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 renters 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.
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The Best Short Term Renters Insurance:
- Allstate: Best for Home Sharing
- Proper: Best for Vacation Homes
- Nationwide: Best for Coverage Options
- Progressive: Best for Occasional Renters
- State Farm: Best for Landlord Insurance
What is Short term Renters 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 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
- The deductible amount if you need to make a claim
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:
- Add an endorsement to your existing homeowners policy for short term renters.
- Take out a vacation rental, home-share or other insurance policy designed specifically for short term rentals.
- Take out a landlord insurance policy that covers short term renters.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Coverage is often complete, with few gaps in coverage.
- Commercial insurance is expensive, so it’s probably not worth it if you rent temporarily.
What to Look for in a Company
It’s important to feel comfortable with the company you choose. Ask yourself these questions to help you find a good insurance provider:
- Does the company offer the type of coverage I want?
- Does the company have good reviews from actual customers?
- How long has the company been in business? Do they have the financial stability to pay a claim?
- Is it easy to get in touch with customer service or an agent with questions?
- Do I qualify for discounts?
Make sure you have enough coverage in place before you book your first guest. Even if you purchase a policy specifically for home-sharing rentals, you may want to double-check that you’re covered.
The Best Short Term Renters Insurance Companies
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. Allstate: Best for Home Sharing
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.
2. Proper Insurance: Best for Vacation Homes
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.
3. Nationwide: Best for Coverage Options
Nationwide is a large insurance provider for car, home, life and other types of insurance. It offers both short term renters policies as well as rental endorsements for your existing homeowners policy.
You can also choose a landlord or commercial property policy through Nationwide.
4. Progressive: Best for Occasional Renters
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.
5. State Farm: Best for Landlord Insurance
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.
Protect Your Rental with Short Term Renters 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
1) Q: What are the most common types of home insurance claims?
Wind and hail claims top the list with nearly 40% of all home insurance claims due to these two acts of nature. Fire and lightning are the second most common, but claims due to fire tend to much bigger than claims dues to other types of risk. The possibility of a total loss is why it’s so important to insure your home for the full cost of rebuilding. Get a custom quote today.
2) Q: How does home insurance liability coverage work?
Most home insurance policies provide liability coverage that can help protect you and your family against several types of lawsuits or liability claims. Coverage limit options usually begin at $100,000 and can go as high as $1 million. Your liability coverage provides coverage for common mishaps, like slip and fall accidents or animal bites and can protect you even when you are away from home. However, home insurance liability coverage does not provide coverage for automobile-related liability or liability related to business activity. Get the best home coverage and policy through our top providers today.
3) Q: What should I do if my home is damaged?
For any major damage, you should contact your insurer or agent as soon as you can. As part of a home insurance policy, you agree to notify the insurer of any claims in a timely manner. Your insurer can arrange for remediation if needed, which may include boarding up windows, roof tarps, and other measures. Take action to reduce the damage if you can do so safely. An example might be turning off the water supply if you have a burst pipe.