Short Term Rental Insurance

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Contributor, Benzinga
September 26, 2023

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Do you have a beautiful cabin on a lake or condo in a busy city and want to advertise the space as a short term vacation rental? You may need to increase your insurance coverage.

We’ve collected everything you need to know about protecting your home or rental property when you rent to short term guests. Learn more about who needs short term rental insurance and how to find the right policy. We’ve also put together a list of some of the best insurance companies for short term rental protection.

The Best Short Term Rental Insurance

It can be difficult to find the right short term renter policy. Check out our top insurance company choices for your short term vacation rental coverage.

1. Best for Insuring Multiple Properties: Steadily

Anyone who owns properties that are not their primary residence must find the best landlord or rental insurance policy for:

  • Rental Homes
  • Airbnb units
  • Apartments
  • A duplex 
  • Units under renovation
  • Vacant/unrented units and more 

When you use Steadily, you can obtain coverage in all 50 states either over the phone or through a text conversation. You answer a few questions, get a quote and bind your coverage rather quickly. Steadily is the best way to protect your investments, and can serve as a boon for smaller property management companies on a budget.

Pros

  • This platform allows you to insure any sort of unit, even if you don’t have tenants in it or if it closes for half the year
  • You can use the quiz to get an idea of what you really need and assess your options before signing up and paying

Cons

  • If you hold several assets, you may find that this platform doesn’t have the pricing you were looking for

2. Best for High Value Items: Allstate

Allstate is one of the largest insurance providers in the country and offers home sharing coverage.

You can add this additional coverage to an existing homeowners policy. It’ll help cover gaps that your homeowners insurance won’t cover, such as guest theft.

To combine a home and renters insurance quote, click here.

Pros

  • Allstate makes it easy to add on coverages as you go
  • You can easily meet with a local agent with whom you can build a solid relationship

Cons

  • Allstate’s prices may be higher than you expected in certain regions

3. Best for Quick Insurance Coverage: Proper Insurance

Proper Insurance offers short term rental coverage that actually replaces your existing homeowners or landlord policy on your property.

This coverage is ideal if you have a vacation home that you occupy on occasion and rent out when you’re gone.

Pros

  • This platform helps you get covered much faster than most so that you can make quick moves on the property market
  • You can replace your existing coverage, meaning that you could actually save money over the long-term

Cons

  • Coverage may not be available in your area

4. Best for Discounts: Progressive

Progressive offers an affordable short term rental coverage option that can be turned off and on as needed.

That means you only have to pay for coverage when you have guests staying in your rental room or property.

To combine a home and renters insurance quote, click here.

Pros

  • Because you can turn this coverage on and off, it’s much easier to manage costs for the property
  • Progressive allows you to bundle with other policies if you have several other assets

Cons

  • Progressive may not have coverage that is robust enough for your property

5. Best for Existing State Farm Policyholders: State Farm

One of the best aspects of State Farm’s landlord policies is coverage of additional structures on your property. For example, a landlord policy from State Farm usually covers pools, garden sheds or fencing at no extra cost.

You can also choose to add coverage to your landlord policy such as identity theft protection.

To combine a home and renters insurance quote, click here.

Pros

  • State Farm can offer lower pricing in certain markets
  • There are partners who can help landlords who already have State Farm policies

Cons

  • State Farm has a history of not approving claims in catastrophic situations

What is Short Term Rental Insurance?

Homeowners and renters insurance both cover damages while you live in your apartment, home or condo. Your policy may not cover the activity of others when you allow other people to rent your space. Let’s say someone gets hurt — you could be liable and your homeowners policy may not cover it.

Short term renters insurance is insurance coverage for rental properties or temporary vacation rentals. Policies protect you from damages that occur when someone else temporarily rents space in your home.

For example, let’s say you rent a room to vacationers for a weekend and a guest accidentally lights a fire. Your regular homeowners insurance may not cover it. Unlike when you host friends for a weekend, renting out a room is usually considered a business activity. Business transactions often mean you need increased coverage.

You may be able to add an endorsement, or specific extra coverage, to your existing insurance. Otherwise, you’ll probably need to purchase a separate, standalone policy for renting your space. Some providers offer standalone policies designed for vacation home rentals. Most standalone policies, however, are actually commercial property or landlord insurance policies.

Who Needs Short Term Renters Insurance?

How do you decide whether you need short term renters insurance? Generally, anyone who stays at a rental property for 30 days or less is considered a short term renter.

Your existing homeowners insurance may be enough coverage if you rent your home very occasionally, Most standard homeowners policies include coverage for occasional rentals. Does your city host a large festival each year? If so, you might want to earn extra cash by renting an extra room. Since the room is only rented for 1 or 2 nights a year, you may be completely covered by your existing policy.

However, every insurance company has different rules on occasional renters. You should talk with your homeowners insurance provider to learn more about your specific policy. Know that you’ll probably need additional coverage if you plan to rent your home more than a few times a year. 

You might want to consider adding short term renters insurance to your home if you:

  • Are a vacation homeowner and rent your property several weeks out of the year
  • Rent an extra bedroom several times a month
  • Have a separate building on your property that you use as a vacation rental

What to Look for in a Short Term Rental Policy

Like any property insurance policy, there are certain things you need to look for in a short term renters policy. The cost of the coverage will likely play a big role in the policy you choose. The type of coverage offered by the policy should also be an important factor.

Make sure to consider these factors:

  • The cost of policy premiums or additional cost to existing homeowners insurance
  • The amount of coverage for damaged property or liability

You also need to understand these terms:

  • Premium: The cost of your policy, often charged by month, twice a year or annually.
  • Liability coverage: Covers injuries to your renters or their guests while they stay at your property. For example, if a renter trips on a loose floorboard, liability insurance should cover any legal costs or medical costs associated with the injury.
  • Deductible: The amount of your claim you’re required to pay before your insurance company pays.

You also need to consider your coverage options:

  1. Add an endorsement to your existing homeowners policy for short term renters.
  2. Take out a vacation rental, home-share or other insurance policy designed specifically for short term rentals.
  3. Take out a landlord insurance policy that covers short term renters.
  4. Take out a commercial property insurance policy.

There are pros and cons to each type of coverage. Be sure to weigh each option before you choose a coverage type.

Add an Endorsement to Existing Homeowners Insurance Policy

This is the easiest way to get coverage for short term renters. You just need to call your homeowners insurance agent and ask about adding additional coverage for short term renters.

Pros:

  • You won’t need a new policy.
  • This is often the least expensive option for short term renters.
  • You’ll deal with your existing agent and insurance company.

Cons:

  • Not all homeowners policies have short term renters insurance available.
  • The coverage offered by a short term rental endorsement may not be enough if you rent your home out a lot.

Take Out Vacation Rental or Homeshare Insurance

Certain insurance companies have begun offering policies specifically designed for temporary short term renter needs. This may be the best option if you find an insurance company that provides this type of insurance in your area.

Pros:

  • This is often less expensive than landlord or commercial property insurance.
  • The policy is designed to cover the needs of short term rentals.
  • You don’t need to worry about mixing your rental business with personal insurance.

Cons:

  • Not all companies offer this type of policy.
  • Limited providers make it more difficult to get the exact coverage you want.

Take Out Landlord Insurance Policy

Want to take out a landlord insurance policy? First, you have to find an insurance provider that offers landlord coverage and you’ll also want to make sure your landlord coverage includes short term renters.

Pros:

  • Landlord coverage helps keep personal and business finances separate from your homeowners policy for personal activity and landlord policy for renting.
  • The policy is specifically for renting out your home.

Cons:

  • Landlord coverage is usually more expensive than a homeowners policy endorsement.
  • It could be difficult to find a policy that specifically covers short term renters.

Take Out Commercial Property Insurance

Do you plan to rent your home for most of the year? If so, a commercial property policy could be right for you. Businesses like hotels, resorts or other vacation lodging use commercial property insurance.

Pros:

  • Coverage is often complete, with few gaps in coverage.

Cons:

  • Commercial insurance is expensive, so it’s probably not worth it if you rent temporarily.

Protect Your Rental with Short Term Rental Insurance

Be sure you have adequate coverage before you rent out your spare bedroom or vacation condo on the beach. The last thing you want is to make extra money renting your property, only to have to cover expenses for damages out of pocket.

Call your existing homeowners insurance agent to find out if you have enough coverage to rent your property. You should also get a quote from insurance providers for standalone short term or landlord insurance policies. Compare coverage between an endorsement to your existing policy and a new policy specifically for your rental property.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

What factors do I need to consider in short-term rental insurance?

A

You need to look at the coverage, deductibles and premiums.

Q

What are some excellent short-term renters insurance carriers?

A

Some of the best short-term renters insurance companies include Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm.

Q

Does short term rental insurance cover flooding?

A

No. Short term rental insurance does not cover flooding, and you should consider purchasing flood coverage if you are in a known flood zone.

Get Protection Now

Lemonade offers fast, easy coverage through their seamless application and claims process. Get personal property and liability protection with Lemonade Renters Insurance.

About Melinda Sineriz

Melinda specializes in writing about mortgages. student loans, personal loans, insurance, managing credit and debt, and credit cards.