Landlord Insurance: Costs and Coverages in the City

Renters account for 36% of households in the US. Over the coming years, that percentage is expected to grow as the number of multi-family housing construction increases. If you want to capitalize on this influx, you need to educate yourself on the ins and outs of this market.

Landlord insurance isn’t as simple as it might sound. Many clients want to insure multiple units or buildings that include a mix of landlord, commercial, and tenant-occupied spaces. They’ll also have questions and concerns regarding what it may cost them and the coverages you can offer. This guide gives you the inside track on all these questions so you can give landlords what they’re looking for and win over clients in this lucrative market.

What is Landlord Insurance?

Landlord insurance (also called condominium insurance or apartment insurance) protects owners from the risks of renting out their properties. These risks can include property damage caused by floods or fire and liability coverage if a landlord gets sued by a tenant or building guest.

Landlord insurance is an incredibly broad term that can be applied to several situations, including one property, a schedule of properties, or even a multi-family building. It can also include commercial, personal, or rented units. For this reason, every landlord insurance policy will need to be a little different so that your client gets the coverage that suits their circumstances.

How Much Is Landlord Insurance?

Landlord insurance costs vary a lot based on size to location, so there’s no way to give an accurate quote without specifics. However, you can use examples to help illustrate costs. These three examples are based on real insurance quotes and will help you estimate what a client might pay for their premiums.

Chicago90 units, 6 stories~$21 million~$37,000
West New York6 location schedule~$11.5 million~$50,000
Denver44 units, 6 stories~$14.5 million~$34,000

Many clients will want an exact quote that reflects their situation. Distinguished offers a short online application process so you can get your clients a quote quickly and conveniently.

What does Landlord Insurance Cover?

Landlord insurance packages include property and general liability insurance. These policies cover buildings against the most common claims and risks: water damage, weather damage, and slip-and-fall liability suits.

Beyond these basics, a good landlord insurance policy will also include coverages like:

  • Equipment Breakdown: Major system repairs like electrical, mechanical, or HVAC.
  • Sewer and Drain Backup: Water damage caused by backups.
  • Ordinance or Law: Repairs being brought up to code necessitated by local laws or ordinances.

Most clients also want to opt for additional coverages based on their needs and risk tolerance. Distinguished offers optional coverages like: 

  • Flood Insurance: Coverage in case of flood damage.
  • Earthquake Insurance: Coverage in case of earthquake damage.
  • Hired and Non-Owned Automobile Coverage: Liability coverage in case a vehicle that isn’t owned or leased by the landlord (or their company) is damaged on the job (i.e., an employee’s car parked on the premises).
  • Crime Insurance: Coverage against criminal activities, including things like employee theft & forgery or alteration.
  • Employee Liability Benefits Insurance: Liability coverage in case the landlord or their company accidentally shortchanges an employee’s benefits.
  • Commercial Package Policy: A series of coverages designed to insure mixed-use buildings with commercial units.

Plus, owners who live on the premises can add:

  • Personal Liability Insurance: Liability coverage in case of accidents in the owner’s unit.
  • Personal Contents Coverage: In case personal property is destroyed or damaged in the owner’s unit.
  • Additional Living Expenses Coverage: Coverage for additional expenses if the landlord is forced out of their unit because of a covered problem.

In short, landlord insurance with Distinguished covers what landlords want it to cover. There’s no need to pigeonhole them into a set policy. Owners can happily work with you to pick coverages that suit them.

What Landlords are Looking for in an Insurance Policy

Knowing what a prospective client is looking for is the key to winning accounts. Here are three things you can offer to win over new clients.

Flexible Underwriting and Coverages for Their Unique Situation

Everyone’s situation is a little different. Some of your landlord clients may be insuring a 10-unit rental building, while another might be looking for coverage for an owner-occupied four-family home. Offering flexibility is key to winning over these clients who need an insurance policy tailored for their needs.

Distinguished’s flexible underwriting and expertise help you offer plans designed to cover anywhere between 2 and 100 units across your city. Policies can also be adjusted to include buildings with mixed-use, owner-occupied units, tenant-occupied units, and even condominium associations. This means you can offer clients what they’re looking for, not what some predefined package says they need.

No Age Restrictions

America’s cities are full of older buildings that need to be insured. However, many insurance companies won’t insure these buildings because their age has passed an arbitrary number.

You don’t have to say no to these clients when you insure with Distinguished. Any building that passes inspection (and meets our life safety requirements) is eligible for insurance. This includes New York Brick & Brownstone buildings that come with their own set of special needs.

Perks that Make Their Lives Easier

Setting yourself apart as an insurance broker isn’t easy. Everyone says they offer lower premiums and better customer service, so you need to have some serious perks to make an impact on your clients.

Distinguished helps you do just that by offering policyholders access to a list of qualified tradespeople through Sedgwick Repair Services. Landlords have enough to worry about when something goes wrong in their units or buildings. With Distinguished, you can be their knight in shining armor by offering them expert contractors to make the repairs and coverages that’ll take care of the bill.

Sell More Policies with Distinguished

Distinguished is a leader in landlord insurance that can help you win accounts by offering flexible policies with limits of $1, $2, and $5 million. If you’re interested in learning more, look at our City Landlord, City Multifamily, or City Condo insurance pages.

To get started with a quote, please sign up through our Broker’s Portal. Application takes about 5 minutes, and the underwriting review should be complete in 24-48 hours.

City Homes Insurance FAQs

Not seeing what you need? Speak with an insurance expert through our live chat or contact us to learn more.

How do I submit?

You can submit online in about 5 minutes. To submit, register as a broker in our portal, then complete our online application. If you’re representing an account with seven or more locations, you can also submit with a paper application.

Do you write schedules?

Yes. If this includes over seven buildings, we have a streamlined process where you’ll work directly with our underwriting team.

Do you inspect properties?

Yes, all properties are inspected. Depending on your situation, we may do a full inspection or a “drive-by” partial inspection. For full inspections, we’ll need to arrange a scheduled appointment time, plus you’ll need to provide us with several documents, including maintenance records and Certificates of Insurance.

About Distinguished Programs

Distinguished Programs is a leading national insurance Program Manager providing specialized insurance programs to brokers and agents with expertise in Real Estate, Community Associations, Hotels, and Restaurants. Property and liability products are distributed through a national network of agents and brokers. Serving the same core markets and partnering with the most stable and reputable carriers, Distinguished Programs’ high-limit umbrella programs remain the clear choice in its specialty areas for superior coverage, competitive pricing, and attentive service. Through thoughtful innovation, stemming back to 1995, Distinguished Programs fosters growth and opportunities for its brokers, carriers, and employees.

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