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Property owners who rent their homes to tenants need a different form of insurance, called landlord insurance or dwelling fire insurance. Traditional homeowners insurance only covers owner-occupied properties. However, homeowners insurance policies do not extend coverage to that same property if it is rented to tenants. If you own a rental property, understanding your need for landlord insurance and its coverage is important. And Bankrate makes it easier to find the best landlord insurance policy by breaking down the top landlord insurance companies, based on our assessment.
Landlord insurance explained
Landlord insurance, as the name suggests, covers risk to a property you own and rent out. It’s similar to how a standard homeowners insurance would cover an owner-occupied property and includes many of the same coverage options. Landlord insurance provides coverage if your property is damaged from covered perils, such as fire and windstorm damage. However, it will not cover contents within the home that belongs to your tenant. For that, your tenants need renters insurance coverage.
Like homeowners insurance, landlord insurance is usually required if your tenant-occupied property has a mortgage. Even if your home is paid off, it’s worth considering having this coverage to avoid rebuilding or repairing your home out of pocket should you incur substantial property damage.
Best landlord insurance companies
To find the best landlord insurance companies, Bankrate’s research team reviewed multiple factors, including financial strength, customer service, cost and available discounts. We also reviewed each company’s website to see which insurer made it easy to conduct business online and looked at optional coverage that helps customize your policy, so it works best for your situation.
Below are some of the landlord insurance companies worth considering, based on our findings:
|Insurance company||Best for||AM Best rating|
|American Family||Enhanced liability coverage||A|
|State Farm||Condo owners||A++|
Allstate: Best for personalized coverage
Allstate has excellent financial strength, with an A+ rating from AM Best, and is worth considering for landlords looking for personalized coverage. In addition to standard coverage, Allstate customers can purchase vandalism coverage, burglary protection coverage, premises medical protection coverage, building code insurance and fair income protection coverage. However, an online quote option is unavailable for landlord owners interested in a quote, but the company’s extensive online tools detailing coverage options and claims risk in the area may offer helpful insight into what coverage landlords should carry.
American Family: Best for enhanced liability coverage
American Family offers coverage in 19 states, and may be worth considering for landlords interested in purchasing robust coverage on their properties, such as increased liability coverage. The company also offers additional online resources, called the Landlord Toolbox, which can help answer a multitude of questions landlords may have. However, American Family does have limited state availability and no online quote option for landlord insurance.
State Farm: Best for condo owners
State Farm offers landlord insurance for rental homes, condos and apartment insurance. The carrier’s policy forms offer property coverage, coverage for personal belongings left at your tenant-occupied home and loss of rent coverage. Landlords can also purchase inflation protection coverage and loss assessment coverage for an added fee.
Liberty Mutual: Best for discounts
Liberty Mutual landlord insurance is worth considering for landlords looking for savings. The company offers ways to lower premiums with discounts. Liberty Mutual offers savings for bundling home and rental property insurance, being claims-free for at least five years and getting a quote before an existing landlord policy expires.
Geico: Best for accessibility
Geico offers landlord coverage for property owners looking for standard coverage, such as property coverage, lost rent, liability and vandalism coverage. The carrier even offers an online quoting service, unlike many companies on our list. However, without much coverage information available online, landlords may want to contact a Geico agent before finalizing coverage to make sure they are properly insured with the coverage they need.
How to get the best landlord insurance for you
It’s important to have the right coverage for your rental property, including the right liability coverage in the event that a tenant or their visitors are injured while on the property. To find the best landlord insurance for you, here are some considerations:
Do you know other landlords? Talk to them about their insurance and what they’ve found essential coverage. Their essential coverage may differ from yours, but talking with others can give you an idea of what is available.
Ask for quotes from several carriers with coverage as similar as possible to do a cost comparison and establish which company will offer you the lowest rates at the coverage you need.
While a few companies offer online quotes, calling and talking to an agent about your needs can be worthwhile. There may be discounts available, or you may be able to purchase endorsements that tailor the coverage to your property.
Frequently asked questions
If your property has a mortgage, you will likely have to carry landlord insurance on your tenant-occupied home. If your property is paid off, landlord insurance is worth considering in the event your home experiences severe damage or is destroyed by a covered claim.
This will vary by insurer, but generally, your landlord policy will not cover items that belong to your tenant. Additionally, if your tenants have a lease of less than 12 months, on average, check with your insurance company to see if your coverage eligibility changes before signing the lease. Without confirming with your insurance company, it could open you up to substantial risk of not having coverage should a claim occur. And like homeowners insurance, landlord insurance policies typically exclude flood and earthquake damage. For these types of coverage, you will likely still need separate policies.