When it comes to making money on the side, rental property income is among the popular ways to bring in extra cash. But before you start looking for tenants, it’s important to take a step back and make sure you’re properly covered with landlord insurance.
You’re making an investment in the future, and you want it to be protected. Here’s what you need to know about the best landlord insurance.
Table of Contents:
Best Landlord Insurance Overview
|Insurance Company||Coverage||Premium||Best For|
|Policygenius||Depends on the carrier||Varies, depending on the carrier||Shopping for online insurance rates|
-Loss of use
|Starts at about $25 per month||Those looking for a socially responsible company|
-Loss of use
|Starts as low as $20 per month when bundled with other coverage||Hands-on help from a full-service insurer|
|Liberty Mutual||-Physical Structures|
|Starts as low as $14 per month||Those who can’t get coverage elsewhere|
Best Landlord Insurance Companies
When you’re looking for a solid company to provide you with landlord insurance, these are good options, depending on what you’re looking for.
Rather than being an insurance provider, Policygenius is an online broker that allows you to find quotes from several companies. For the most part, all you need to do is fill out one application to see quotes from a variety of sources.
After completing the online application, you’ll receive an email from a licensed insurance expert and then receive subsequent quotes. You might need to complete additional paperwork with the carrier you choose, but Policygenius makes it easy to start the process and find the right landlord insurance for your needs–at the right price.
Lemonade offers insurance policies but is also interested in doing good as a Certified B-Corp–a Public Benefit Corporation. As a result, when you get insurance through Lemonade, you also support a charity of your choice. At the end of the year, Lemonade adds up unclaimed money and gives it to non-profits. The result? Up to 40% of your premiums could go to a worthy cause.
Note, however, that landlord insurance is limited through Lemonade. It’s only available in New York, California, Illinois, Texas, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Washington D.C.
You’ve probably heard of AllState, as it’s one of the best-known insurers in the U.S. In addition to offering other types of insurance, you can get landlord insurance. One of the advantages of AllState is the fact that there is a large network of agents, so you can sit down with someone to discuss your needs.
It’s possible to bundle landlord insurance with other types of insurance for discounts, allowing you to make the most of your money and get the best possible deal.
Another large insurance company, Liberty Mutual offers access to a variety of coverages. It’s also possible to sit down with an agent if you want a more personal touch. One of the advantages Liberty Mutual has is the fact that the company often covers those who might normally have a hard time securing coverage.
Liberty Mutual coverage is available for a variety of locations and situations that other companies might not cover and may be a good choice if you’re struggling to get the landlord insurance you need elsewhere.
What Does Landlord Insurance Usually Cover?
If you own rental properties, you want to make sure your assets are protected. It’s not just about natural disasters, although that’s an important part of making sure that you’re covered. You also have to worry about what happens if tenants damage your property. How will you pay to have it fixed?
Landlord insurance can protect your rental business from problems related to the upkeep of your property, as well as liability issues in the event a tenant sustains an injury you’re found responsible for.
Here are some of the most common coverages associated with landlord insurance.
This is protection for the rental itself. You should make sure you have this protection for homes, apartments and condos you rent out. Check to see whether there is a unit limit on the policy. Some policies limit dwellings to 16 units, for example.
In general, your dwelling coverage will pay for rebuilding and repairs due to fire, pipe breaks and certain natural disasters. Much as you would with homeowners insurance, you might have to buy additional coverage for floods and earthquakes.
Maybe you have a rental home with a fenced backyard and a shed. The part of your policy that covers other structures will help you pay for repairs and replacement on property structures that might not be a part of the actual dwelling. So, you might have coverage for a detached garage at a home or a storage shed located on your apartment building’s property.
This coverage refers to items that might be part of the rental unit, or that you use to service rentals. Perhaps you keep a lawnmower for use at a property, or your units include appliances. These are the types of items that are covered in your landlord insurance policy. Note that personal property, such as a computer you leave at a tenant’s home, isn’t usually covered.
Loss of Use
Was your rental property damaged to the point that you won’t be able to rent it out until major repairs are made? If this is the case, loss of use can be a huge help. You receive reimbursement during the time repairs are taking place in order to help you avoid some of the financial losses that come when your property is empty.
Related: Real Estate Tax and Rental Property
Finally, it’s common for a landlord insurance policy to include liability coverage. If a tenant or guest is injured due to their own fault, renters insurance should cover the cost. However, if you’re found responsible, perhaps because you didn’t keep stairs in good repair or you didn’t take care of a tree branch in a timely manner, liability protection can help pay the costs of medical bills.
Additional Landlord Insurance Protection
In addition to some of the common coverages, it’s also important to consider other issues that might arrive–but not be covered in your main policy. Check with your insurer to confirm what’s included, and consider purchasing additional coverage as needed. Some additional riders include:
- Building code
- Inflation protection
What Isn’t Covered by Landlord Insurance?
It’s also important to understand what isn’t covered by a landlord insurance policy. In general, you might have a hard time finding coverage for the following scenarios:
- Shared property: If you live in the same building, you might not be eligible for landlord insurance. For example, if you live in a home and rent out the basement, you might not be able to get a landlord policy. Instead, you might have to buy additional coverage under your homeowners policy. Check with your insurer so that you understand the rules and know exactly what’s covered.
- Maintenance and repairs: While property damage by tenants might be covered by your landlord policy, regular maintenance isn’t. So, if the water heater breaks down in one of your units, you’ll probably have to pay for that out of pocket. You’re also responsible for other maintenance costs that come with property upkeep.
- Tenant belongings: Finally, tenant belongings aren’t covered by your landlord insurance. Instead, they should have renters insurance to cover those costs. As a landlord, it makes sense to require your tenants to purchase their own insurance coverage.
If you’re on track to build your rental empire, you need to protect your investment–and your income. Landlord insurance helps you do that. Compare companies and shop around to see what coverage and price best works for your situation and your budget.