CBIZ vs. Proper Insurance

42 Replies

Does anyone endorse CBIZ vs. Proper?  The policies seem pretty similar.

I was recently asked by an insurance agent whether I wanted a Commercial business policy or a traditional one, which I think is what you're asking. The agent advised I take the more expensive commercial policy. I declined, and instead got a personal umbrella policy in addition to the standard policy.  My reasoning is a single umbrella will provide extra protection for multiple properties which will be cheaper than getting a commercial policy on each property. I'm new at this, so would love to hear what other people think.

@Tim Schroeder CBIZ and Proper are insurance programs that specialize in insuring Airbnb and vacation rental properties.

@Sara Abernethy the management team @ Proper came from CBIZ.  Proper has a few additional endorsements that outperform the CBIZ policy.   You would need to talk with them to see if these endorsements apply to your particular situation and specific property.

I have never heard any complaints from either program.

@Tim Schroeder . Hi Tim!  I have a commercial policy for my long-term rentals (they call it a "landlord policy" informally), and I have an umbrella policy.  This policy is for my short-term vacation rental.  Most policies won't cover me if they uncover that I'm doing short-term rentals.  CBIZ and Prosper specifically write their policies to cover these types of rentals.  

@Jason Bott That's helpful - what do you mean by endorsements?  Would it be safe to say that the Proper team left CBIZ to create a superior product??  Or they just wanted to write the same policy and keep more of the $?

Originally posted by @Jason Bott :

@Tim Schroeder CBIZ and Proper are insurance programs that specialize in insuring Airbnb and vacation rental properties.

@Sara Abernethy the management team @ Proper came from CBIZ.  Proper has a few additional endorsements that outperform the CBIZ policy.   You would need to talk with them to see if these endorsements apply to your particular situation and specific property.

 Oh, I see, thanks for clarifying. I thought CBIZ was just shorthand for a Commercial Business policy.

Do you recommend CBIZ or Proper over a "standard" insurance policy. I'm talking of course about one that knows and accepts short-term vacation rentals, sold by an insurance agent local to the vacation rental market who understands the requirements.

@Sara Abernethy Endorsements are changes to an insurance policy that add, delete, restrict or expand the coverage in the original policy.

Proper added a few endorsement to expand coverage so their policy fits the short term rental business better.  I don't do many of these so I can't list specifics off the top of my head.

To your second question, they wanted to create a superior product and felt they couldn't do it if they stayed.

@Tim Schroeder CBIZ and Proper policies are crafted to meet the insurance needs of properties where the majority of the revenue is derived from Short Term Rentals, 30 day or less terms. Versus a standard landlord policy that is trying to adjust to accept STR.

If you send your current policy to one of those 2, they will be able to point out the specific coverages they offer that your current program does not.

@Sara Abernethy when I submitted for quotes from both of them, Proper called me in an hour.  CBIZ called me in two days.  Given the similarities of their policies and prices, there was no question I was going with Proper.  I now have three policies through them and they're always very easy to reach and prompt with responses.  I have not had to file any claims so can't speak to that side of things.  One of the endorsements I recall that Proper has that CBIZ does not is: Proper's coverage includes if you gift alcohol to your guests, or if previous guests left alcohol behind - I believe other policies will not cover liability pertaining to alcohol, but Proper does.  

@Tim Schroeder It is important to have a commercial policy that covers your business activities at your short-term rental (which is, of course, hosting guests).  Traditional homeowner's and landlord policies DO NOT cover these activities.  If a local insurance agent draws up a policy that covers the commercial use of the property, liability, and other things unique to STRs along with standard homeowner's coverage, then you'd just have to weigh the value of their offering vs. a Proper or CBIZ policy.  If the policies are comparable, then it's just a matter of your preference and comfort level.  But make sure the policies are in fact comparable.  

I like going with Proper because I know they're designed to cover STR business activity as well as standard homeowner's coverage (they even cover lost income if you can't rent due to a claim), they've thought through this particular model - which means I don't have to. If I tried to get a tailored policy through a more traditional company, I'd be concerned that I'd simply overlook something important that the insurance agent wouldn't think to write in (such as: I leave a bottle of wine for a guest. They drink it and fall down the stairs. Other insurance says: Oh, you provided alcohol, we didn't write in coverage for that liability! Too bad. Proper says: We thought of that already, no problem, you're covered!)

Insurance is one of those things where I'm not going to try to get fancy and cut corners.

By the way - make sure your umbrella policy covers the commercial activity of your STR. A standard personal umbrella will not.

I echo @Julie McCoy ’s experience. I am about to cover my second property with Proper. They are very responsive and will take the time to answer any question you may have. I even got gentle - not pushy - follow up calls as I was having my first (very old) home inspected as required by the underwriter. I never tried CBIZ, but with my excellent experience with Proper, I have no reason to do so.

So I just reached out to Proper and got an email back saying they had already quoted on this property through another agent. Turns out the local agent I had got a quote from yesterday had gotten it through Proper. Which is a good thing I guess. The agent was great and it's good to know she was using Proper which comes well recommended

I use CBIZ and haven’t had any issues. They are always quick to pick up calls and give answers or call back very soon. My mortgage company did not mail the escrow check in a timely manner and they called to let me know I should look into it. I have thankfully not needed to make a claim so can’t speak to that. Haven’t heard or Proper before but maybe I should compare them to CBIZ myself

@Tim Schroeder That's great news!  That makes me feel better too - it had made me wonder if I should have looked at the big guys, but I guess we're all using either Proper or CBIZ.  Funny on the CBIZ mixup - I can totally see that mixup once you mentioned it.  

I didn't read all of this but my 2 cents..

They're both the same. Proper was started by someone that worked at CBiz. It's the same policy. Proper has more modern customer service and is a couple bucks cheaper. 

I use a local company with a commercial policy and it's quite a bit cheaper but doesn't cover theft. I figure if someone steels my refrigerator I'll either

A: Be impressed 

B: Call airbnb or vrbo and see if it's worth filing a claim 

And/Or 

C: Go buy a new fridge 

So if you're buying in TN just call me Ill give you my guy. 

Originally posted by @Lucas Carl :

I didn't read all of this but my 2 cents..

They're both the same. Proper was started by someone that worked at CBiz. It's the same policy. Proper has more modern customer service and is a couple bucks cheaper. 

I use a local company with a commercial policy and it's quite a bit cheaper but doesn't cover theft. I figure if someone steels my refrigerator I'll either

A: Be impressed 

B: Call airbnb or vrbo and see if it's worth filing a claim 

And/Or 

C: Go buy a new fridge 

So if you're buying in TN just call me Ill give you my guy. 

 @Lucas Carl Who's your guy? I got four quotes in Pigeon Forge, two of those from Avery and two from google. As a side note, I'm struggling to decide how much coverage to get on the property. Opinions vary wildly on rebuild cost. Anyone have a way to estimate rebuild costs other than accepting whatever the agent recommends? I worry they are not always objective.

Since we're all talking short term rentals here I figured I would mention another product to tack on to your STR homeowners called Safely. They insure premise and liability for the homeowner, liability for the manager (if you have one), guest personal property AND perform background checks on each guest. It costs about $30-$50 per stay depending on the level of coverage which can be worth it especially if you can pass cost on to guest or build it into the cleaning fee. They are building a database of "bad guests" so they will be flagged even if their background check comes up clean.

Originally posted by @Lucas Carl :

I didn't read all of this but my 2 cents..

Proper has more modern customer service and is a couple bucks cheaper. 

This isn't universally true. In my local market, I've found Proper to be notably cheaper, but it some of the other markets I'm looking at Cbiz came in with a significantly lower premium (about 30%)

Originally posted by @Tim V. :
Originally posted by @Lucas Carl:

I didn't read all of this but my 2 cents..

Proper has more modern customer service and is a couple bucks cheaper. 

This isn't universally true. In my local market, I've found Proper to be notably cheaper, but it some of the other markets I'm looking at Cbiz came in with a significantly lower premium (about 30%)

Are Proper policies always Commerical General Liability policies?  I just got 4 quotes for a 3,000 sq ft 6BR cabin in Pigeon Forge, with $1 million liability, $40,000 personal property coverage, dwelling replacement cost = $479,000, and loss of income coverage up to $70,000. Rates are annual cost.

Quote 1: $2,902

Quote 2: $2,132

Quote 3: $2,788

Quote 4: $4,042

All quotes cover running a STR as a business. The last quote was from Proper (through a local agent) and it was a "Commercial General Liability" policy. As you can see it is significantly higher. What I can't figure out is why -- is it because it's a commercial policy? And although all policies allegedly provide good STR coverage, I suspect the devil is in the details, as some people have pointed out in this thread. Now I just have to figure out if I'm willing to pay significantly higher for better coverage. All of these are significantly higher than I was expecting.

Originally posted by @Tim Schroeder :
Originally posted by @Tim Vanderet:
Originally posted by @Lucas Carl:

I didn't read all of this but my 2 cents..

Proper has more modern customer service and is a couple bucks cheaper. 

This isn't universally true. In my local market, I've found Proper to be notably cheaper, but it some of the other markets I'm looking at Cbiz came in with a significantly lower premium (about 30%)

Are Proper policies always Commerical General Liability policies?  I just got 4 quotes for a 3,000 sq ft 6BR cabin in Pigeon Forge, with $1 million liability, $40,000 personal property coverage, dwelling replacement cost = $479,000, and loss of income coverage up to $70,000. Rates are annual cost.

Quote 1: $2,902

Quote 2: $2,132

Quote 3: $2,788

Quote 4: $4,042

All quotes cover running a STR as a business. The last quote was from Proper (through a local agent) and it was a "Commercial General Liability" policy. As you can see it is significantly higher. What I can't figure out is why -- is it because it's a commercial policy? And although all policies allegedly provide good STR coverage, I suspect the devil is in the details, as some people have pointed out in this thread. Now I just have to figure out if I'm willing to pay significantly higher for better coverage. All of these are significantly higher than I was expecting.

We're definitely beyond my knowledge of insurance, so I'll duck out of the conversation on these details.

Where did you get quotes 1-3? I was under the impression (perhaps naively) that cbiz and Proper we're the only good options for STR property insurance.

@Tim V. In my market I use a commercial policy with my regular old insurance guy. As I stated it reads the exact same as the cbiz or proper policy only it doesn't cover theft. All the other numbers are the same. And the price is quite a bit less. 

Some people want different types of coverage. I have something like 15 policies with the same guy and he takes care of me. 

Every person's situation is different, but if it gives you good questions to ask, this is what Proper told me when I asked them to analyze the CBIZ quote.  To be fair, I haven't asked CBIZ to analyze Proper's quote, but I learned so much that I think I'll do that next.  

Thanks for sending over the proposal from CBIZ. It looks like a good quote, but from it, I would like to point out a few things you are getting with Proper Insurance.

  1. With Proper, you are getting a Lloyd’s of London insurance policy, the best in the world. I’m not too familiar with Tudor Insurance, who CBIZ appears to be using.
  1. In our proposal, we offer an “Ordinance or Law” endorsement, which is extremely important, and I do not see that enhancement on the CBIZ quote. We have an additional $50,000 in increased cost of construction (coverage C), on top of the $10,000 built into the base. Plus, our enhancement covers up to policy limits on undamaged portion (coverage A) Below is some information on the importance of Ordinance or Law. For any single family home, in my professional opinion, it’s a must have coverage.
  2. The CBIZ quote has a “liquor liability exclusion”. Proper removes this exclusion as we have found it to be imperative coverages to have when operating a short-term rental business. Please see more details below.

Ordinance or Law Coverage A, B, & C:This is the most overlooked coverage and essential to have for any single family home. This is the coverage for loss caused by enforcement of ordinances or laws regulating construction and repair of damaged buildings. Coverage A is the most important, and responds to the undamaged portion of a building. Most cities have an ordinance that says if 50% of your building is damaged, i.e. fire, then you are required to demolish and rebuild your entire building new. However, insurance only pays for the damaged portion, unless you have Ordinance or Law coverage A. The Proper policy offers this coverage in full, while many of our competitors don’t.

Example: You have a vacation home insured for $500,000 rebuild, and the kitchen catches fire, ultimately destroying 50% of the home. Your city ordinance requires you to fully rebuild. You file an insurance claim, but DO NOT have coverage A, you would receive a claims check for $250,000, and be responsible for the undamaged portion yourself. If you had coverage A, you would get the full policy limit of $500,000 plus coverage B & C for demolition cost, and increased cost of construction. Here is a well written article.

Liquor Liability Exclusion:

This is not in relation to someone drinking their own alcohol and doing something and then getting sued for their actions. This is in relation to the furnishing of alcohol, if your rental actually furnished the alcohol. Most vacation rentals do not furnish alcohol, but what if someone left a bottle of alcohol in the cupboard, and your cleaning crew did not through it away. Then the next set of guest came, drank it, which was furnished by the rental, and then got injured? This is where you need the liquor liability exclusion removed as it is in our policy.

I have CBIZ for commercial liability for my short term vacation rentals. Was not aware of Proper until I saw it here and will go check it out immediately :-). I do buy regular HO6 (condo homeowners in Florida) for regular insurance issues. To one of the earlier posts in the discussion, my understanding is that while traditional umbrella covers multiple properties and is relatively cheap, it does not cover any claims relating to "commercial activity" which pretty much includes anything that might happen while a short-term paying guest is on the premises. I don't buy the whole "package" from CBIZ because I think that regular hazard insurance is so very locality-specific. I deal with the same agent at CBIZ and she is really quick to respond. What I really want to know is if anyone  has actually had a claim through CBIZ and how it was handled. Has anyone had a liability claim covered by CBIZ?

So you can see the other side, here's what CBIZ wrote me when I had them review Proper's quote.  Again, everyone needs to do their own due diligence, but hopefully this gives you the right questions to ask when shopping for this type of insurance!  

CBIZ:

Our company created and introduced short-term vacation rental insurance to the marketplace back in 2002. We are a publicly traded firm and our strict focus is niche/specialty insurance markets (i.e. vacation rentals, bed & breakfast, wineries, outfitters and guides, etc.). Proper Insurance has not even been in business for 5 years and they are a privately held company. We also work with an American-based insurance company, Tudor, and we have an in-house claims department within CBIZ. Proper Insurance uses a foreign insurance company, Lloyd’s of London.

The coverages in the 2 policies are nearly identical because Proper created their policy based on ours. We have a lot more underwriting history and knowledge of this marketplace, however. The syndicate of Lloyds used by our competitor took over $1 Billion in losses in last year’s hurricanes and wildfires, so many of their customers are seeing their renewal premiums skyrocket. I saw one last week that increased by 80% over last year’s rate. Tudor paid out $400 Million in losses last year, but our rates are much more stable due to our underwriting/claims history.

Originally posted by @Sara Abernethy :
  1. With Proper, you are getting a Lloyd’s of London insurance policy, the best in the world. I’m not too familiar with Tudor Insurance, who CBIZ appears to be using.

I used CBIZ a few years ago and had a claim and was very unhappy with Tudor insurance, their local rep here in the bay area. I moved to Proper a few years ago and it is time for renewal now hence the visit to this page to see what options I have :)

Does anyone of you ever thought or experienced if your guests' visitors come to visit and get injured in your property? How would you deal with that?

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