The Best Landlord Insurance Providers in 2019

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For most landlords, we found that Allstate provides the best insurance coverage. 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 if your situation involves unique factors. We looked at policies and coverage details from across the market to find the best option for protecting your investment.

What is landlord insurance, and when do you need it?

Landlord insurance protects you from 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 factors that aren't as relevant when you live in your own home. Second, insurers charge more for landlord policies because tenants are more likely than owners to cause property damage.

The landlord insurance you get should cover any potential 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 cause you to lose out on rental income. In some cases, landlord insurance will also compensate you for other things such as the cost of arranging an emergency repair for a tenant.

If you're a frequent Airbnb host, your high turnover rate may make it harder or more expensive for you to obtain a standard landlord policy. Airbnb does offer a Host Protection Insurance plan that's specifically designed to address the insurance needs of their hosts.

Best insurer for most landlords: Allstate

We found that Allstate is the best coverage option for most people who own and rent out a property. Allstate's features include protection against common landlord concerns such as property damage and loss of rental income, which can happen if your property suffers damage that makes it unlivable. Other coverages with Allstate include protection against liability claims, interior vandalism and theft of furnishings you provide in the unit.

Several niche options further highlight Allstate's comprehensive coverage of different rental situations. The company's rental construction coverage can protect you even before you finish building your rental property. Finally, Allstate also provides coverage for the extra costs of meeting stricter building codes in a rebuilding scenario.

Best landlord insurance for condos: MetLife

MetLife was the only major insurer we found that offers a landlord policy specifically tailored to rental condos. That doesn't mean MetLife is your only insurance option if you want to rent out your condo unit, but it does mean that you may find specialized features with MetLife that aren't included by default at other providers.

For instance, MetLife's condo insurance for landlords includes loss assessment protection that compensates you if your condo association votes to charge owners an unscheduled assessment fee to cover an unexpected repair. Assessments can cost you a significant amount depending on the type of work that needs doing, and having insurance that will cover you makes sure that the flow of rental income from your condo won't be disrupted by maintenance decisions outside of your control.

Best coverage for multi-unit properties: Farmers

Farmers is unique in that its apartment insurance policy lets you manage the coverage for all of your rental units as a single line item. When you're trying to address tenant needs and collect rent across multiple units or buildings, every opportunity to simplify your monthly accounting is valuable. Having the option to combine insurance coverage for all your properties into one place could save you considerable time and effort.

Besides the advantage of being able to consolidate your landlord insurance policies, Farmers gives you the support of a major industry player with robust servicing options and market-standard coverages that will guard you against the increased liability and building code risk that come with being a landlord for multiple properties. In addition, Farmers will give you up to 18 months of coverage for any rental income you miss out on because of a covered loss.

Best for bundling landlord insurance with other policies: State Farm

If you'd prefer to lower your insurance premiums across the board, State Farm gives you the greatest range of options for bundling your landlord coverage with other policies. This makes the most sense if you prefer to manage all the coverages required for your business through one provider. State Farm can customize protection for your rental property that will include coverage for workers' compensation, commercial auto and other required components of your real estate business.

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.

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