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According to our research, Allstate is the best landlord insurance coverage on the market. Its combination of features and the availability of other policies make it a good choice for the typical privately owned rental property. However, choosing the right insurer for your rental property may be different depending on your situation. We looked at policies and coverage from various insurers to find the best option for protecting your investment.
What is landlord insurance, and when do you need it?
Landlord insurance provides coverage for many of the same dangers as a standard homeowners policy, but it's usually more expensive for two reasons. The first is that most landlord-specific policies include expanded coverage for injury liability and loss of rental income — two less relevant factors for owner-occupied homes. Second, insurers charge more for landlord policies because tenants are more likely than owners to cause property damage.
The insurance you choose as a landlord should cover any event that would impact your bottom line. Whether you're leasing on a yearlong basis or hosting month-to-month stays, having the right insurance helps you weather the financial burden of irresponsible tenants and accidents that could cause you to lose out on rental income.
If you're a frequent Airbnb host, your high turnover rate may make it harder or more expensive to obtain a standard landlord policy. Airbnb does offer a Host Protection Insurance plan designed to address the insurance needs of their hosts.
Best insurer for most landlords: Allstate
- A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating: A+ (Superior)
- J.D. Power Rank: 6th of 22 in homeowners insurance
- Unique value: Full range of landlord-specific coverages
Our findings show that Allstate has the best coverage option available for those who own and rent out their property. Allstate’s feature includes coverage for common concerns landlords have, such as property damage and loss of rental income. Allstate also offers protections against liability claims, interior vandalism and theft of furnishings that were provided in the unit.
Allstate’s comprehensive coverage of different rental situations includes several niche options, further highlighting the scope of their insurance plan. The company’s rental construction coverage can offer protections even before you complete the construction of your future rental property. Furthermore, Allstate provides coverage for the additional costs associated with stricter building codes in a rebuilding scenario.
Best landlord insurance for condos: MetLife
- A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating: A+ (Superior)
- J.D. Power Rank: 9th of 22 in homeowners insurance
- Unique value: Loss assessment protection for condo association fees
We found that the only major insurer that offers a landlord policy specifically catered toward rental condos was MetLife. Although MetLife isn’t your only insurance option if you want to rent out a condo unit, it does offer specialized features that aren’t included by default with other insurance providers.
For example, the condo insurance that MetLife offers to landlords includes loss assessment protections that compensate you if your condo association votes to charge condo owners an unscheduled assessment fee to cover any unexpected repairs to common areas. By using MetLife’s policy, the income you earn from renting out your condo will not be interrupted by maintenance decisions that don’t fall within your control.
Best coverage for multi-unit properties: Farmers
- A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating: A (Excellent)
- J.D. Power Rank: 12th of 22 in homeowners insurance
- Unique value: Single-policy coverage for multiple rental units
Farmers offers the ability to manage coverage of all of your apartment rental units as a single line item, a unique feature among most insurance policies. When managing multiple tenants, it can be complicated to keep up with everything; however Farmers provides an opportunity to simplify the process. You could save considerable time and effort by having the option to combine insurance coverage for all of your rental properties into one item.
Aside from the advantage of having the power to consolidate your landlord coverage, Farmers also provides the support of a major insurance provider with robust service and coverages that protect you against the increased liability and building code risks that come with being the landlord of multiple properties. Additionally, Farmers will give landlords up to 18 months of coverage for any rental property income you miss out on due to a covered loss.
Best for full-time landlords: State Farm
- A.M. Best Rating: A++ (Superior)
- J.D. Power Rank: 7th of 22 in homeowners insurance
- Unique value: Discounts for bundling landlord insurance and other business coverage
State Farm offers the greatest range of coverage options when it comes to bundling your landlord coverage with other insurance policies, helping to lower your insurance premiums in general. This option makes the most sense if you would like to manage all coverages required for your business through just one provider.
State Farm also offers customizable protections for your rental property, which includes coverage for workers compensation, commercial auto and any other required components of your real estate business. If your full-time occupation is being a landlord, opting for a bundled insurance deal from a provider like State Farm can help save you both time and money.
How we picked the best insurance for landlords
Our selection of landlord insurance providers is based on our evaluation of coverages that aren't covered by your standard homeowners insurance policy. In our view, the most common risks of being a landlord are tenant-related property damage and the loss of income from events that make a property unrentable. We evaluated the nation's top insurance companies based on how well their landlord policies address these risks, and how much they charge for that coverage.
Besides comparing the major providers in terms of policy features and value, we also considered their relative customer satisfaction ratings. While this factor is relevant to any type of insurance, it's especially important when you're choosing a landlord insurance policy. Dealing with damage to a property that you rent to someone else is more complex than for a home that you own and occupy yourself. As a landlord, you'll want an insurance provider that's responsive in tricky situations.
Above all, keep in mind that landlord insurance is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Obtaining coverage as a landlord involves more than just the protection required for a building and the contents inside. The added complexity of assessing your rental income, increased liability needs and other variables means that insurers often need to speak with you directly before issuing a quote.