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Landlord insurance is a form of property insurance for landlords that includes a business liability component. It’s different from homeowners insurance because it protects investment properties rather than just primary residences. Landlord insurance can be purchased to protect residential, commercial, and mixed-use properties. It includes dwelling and liability coverage.
In addition, it can also include options that protect any contents belonging to the landlord such as equipment, appliances, and furniture that are on the property. Another important part of landlord insurance is loss of income coverage. Keep reading to learn more about the best landlord insurance.
Best Overall: State Farm
Why We Chose It: State Farm offers several different landlord insurance policies with customization options that are offered nationwide. It’s also a reputable company with almost 100 years of industry experience.
Landlord insurance policies offered in all 50 states
Comprehensive and customizable landlord insurance policies
Structures such as garages, pools, and sheds are also covered
Some complaints about long claim processing times
Founded in 1922 in Bloomington, Illinois, State Farm originally provided farmers with automobile insurance at competitive rates. Some of the policy documents were hand-carried between customers and the company's office. Fast forward to today, and State Farm is one of the most well-known and well-respected insurance companies. It has an A++ rating from AM Best.
In addition to landlord insurance and auto insurance, State Farm offers homeowners and renters policies as well as investment and retirement products and services. You can get a quote over the phone with a dedicated agent and claims can be filed and tracked online 24/7.
Landlord insurance policies can be customized to suit your needs and can include some unique coverage, such as heating or air conditioning loss reimbursement and equipment breakdown coverage. Other coverage options include loss of income and tenant move back coverage to cover expenses if tenants need to move out of the property and then move back in. Because of all the different options, you need to contact the company for an individual quote and have your tenants' lease handy because you will need it to prove the property is rented.
Best for Condominium Owners: MetLife
Why We Chose It: MetLife offers customizable, flexible coverage for condominiums. It protects you from costs that your master condominium policy doesn’t cover.
Specific coverage just for condos
Ability to customize policy for your needs
Loss assessment protection for unscheduled condo association assessments
You need to call an agent for most things, including landlord insurance claims
No upfront pricing or average costs provided
MetLife is the largest insurer in the country and has an A+ financial strength rating from AM Best. It also has some of the lowest amounts of customer complaints in the industry. The company was founded in 1868 before the telephone was even invented. It was originally founded to insure Civil War soldiers and sailors against wartime-related disabilities.
That venture wasn’t too fruitful, so MetLife pivoted to life insurance and then added on other products, including landlord, homeowners, condo, dental, and pet insurance, among others. You can log in to your MetLife account online once you’re a customer, but most of your questions will be answered by calling your assigned agent. As is the case with most landlord insurance, you need to call MetLife directly to get a quote or an average policy premium cost.
MetLife offers landlord insurance, which covers liability, loss of rental income, private structures including garages, and swimming pools, as well as medical payments and identity protection services. It has a landlord policy specifically for condo owners. These policies can be customized to include coverage of legal fees if you’re sued due to a mishap on your property. Another unique feature is replacement cost coverage for missing or damaged items without deduction or depreciation.
Best for Single-Family Homes: Travelers
Why We Chose It: Travelers offers landlord insurance policies that can be customized, can cover additional structures, and you may add on an umbrella policy if needed.
Landlord insurance policies for single-family homes and buildings with one to four units
Customizable policies with loss of use coverage
Medical payment coverage amounts can be raised
Doesn’t cover buildings with more than four units
No upfront pricing
Founded in 1853 in Saint Paul, Minnesota, by a professional stone cutter, Travelers started out as an accident insurance company. It later expanded and began selling life insurance, making it one of the first companies in the country to sell more than one type of insurance. Now, Travelers offers automobile, homeowners, boat, and renters insurance nationwide. It’s the second-largest writer of commercial property-casualty insurance in the U.S. The company is now based in New York City.
You can get a quote online or over the phone with an agent. You can also report a claim and pay your bill online and the site is easy to navigate. No average landlord insurance costs are given on the site because policy premiums vary so much based on location, coverage, property value, and more.
Travelers landlord insurance is ideal for single-family homes because it also covers structures that are on your property such as a garage or a shed and it covers the landlord’s personal property that may be inside the house. Landlord insurance includes property coverage, medical payments, premises liability, and loss of use coverage.
Best for Multi-Unit Properties: Farmers Insurance
Why We Chose It: Farmers offers personalized coverage for rental properties with multiple units. It also offers multiple discounts and helpful tools.
Mobile app can be used to file a claim and access your account
Smart Move Solution is a tenant screening tool
Wide range of discounts
Additional structures aren’t covered by standard landlord insurance policies, you have to add them on as an optional purchase
Middle-of-the-road scores in the Home Insurance Study of 2019
Founded in 1928 by farmers, the company started out selling insurance to farmers and ranchers in California. The founders walked from farm to farm to sell their policies and now the company is the fifth largest home insurance company in the country. It has an A rating with AM Best and overwhelmingly positive customer reviews.
Most landlord insurance policies only cover properties with up to four units, but Farmers covers multi-unit properties with no limit on the number of units or the size of your rental portfolio. It offers customized landlord insurance for your real estate needs. Landlord insurance coverage includes property damage from things such as storms and leaky pipes. You can choose to add loss of rent coverage, personal injury, and personal property coverage to your policy.
You can get a quote online or by speaking with a local insurance agent. When filing a claim, you can do it over the phone, online, or on the company's mobile app. Another unique feature is The Smart Move Solution, which is a tenant screening solution through TransUnion.
Landlord insurance is so important, whether you own one investment property or an entire portfolio, as it can protect you from significant financial loss and inconvenience. The companies on our list all offer landlord insurance with different specialties. Choose the company that best caters to the type of property you own. State Farm is our recommendation for the best landlord insurance option because it's a reputable company that offers comprehensive and customizable landlord insurance policies nationwide.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Landlord Insurance?
Landlord insurance is a type of property insurance for landlords and their investment properties. It includes a business liability component to protect the landlord from potential losses, including loss of income, property damage caused by tenants, theft, and damage caused by forces of nature. It can be used for condos, single-family homes, multi-family properties, mixed-use buildings, and even some commercial properties.
How Is Landlord Insurance Different From Rental Property Insurance?
Rental property insurance and landlord insurance are types of specialty insurance designed for properties that are rented to long-term tenants. However, there are some differences. Rental property insurance focuses on protecting the property, so it includes property coverage with protection for the building. It may also include coverage for additional structures and personal property belonging to the landlord. Landlord insurance, on the other hand, focuses on the business liability component of coverage. This means that landlord insurance protects the property owner from potential claims and lawsuits resulting from incidents that take place on the property such as bodily injury or medical payment claims.
Why Would Someone Need Landlord Insurance?
Someone would need landlord insurance in the following scenarios:
- They live in one unit and rent out other units in a multi-family property.
- They own an apartment building.
- They own investment properties, including condos and single-family homes.
- They own mixed-use property.
While homeowners insurance protects your primary residence, landlord insurance is needed to protect your investment properties. Whether you’re a landlord with one property or 1,000 units, landlord insurance is recommended.
How Much Does Landlord Insurance Cost?
A landlord insurance policy is usually about 20 percent higher than a homeowners policy, but the cost depends on a variety of factors such as the value of the property, how often it’s rented, previous claims, the type and amount of coverage, property location, and any applicable discounts.
The costs of landlord insurance are typically higher than homeowners insurance because it’s considered higher risk. Tenant-occupied properties generally need more protection than owner-occupied properties.
How We Chose the Best Landlord Insurance
We researched more than a dozen companies that offer landlord insurance and narrowed the list down from there. We chose reputable companies that have been in business for a long time. These top contenders made our roundup based on company reputation, customer reviews, and types of policies offered. We also considered discounts given, coverage options and customizations, and additional features. We also looked at was how easy it is to get a quote and file a claim.