Rental Property Insurance: The Complete Guide to Protecting Your Investment


Insurance Ranked

- Updated May 31, 2023

Rental Property Insurance: The Complete Guide to Protecting Your Investment

As a landlord, protecting your rental property is one of your top priorities. Rental property business insurance can help protect you from the unexpected and give you peace of mind that your property is safe and secure. But how do you know what type of coverage is best for your rental? Let’s break down the essentials of rental property insurance so you can make an informed decision.

Types of Coverage

There are two primary types of coverage for rental properties—liability and property.

Liability covers costs associated with claims from third parties, such as former tenants or visitors to your property. This type of coverage helps protect you in case someone gets injured on the premises or if someone sues for damages caused to their personal items.

Property insurance covers losses due to vandalism, theft, fire, flooding, and other types of physical damage. It also covers any personal possessions that belong to the tenant that are damaged during a covered event.

Rental Property Insurance Vs. Landlord Insurance


Rental property insurance and landlord insurance are similar yet different.

Rental Property Insurance

Rental property insurance is designed to protect the physical structure of a rental property, such as the building itself, any detached structures (like garages or sheds) and their contents from damage caused by events like fire, windstorms, hail, lightning, theft or vandalism. It includes liability coverage for third-party personal injuries and property damage. Landlord insurance is similar in that it also provides protection for your rental property from many of the same risks; however, there are some differences.

Landlord Insurance


Landlord insurance policies typically include additional protections that rental property insurance does not provide. These may include protection for rental income lost due to a tenant’s default in paying rent or reimbursement for legal fees associated with eviction proceedings. In most cases, landlord insurance also covers claims made against you by a tenant alleging wrongful eviction or discrimination. Finally, landlord insurance generally offers higher limits of liability than those found in standard rental property policies.

Umbrella Insurance

In addition to liability and property coverage, landlords may also want to consider umbrella insurance. Umbrella insurance provides additional protection over and above what standard policies cover, such as legal fees associated with defending yourself against a lawsuit or paying out settlements if needed. It can also provide extra protection in case an incident causes more damage than your policy limits can cover.

Not sure where to find umbrella insurance? Look to our top providers here.

What You Need To Know Before Buying


There are several key factors to consider when selecting the best rental property insurance policy for your needs:


When shopping for rental property insurance it is important to know exactly what kind of coverage you are looking for so that you can get the right policy at the right price. Make sure you understand exactly what each policy covers and what it doesn’t cover before signing on the dotted line. Research different providers to ensure that you get the best rate for the most comprehensive coverage available.

Ensure your policy includes protection from natural disasters such as:

  • Hurricanes
  • Floods
  • Fires
  • Theft
  • Vandalism

You should also consider additional coverage for liability which can protect you from financial losses if a tenant or visitor is injured on your property.

When selecting the right coverage for your rental property it is important to make sure that you understand what each type of coverage entails and how it will be applicable in different situations. Understanding the terms of the policy and what types of events are covered can help ensure that you have adequate coverage in place should anything occur while renting out your property.


Along with ensuring that you have the right amount of coverage in place, it is also important to select a company with great customer service and competitive rates. Make sure that any potential provider has positive reviews online and has been around long enough to provide reliable service over time.

It's also worth looking into any discounts they may offer depending on certain criteria such as multiple policies or an installed security system at the rental property. Do some research on different providers available so that you can compare rates and decide which option best fits your individual needs and budget.


Another important factor to consider is the deductible. This is the amount you'll have to pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in. A higher deductible can help lower your monthly premiums, but it's essential to make sure you have the funds available to cover the deductible if a claim were ever filed. It's also worth noting that some policies offer optional deductibles, which allow you to choose how much you'd like to pay out of pocket before coverage begins.


It's essential to do research about potential insurance providers and get an idea of their reputation for customer service and claims handling. Reading online reviews and ratings from other landlords and property owners can be a great way to get a better understanding of the quality of service offered by an insurance company as well as their track record when it comes to claims processing and customer satisfaction. You may also want to see if they have any ratings or certifications from independent rating agencies.

Optional Coverage


Depending on the specific needs of your rental property, you may want to consider additional coverage options such as loss of rental income. This additional coverage provides reimbursement should your property become damaged and unable to generate rent payments, helping ensure that this unexpected financial burden does not significantly impact you financially.

Many policies also include liability coverage for incidents involving third parties on the premises, water backup protection against damage caused by sewer backups or flooding, and replacement cost coverage for rebuilding after a covered event occurs, among other options - so be sure to read through all policy details carefully before making a decision.

Carefully Consider Your Insurance Needs

Finding the right kind of rental property insurance is key for protecting your investment as a landlord and ensuring peace of mind when renting out your space. By understanding both types of coverage available (liability and property), weighing whether umbrella insurance makes sense for your situation, and researching different providers before buying, landlords can make sure they have all the necessary protections in place for themselves and their tenants alike.

If you have any questions about rental insurance requirements in your city or need some clarification on the coverage, contact an insurance agent near you to explore options.


What Are the Insurance Requirements for Rental Properties?

Whether a landlord legally needs insurance when renting out a property is a complex question that must be answered on a case-by-case basis. In most cases, a landlord should secure at least basic liability and property insurance to protect them against potential damage or injuries. While this requirement may vary by jurisdiction, it is generally in the best interests of landlords to be adequately insured.

Landlords who are looking to rent out their properties on a short-term basis are likely subject to different insurance requirements than those renting out long-term. Short-term rentals tend to present greater liability risks due to the transient nature of their tenants, as well as the potential for more wear and tear on the property itself. As such, many jurisdictions require landlords to offer short-term rental options to carry additional coverage for things like legal costs associated with tenant disputes or even natural disasters.

Is It More Expensive to Insure a Rental Property Than a Primary Residence?

Insuring a rental property can be more expensive than insuring a primary residence for a number of reasons.

  1. Rental properties tend to have higher liability risks than primary residences. This is because tenants and their guests may get injured on the property, and landlords can be held liable for these injuries. As a result, rental property insurance policies typically provide higher levels of liability coverage, which can make the premium more expensive.

  2. Rental properties may be more vulnerable to damage because they are occupied by tenants who may not take the same level of care as a homeowner. This can increase the risk of damage to the property, which can result in higher insurance premiums.

  3. The location of the rental property can also impact the cost of insurance. Properties located in areas prone to natural disasters or high crime rates may be more expensive to insure.

The cost of insuring a rental property can vary based on a number of factors, including the location, size, age, and condition of the property, as well as the type and amount of coverage you choose. It's always a good idea to shop around and compare quotes from multiple insurance providers to find the best policy and price for your specific situation.

Does Rental Property Insurance Cover My Tenant's Personal Property?

Rental property insurance does not cover a tenant's personal property. This type of insurance typically provides protection for the landlord in the event of damage to the rental structure and liability coverage. If you have a tenant in your rental, you’ll want to make sure that they understand they’re solely responsible for insuring their own personal possessions. Some landlords opt to make maintaining renter’s insurance a lease requirement.

Tenants should look into renters insurance to make sure their valuables are protected against potential risks such as theft, fire, and water damage. This kind of policy will cover any losses related to personal belongings, including furniture, clothing, electronics, and more.

Renters' insurance can also provide personal liability coverage in case someone is injured on the property and decides to sue the tenant. Even if a tenant cannot afford full coverage, there are still options available; some policies offer basic protection at an affordable rate or may even be included in a tenant’s monthly rent payment if provided by the landlord. No matter what option is chosen, having some form of protection is essential for any tenant who wishes to secure their valuable possessions while living in a rented home.

What Happens if a Tenant Causes Damage to My Property?

If your tenant causes damage to your property, your landlord's insurance policy should cover the cost of repairs and any replacement costs that might be required. Depending on your policy, you may also be able to make a claim for any additional losses caused by the damage, such as loss of rental income, or legal expenses.

In order to assess the damage and make a successful claim, it is important to have detailed records and evidence of the condition of the property prior to the incident. If possible, take photographs and make notes regarding repairs already carried out.

Once a claim has been made with your insurer, they will arrange for an assessor to inspect the property and determine what needs repairing or replacing. You may then receive compensation in accordance with your policy terms. In some cases, you may need to seek advice from a solicitor or other specialist if you are in dispute with the tenant about who is responsible for the damage.

Do I Need Rental Property Insurance if I'm Using a Property Management Company?

Even if you are using a property management company, it's important to have insurance on your rental property. The property management company's insurance only covers their liability and does not provide coverage for the property owner and their investment.

Will my Homeowner's Insurance Policy Cover an Accident or Damage if I Rent the Home Out?

Most standard homeowner's insurance policies do not cover accidents or damages that occur when the home is being rented out to others. This is because homeowner's insurance is designed to cover the homeowner's personal property and liability risks, not rental activities.

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