on the property (like a shed) and personal property that services the property (i.e. lawnmower, vacuum cleaner, etc.)
If you have liability coverage with your landlord insurance policy, it can cover things like the medical bills or legal expenses of a tenant who is injured on your property. Other additional coverage to check into as a landlord could include vandalism, burglary, and a coverage option for rental properties under construction.
Items that are not covered in landlord insurance cost include:
- Tenants’ belongings.
- Maintenance or machinery breakdowns.
- Shared property.
Shared property means that you don’t occupy the property in any way (like renting out a room or a floor.) Landlord insurance is for non-owner-occupied property.
Whether you want to start new coverage or just want to research better pricing, there are plenty of options out there to choose from. Here are the best landlord companies to explore for insurance coverage.
You might be more familiar with Lemonade for renters insurance, but the company does offer some landlord coverage. According to the Lemonade website, if you are a condo or co-op owner in New York, California, Texas, Illinois, Pennsylvania, DC or New Jersey, you could be eligible for landlord insurance through them.
However, there are some caveats. To qualify for Lemonade’s version of rental property insurance, you can only rent your property out less than five times a year. Essentially, it’s homeowners insurance that does provide some coverage for you as a landlord for limited rental activity. The property won’t protect your tenant, who will need to purchase renter’s insurance, but it will cover your property and any belongings inside the property.
Finally, you should know that this policy won’t cover single-family dwellings. Only condos and co-ops can be considered for coverage at this time. When you apply for a landlord insurance policy with Lemonade, be sure to let them know that you are looking for insurance that provides some landlord coverage.
Though Policygenius doesn’t offer insurance directly, it’s a great place to search and compare landlord insurance options. The online insurance marketplace touts itself as, “The easy way to compare and buy insurance.”
To find a suitable landlord insurance policy with Policygenius, you’ll need to go to the homeowners insurance quote page. Here, you’ll have the option to purchase home and auto bundled or just homeowners insurance.
On the quote form, you’ll be asked about some property characteristics and any rental activities as a homeowner. Once you are finished with the process, you will get an email from Policygenius to finish the process. If you are currently insured, you will be asked to upload your declarations page for an apples to apples comparison. It could take a few days to receive quotes.
Eventually, you’ll be connected with an insurance specialist at Policygenius who will help you find the best landlord insurance for your rental income property. Once you are ready to buy, Policygenius experts will help you cancel your old policy and get started with the new one.
Liberty Mutual offers rental property insurance that covers a physical structure and includes premises liability coverage. According to the company website, Liberty covers landlords who own up to 16 units, in 1-4 unit properties. They can also add an LLC as a named insured to your landlord insurance policy.
Some of the added perks with Liberty Insurance include 24-hour claims assistance and access to their Contractor Network Referral. If you want more coverage, available add-ons include:
- Personal Property.
- Fair Rental Value.
- Inflation Protection.
- Umbrella coverage.
Also, Liberty does offer some discount benefits. One discount, called the Companion Home discount, is offered when you insure both your primary home and your rental property. The Claims Free discount is applied if you haven’t filed a claim with your previous insurance carrier for five years or more. Finally, the Early Shopper discount applies if you request a quote before your policy with another carrier expires.
Allstate is a well-established, massive insurance company known for its wide network of insurance agents. If you’d like to have a personal, hands-on touch when it comes to covering your insurance needs, Allstate is a great choice.
Your actual landlord insurance cost will vary based on a number of factors like the type of dwelling you have and what activities take place there. If you want to know how your policy will be structured, you can take a look at a sample Policy Declarations page from Allstate. Here’s what landlord policy declarations pages include:
- Policy period.
- Location of the insured policy.
- Total premium.
- Limits of liability.
Because of all the variables that can affect your policy, it’s best to contact an agent through their website or by calling their toll-free number. If you complete the process online, you will get a phone call within the hour from a specialist who can get the quote process going for you. Since it is a landlord policy, the telephone agent will have to refer you to a local agent to complete the application and write the policy in person.
Summary of the top landlord insurance companies
Now that you have a grasp of what landlord insurance is and what you should look for in a policy, it’s time to take a look at some of our choices for the best landlord insurance companies. We’ll also tell you why we like them to help you decide on one that’s right for you.
Here is a table to summarize our favorites.
|Insurance Company||Coverage||Other information|
|Lemonade||*Damage to building or outside structures like garages
*Damage to or theft of personal property owned by you
*Loss of use
|Available only in NY, CA, TX, IL, PA, DC, and NJ
Policies start at $25
|Policygenius||*Policygenius is an unaffiliated insurance broker – so coverage varies with each insurance company.||N/A|
|Liberty Mutual||*Standard: Physical structures and liability coverage
*Add-on: Personal property, fair rental value, inflation protection, and umbrella coverage
|Access to Liberty Mutual’s contractor referral network|
|Allstate||*Standard: Physical structures and liability coverage
*Add-on: Vandalism, burglary, rental property under construction, and building code
|Exclusive discounts available to Allstate landlords|
How we came up with this list
Choosing an insurer for your rental property can be challenging, especially if you’ve never shopped for this type of insurance before. We aimed to make it as easy as possible by providing you a list of the companies we like best, looking at the following features:
- Coverage offered
- Coverage availability
- Reputation of insurer
- Discount availability
- Customer service
Some insurers offer coverage, but with a limit. One insurer may only allow you to rent a few days a year, for instance, while another is designed for full-time rentals.
We also looked at price, although most insurers don’t disclose the cost of policies before you apply. You’ll need to input your information to get a quote specific to your situation. In those instances, we weighed the reputation the insurer has for competitive pricing.
How to choose the best landlord insurance company
When you are looking for the best landlord insurance, you’ll want to go with an insurance provider that meets your particular needs. If you need to have affordable premiums, look for a company that can offer you multi-policy discounts. With this, you’ll need to be ready to switch over many of your other insurance policies that might cover your personal dwelling, automobiles, and even life insurance.
If you want the highest amount of coverage, look for a company that offers riders and add-ons that could cover you for additional losses. You should get estimates from various carriers with and without bundled discounts so you can make a comparison based on whether you’re moving all your insurance over or not.
From here, you’ll choose the best combination of affordable premiums, maximum coverage, and a convenient claims process. With these criteria, you should be able to find the landlord insurance coverage that will cover your insurance property adequately.
Frequently asked questions
Is landlord insurance necessary?
Although landlord insurance is not required by law, it’s the best way to protect yourself as a business owner. Anything from a fire to a tornado on the property could devastate you financially. Insurance premiums are part of the cost of doing business. Renting your property to someone else adds an extra level of risk, as a renter or guest could sue you for injuries sustained there.
How much does landlord insurance cost?
It varies from one insurer to another, but you can expect to pay more for landlord insurance than you would homeowners insurance on your primary residence. Expect to pay 15% to 20% more than the average cost of $800-$1,000 per year. You can reduce that cost by shopping around and looking for discounts.
How do I lower my landlord insurance cost?
There are several discounts that can help save you money on your landlord insurance, including:
- Bundling multiple policies
- Safety features like smoke detectors and sprinklers
- Loyalty discounts
- Special membership discounts (AARP, etc.)
If you’re a landlord, it’s important to price more than one insurer to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible. Gather your information and make sure to mention any discounts so that you get the lowest rate available for your property type. With a list of recommended insurers, you have a great start.