24 Replies Latest reply: Jan 10, 2014 6:17 AM by qqueen RSS

    Who can recommend an insurance carrier that specifically offers Vacation Rental Insurance?

    New Member

      Our insurance company just told me that vacation rentals might not be covered under their general "renters insurance", so I was wondering if anyone knows of an insurance carrier that offers specific Vacation Rental insurance.



        • Who can recommend an insurance carrier that specifically offers Vacation Rental Insurance?
          Active Contributor

          You know, ever since I started on this site and read some of the posts, I became alarmed and wondered if our policy even covered the business we were doing.  Called agent right away and was advised that for our policy, transient type rentals (week-to-week) were covered, but a long-term rental would not be covered.  First, if you're dealilng with your insurance company, I'd ask them to be SPECIFIC!!  "Might not be covered.." - what the heck does that mean?  Get them to clarify their position/coverage in writing.  If you want to stay with that company, see if there's an endorsement they can add to your policy.  Perhaps they'll give you a good rate on a separate business type liability policy since you'd be bundling your coverages.  If they can't tell you - look elsewhere.  You need to be covered and you need good customer service.  Good luck!

          • Re: Who can recommend an insurance carrier that specifically offers Vacation Rental Insurance?
            Active Contributor

            The main insurance companies that I know of right now (for vacation rental properties) are ...


            *  Foremost Insurance, which is owned by Farmers Insurance ... Homeowner's insurance, for people who own and live in the property and also manage a vacation rental ON SITE.  This is the insurance we currently have, through an independent agent. It seems pretty comprehensive, as it is difficult to find TRUE homeowners' insurance (not commercial insurance), which is valid for a vacation rental. The policy quoted for us was about $4100 with a $2500 deductible.   We purchased coverage for an annual premium of $4300 with a $1000 deductible from Foremost. However, we are shopping around to see if there is a less expensive policy that will still provide us with adequate coverage.


            * Propel National Vacation Rentals Association (NVRA) insurance, which is commercial insurance specifically for vacation rental properties.   If you are a homeowner living on site, you need to purchase additional renter's insurance (typically provided by Safeco) in order to cover your personal belongings and personal liability which is not associated with the vacation rental. Marlene Esparza with Propel Insurance.   Her number is 206-262-4348. She is on the West Coast (Seattle / Pacific time).  With both renter's insurance for our personal liability and personal property from Safeco, as well as the NVRA insurance, the quote was about $2200 with a $2500 deductible for all claims (except I think there might be an extra $$$ deductible for leaking water claims).  Much cheaper than the Foremost / Farmers option ... but it's not as comprehensive, since it's not a full homeowners package.  Marlene was very knowledgeable and great at answering questions via phone and e-mail and sending me all the documentation I was requesting.


            * CBIZ, which offers a commercial policy ... Innkeepers insurance, designed especially for homeowners who live in the property and also rent out part of it or even most of it, as a vacation rental and/or bed-and-breakfast type of property.  Call Bill Carr, 800 488-1135, or bill.Carr@cbiz.com  Note that Bill is on the East Coast (U.S.). I was worried about the time difference, since I'm out in California, but Bill was great to talk to and very easy to reach via phone or e-mail.  Like Marlene, Bill seems to be very thorough and a wonderful person to work with.  The annual CBIZ premium quoted for us was about $2500, plus a $240 safety inspection fee which is only incurred during the first year.  CBIZ is a commercial policy, too, provided by Century Surety, but ... it is reportedly more comprehensive than the NVRA insurance.  Interestingly, CBIZ offers a ZERO deductible for liability claims.  There is a $2500 deductible for claims regarding damage to property.


            I am still shopping around, investigating and looking into the various options. I have been on vacation for the past couple weeks, so I had to put this on the back burner. Now that I am back from vacation .. if there is a better policy for us than the one we currently have, we would like to switch as soon as possible.  I will give the Farmers agent listed above a call, as well!


            I feel that something in the range of $2500 per year is much more "reasonable" for our property, compared to the $4300 we are paying now.  To give some perspective, our previous homeowners policy for a 2-unit building (without vacation rental) was about $1300.   Yes, there's extra risk with a vacation rental, compared to a long-term renter, but should it be MORE THAN DOUBLE?  I don't think so ... which is why, I think, I sort of had $2600 MAXIMUM as a "reasonable" number, or what "feels right."  I'm glad we are FINALLY finding some quotes that are more within the "reasonable" range.


            (We've been trying to resolve this for several months now ...)

            • Re: Who can recommend an insurance carrier that specifically offers Vacation Rental Insurance?
              New Member

              Thanks so much for the detailed info! I really, really appreciate it :-) Since we do not live on site, I think I will give Propel a try...

              • Re: Who can recommend an insurance carrier that specifically offers Vacation Rental Insurance?
                New Member

                We have 3 vacation rentals in California and finally have a policy at really covers us for this business from Century Surety Company. The rates are better than any we have had and they do not have crazy fire clearance requirements like everyone else (we are in a wildfire hazard area)

                • Re: Who can recommend an insurance carrier that specifically offers Vacation Rental Insurance?
                  lincoln Senior Contributor

                  The best website for explaining Vacation Rental insurance is   American Modern ... it  clearly shows that DP (Dwelling Policy)  is the appropriate insurance for a Vacation Rental.



                  • Re: Who can recommend an insurance carrier that specifically offers Vacation Rental Insurance?
                    wandagirl Contributor

                    Wow, lots to consider when looking for Short term & long term vacation rental coverage for damage, theft, and liability coverage.   


                    I spent a massive amount of time trying to decipher what companies offer what, appropriate coverage limits, and exclusions and none of it was easy to determine.      


                    I chose CBIZ as it had the most coverage (damage, theft, and liability) and had the best premium and was a well rated company.      


                    Insurance providers also considered included Foremost and Propel.  However,  both had higher premiums (Foremost substantially higher premiums) for similar coverage.  Further, Propel didn't cover theft losses- whether theft was from a renter or burglar, such loss would not be covered, only the damages to the dwelling that resulted from the theft, but not the personal possessions or appliance values.


                    Insurance is regulated on the state level, so coverages/restrictions may vary by state even for the same insurance provider.


                    Something I would consider going forward is using an insurance expert to help decipher providers, coverages, and pros/cons of each.  This is a lengthy topic that should probably be covered by a web-inar.


                    Message was edited by: wandagirl

                      • Re: Who can recommend an insurance carrier that specifically offers Vacation Rental Insurance?
                        New Member

                        Have to agree that CBIZ is great. I agonized over this for a few months before discovering them. I have already recommended to several other friends and colleagues who have vacation rentals. Here's my story and some bits of advice so perhaps others can avoid the mistakes I made and potential pitfalls!


                        We converted our cottage in the Catskills to a vacation rental this year, and had a heck of a time finding appropriate insurance coverage. The problem is that most big insurance companies don't know how to assess risk on a vacation rental--they only know how to do it on a year-round rental. The result? A big insurance company that doesn't specialize in vacation rentals may offer you the coverage, but they will charge you 2x to 3x MORE because they don't know how to manage/gauge the risk.


                        This is an important distinction, so you need to make sure the insurance company you are considering asks YOU the right questions. A proper vacation rental insurance company will ask you questions like:

                        • Do you have a property manager? (BTW, don't freak out about this--it can be the local handyman. You just need to have someone who can check the house after each party leaves to make sure there's no damage or other things that you want to know about right away
                        • Are post-stay inspections performed after each renter's departure?
                        • How long after check out is the inpsection performed?
                        • Does the post-stay inspector confirm that windows and doors are locked?


                        If they're not asking questions like these, they don't know what they're doing. Also, the big companies may put an inexpensive "occasionally rented" rider on your regular primary policy. This does NOT cover you if a guest slips and falls and sues you. You need to make sure you are covered from a liability standpoint. And BTW, personal umbrella liability policies do NOT cover you for vacation rentals because a vacation rental property is considered a business.


                        Our old homeowners policy when it was a primary residence cost us $1600/year. I asked our existing agent to price it out as a vacation rental--they came back with a different company who quoted us $4100/year. Ridiculous.  Then I called CBIZ (888-883-5696) and spoke to Jamie Kristjanson. Jamie was friendly, extremely knowledgeable, and answered all my questions. And she got it all done the same day--the day before a holiday, no less! The best part is that CBIZ was only $1650/year--basically the same price as my policy when the house was a primary residence.


                        So I now have an affordable insurance policy with the appropriate amount of coverage that gives me peace of mind because it's designed for vacation rentals. It includes $1million/$2million in commercial liability coverage.


                        There was a lot of conflicting info in some of these threads when I first starting researching, so I wanted to make sure other owners had this info.

                      • Re: Who can recommend an insurance carrier that specifically offers Vacation Rental Insurance?

                        For my vacation rental in California I use a company called Insurance for Investors and I have been very satisfied with them so far. I receive an excellent rate and coverage. Here is the link:


                        • Re: Who can recommend an insurance carrier that specifically offers Vacation Rental Insurance?
                          New Member

                          As you take all these recommendations from people, make sure you do your own research on the side regarding the insurance agent or company. It is easy to fall into inexperienced hands simply by taking up a referral without conducting any investigations.