Stellar customer service can take the stress out of dealing with a claim.
Landlord insurance can help protect your investment and income from the unexpected. But choosing a company with a difficult claims process can lead to a future headache.
The top 5 best landlord insurance companies
State Farm: Best well-rounded policy
State Farm offers a coverage suite that goes beyond the landlord basics, including wide protection for liability, personal belongings and tenant benefits. Benefits you’ll see include:
- Comprehensive liability. This protects you all around for liability related to tenant or personal injury, property damage and advertising injury.
- Extra coverage, free of charge. Unlike most other policies, this one includes extras with its building coverage, like personal belongings used to maintain the rental. It also covers other buildings on the property, including garages, sheds, fences and swimming pools.
- Helpful add-ons. State Farm helps with repairs to specified equipment like boilers or A/C units as well as expense reimbursement for moving tenants back in after heavy repairs.
- Strong customer satisfaction. State Farm’s homeowner products receive high ratings from customer reviews for quick, hassle-free property claims.
Allstate: Best for bundling
This big name brand includes a variety of coverage you can include on your policy. Plus, it allows you to bundle personal policies with your landlord insurance, like home and auto.
- Offers bundling. You get the convenience of multiple policies in one location, plus savings.
- Extra damage protection. Includes protection for vandalism or burglaries, repairing your rental and bringing it up to city or county safety codes.
- Pays medical expenses. If someone gets injured on your property, this add-on pays the medical bills without getting into a hairy legal case.
Farmers: Best value
Farmers helps you get up and running quickly with standard coverage, tenant screening and friendly service. This insurer:
- Has years of experience. This big brand keeps A+ ratings with A.M. Best and the Better Business Bureau while boasting over 90 years in business.
- Is known for value. Customer reviews speak to Farmers’ helpful customer service and competitive rates when compared to competitors.
- You can cover water damage. With named perils coverage, you can choose to cover specific damage like water damage from burst pipes.
Foremost: Best for building protection
Foremost stands apart from the crowd with comprehensive protection for your biggest asset—the rental itself.
- Comprehensive building coverage. You can get wide protection for most accidental types of damage, plus opt to name perils on your policy like hail, earthquake or wind.
- Building protection add-ons. Get the value you deserve for your rental with replacement cost, extended replacement cost or agreed value coverage.
- Option for repairs. Going above and beyond most building protection, you can also choose protection for repairs you make to your rental.
USAA: Best for claims
Military-affiliated landlords and homeowners trust this brand with their property needs, knowing they’ll be taken care of if any damage arises.
- Has excellent claims service. USAA topped many providers with its 5-star rating for property claims satisfaction with J.D. Power.
- Helps home-sharers. This provider offers coverage for those who rent out rooms inside their own homes, a truly unique offering.
- Serves the military. This top company is known to offer high-valued services to military and veterans, and landlord insurance should be no exception.
How did we choose these providers?
Our insurance experts took a variety of factors into account when rating landlord insurance providers. Those included the types of coverage offered, what was included or offered at an extra cost and whether coverage was industry standard. Nonstandard coverage was rated on its relevancy and helpfulness to landlords.
We also factored in the provider’s overall financial strength, business ratings, customer reviews and claims satisfaction to provide readers with a complete picture of the company.
Compare landlord insurance policies to find the best one for you
How to find the best landlord insurance policy
The best landlord policy is one that comes from a reputable insurer and meets your needs at a fair price. To find a policy that fits:
- Decide what type of coverage you need. Are you looking for a bare-bones policy or do you want to make sure that you’re financially stable no matter what happens? Write out all of your concerns, and look for a policy that covers them.
- Shop around. Once you know what you want, narrow down insurers who offer coverage for all your needs.
- Research your top insurers. You can find customer reviews on social media, forums and review sites. Scan those reviews to find out how customers rate each insurer’s claims processes and customer service. It’s also a good idea to check if the insurer uses a different underwriter. If they do, you’ll want to check those reviews, too.
- Look at the price. Once you’ve narrowed down your list to a few policies that fit the bill, it’s time to compare home insurance policy prices. Some insurers may have special offers in place, like your first month free. Some may also give you a discount if you bundle other insurance products, or if you agree to pay for a whole year’s worth of coverage in advance.
- Check the benefit limits. This is the maximum the insurer will pay you for any particular type of damage. You’ll want to make sure this is enough to cover your expenses if your property is damaged or destroyed.
- Check the deductible. This is the amount you have to pay each time you claim. The higher this is, the less your policy should cost. While choosing a higher deductible can help you save, your insurance policy is useless if you can’t afford it.
- Study the exclusions. These are the situations when your policy will not pay you. For example, many policies exclude vandalism from coverage, and floods are only covered if you have a separate flood insurance policy. Make sure you’re comfortable with the exclusions of the policies you are considering.
- Apply. Choose your favorite insurer based on the price, benefits, exclusions and customer feedback and contact its customer service team if you have any questions. If you don’t have any questions, apply for a policy.
What should I look for in a policy?
Most policies will include coverage for fire or storm damage to your building and legal liability up to the policy’s limit. But comprehensive policies can also include coverage for:
- Vandalism (except for that caused by your tenant)
- Eviction costs
- Non-injury lawsuits such as a wrongful eviction claim
- Guaranteed income insurance
- Bringing the building to code after a covered incident
What should I look for in a landlord insurance company?
A major part of what makes a great policy is the company behind the policy. In the event of a claim, a good customer service team is everything. When comparing insurers, look for:
- Prompt, friendly and competent customer service. Find out how accessible the support staff is. Can you choose from multiple methods to contact them, such as chat, phone and email? What are their hours? Are they open 24/7 or only during limited times? If they keep limited hours, what time zone are they in?
- A straightforward, effective and timely claims process. Your insurer should make it easy to lodge claims and supporting documents— an online portal is one of the best ways it can do this. Dig into the policy documents and find out how long it takes to process claims. It shouldn’t take more than a couple weeks.
- A reputable and financially-sound underwriter. The underwriter is the company that is putting up the money to pay claims, so it’s important that it has a strong financial position. Most underwriters are large institutions with plenty of information about them available online. Read up on how to find out what kind of reputation an underwriter has around managing funds and paying claims.
- Positive customer reviews. The Internet is filled with customers sharing their experiences with insurance companies. Find out what other landlords are saying about the insurers you’re considering. If you’re using a management company for your property, get their feedback on companies they’ve worked with.
There’s no single universally best landlord insurance company, but there is a best company for each person — and a handful of standout providers. Compare homeowners insurance companies to get a better idea of what your options are and find a company that fits your needs.