Best and Cheapest Renters Insurance in California (2020)
Updated April 13, 2022
Reading time: 6 minutes
To get the best and cheapest renters insurance available in California, you're going to want to compare quotes from different companies. We'll show you how.
With rent and insurance costs skyrocketing, can Californians find affordable renters insurance?
The average rent in California is a whopping $1,455—nearly $500 more than the national average. That means Californians pay $6,000 more for renters insurance every year!
According to Apartment List, California claims the 16 most expensive cities for renters. In fact, the Golden State is second only to the District of Columbia when it comes to the average cost of renting. When it comes to saving, savvy Californians know they need to reduce costs wherever possible.
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All renters insurance policies will insure you up to a certain price––often $100,000, $200,000, or even $300,000. A claim that costs more than that previously determined threshold may not be considered a fully covered loss. The higher your insured coverage level, the more expensive your premiums will be.
A deductible is the amount of money you have to pay out of pocket when you file an insurance claim. The lower your deductible, the higher your monthly premiums––and vice versa.
The greater the value of your belongings, the more expensive your personal property will be to insure. A Los Angeles penthouse owner with a cherished collection of jewelry and racing bicycles will likely pay more for their renters insurance than a studio-dwelling college student in Anaheim.
Renters living in buildings with more security measures will pay less for their renters insurance, due to a lower likelihood of vandalism or theft.
Renters insurance is often more expensive for those with a low credit score.
Because pets frequently contribute to property damage, a furry friend may raise your renters insurance rates.
In California the average cost of renters insurance annually is $182, almost exactly as expensive as the American average of $180 per year.
Though California is prone to natural disasters (like earthquakes and wildfires ) that tend to drive up the cost of homeowners and renters insurance, California renters insurance still costs less on average than in other states like Texas or Florida. California ’s average annual renters insurance costs are similar to those in New York.
Here are a few easy ways to find cheap renters insurance in The Golden State.
One of the easiest ways to save on insurance costs is to shop around online and compare quotes.
Shopping for new insurance quotes every six months or after any major life events helps insure you’re getting the lowest premiums and not missing out on potential deals and discounts. Online quote comparison sites like Insurify use cutting-edge AI technology to make the insurance shopping process a breeze.
Known for its bustling freeways and constant traffic jams, The Golden State truly is the land of the automobile. Bundling with your auto policy is one of the easiest way to get a significant discount on your renters insurance coverage. Some companies offer price reductions as large as 25 percent! Check out top car insurance rates and bundling opportunities with Insurify.
Don’t have a car? Try bundling your policy with a life insurance plan. Many companies offer multi-product discounts, even if those policies aren’t necessarily compatible.
Many insurers will offer discounts on top of their standard coverage if renters install safety devices like sprinklers, burglar alarms, or fire extinguishers in their home.
Not only do these devices help keep you safe, but they also minimize the risk for your insurer.
Insurance providers often provide additional deals if renters are willing to pay automatically or up-front.
Call your insurance agent to see if you may be eligible for any of these simple money-saving discounts.
As one of the most populous states in the U.S., California offers a dazzling array of choices when it comes to renters insurance. But here are just a few of the best renters insurance companies for Golden State renters.
Ranked 3rd on J.D. Power’s ranking of national renters insurance providers, Allstate is a reliable and well-established insurance company with a reputation for strong customer service.
Though other companies may offer lower premiums, Allstate is a dependable choice for Californians in the market for renters insurance with strong customer service values and a wide range of potential discounts.
A.M. Best Rating: A+
J.D. Power Ranking: 841/1000
BBB (Better Business Bureau) Rating: A+
As a newer startup using AI to break into the competitive renters insurance market, Lemonade uses its proprietary technology to offer bare-bones renters policies at jaw-dropping rates of as low as $5 per month.
With premiums that cost less than a fish taco on Misson Beach, Lemonade makes sure that you can afford your ideal San Antonio ranch-style condo and stay safely insured.
A.M. Best Rating: N/A
J.D. Power Ranking: 866/1000
BBB (Better Business Bureau) Rating: B+
As one of the oldest and best-known insurers in the U.S., it won’t surprise you to learn that State Farm renters insurance has received kudos for stellar customer service and quick handling of claims.
Though State Farm is a large insurance agency with millions of customers nationally, their customer service makes customers feel like they’re safe in the hands of a local agent.
A.M. Best Rating: A++
J.D. Power Ranking: 836/1000
BBB (Better Business Bureau) Rating: A+
And that’s just to start your search! Check out some other top renters insurance companies in California:
American Family Insurance
Many renters assume that their landlord will pay for damages, but this often isn’t the case. Landlords must be found to have personal liability for the damage done to personal property in order to have to pay to replace or repair that property. So a fire started by your downstairs neighbor or a burglar ’s break-in often won’t be covered by your landlord’s insurance.
That’s why it’s so important to purchase renters insurance. Renters insurance protects you and your personal belongings from financial loss in a few specific ways. Check out the handy table below to learn more about what most renters insurance quotes do and don’t cover.
Renters insurance is a type of insurance for those who rent their homes. But what exactly does renters insurance cover?
Renters insurance usually incorporates three primary types of coverage for policyholders: liability coverage, personal property coverage, and additional living expenses (sometimes also known as loss of use ) coverage.
|Coverage Type||What It (Usually!) Covers||What’s (Usually!) Not Covered|
|Liability||Provides liability protection: may cover medical payments, property damage costs, or legal fees if you accidentally damage someone else’s property or a guest hurts themselves in your residence||Any liability costs that exceed your coverage limit, damage to your personal property, additional living expenses|
|Personal Property||The cost to repair (actual cash value) or replace ( replacement cost coverage) your personal belongings should they be damaged or stolen||Damage to personal property over your coverage limit, liability damages, additional living expenses, medical expenses|
|Additional Living Expenses||Additional coverage that pays for hotel bills or other living expenses if your current residence is damaged or otherwise not habitable. Sometimes also known as loss of use coverage.||The cost of repairing damage to your rented residence (your landlord’s insurance policy may cover that). Personal liability coverage or personal property damage.|
Of course, these three coverage types aren’t the only coverage options available to renters. There’s a wide world of insurance add-on’s available for the discerning renter, covering eventualities ranging from water damage caused by sewer backups to flood insurance to identity theft.
First, you should calculate how much renters insurance you need. If you don’t have an expensive home office or a designer clothing collection, you may not need a $20,000 policy. Create a spreadsheet of your personal property. Include the current value of each item and replacement costs. If you do this, you will know exactly how much insurance you need. Next, make a list of any discounts you’re eligible for. This can include: Bundling auto insurance; Military discounts; Employer-related or other affiliate-based discounts; or Pay-in-full, paperless, and automatic payment discounts. You can also consider raising your deductible. This means you’d pay more out-of-pocket in the event of a claim. A word of caution: only raise your deductible to a limit you could reasonably afford.
The truth is, the best renters insurance for you is not the best renters insurance for everyone. You will have different priorities, possessions, and perils than someone else. So don’t approach buying insurance as one-size-fits-all. The best thing to do is to make a list of what you need from your insurance company. Do you want to be able to upload photos of your vinyl collection? Do you need to be able to speak to a person 24/7? Knowing your preferences will help you narrow your options. And it helps tie-break two companies offering similar pricing.
Your roommates’ property is not covered by your renters insurance policy. But, you are covered if your roommate is the cause of your property loss. You can add your roommate to your insurance policy, but we don’t recommend this unless your roommate is related to you or your roommate is your significant other.
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The quickest, easiest way to save a ton on your renters insurance is to bundle it with an auto insurance policy. This is the standard advice across the industry, and it’s with good reason. Here are the estimated bundling discounts, according to carrier websites, for the best California car insurance companies:
American Family: 20-29%
State Farm: 15%
Mercury Insurance: 25%
Be sure to consider whether a single deductible is right for you. A single deductible protects you when one incident damages your car and other personal property.
Before you bundle, be sure you’ve got the best car insurance. Use Insurify to gather 6+ quotes from top insurance companies in less than two minutes.
Shop today to never overpay for renters, car, or home insurance again!
J.J. Starr is a health and finance writer with a background in banking, lending, and financial advising. She holds a Series 6, FINRA, and life insurance licensure and a master's degree from New York University. Through her writing, she strives to use her decade of experience to help consumers make sound financial choices. Connect with J.J. on LinkedIn.