Finding the right insurance company to work with requires a bit of research, and while it is quite a chore to evaluate each provider, it’s necessary so you can find the right one that fits your needs.
In this article, we’ll walk you through how American Modern rose to be one of the go-to insurance companies for the specialty needs of short-term rental owners and the pros and cons of working with them for your vacation rental insurance needs.
What To Look For in a Short-Term Rental Insurance Provider
If you aren’t already aware, the standard coverages of homeowners’, commercial, and landlord insurance policies are not enough to cover your vacation rental property needs.
A typical homeowners policy is severely lacking when it comes to the needs of your Airbnb or Vrbo property. The same can be said of a landlord policy since, in the eyes of insurance agencies, short-term renters aren’t “tenants”—those renting in a property for more than 30 days at a time—and so certain liability clauses will not apply.
A “business exclusion clause” is also present in many homeowners’ insurance policies, meaning your insurance could be voided once they find out you’re generating income renting out your property.
Similarly, a commercial insurance policy isn’t a fit since this will clash with other homeowner or landlord insurance plans you have in place, especially when you, as the property owner and recipient of income, live in the property that you intend to rent out.
Having ruled out the common insurance packages, short-term rental owners need to search for something different. The perfect insurance plans for Airbnb, Vrbo, or Booking.com vacation rentals are those that have niche aspects of each of the common homeowners’, landlord, and commercial insurance plans. Perfecting this formula is what American Modern Insurance set out to do.
American Modern Insurance Group
American Modern has been in the insurance industry since 1965, and their main objective has always been to offer coverage for those who have specialized needs, like those who have mobile houses and short-term rentals. They pride themselves on being “a widely recognized, national leader in the specialty insurance business.”
Based in Cincinnati, Ohio, American Modern serves all 50 US states, and they have built a strong presence as one of the leading insurance providers for niche needs.
Take mobile homes for example—most mainstream insurance providers would be reluctant to give those with mobile houses a standard homeowners insurance given the fact that they can move whenever and wherever. Most insurers might offer them a homeowners’ policy at a steep price or just outright refuse them coverage, leaving the customer uninsured and in limbo.
This is where American Modern stepped up. They offer specialized insurance policies that cover the unique needs of mobile homes, specialty or collector cars, secondary properties, and short-term or vacation rentals.
Though their reputation has taken a lot of hits with less-than-desirable customer service, as one of the original insurance companies that catered to short-term and vacation rentals, they have solidified their place in the industry. You can trust that they know what to do—it’ll just take a bit more patience to deal with them.
American Modern Short-Term Rental Insurance Coverage
American Modern’s short-term rental insurance policies for Airbnb, Vrbo, and Booking.com properties can be construed as modified Rental Property or Seasonal Home insurance plans.
In this resource packet they provide to their agents, we can see that they’ll be asking certain questions like occupancy type, age, and condition of the property/home, and they’ll modify their current Rental Property or Seasonal Home coverages to suit your needs.
For their DP-1 plan, the property condition requirements are much looser: your property is eligible for coverage no matter how old it is, as long as it is structurally sound. This contrasts with the DP-3 plan for which the property must be less than 20 years old and in good condition.
The DP-1 plan can cover you for up to $500K for named perils (explicitly stated specific coverages like fire, flood, hail, drainage, etc.) and the actual cash value of the property. In contrast, the DP-3 plan covers open peril (meaning this covers all kinds of risks to the property, unless otherwise specifically excluded) for $75K to $1M.
For both packages, you can get liability, personal property coverages, burglary, and equipment/appliance coverages as optional additional coverages.
The Downsides of American Modern
As we briefly mentioned above, American Modern has not been the best in the customer service department. In fact, they are considered to be one of the worst-rated among short-term rental insurance providers.
This is evident even from the start when you get a quote from them. While they do have resources online where you can glimpse some ballpark figures of their rates and apply to get a quote through their site, you’ll have to wait to connect to one of their agents to discuss the details and get a finalized quote.
Many customers have also complained of American Modern’s poor response times and untimely payouts. If this is something you have the patience to deal with, however, then maybe American Modern is a fit for you.
American Modern has been a solid player in the short-term insurance field for a while now, and they’ve specialized in meeting the unique needs of their clients ever since their founding. If you can look past their infamy for having poor customer service and find that their insurance plans are right for you, then they are a great option.
However, if you’re looking for a premium vacation rental insurance plan that’s tailor-made and customized to your exact needs, along with a stellar track record in customer service, then head over to our top pick for providing insurance plans for Airbnbs, Vrbos, and Booking.com properties: Proper Insurance.