Insurance and “Student Housing”

16 Replies

Hello everyone, I recently learned that, because my tenants all happen to be students, my insurance company won’t cover the property because they don’t deal in “student housing.” Has anyone ever encountered this? What company do you suggest? My town has at least eight colleges, but my duplex is in no way marketed toward students. I have been informed that I have 30 days to find a new policy or I will lose coverage. Any suggestions would be immensely appreciated. Thank you!

What you should do is locate an insurance broker in your area, and the broker should be able to locate an insurance company for you. If your town has at least 8 colleges, other landlords must have rented to students, and gotten insurance, and any broker attuned to the locate market must have dealt with those landlords.

Never heard of this. My insurance company doesn't vet my tenants so I'm not even sure how they would know all of your tenants happen to be students.

Hi JD. 

I hadn't either. We had an agent mention it when looking for a policy for a house I have on contract, so I followed up on a policy I already had in place with a different insurance provider (who I was trying to avoid using again). 

There's no way for them to know, but I would hate to have them find out when I actually need them to cover something. 

Originally posted by @Rob Gervais :

Hi JD. 

I hadn't either. We had an agent mention it when looking for a policy for a house I have on contract, so I followed up on a policy I already had in place with a different insurance provider (who I was trying to avoid using again). 

There's no way for them to know, but I would hate to have them find out when I actually need them to cover something. 

 I think they would have a tough row to hoe if they denied you coverage on a legitimate event, unless your housing is specifically marketed only to students, in an area that only students would rent, or constructed in such a way that that wouldn't appeal to anyone but students (common kitchens & living areas, for example). If you are talking about SFHs or MFHs that accept everyone, I wouldn't worry 5 cents about it. 

Originally posted by @JD Martin :

 I think they would have a tough row to hoe if they denied you coverage on a legitimate event, unless your housing is specifically marketed only to students, in an area that only students would rent, or constructed in such a way that that wouldn't appeal to anyone but students (common kitchens & living areas, for example). If you are talking about SFHs or MFHs that accept everyone, I wouldn't worry 5 cents about it. 

 You're probably right. I was really confused as to why it even came up in the first place. Either way, I'm on the hunt for a new provider. Thanks for the help! 

Originally posted by @Rob Gervais :

That's solid advice, Frank. Thanks!

Well, Grand Rapids, who do you use? 

Just to add to the above, a good insurance agency/broker will call around for you to find the right coverage for you. At one point, I was informed my carrier no longer does umbrella insurance for owners with more than 6 properties, I have to get commercial coverage. My agency called around and found a carrier that will do more than six, not commercial, and I didn't have to pay the more exorbitant commercial rates. But it's an out of state carrier. If it was left up to me, I wouldn't know who to call.

I worked for a small upstart insurance company during my college years, and this company writes policies for one of a kind coverage if none is commercially available. Basically, knowledgeable brokers call us, not consumers, as it's not something advertised in the yellow pages.

Originally posted by @Rob Gervais :

Sounds like I need to stop using my local credit union as a one-stop shop. 

Sounds like it's a little out of their league, or plain lazy.

The insurance agency I mentioned above, I dropped them a few years after, after doing business with them for 40 years. My daughter just got her driver's license, they told me that it would cost $350/month more to add her to my policy. That week, my wife was at the AAA Auto club office vacation planning, spoke to their insurance agent on duty, he gave us a quote with my daughter included, but at $350/month less, the same rate before putting my daughter on.

I then called the original agent to cancel auto policy, and everything else, because you have to place everything at one place for the best rates. When that happened, I paid even less monthly, because my property and umbrella insurance even cost less. Out of curiosity, she asked what insurance company the AAA is going through. When I mentioned the name, she said "oh, I know who they are". So I said "so you mean you didn't called them?" What good is knowing who they are but you don't call them. 

I think you  have to find someone that knows insurance, and also get off their lazy butts.

Yes as you are finding out a lot of insurance companies avoid student housing due to the increased risk. I have a couple companies that are ok with it though. @Rob Gervais send me a PM and I will see what I can do for you. 

@Rob Gervais I have several multi-unit rentals that are mixed with students and young professionals. I have no issues obtaining insurance. All of my policies are underwritten by Foremost through a local broker I like. Unless you are specifically stating these are students I don't see what the issue would be.