Why pay thousands to replace your stuff when two shiny quarters could save the day?

After a fire, a break-in, or another mishap, too many renters frantically speed-dial their landlords. They get a quick answer, a long pause, and a brief explanation of how landlord insurance only covers the physical structure, not their personal belongings.

It’s sad, all too common, and fortunately for you, entirely avoidable. Renters insurance covers your property for a relatively cheap $15 per month or $180 per year. That’s the national average, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III).

Now those two quarters per day make sense, and so does looking at the top 10 companies for tailored renters insurance you deserve. And if you want to maximize what jingles in your pocket, try Insurify to find cheap home, life, and car insurance to pair with your renters policy.

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What is renters insurance––and what does it cover?

What is renters insurance?

A renters insurance policy covers the renter, not the landlord. The landlord’s policy protects the home itself, while your renters policy protects your possessions. And it’s not only your stuff that renters insurance protects. What happens if your guests are injured and you’re found at fault for their medical costs? Your insurance provider has your back there, too. 

What does renters insurance usually cover?

Check out the four key parts of renters insurance coverage, and some add-ons too:

Liability Coverage

This coverage provides legal defense and payment for lawsuits arising from bodily injury or property damage claims that you or in-home family members cause to other people, regardless of whether such injuries or damage occur at home or elsewhere. For example, you knock over an acquaintance’s antique vase, and your policy picks up the pieces.

Personal Property

This coverage type pays for your personal property replacement if it’s lost or damaged from common perils, such as explosions, fire and smoke damage, lightning, certain natural disasters (volcanoes but not floods or earthquakes), theft, vandalism, water damage, and more. You can buy a new version of each if a fire damages your TV, stereo, and couch.

Medical Payments

This coverage compensates your guests for their medical costs if they sustain an injury at the rental property. That way, you’re protected if a friend slips and breaks a leg in your freshly mopped kitchen.

Additional Living Expenses (also called “loss of use“) 

This coverage pays for increased costs if you have to move out of the property for a covered claim. For instance, if a gas explosion makes your home unlivable, your insurance will cover the additional living expenses incurred by your hotel stay.

Add-Ons (also called “endorsements,” “riders,” or “options”)

Coverage options increase protection in specific categories not covered by a typical renters insurance policy. Common examples or coverage options are earthquake coverage, identity theft protection, jewelry protection, and scheduled personal property (specific extra coverage for certain possessions, such as art, electronics, or firearms). 

Pros and Cons of Renters Insurance

For most renters, the advantages of insurance outweigh any drawbacks, but look at these points to help you decide:

Pros

  • Assets: Avoid saying bye-bye to your savings, 401K, and any other cash you have for a rainy day if you have to pay for a lawyer or you’re in a lawsuit for a bodily injury or property damage claim.
  • Assurance: Skip the worrying about burglaries, careless neighbors, fires, or vandalism and enjoy the peace of mind of knowing you’re covered.
  • Options: Qualify for more rental properties; many landlords require renters insurance.
  • Price: Spend less than the cost of a Snickers bar a day for a sweet deal that protects your family, assets, and belongings.
  • Speed: Budget about 15 minutes or less with many carriers to buy the insurance that’s right for your rental situation at a price you can afford.
  • Stuff: Protect your possessions, save thousands, and replace your belongings with brand-new ones after a fire, burglary, or other loss.

Cons

  • Insurance premium: Shelling out money for something you hope to never use can be a confusing proposition for many renters.
  • Deductible: Most renters insurance policies come with a deductible; renters pay a certain amount out of pocket, usually $500 or $1000, before the insurance company steps in.
  • Claims process: Filing for a claim can often mean waiting weeks for reimbursement; some companies zip through the process and others drag their feet.
  • Privacy: Get renters insurance quotes from some companies, and they’ll use your Social Security number or credit score to rate you, though a quote won’t harm your score. 

How to Pick the Right Renters Insurance Company for You

Ask yourself four quick questions:

What do I want to spend?

The yearly nationwide average cost of renters insurance was $180, or $15 per month, right around the cost of a Netflix subscription. (Insurance Institute of America) That said, paying your annual premium up front may result in discounts on your total payment. If you’re trying to reduce what you pay, you can also choose a higher deductible, such as $1,000 or even $2,500. Make sure that you can afford to pay your deductible when you file a claim, however.  

How much personal property coverage do I need?

The best way to figure out that amount is to tailor your coverage limits to an inventory of all your personal belongings. Also, you’ll need to choose between actual cash value (ACV) and replacement cost (RC). If you select a policy with ACV, you’ll get the depreciated value of your property after a claim, and if you have RC, you’ll receive enough to buy items similar to what you lost at today’s prices. 

For example, say you bought a 4K TV for $1,500 three years ago that’s now worth $1,000. If it’s stolen, ACV will give you $1,000 and RC will give you $1,500. RC is typically the slightly-more-pricey choice, but in return you’ll receive higher payouts for your stolen or damaged property.

What’s the claims process?

Emergencies seem to always happen after business hours, so your insurance company should have great customer service availability, and a 24/7 phone or web hotline for filing claims.

Is my state prone to natural disasters?

Texas, California, and Oklahoma make up the top three states for natural disasters, and New York and Florida round out the top five, according to NBC. Is your state in the top 10? Earthquake and wildfire are two types of coverage that can be added to many renters policies. Flood insurance may require a separate plan from the government.

The Top 10 Companies

We evaluated the top 10 companies with our proprietary process that weighted their quote speed, price, ratings, customer service, and overall experience. Please note that for the test data, we used a two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment in Queens, NYC, with $100,000 liability, $25,000 personal property, $1,000 medical payment, and a $1,000 deductible. Quote times and prices reflect outcomes from the test data. Your time and cost may vary.

Lemonade—Best Overall

Lemonade styles itself as the new kid setting up shop on the block. It made history as the first insurtech company to rank number one and have the best rating by J.D. Power in the U.S. Home Insurance Study. Millennials love how the company sucks the sour out of the insurance process and makes the whole thing pretty sweet.

Quote: 2 minutes

Price: $9.67 per month

Ratings: J.D. Power Home Insurance Study ranked #1 overall with a score of 866 out of 1,000, A.M. Best not rated, Better Business Bureau (BBB) B+ and reviews 4.41 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • AI: Used for both the quoting and claims, so the process is fast, and it’s as easy as uploading a photo.
  • Mobile app and website: Grants one of the most intuitive and user-friendly experiences of all carriers.
  • Customer service: Has the highest actual customer reviews on the BBB for our listed top 10.
  • Give back: Turns your dollars into do-gooders by letting you select a charity to receive a part of the company’s profits, with over $1.1 million given in 2020.
  • Price: Boasts a base policy starting at $5 per month.

Cons

  • Availability: Limits coverage to the District of Columbia (D.C.) and the following 27 states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
  • Bundling: Restricts to renters insurance and pet insurance only because the company offers no auto insurance.
  • Financial rating: Not yet rated by A.M. Best but has reached A-rated (exceptional) with Demotech.

Allstate—Best for Discounts

Allstate wants you to know you’re in good hands. Customers across the U.S. give the insurance provider a thumbs up for all the discounts. From young techies to retirees, many will find savings right at their fingertips with Allstate.

Quote: 4 minutes

Price: $14 per month

Ratings: J.D. Power Home Insurance Study ranked #3 overall with a score of 841 out of 1,000, A.M. Best A+, Better Business Bureau A+ and reviews 1.2 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • Local Agent: Meet your agent face-to-face while many carriers go to phone sales agents only. 
  • Bundling: Join your renters with your auto, motorcycle, off-road, or even life insurance.
  • Deals: Save up to 25 percent with 55 and retired discount, up to 20 percent with the claim-free discount, up to 15 percent with the safe home discount, and up to 5 percent with the easy pay automatic withdrawal discount.
  • Digital locker app: Create a home inventory with all your stuff so you’re ready before a claim happens. 
  • Estimation tool: Figure out “what your stuff’s worth” with the handy visual slider. 

Cons

  • Average customer reviews: Look at the BBB reviews, and you’ll see Allstate sits in the middle of the pack.

American Family—Best for Optional Coverage

American Family (AmFam) insurance sits at the seventh spot for most homeowners and renters insurance policies in the nation. They do big numbers without ever making you feel like one. The company is large enough to serve you with 24/7 claims service but local enough to meet every member of your household face-to-face. 

Quote: 4 minutes

Price: $27.37 per month (through partner site Homesite)

Ratings: J.D. Power Home Insurance Study ranked #4 overall with a score of 840 out of 1,000, A.M. Best A, Better Business Bureau A and reviews 1.05 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • Add-ons: Protect your home-based business, pets, or your even your next vacation.
  • Agent focus: Look your agent in the eye when signing up, and know exactly where to go for discounts, questions, and claims.
  • Bundle: Increase the discounts based on the types of insurance you select with policies for your car, boat, business, RV, or life.
  • Unique discounts: Get a generational discount if you’re 18 to 30 years old and your mom or dad has AmFam, plus you may qualify for a loyalty discount after a year with the company.
  • Calculator: Compute how much it takes to replace your stuff and select just the amount of coverage you need.

Cons:

  • BBB reviews: Like many other large insurers, American Family’s BBB customer reviews are just average.

Erie Insurance—Best for Customer Service

Erie Insurance puts customer service first as a regional company, with the #2 highest rank for satisfaction with J.D. Power. They only serve 12 states. Maybe it’s the small nature that lets them offer such superior customer service alongside super cheap policies.

Quote: You can’t do it online, so it took 10 to 15 minutes to track down an agent and get a quote over the phone.

Price: $12.33 per month

Ratings: J.D. Power Home Insurance Study ranked #2 overall with a score of 865 out of 1,000, A.M. Best A+, Better Business Bureau A+ and Reviews 1.59 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • Bundling: Keep your auto, renters, and life insurance with the same company for more savings.
  • Claims assistance: Think about a hand to guide you through every step of the claim with compassionate folks that make all the difference.
  • Independent agents: Go with one of Erie’s policies from its 13,000 professionals when they have the best deal, and let your agent check other companies when they don’t.

Cons

  • No online option: You’ll have to see or speak to an agent to get a quote.
  • Limited geography: Must live in the District of Columbia (D.C.) or one of the following 12 states for service: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Farmers—Best for Professionals

Farmers started helping the food growers of America in 1928, and now it plants its products to help families across the nation. The company rounds out the top five homeowners and renters insurance providers in the country. It’s an insurance company large enough to manage your claim 24/7 and small enough to help you cultivate a relationship with an agent right in your backyard.

Quote: 3 minutes

Price: $10.00 per month

Ratings: J.D. Power Home Insurance Study ranked #5 overall with a score of 839 out of 1,000, A.M. Best A, Better Business Bureau A+ and reviews 1.47 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • Bundling: Give all your business to Farmers to capitalize on discounts for auto, renters, life, and umbrella policies.
  • Local touch: Sign up online or reach out to an agent for personalized service.
  • Profession price: Work your way to a deal if you’re a dentist, doctor, engineer, firefighter, nurse, or police officer.
  • Smoke-free discount: Skip the cigarettes for two consecutive years as a household, and you qualify for this discount that’s unique to Farmers.
  • Interface: Get a quick quote with customizable coverages with the approachable, easy-to-use Farmers interface.

Cons

  • Limited range: Renters won’t be able to buy coverage in D.C. or in the following 10 states: Alaska, Delaware, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia.

Liberty Mutual—Best for Flexible Deductibles

Liberty Mutual brings the most experience to the table, with over 108 years serving policyholders. Its long-time reputation has caused even other big insurers like GEICO to partner with it for renters insurance (check our GEICO renters insurance review here). 

The company has its own flavor of agent and affinity matching to provide its target demographic with superior service. It holds the torch just like Lady Liberty, so you’re free to get every qualified discount.

Quote: 4 minutes

Price: $13.58 per month

Ratings: J.D. Power Home Insurance Study ranked #10 overall with a score of 825 out of 1,000, A.M. Best A, Better Business Bureau A+ and reviews 1.13 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • Bundling: Unlock the multi-policy discount when you add an auto, life, or umbrella policy to your renters insurance.
  • Choice: Contact an in-person agent, talk over the phone, or get set up online.
  • Flexible deductible: Choose from $250 to $7,500 to find the right amount for your budget.
  • Online purchase discount: Buy with your computer or smartphone and save money right off the top.

Cons

  • Quoting: May have to provide your Social Security number just to get an online quote.
  • Low score: Has a relatively low rating for J.D. Power customer satisfaction.

Nationwide—Best for Natural Disasters

Nationwide is on your side––and has the eighth-strongest homeowners and renters insurance business in the country. The company will stand right next to you as you navigate your personal insurance, banking, investing, retirement, and business needs. Even though it serves the whole nation, it never abandons a small-town customer-first mentality. 

Quote: 3 minutes 

Price: $16.67 per month (estimated pricing based on Insurance Information Institute data)

Ratings: J.D. Power Home Insurance Study ranked #9 overall with a score of 831 out of 1,000, A.M. Best A+, Better Business Bureau A+ and reviews 1.18 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • Brand-new belongings: Get replacement cost standard for renters insurance.
  • Bundling: Unlock the multi-policy discount when you add an auto, life, or umbrella policy to your renters insurance.
  • Earthquake coverage: Shake things up with the right coverage if your state requires this protection.
  • Your way: Visit an in-person agent, talk over the phone, or buy online.

Cons

  • Rank: Sits just average for BBB reviews and on the relatively lower end for J.D. Power customer satisfaction.

Progressive—Best for Auto First

Progressive shines as one of the top three auto insurance companies, and it bought American Strategic Insurance to serve its car-related customers. Flo joins millions of customers who desire to make insurance policies better and cheaper. They even offer a way to lower the out-of-pocket costs when claims arise. Dive into our full review of Progressive here.

Quote: 2 minutes 

Price: $18.18 per month 

Ratings: J.D. Power Home Insurance Study ranked #8 overall with a score of 835 out of 1,000, A.M. Best A+, Better Business Bureau A+ and reviews 1.14 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • Bundling: Marry your auto and renters for an average of 12 percent savings on your car insurance.
  • Secured living discount: Reside in a gated community or other guarded area and receive special discounts.
  • Single deductible benefit: Pay only one deductible if both your car and renters policy have a related claim.

Cons

  • Reviews: Stands neck and neck with competition for customer service on J.D. Power and BBB.
  • Privacy: Requires your Social Security number for a renters quote.

State Farm—Best for In-Person Agents

State Farm holds the current title for the undisputed champ as the leader for auto and home insurance policies in the U.S. Part of State Farm‘s success comes from its aggressive campaign to get auto and home insurance bundled. When you get both from the company, you’re never too far from a low price—now that’s a good neighbor. Check out our in-depth State Farm renters review here.

Quote: 2 minutes 

Price: $10.42 per month 

Ratings: J.D. Power Home Insurance Study ranked #7 overall with a score of 836 out of 1,000, A.M. Best A++, Better Business Bureau A+ and reviews 1.32 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • Discount-heavy: Taste the savings as auto and renters make both better, like bread and butter.
  • Neighbors first: Choose from over 19,000 agents right next door to help you navigate your insurance needs.
  • One company: Deal with a single choice for your banking, business, insurance, investments, and retirement needs.
  • Highest rated: Enjoy the industry juggernaut as State Farm gets the highest possible rating for financial strength.

Cons

  • State differences: Move to a different state, and you may not qualify for the same renters discounts with State Farm.

USAA—Best for Military Families

USAA would be number #1 for customer satisfaction with J.D. Power, but it only serves military members and their families, so it’s ranked by itself. The company grants membership to active, retired, and separated veterans with an “honorable” discharge. And the spouses, widows, widowers, un-remarried former spouses, and children of service members also qualify. 

Quote: 10–15 minutes (estimated to prove eligibility and set up an account)

Price: as low as $10.00 per month for a basic policy (non-military quotes unavailable)

Ratings: J.D. Power Home Insurance Study ranked #1 overall (in category) with a score of 888 out of 1,000, A.M. Best A-, Better Business Bureau A- and reviews 1.29 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • Customer satisfaction: Interact with a carrier who has a category all by itself.
  • Earthquake coverage: Enjoy the protection as a standard policy coverage with USAA.
  • Flood coverage: Skip the extra policy because you’re already covered with USAA.
  • One-stop shop: Get service from a company that thanks you for your sacrifice with tailored offerings for banking, business, insurance, investments, and retirement.

Cons

  • Military exclusivity: Sign your name over to Uncle Sam or have someone in your immediate family do so if you want these special savings.

 

Quick Summary:

Company Best For Price

(per month)

J.D. Power (out of 1,000) A.M. Best BBB BBB Reviews Score

(out of 5)

Lemonade Best Overall $9.67 866 Not Rated B+ 4.41
Allstate Best for Discounts $14 841 A+ A+ 1.2
American Family Best for Optional Coverage $27.37 840 A A 1.05
Erie Insurance Best for Customer Service $12.33 865 A+ A+ 1.59
Farmers Best for Professionals $10.00 839 A A+ 1.47
Liberty Mutual Best for Flexible Deductibles $13.58 825 A A+ 1.13
Nationwide Best for Natural Disasters $16.67 831 A+ A+ 1.18
Progressive Best for Auto First $18.18 835 A+ A+ 1.14
State Farm Best for In-Person Agents $10.42 836 A++ A+ 1.32
USAA Best for Military Families $10.00 888 A- A- 1.29

The Best Renters Insurance Companies of 2020

What's the best renters insurance company?

The best insurance company will give you the right mix of speed, cost, customer service, financial strength, and overall experience. There's no perfect company, only a company that fits your needs the best. Before you pick, decide how much you want to spend, the amount of coverage you need, and replacement cost availability, and research your state's natural disasters. Those four factors should help you make an informed choice.

Does my landlord's insurance cover my stuff?

No. Landlord insurance covers the physical structure and none of your belongings. If there's a fire, a break-in, or another mishap, you'll replace your lost, stolen, or damaged belongings out of pocket. That's why many landlords require renters insurance because they want you to be protected if the worst happens. And they also want to avoid the headache and stress of a tenant caught in a tough spot.

Is renter's insurance worth it?

Yes, it's about $15 a month or the cost of a Netflix membership on your credit card to protect your possession from fire, theft, and other mishaps. Your personal liability also gives you legal defense for lawsuits that arise because of bodily injury or personal property claims.  All that protection can be even cheaper when you bundle with car insurance. Check Insurify to get the auto policy that will make your renters insurance a no-brainer.

Conclusion: How to get the best and cheapest insurance quotes

Fifty cents per day is more than just $15 per month. It might just be the bit of change you need to buy new renters insurance.

These quick strategies to save will help your transition to the right policy:

  • Improve your credit.
  • Install safety equipment such as alarm systems, fire extinguishers, and smoke detectors.
  • Pick the right amount of coverage.
  • Raise your deductible.
  • Stay claims-free. 
  • Finally, bundle your renters policy with life, umbrella, or auto insurance for the largest discount.

Ready to save today? Before or after you sign up for renters insurance, you can get personalized car insurance quotes for your price point today at Insurify.

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Updated November 23, 2020

Courtney Roy is a financial and technology copywriter. He creates content that makes an actionable difference in the life of his readers. In addition to years of experience across multiple industries, Courtney has insurance licenses, a real estate license, and a degree in electrical engineering. He and his wife chase their five kids in the Phoenix, Arizona sun. You can learn more at thecopyprophet.com.