This post originally ran on Friendly Agent.
Are you tired of fighting to achieve a higher level of success for your insurance agency? One of the most powerful ways to gain an edge over your competition is to learn how to build a brand. With the information provided, you’ll begin to see a dramatic change for the better. In this article, we will discuss how to go about branding for an insurance agency.
What Is Branding?
Insurance agents understand the importance of marketing, yet some fail to recognize the full advantage of branding. Every year, millions of people buy insurance or renew an existing policy to ensure they have optimum protection for their automobiles, homes, rental properties, boats, recreational vehicles, health care or dental needs, funeral expenses, and so on.
Not only is insurance something that people need, but it is also mandated by current laws. Because of that, the insurance industry has become incredibly competitive. Instead of fighting to grow your agency, you can benefit from what branding offers.
By definition, branding is a type of marketing strategy that entails creating a name, design, or symbol that makes your insurance agency easily identifiable. Overall, this sets you apart from the competition. With branding, people can quickly and easily identify one company from another.
Strategies for Branding
Your logo serves as a powerful branding strategy for your insurance agency. Take Nike and Adidas as prime examples. Each chose to brand their products with a distinct design. Nike’s shoes and apparel have a black swoosh that resembles a wing in the air, which comes from the Greek Goddess of Victory. On the other hand, Adidas opted for a design in the shape of a mountain that represents the various challenges faced by athletes. Although completely different visually, people immediately know one brand from the other.
You have the same opportunity for your insurance agency. The right logo will make a lasting impression on both prospects and existing customers, setting the tone for what they can expect when buying insurance from you. Simply put, the brand becomes a true representation of what your business is and how you want people to perceive it.
When it comes to branding, the one thing you should invest in is your company’s logo. If possible, work with a professional graphics designer or someone with the skills to use your ideas to create a strong branding statement. If you need to stick to a budget, there are several excellent tools available online. Remember, not only does your logo need to represent your current business but also what you anticipate it becoming in the future.
Start with a clear goal of how you want to present your website to your target audience. The layout also plays an important role in branding. To make your brand identity clearer, be sure to place your tagline and logo in the most visible areas.
Even the colors you select make a substantial difference in branding efforts. As you’ve probably heard, different colors evoke specific emotions. Select the colors that highlight your company’s values but will not overpower your prospects. For instance, red represents energy, orange embodies confidence, and yellow signifies optimism. While all excellent choices, because they’re so bold, use them sparingly.
Maintain a cohesive style for your site. The combination of the right visual style, easy-to-read format, and a consistent message helps with branding. For cohesion, include your home page, landing pages, and even any blogs or articles posted. This helps familiarize people with your business, which in turn, makes it more recognizable.
Because the tagline portrays a specific message, you want to choose something that grabs the attention of and resonates with your target audience. Although a tagline is short, there are many ways to make it powerful and memorable. Again, look at Nike’s tagline, “Just Do It.” Those three words provide an impactful message. When having your logo designed or if designing it yourself, be sure to integrate your tagline.
You can also brand your insurance agency using various social media platforms. You should utilize all the major sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Always remain consistent with the style, color, and message across the board. For social media, it’s also imperative that you tell a story using both transparency and your normal voice. Sharing a real-life event with your target audience will go a long way in making a lasting impression.
Along with the branding ideas mentioned, you have even more options for branding your insurance agency. For example, take advantage of storefront signage, a slogan, your company’s culture, customer support, product or service quality, pricing, and more.
All these elements work together to create one professional profile that grabs the attention of the people you want to reach. The power of branding is vital to the success of your business.
Benefits of Branding
As you look over the list of reasons for boosting your branding efforts, you will understand why this is critical for your insurance agency.
Branding your agency builds recognition. While all the components mentioned play a critical role, your logo is perhaps the most vital. As with the example provided, you want a logo that is both memorable and powerful. Select something that people quickly recognize and then include the logo on your letterhead, in quotes, as part of promotional material, and on your website.
Makes Marketing Consistent
The more consistent you are in displaying your agency’s logo, the more successful you are in your branding efforts. Although it takes time for people to recognize your brand, displaying your logo wherever you can will speed up the process.
The more that people recognize your brand, the more they’ll trust you and your agency. Part of that entails providing excellent insurance and outstanding customer support. For the recognition aspect of branding to turn into loyalty, people have to know that what you offer is of superior value.
Loyalty is often passed down from generation to generation. That means your long-term customers will share their experiences with your agency, prompting future generations to buy policies from you instead of somewhere else.
Maximizes Product Launches
If you currently sell one or two types of insurance but plan to expand your offering, brand equity will maximize that effort. With brand recognition, people will pay attention when you announce a new product or service. With the right branding, you encourage people to buy from you or add an existing product to what they already have.
Branding will also make you appear credible. When you combine innovative marketing strategies, outstanding customer support, and fascinating visuals, your agency’s credibility increases within the industry and among your customers.
Creates Opportunity for Talent
Social media marketers, online influencers, concept builders, website designers, and other professionals notice an agency with excellent branding. As a result, they and other outsiders will start showing a greater interest in your company and its growth. That opens new doors of opportunity to collaborate on taking your agency to a new level of creativity.
As more people trust your agency, you’ll see an increase in the number of policies sold. Now, recognizing that you have a viable business, people interested in buying insurance will turn to your agency rather than to one of your competitors.
Especially if you recently opened a new insurance agency, people may feel somewhat leery of switching. However, when your branding comes together as a professional and complete representation, those same individuals will begin to have confidence in you and the service you provide. At the same time, your confidence builds.
Take Charge of Your Future
Instead of worrying about what your competitors are doing, take charge by branding your insurance agency. A strong brand will do a lot of the work for you in bringing awareness to your business and giving people confidence to purchase coverage.
Hitting the bricks to find clients comes with the territory for insurance agents but sometimes agents are so hot to find NEW clients, they overlook the clients already sitting in their own book. When you're always looking to add, sometimes it can lead to a loss and adding new clients can cost a lot more than keeping your current clients happy and coming back for more.
So what are the best ways to make sure you're doing the most you can do for the clients already in your book of business? We've got them for you right here...
TALK TO THEM, NOT AT THEM
By knowing exactly how to relate to your clients, you're going to make a MUCH stronger impact than if you're simply explaining things to them like they're strangers. Knowing the right key points to touch on with your clients pays off big time. If you're having a difficult conversation about life insurance, talk to them how you'd like to be spoken to when it comes to the potential loss of a loved one.
GIVE THEM MORE THAN WHAT THEY BARGAINED FOR
If you have a client who comes to you simply for auto insurance, give them everything they need to know about purchasing a policy with you, but BE SURE to let them know what other products you can help them with as well! If a client begins to trust you and likes the way you do business, you're bound to be able to cross-sell additional products to them.
ASK FOR FEEDBACK AND REFERRALS
Most agents don't like to ask these questions because they can feel awkward and on-the-spot, but the point is, the input you can get from your clients about you and your business is imperative to keeping them happy. It can also make a world of difference in growing your book. If you know that what you're doing is making clients happy, it'll be easier to ask them to refer you to others.
DON'T LET RENEWAL TIME BE THE ONLY TIME THEY HEAR FROM YOU
Yes, scheduling annual policy reviews is an absolute must for retaining clients, but if you want to make sure you're going to retain them, you've got to give them a little bit of the ol' razzle dazzle during the year. Placing phone calls on client birthdays, sending hand-written holiday cards and hosting customer appreciation events are just a few ways to let clients know you're happy they're with you all year long, not just when it's time to renew.
LET THEM GET TO KNOW YOU
Being active virtually on social media and in real life are two very different, and very important things you need to do to engage with clients and keep them in your book. Being genuine on your business social media pages is a must because clients want to know that they're dealing with a real person, not a digitized robot salesperson. Let them see who you are, what your passion is and what you get out of helping your clients.
The goal here, as always, is to give your clients what they need in terms of an insurance policy, but giving them the extras will keep them in your book of business for years to come. Try some of these tips and we're sure they'll help you reach that goal.
Most of us have the same reaction at the thought of a newly scheduled meeting. Immediately we picture the standard, sit-down meeting in a cramped office where everyone can smell each other's stale coffee breath. BOOOORING. These types of meetings generally get the job done, but what if you could host meetings that people actually look forward to attending?
Enter the "walking meeting". Walking meetings are exactly what they sound like, meetings or targeted conversations that take place while walking, usually outside. It may sound silly, but there are actually lots of benefits to having this type of meeting. Like we mentioned, employees and team members might actually look forward to a change of scenery and some fresh air but you're actually keeping them healthy and getting work done at the same time. Here are a few more reasons you might want to bring the walking meeting into your rotation whenever possible.
We've all fallen prey to lack of motivation on the job no matter how much caffeine we ingest. This is nothing new in the workplace. Meetings on the move are a great way to shake things up and get your team's creative juices flowing. When your team is able to move around and ditch the standard meeting set-up, you're bound to see new and interesting ideas pop up!
LEVEL PLAYING FIELD
In your standard meeting setup, you're in a conference room or an office with the "higher ups" front and center, leading the charge while the team sits and listens. Walking meetings put every team member on the same level in their hierarchy because the traditional, more formal barriers are gone. This can make bosses seem less intimidating which can lead to more team members speaking up!
SHOW THAT YOU GIVE A DAMN
Suggesting a walking meeting shows your employees two things. First, that you care about their mental well being. You know that sitting in a stuffy office on a beautiful day is the last thing anyone wants to do. By offering to take the meeting outside and lighten things up, you're most likely giving your staff an immediate boost, mentally and physically. Second, you're ACTUALLY improving their health by getting them outside and getting them moving. It's a win all around.
DECISIONS MAY COME QUICKER OUTSIDE
By moving a meeting outside, you’re stimulating some of the most creative parts of your brain. Add to that getting out of what can be an area that promotes stress (your desk), you’re doing all the right things to help alleviate the stress that comes with decision-making. If you find yourself spinning your wheels endlessly over one choice, grab a coworker and hit the streets—you may arrive at your answer sooner than you’d think.
WALK TOGETHER - WORK TOGETHER
If you and yours are part of a big company, the chances that everyone gets to work together are slim to none. Bringing employees together for a walking meeting helps promote a sense of teamwork and communication, especially when it takes place with a smaller group. This collaborative spirit could be helpful for solving tough problems or brainstorming new and exciting ideas entirely. And employees to bounce ideas off new people which could lead to entirely different spins on an old idea.
Whether you and your team are back in the office or still working from home, getting outside during a meeting can help you think clearer, give you a much-needed break from the same four walls you've been staring at, and help you lead a healthier life. If you're looking to boost, well... pretty much everything in your communal workspace, give walking meetings a try!
If you follow Insurance Soup and our other brands on social media, you've seen that we recently began shooting video testimonials. Because we're a community of insurance agents who experience many of the same things in our careers, day in and day out, we thought it would be excellent to let agents who've used our brands share their thoughts on them with the rest of you.
You may think that you may or may not have the same thoughts on a product that another agent might have, but for our purposes, these are a great way to let you hear what someone in your exact position has to say. NOT TO MENTION, they provide social proof of what our products do, they promote trust and confidence because we're happy to let others tell you what they think about us, they boost employee morale because you're probably saying cool things about us and they allow us to create an identity that followers can associate themselves with. As an added benefit testimonials also significantly increase client retention. BOOM.
These are just a few of the reasons why you should be asking your clients to write testimonials for your agency REGULARLY. No idea on how to even begin such an undertaking? Here are some basics.
HOW TO EVEN GET A TESTIMONIAL FROM A CLIENT?
When a client writes a testimonial, they’re essentially providing a referral that can be viewed by anyone that is currently evaluating the insurance agency. Because they don’t need to think of any one person in particular to refer, the client can write the agent a testimonial at a moment’s notice. This opens the door for an insurance agent to call their clients to action by asking them to share their experiences with others.
WHY DOES IT MATTER THAT PROSPECTS SEE IT?
Testimonials are different from an online review because it is generally intended for an agency’s website as opposed to a third-party site like Google or Facebook. It’s important for agencies to have both. This is primarily due to the way people shop for insurance. After an agency is discovered online over half of the prospects will visit your website to determine if the agency is a good fit for their specific needs. This is why having a good number of authentic client testimonials is important to boost prospect conversion.
EVERYONE WANTS TO HEAR THEY'RE DOING A GOOD JOB.
People are always surprised when people compliment them and for agents, the number of people willing to say good things about them might surprise them! As a result, those staff members working with customers all the time are reminded of the direct impact they have on the lives of their clients. A regular stream of testimonials provides a needed sense of worth and markedly improves workplace morale.
THEY KEEP YOUR CLIENTS LOYAL
In addition to providing social proof as we said earlier, collecting testimonials is an effective way of increasing client retention. After a customer makes the commitment to promote you to others, it becomes a part of their self-image, not just yours. We’ve found that customers who’ve put a stake in the ground and said “This business is great, and here’s why” are far less likely to leave and buy from another company.
ALWAYS ASK FOR YOUR CLIENT'S THOUGHTS
There is no limit to how many testimonials an insurance agency should collect and share. The more you have the greater the impact will be on social proof. Prospects will not read or watch every one of them, but once you've got a bunch to show off, prospects will take note. Lastly, because of what testimonials do for your client retention, you should always be collecting them.
We hope this crash course on testimonials has opened your eyes to having clients toot your horn for you if they're so inclined. We feel that it's an excellent way to boost business and strengthen relationships along the way!
The winter thaw is officially over in most of the country and while, for most of us, this is cause for celebration, for some, it may not be such good news. As the ice melts and everything turns green again, homeowners could be uncovering potential damage sustained during the winter months and others may be seeing wear and tear on roads and on their vehicles due to the elements. Here are eight spring hazards that could be plaguing you which may or may not be covered by standard insurance policies.
1. Spring Flooding
When winter snow starts to melt, rivers and creeks may rise. Mix in some spring rains, and there is potential for flooding in many parts of the country. While a standard home insurance policy covers water damage from sudden occurrences - such as burst pipes - it will not cover destruction related to spring floods. Fortunately, you can buy flood coverage but it has restrictions, such as coverage limits and exclusions for basement improvements. And coverage usually does not kick in until 30 days after the insurance is purchased - although there are exceptions to this waiting period, such as when a lender requires you to purchase flood insurance as part of a new home loan.
2. Ice Dam Damage
When wintry snow or rain falls, melts and refreezes on rooftops, ice on shingles can form a dam that causes subsequent snow melt or rainwater to back up. Those backups may allow water to leak into the home and ruin walls. Fortunately, you can usually file a claim with your homeowners insurance. While damage to our walls is likely to be covered, your insurance company will not pay to remove the ice dam itself from your roof.
3. Pothole Damage
Driving through a pothole may ding up your car or cause damage, but you're typically covered when you have collision coverage with your car insurance. If you don't have coverage, however, you're likely stuck with paying for the costs out of pocket.
4. Cracked Driveways
The freezing and thawing of severe ice and snow could encourage cracks in your driveway come springtime. But those cracks are considered wear and tear, so you probably won't be able to make an insurance claim for damage under a basic policy. One exception is if your neighbor somehow damaged your driveway - perhaps when laying out salt and sand to melt ice. In those cases, the neighbor's homeowners insurance may end up responsible for the bill.
5. Hail Damage
Springtime storms can bring hail that destroys siding and roof shingles. Fortunately, homeowners are usually protected under their home insurance policies. And if a window breaks because of a storm, that's typically covered too, along with resulting water damage.
6. Flattened Bushes, Trees or Landscaping
If a freak spring snowstorm flattens your prize bushes or spring rains wash away your landscaping, don't expect home insurance to cover your losses. This is considered normal maintenance on a home.
7. Rust Damage From Salt
Cars that drive through winter snow may become damaged due to the salt that's used to help melt snow that's fallen on busy streets. However, if the salt causes rust-related damage to your car, it's usually considered wear and tear, and isn't covered under typical auto insurance policies. The good news? Rust damage isn't as much of a problem with newer cars as it was in the past. But to be on the safe side, it's recommended that you thoroughly wash any vehicle that's exposed to salt or other potentially corrosive substances now that spring has arrived.
8. Damage From Snow Plows
If a snow plow operated by your local government takes out your mailbox or dings your car, your municipality would likely have a procedure in place for reimbursement. If this happens to you, check with your local jurisdiction to learn how to file a claim. If it's your neighbor who damages your property with their snow removal equipment, they (and their homeowners insurance company) would likely have to pay.
Even though springtime should be a time of renewal, you might have to clean up a bit of the mess from the previous season before the renewal can get underway. If you're concerned about any of these damages to your home or vehicle, make a call to your insurance agent to see if you're covered or not. Coverage could vary by state or carrier.
It's no secret to any insurance agent that the way to build a solid customer base is to create solid relationships with your clients. From the first point of contact, you're presenting yourself to the customer as someone they may want to do business with. But how do you seal the deal when there are so many other agents and options for a client to go with. The answer is connection.
Whether you're a new broker trying to grow your business and build a client base, or you've been in the industry a long time and are looking to maintain and grow your client base, there are some basic things you can do to create meaningful connections with your clients.
Being organized with the details of your product helps you sell to the customer, but you need to maintain regular contact with your existing clients to ensure their needs are being met, particularly when they initiate claims. Getting referrals from an existing client helps to make more sales. As a well-organized agent, you keep track of existing clients, stay alert for potential clients and remain aware of new policies available for all clients.
Marketing studies show that clients expect authenticity when it comes the people with whom they do business. By maintaining an open and honest relationship with your clients, you are showing them that you value them. Building a customer base through lies or false information and promises will only backfire on you and hurt your business. Cultivate trusted relationships with your clients and watch your client satisfaction - and their loyalty to you - grow.
KNOW YOUR STUFF
By becoming a trusted resource on all topics relevant to your industry, you can build trust and loyalty with your clients. Perhaps you share information on benefits, or updates in the industry that your groups need to know, or even information on wellness tools and tips to keep their employees healthier and happier. Doing these simple things and sharing relevant information with your clients, you become their go-to resource and trusted expert. Quick tip: Target the information you share to particular client groups, and try not to overwhelm your clients with information that is not useful or relevant to the services you provide.
Clients love to be rewarded, and a rewarded client is often a loyal client. Loyalty keeps your business strong and encourages positive word-of-mouth – which is the most effective form of marketing. Referrals from your current client base can help you grow your business further. Consider sending your loyal customers a thank you gift or a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant, or even writing a hand written note. This special treatment will keep your clients coming back. You should encourage your clients to share the positive treatment they receive within their influential circle.
Whether it's by in person meeting, phone, text or social media, stay in touch with your clients. This is key to building and maintaining relationships. Let customers know about changes to your business and in the industry, discounts and advantages you can provide, and how your business can help them. Start a blog or email newsletter and use it as a central place to communicate with your clients. Be sure to keep all communication professional yet friendly.
When you establish more meaningful relationships with customers, they’ll be more likely to return to you with future insurance needs. They’ll also be more likely to send their friends, family, acquaintances, and others to you to fulfill their insurance needs, creating a snowball effect of business that can keep your pipeline full.
For insurance agents, tackling marketing strategies can be daunting enough. When you factor in the dos and don'ts of marketing online, it can seem downright impossible to get things right. Once you get stable footing on a strategy, the online gods seem to pull the rug out from underneath you again. And while in marketing, you'll always be striving to hit something of a moving target, we've uncovered a few key mistakes that you can avoid to help you stay on the right track.
1. DON'T OVERDO IT ON EVERY SOCIAL SITE
Once you get your social pages up and running on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, etc..., you're going to be tempted to spend vast amounts of time crushing it on each site and the reality is that it's just not possible, even with a team of social media marketing experts. So for an independent agent or a small agency owner, our best advice is to pick one or two where you see you're getting the most meaningful engagement from followers, and focus your time there, while still posting to the others periodically.
2. MAKE SURE YOU IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
This one seems obvious to anyone who has marketing experience either on or offline, however, lots of digital marketers are so eager to get started, they skip this crucial step of finding their target audience. If you haven't done the proper research to shine a light on exactly who you want to reach, you'll be spinning your wheels and you won't be reaching the people who you need to reach the most.
3. PUT YOUR HEART INTO THE CONTENT YOU SHARE
Anyone can follow an insurance account that posts generic, surface level infographics and banal statistics. When your followers are choosing who they're going to do business with, they're going to want to work with a human being, not a robot. Be sure to share pieces of yourself (to a certain extent) in your social media posts. They want to see that you have a certain level of passion about what you do and that there's a real person, with a real life like theirs, behind the scenes.
4. DON'T TALK INDUSTRY TRASH
People are naturally attracted to others who share their interests. Sure, some people are so egocentric that they view their industry peers as roadblocks, obstacles to broadcasting their own message. But those are the people who are having a hard time gaining traction as an online marketer. Don't forget that other people in your industry have embraced online marketing just like you. And guess what? Once they see that you have, as well, they may just become one of your biggest advocates.
5. PACE YOURSELF
Sometimes people in sales make fools of themselves by pouncing on a new lead like they’re prey. I don’t care what line of business you’re in. No new contact or follower is going to want to hear your sales pitch as soon as they give you their info or start following you. Make sure each point of contact you make and each piece of content you put out serves a purpose to the person on the other end of it. You need to build trust with your target audience before attempting to sell them anything, otherwise they'll be gone before you know it.
If you're just starting out in online marketing and you feel lost, you're not alone. It takes time and lots of energy to get your flow when it comes to reaching your audience in the right ways. Follow these tips and stay true to yourself and your brand, and you'll be making meaningful connections with clients before you know it.
Mother's Day is just 5 short days away and it's likely that you either haven't found the moms in your life the perfect gift yet, or maybe you're going with one of the same old things you get them every year. Flowers, perfume or gift cards to their stores will surely put a smile on their faces, but this year you can give your mom, wife or even sister a different type of gift. It might sound strange, but the gift of a term life insurance policy could be just what moms need!
Purchasing a life insurance policy and naming a mom in your life as the beneficiary will show them that you're thinking past bouquets and boutique gift cards and instead, giving to them in the long term. If this sounds completely crazy to you, we get it. But if you're still on the fence about what to get, here are a few of the benefits of shaking things up and giving the gift of life insurance this year.
AVOID THE STORES
Chances are that you've got lots of planning to do for Mother's Day and running around, and then standing in line at a packed department store isn't going to work for your schedule. This is a great bonus when giving life insurance. because you can apply for term life insurance online. And - even better - if you're approved, coverage starts instantly. This gives you plenty of time to research which term life insurance policy is best to give and to work on that Mother's Day brunch you said you'd host.
IT'S A MEANINGFUL GIFT
Yes. Flowers are always a beautiful gesture, this time of year especially, but they last a short while and then they're gone. Taking out a life insurance policy that would be paid to your loved one if anything were to happen to you, is a powerful way to say “I love you" and "I want you and our family to be taken care of." It means you're thinking about their well-being which is the ultimate gesture of love.
AFTER THE YEAR WE'VE HAD...
Still in the very real wake of the pandemic, everyone is thinking more about the future of their families and how to keep them safe. There's no way that giving the gift of a little extra security during these uncertain times would go unappreciated. And it's never too soon to get life insurance since younger people generally receive lower premiums.
WOMEN COST LESS... IN THIS CASE
Ladies love big gestures and this is one big gesture that won't break the bank. Policies for women typically cost less than policies for men. That’s because women tend to outlive men by five or more years, which makes them less of a risk and thus cheaper to insure. This means that you can hit it out of the park both sentimentally and financially.
ONE LESS THING FOR MOM TO WORRY ABOUT
When you give someone a life insurance policy as a gift, you're alleviating a certain level of stress about the future. If it's a young mom in your life, this policy could mean the difference between replacing an entire income or putting a child through college. If it's for a more seasoned mom, it could ease the stress of potential medical or general living expenses.
The way we see it, mom can get chocolates and hand lotion from you any time of the year, but maybe Mother's Day is the perfect time to show mom that you're thinking about her on the next level. A life insurance policy will say just that, and then some.
Summer is rapidly approaching and pandemic restrictions are beginning to loosen which means everyone has their eyes set firmly on taking some much needed time off and heading out for a vacation. With sites like Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeToGo wildly gaining popularity, rentals of private properties has become the go-to for jet setters and adventure seekers. This means that the lucky ones who OWN those properties - the apartment in the city, the beach house, the mountain retreat - are in a great position to earn extra rental income, but not without being sure they're properly protecting those homes away from home,
Depending on the rental scenario, your standard homeowners policy may not cover losses incurred while your home is rented out, and you may require a more specialized insurance policy. So, whether you own a second home that you lease to to tenants, want to rent out a spare bedroom in your house periodically though Airbnb, or make a little extra cash renting out your beach cottage the weeks you’re not using it, the first step should be to call your insurance professional. Here are a few types of renter's insurance you should familiarize yourself with before doing so.
Short-term rentals/Primary residence
If you are planning to rent out all or part of your primary residence for a short period of time, for instance, a week or several weekends, there will likely be two insurance scenarios.
Long-term rentals/Second home
If you are planning to lease your home to one person or a couple or family for a longer period of time, say six months or a year, you will likely need a landlord or rental dwelling policy. Landlord policies generally cost about 25 percent more than a standard homeowners policy to pay for increased protections. If you are regularly renting out a vacation home or investment property, this would also require a landlord or rental dwelling policy.
Landlord policies provide property insurance coverage for physical damage to the structure of the home caused by fire, lightning, wind, hail, ice, snow or other covered perils. It also offers coverage for any personal property you may leave on-site for maintenance or tenant use, like appliances, lawnmowers, and snow blowers.
The policy also includes liability coverage; if a tenant or one of their guests gets hurt on the property, it would cover legal fees and medical expenses.
Most landlord policies provide coverage for loss of rental income in the event you are not able to rent out the property while it is being repaired or rebuilt due to damage from a covered loss. This coverage is generally provided for a specific period of time.
As the landlord, your coverage is only on the structure itself and your financial interest in it. Your tenant’s personal possessions are not covered under your policy. In order to avoid disputes arising from damage to the renter’s belongings, many landlords require a tenant to buy renters insurance before signing a lease.
If you're in the position of owning an extra property, make sure you do your homework to make sure that you are protected in the best way possible when others are using your property. Accidents can happen, but being prepared for anything is always your best bet!