14 Replies

I'm currently using safeco for my rentals, but I want to do some rate shopping. Any recommendations for a new insurance provider? Who is awesome with low rates?

Sorry, but no such thing as awesome low rates. Good luck.

I may be bias, but I like Farmers policies, but then again I'm an agent for them. I feel they are very competitive, however I don't know what the pricing looks like in your area, so you will need to check into that for yourself. I do know our auto rates have been virtually unbeatable in the last year!!!

Hi there, I am also a Farmers agent and I feel their rates are fair and they are extremely comprehensive compared to other companies. Their auto rates not so much! LOL but when it comes to property insurance they are worth a try!

I work for Country Financial, but can only write business in Oregon and Washington.   We are very competitive in Home Owners Insurance.   I agree with the earlier posts, though,  Cheap is not always best.   Get a full review to be sure all those assets you worked hard to obtain are covered.    

Hi Andrew. I am a Broker and work every day with people like yourself looking to shop rates. I find Safeco is very competitive and a great company to work with. I am happy to connect and shop all the other companies we work with for you. We are independent so we work for you as a client. 

No offense to other posts but in my experience, any time someone comes to my already with Farmers, State Farm, or any other captive company, we usually increase coverage, benefits and save about 20% or more at the same time. 

Again, no offense intended. Captive companies represented here are great, but as far as options and coverage, you are only getting one choice when you go captive (Just speaking from personal experience doing this every day). Brokers like myself are a free service of shopping rates for several companies at one time. 

I called some insurance brokers in CA to find good coverage for our CA triplex.  Don't call each insurance company individually (State Farm, Farmers, Nationwide, etc.), just call a few brokers and let them shop it for you.  They'll typically find a better deal than you could on your own.

If you don't know of any brokers and don't like the ones you find online, try looking at AOA's site for insurance brokers (I see you're in CA, so I'm assuming your rentals are in CA).

It seems like this wall has sort of become a discussion between brokers representing multiple carriers and agents (state farm, farmers, etc) that only represent one company. I represent the multiple carrier type broker but want to provide my unbiased observations. 

For standard frame construction apartment buildings the state farms and farmers of the world tend to have better pricing with good deductibles and coverage. However, for more specialty risks (older buildings, recent claims, vacant coverage, builders risk, etc.) independent brokers generally can provide more tailored, better priced coverage. 

I would recommend finding a good independent broker and a good state farm type agent and have them both get quotes for you.  My firm has a number of property management clients who write their unique properties and firms liability and workers comp with us while writing some of their more standard properties with other agents. 

I agree with @Michael 'Mike' Flavin. We have some of our policies with State Farm, and others with an Independent Agent. They each have their niche, depending on the situational details. We have both agents quote both to see where they lie, and then compare coverage details.

@Andrew Martin Since you are using Safeco I am assuming you have these properties covered as either an extension of your homeowners or as a stand alone personal lines non-owner occupied policy?

if so, are your policies all SFRs or are there small multis and how many units do you have?

ultimately, everything above is right, every company has a niche, Safeco is usually pretty competitive and its worth it to take the time to get multiple quotes from both direct writers and independent agents.  

But, depending on the size of your portfolio (more than 5 units ish), ask your agents to look at this as a commercial policy and be creative and they should be able to give you a few separate options that can save you especially if they provide a shared liability policy.  

Best of luck, if you have any other questions please feel free to reach out.  

I used to have multiple separate policies. But I'm a strong fan of a master policy now. Especially if you're growing this helps me streamline my process. I think you need an independent agent to set up a master. I use a firm called Evergreen Insurance and they set me up a master policy with online access to add & remove properties.

Does anyone know of a company writing these kind of master policies in NJ?  Or are there any national companies?

@Andrew Martin - Check out APIA, Inc. We have a program tailored to real estate investors. We're underwritten by Lloyd's of London and have competitive rates. Send me a PM if you have any questions. 

@Lindsay G. @Parker Cox @Mike Flavin @Ratho R. Found this old thread and hoping someone can offer some guidance. I just purchased a 5 unit building on 3/3/17 and am having a hard time finding insurance for it. I believe my troubles stem from these facts:

1. 4 of the 5 units are vacant. The other units are locked.

2. The building has a metal roof but it needs to be replaced. There is evidence of water damage. I have 2 quotes in to replace the roof (asphalt) and hope to have the work complete in ~ 1 month.

3. 4 of the 5 units have 60 amp electric service. Seems like everyone wants 100 amps. I had an electrician come out today to work up a quote to upgrade the 4 other units to 100 amps. FYI, the one occupied unit is the one that does have 100 amps already.

4. Getting quotes from GCs to complete interior renovations - mostly paint/carpet/minor kitchen and bathroom stuff. Also going to replace some water heaters, baseboard heaters, and other minor repairs.

5. I am considering the option of renting to section 8 tenants. The town that the building is located has a few apartment complexes and they work with S8.

It seems like the combination of these facts has caused issues. I was working with a Farm Bureau agent who advised me that FB couldn't insure the property. He tried two other "partner groups" who would issue non-refundable polcies, but neither would allow section 8. I've shopped around and am putting in an application with Foremost. I'd like to get this insured quickly because I would think going without insurance much long after purchase would look bad on an application. Anyone here have any suggestions/companies/anything I could use? Thanks.

also a farmers insurance agent. I feel the farmers policies are a great broad coverage but not needed for rental properties.  This extra coverage means more premium.  However, they do own a company called foremost which have much better rates and coverage then the farmers exchange policies.

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