Whether you’re a seasoned landlord, just purchased your first rental property, or need coverage for a short-term rental, landlord insurance provides customizable protection for your property while also shielding your savings. Choosing a landlord insurance company can prove more challenging than choosing a home insurance company because fewer companies offer coverage. Fortunately, you still have some outstanding insurance providers from which to choose.
Look for a company that makes rental property insurance a core business and work with agents who know where you may need to focus your coverage. The top landlord insurance companies often specialize in customized coverage for rental property owners, offering more ways to protect your investment properties and policy features designed specifically for real estate investors.
Top landlord insurance companies
We chose the top 5 landlord insurance companies from a field of dozens by selecting companies that excel in a given category. Much as with other types of insurance, the best insurer for your neighbor or your friend who owns some properties may not be the best insurance company for your needs. For example, some landlords might prioritize claims handling that ensures prompt service, while others might prefer to focus on insurers that offer discounts that can increase cash flow by reducing expenses.
Here are 5 top picks to consider when shopping for the best landlord insurance companies.
Country Financial: Best for overall customer satisfaction
Serving 19 states, Country Financial brings nearly 100 years of insurance experience, tracing back its start as a fire and lightning insurance provider. For 2020, Country Financial was ranked as the nation’s top home insurer in J.D. Power’s Home Insurance Study, which measures overall customer satisfaction.
Staying power matters when choosing an insurer and Country Financial has demonstrated a long history of financial resiliency. The company earned an A+ (Superior) rating for financial strength with A.M. Best — a world-known independent rating agency — a rating the company has maintained for nearly 8 decades.
Coverage options include a cost-saving basic policy that focuses on common risks such as fire and lightning, theft or vandalism, and weather-related risks like wind and hail or freezing pipes. Country Financial also offers a comprehensive all-risk landlord policy that covers all risks except for those specifically excluded from coverage.
Customization options bring the choice of actual cash value coverage or full replacement cost coverage that ensures you’ll have enough coverage to rebuild if the unexpected happens. Add-ons for earthquake coverage, sewer or drain backup, or coverage for unoccupied seasonal homes are also available. Liability coverage options of up to $1 million help protect the investment you’ve made.
The Hartford: Best for property claims satisfaction
When you have damage to your property or rental units, your tenants are counting on you to get the situation handled promptly. The Hartford answers the call with quick claims clearance, boasting an award from J.D. Power as a top-rated insurer for property claims satisfaction. Only Amica scored higher in the consumer survey.
This Connecticut-based insurer offers coverage for property owners nationwide, with a history dating back to 1810. The Hartford leverages its 2 centuries of experience combined with digital tech to give property insurance a modern touch that provides fast and accurate insurance quotes. Before binding coverage, you’ll work with an agent to review your coverage choices and options, avoiding some of the underinsured risks that can occur with DIY online insurance platforms.
With The Hartford, you can fully insure your rental building, but you can also customize coverage for personal property, such as your tools, supplies, or furniture, as well as other structures on the property. Liability coverage options include premises liability, which can help cover the cost of injuries to others on the property or damage to the property of others. For less-serious injuries, medical payments coverage can provide a hassle-free way to pay for injuries to others on the property.
Liberty Mutual: Best for bundling discounts
Bundling refers to purchasing more than 1 type of insurance from the same carrier. Liberty Mutual offers a discount for landlords who insure both their home and rental property through Liberty. Insuring your vehicles through Liberty Mutual as well offers another way to save.
But potential savings across multiple policies isn’t the only reason to consider Liberty Mutual. Standard coverage with Liberty Mutual’s landlord policy includes replacement cost coverage for dwellings, premises liability coverage, and loss of income coverage if a covered claim causes the property to be temporarily unrentable. Optionally, you can add inflation protection which helps keep your property’s insured value in line with current rebuild costs.
Liberty Mutual also offers a claims-free discount for property owners who haven’t filed a claim in the past 5 years. Early shoppers can save as well, so it pays to get a quote before your existing coverage expires.
Foremost: Best for less-than-perfect properties
Let’s face it: not every rental property will win a beauty prize. Foremost offers a proven option for landlords with less-than-perfect properties that may be more difficult to insure elsewhere. But you aren’t limited in that regard. While Foremost specializes in non-standard homes, the insurers can insure preferred condition homes as well, making Foremost a solid choice for a diversified property portfolio.
From fixer-uppers to converted Victorians to seasonal vacation rentals, Foremost’s customizable packages let you write the coverage you need with the freedom to choose your options. You can even insure multiple properties on the same policy, simplifying policy payments and paperwork.
Extra discounts with Foremost give you more ways to save. Members of a landlord association can earn discounts, and using a property management company can also earn a discount, helping to offset the cost of management.
State Farm: Best for retail presence
Some major insurers don’t offer a full-featured landlord policy. Other insurance companies simply choose to focus on personal insurance, like homeowners and auto insurance lines. State Farm stands apart from the pack by offering a full line of insurance products, including landlord policies and a wide selection of business policies. In addition to a more complete product offering than many competitors, State Farm also boasts a nationwide network of brick-and-mortar locations with nearly 20,000 agents, helping the insurer become the largest home insurance company in the US.
Allstate is another nationally-known insurer to consider if you prefer to meet with an agent in person and also offers a wide network of agents. However, State Farm agents often have more experience in writing coverage for landlords and may also have more flexibility in minimum coverage amounts for the building itself, perhaps making State Farm a better option for landlords who purchased distressed properties for cash.
Fast online access to guidance, policy documents, and other tools makes traditional brick-and-mortar agencies less of a necessity for many landlords, but there will always be a part of the market for which traditional agencies are a better fit.
Steadily: Best for a wide-range of properties
Steadily is designed to help create policies for any type of landlord, and any type of property. Whether you’re just figuring out being a landlord for the first time and need a basic policy, fast, or are a seasoned landlord with a large portfolio, we’re here to help get you coverage! We offer a wide range of options for different properties and landlords, and don’t believe that insurance should ever be a “one size fits all solution.” From insuring mobile homes in Santa Fe to an upscale apartment building in New York, we make sure each of our landlords has the protection they need for their properties.
Sign up for Steadily is simple, where you only need to fill out a short online form and then confirm a few final details with an agent over the phone. The process from beginning to end only takes a few minutes! We provide online access to get quotes, articles on both landlord insurance and landlord basics, and other tools that will make it easier for you to feel confident in your coverage. Best of all, we always have agents available to help you out!
How is landlord insurance different from a homeowners insurance policy?
A landlord insurance policy is a specialized policy that considers the unique risks that come with tenants and occasional vacancies. Landlord insurance coverage shares some similarities with a home insurance policy, but there are also some key differences in the types of coverage offered by each policy type. If you’re renting out a property, be sure you have a landlord policy; using a standard home insurance policy can put your coverage at risk.
What’s covered by landlord insurance?
Landlord policies range from basic policies that only cover a small list of risks to more comprehensive policies that offer well-rounded protection. Many of today’s policies follow the latter structure, often offering the following insurance options.
- Property coverage: Also called dwelling coverage, your landlord insurance can cover repair costs if your property is damaged due to a covered peril. You can think of a peril as a cause of property damage, such as fire, lightning, or wind and hail.
- Theft & vandalism: Theft of your personal property is covered in many cases, but your tenants will need a renters insurance policy if they want similar insurance coverage for their personal property. Many landlords store tools or other equipment at the rental property.
- Liability protection: Liability coverage can help cover claims due to injuries that occur at the property or for damage to the property of others. Optionally, many insurers also offer coverage for personal injury, which refers to character-defamation claims like libel or slander as well as liability claims due to invasion of privacy or wrongful eviction.
- Loss of use: In this case, loss of use can protect against a loss of rental income due to a covered claim. Repairs to damage caused by natural disasters or named perils covered by your policy can take weeks or even months to complete, although the latter is unusual. When a covered insurance claim affects rental income, a policy with loss of use coverage can save the day by providing reimbursement for your lost income based on fair rental value.
- Many types of water damage: Standard policies cover common water risks like spills, tub overflows, and burst pipes, but floods are usually listed in the policy exclusions. If your property is at risk for flooding, consider a standalone flood insurance policy as well.
- Additional coverage options: Add-ons, such as inflation protection, can automatically increase your coverage limit for the building itself, adjusting for changes in the cost of labor and materials over time. This helps prevent situations where you can become underinsured as construction costs change. Some policies include this endorsement by default, while others offer it as an add-on. Other policy options can include an extra allowance for building code changes or ordinances that may increase the cost of repair.
Often, you can supplement your coverage with endorsements, which are policy add-ons that allow you to pinpoint coverage where you need it most.
What to consider when choosing the best landlord insurance?
The cost of coverage gets a lot of press in ads, but it’s wise to consider more than just price. How well does the insurer you’re considering meet the needs of your investment property business?
- Type of properties: Some insurers are a better fit for clean single-family homes while others may be better with multifamily or a mixed portfolio.
- Number of rental units: More tenants can mean more risk. Some insurers also limit the number of units you can cover on a standard policy.
- Financial strength: A strong financial rating indicates that the insurer has the resources to handle claims promptly.
- Coverage options: Each landlord has unique coverage needs and priorities. Look for insurers that offer customization when needed.
- Deductible options: Insurance helps to protect wealth, but it’s also a business expense. Consider insurers that offer multiple ways to structure your deductible to gain more control over your premiums.
- Policy limits: Premises liability coverage is common on landlord policies, but examine the policy’s coverage limits. A policy with a lower maximum liability limit can leave you underinsured.
- Actual cash value: Many policies offer replacement cost value (RCV) to determine the property’s insured value, but some policies use actual cash value (ACV), which is a depreciated value, for some parts of your coverage. Be sure you understand how coverage for damage applies when choosing a landlord policy.
Choosing the best landlord insurance policy for your rental properties
The best insurance choice for you may not be the same for your friends in the business. When you consider both insured value and liability risk, your insurance policy may be protecting you against a potential loss of 6 figures, 7 figures, or more. Unlike many home insurance policies, landlord policies often offer the freedom to take on some of the risk yourself in exchange for lower premiums. Look for a policy that matches your coverage needs and comfort level but which won’t create a financial hardship if you have a loss.