Seeking Pennsylvania insurance rates for properties

12 Replies

Ive been told we are probably paying too much for insurance.

We have policies through a broker for investment properties which are vacant, occupied, our personal home and cars.

Any recommendations for Pennsylvania?


Hey @Judy Lipinski ,

Is your insurance broker a captive agent (i.e. State Farm, Allstate, Erie) or can they quote your properties with multiple companies?  It never hurts to shop around and really determine if you are in fact paying too much.  For the majority of my clients around Pittsburgh, Philadelphia Contributionship seems to be the most competitive for individual landlord dwelling policies.  And there are many different options for vacant policies but none are ever cheap.  If you have 10+ properties in your portfolio, a property package policy may be a good fit.  Let me know if I can help.


@Casey J Burkhead      We are just starting out, 

1 vacant

1 rented

hoping to buy 2 additional rentals this year. 

The person we have worked with is a broker.  He is a friend. But we have heard we may get a better deal, so no harm finding out, right?


We have a company and agent we are using in central PA Harrisburg area that is great at getting quotes back usually within 24hours, we switched all our properties over to him as the rates are competitive the best we have seen among at least 5 companies we have researched. He does deal with Philadelphia Contributionship as mentioned above, but has another company that provides coverage with options. He will find the best solution. If interested send me a private message and I will share his contact info.

Hi @Judy Lipinski ,

If you are already working with an independent agent or broker, you should be fine where you already are.  It's service, knowledge and how fast they answer your questions that differentiate agencies. They should have the carriers to meet your phases of investment.  Eg, Foremost or American Modern during the vacant and under renovation phase.  Philadelphia Contributionship is where I normally place once it is rented out.  Erie and Safeco are also competitive in the Pittsburgh area.  Especially if you have your primary home and auto with Erie.   Their umbrella policy is great too if you want to add your rentals to it; although there is a limit to the amount of units you can add to the umbrella.  

Erie is competitive for my occupied properties; my Erie agent has my vacant / builder's risk policies go to a company other than Erie. Philadelphia Contributorship is also regarded as competitive in my area.

Now you listed a property as being vacant - the premium to properly cover a vacant property is typically at least two to three times what it would be if the property were occupied. And some companies don't have any interest in getting business by insuring vacant properties, so when you shop around keep that in mind.

Another thing to consider is whether you have replacement cost coverage or actual cash value coverage; premiums for replacement cost coverage will be higher. And be sure to understand how co-insurance works if you think that you will insure for a lower value.

I have been using an insurance broker and have been happy. Every year he shops around for rates/coverage. If you are loyal to a single company, the rates creep up faster for some reason.

Things have come up that make me want to look around for a new agent, especially one that understands real estate properties better, and would seek better rates as you have mentioned @Blaise P.

So, if anyone has a recommendation for a broker, or advice in seeking out a new agent near Pittsburgh or PA in general, please let me know. Thanks!

@Judy Lipinski I may be biased, but I would say myself, lol.  You can also Google Pittsburgh independent insurance agency if you want a local agency.  @Casey J Burkhead had posted in this thread too and he is near your neck of the woods in Beaver Falls.

Hi @Judy Lipinski !  I have a few occupied properties and have ended up with the Philadelphia Contributionship, too (like @Dave Lin ).  I have worked with Vince Gemma  at Everest Insurance.  He's great.  Very responsive and informative.  If you are interested, let me know and I can send you his contact info.

Good luck!

I have been using Erie for a couple of years and I have been happy. They insure my home and my SFH rental properties. None of them are vacant. If you would like my agent's contact info, let me know!

@Judy Lipinski We use Zachary Wright who is a broker. Through him we have policies with Grange, Millers, and Travellers both in personal lines and commercial lines. My understanding is a broker needs to have acesss to the companies so no two brokers are the same because they may not have access to the same companies.

@Casey J Burkhead

I also vote for Philadelphia, you just need to make sure that your home is pretty well maintained as they have tighter standards than some of the others I've worked with. The price and coverage is an excellent value though. 

@Judy Lipinski

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