Renter's insurance may seem like just another expense. But the right policy will protect you financially from loss or damage to your belongings or from having to cover the cost of staying somewhere else due to damage.
You'll find that renter's insurance is relatively inexpensive. However, you'll want to work with the right company for your situation. Let's dive into the best renter's insurance options.
What to Look for When Shopping for the Best Renter's Insurance
As you explore policies, read the fine print involved. Make sure that the policy covers exactly what you're looking for. Three big areas to look out for include:
Personal property. If items are lost or damaged, personal property coverage comes into play. Depending on the policy, you may have coverage for fire, lightning, hail, windstorms, smoke, vandalism, theft, or freezing. But you can also add on personal property coverage as the result of other types of situations such as natural disasters.
Personal liability. Personal liability comes into play if someone is injured on the property. If the injured party takes legal action against you, then personal liability coverage would cover it.
Loss of use. You may lose the ability to use your rental unit if it is uninhabitable. For example, a fire or flood might lead to an uninhabitable space. Through the loss of use coverage, the policy would help to provide the funds for temporary housing.
Keep the coverage limits for your household possessions in mind. If you happen to own pricey electronics or jewelry, you may need to up the coverage amount or add a rider for full protection.
Of course, the price of your policy will play a big role in your decision-making. Take the time to shop around to find the best price out there. But don't skimp on coverage just to lower the price point. You want to get the appropriate amount of coverage, with any additional riders that are necessary.
Best Renter's Insurance Companies
Renter's insurance policies vary from provider to provider. Here's a closer look at the best renter's insurance companies.
Best for Fast Processing: Lemonade
Lemonade offers renter's insurance coverage through a streamlined process. Since its founding in 2015, Lemonade has offered its users lighting fast coverage to get the renter's insurance they are looking for. In fact, it will only take a few minutes to complete the entire process.
Beyond the quick sign-up process, you can expect a quick claims process. You'll be able to file a claim anytime from the mobile app. According to Lemonade, 30% of claims are approved within seconds.
Why Lemonade Stands Out
A fast process is nothing to gloss over. Since obtaining a renter's insurance policy isn't exactly what you want to spend your time doing, Lemonade's quick coverage process is alluring.
But what about the actual insurance product? Luckily, Lemonade shines in this department as well. The policies offer coverage in three important areas -- personal property, personal liability, and loss of use. Depending on your state, you may need to spring for add-on coverage for instances like hurricanes or earthquakes.
The company's structure is also unique. Lemonade pays a flat fee from your monthly premiums to cover the company's costs. The rest of the funds are used to pay customer claims. Any remaining balance is donated to charity. In 2021, this structure led to over $2.3 million dollars in charitable donations.
You won't have to overpay for this company on a mission. The rates offered through Lemonade are incredibly affordable. Plans start at just $5 per month.
Where is Lemonade Available?
Lemonade isn't available in every state.
Here's where you can work with Lemonade: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
If you don't see your state, then you won't be able to work with Lemonade for now. But the company promises expansion into new states soon.
Easy online process
Focus on giving back to charities
Very affordable rates
- Not available nationwide
Get a quote from Lemonade here.
Best for Local Agents: State Farm
As one of the nation's largest insurance companies, State Farm offers reliable renter's insurance.
It's earned an A + + rating from A.M. Best, which indicates the highest possible rating for a solid financial condition. With that, it's a safe bet to work with State Farm for your renter's insurance needs.
Why State Farm Stands Out
Although not everyone wants to work with a local agent, the ability to call for help when you need it can be a relief. You'll have the option to talk to a local agent over the phone to nail down the policy that works best for you. With over 19,000 independent agents, you are bound to find a local agent in your area.
But if you prefer to avoid a phone call, you can choose to handle the entire process online.
The standard renter's insurance policies offered by State Farm include protection against accidents, weather impacts, malicious mischief, and loss of use. Of course, you'll have the option to add on the extra coverage. For example, you can add inflation coverage which will ensure that you are protected at the same level each year. A few other add-on options include identity restoration and earthquake damage.
If you use State Farm for your auto insurance, you may be able to save up to 17% on your renter's insurance.
Where is State Farm Available?
You can find State Farm in every single state and the District of Columbia.
Your add-on coverage needs may vary based on where you live. But you'll find what you need through State Farm.
Local agents available to discuss your insurance needs
Inflation coverage included in policies
- Limited discounts available
Get a quote from State Farm here.
Best for Affordability: Allstate
Allstate was founded in 1931 when Robert Wood, president of Sears, Roebuck, and Co. began selling auto insurance policies by mail. Since then, Allstate has grown into one of the largest insurance companies in the nation.
With that, it is not surprising that Allstate offers renter's insurance with its nationwide reach. So will you be in good hands if you go with a policy from Allstate? The A+ financial strength rating from A.M. Best indicates that Allstate will be there when you need them.
Why Allstate Stands Out
Allstate advertises that their rates start from as low as $4 per month. That's an incredibly low rate when you consider how much a renter's insurance policy could come in handy. Plus, you may be able to qualify for discounts as a retiree or by bundling policies.
When you work with Allstate, the standard policy will cover personal property coverage, liability protection, guest medical coverage, and reimbursed living expenses.
For personal property coverage, you can choose a policy that covers the Actual Cash Value or Reimbursement Provisions. The actual cash value gives you what your item was worth considering depreciation but the reimbursement provision would give you the ability to replace your items with the amount you'll actually need to buy a new item.
For example, your couch may have cost you $1,000 when you bought it new three years ago, but today a three-year-old used couch might only be worth $500. With Actual Cash Value, you'd get the $500 but with Reimbursement Provisions you'd get the cost to actually replace the couch.
If you decide that you need additional coverage, you can buy add-ons including a personal umbrella policy, identity theft restoration, flood insurance, and scheduled personal property coverage for specific items based on an appraisal value.
In a quick online process, you can get a quote from Allstate. It should only take a few minutes to see what options are available through this company.
Where is Allstate Available?
Allstate offers renter's insurance in every state and the District of Columbia.
Extra protection available for expensive items
Discount for retirees
- The coverage amounts vary by state
Get a quote from Allstate here.
Best for Value Packed Standard Policies: Nationwide
Nationwide has grown to be one of the largest insurance providers in the country after its founding in 1926. The company has a trustworthy reputation with an A.M Best rating of A+.
If you decide to get a quote from Nationwide, it might come in a bit higher than the competition. The company advertises rates starting at $20 per month, which is considerably higher than some of the baseline packages on this list. But you'll find additional perks included in Nationwide's standard plans that may make it worthwhile.
Why Nationwide Stands Out
Nationwide's standard renter's insurance policy comes with all of the things you would expect, such as personal property protection, medical and personal liability protection, and loss of use coverage to help with housing costs if your rental is uninhabitable.
But Nationwide takes things a step farther with their standard package. You'll also enjoy credit card coverage which pays up to a certain limit on unauthorized transactions on your credit or debit cards. Plus, any damages that result from additions or alterations that you make in your rented space.
That's a lot of protection in a single standard policy, which makes it one of the best renter's insurance policies out there. Of course, you'll also have the option to spring for add-ons to further beef up your coverage. A few popular add-ons include water backup, earthquake, theft extension, and "Valuables Plus."
As you decide on your insurance needs, you can take advantage of an "On Your Side" review. Essentially, this is a free service that allows you to touch base with an insurance professional to make sure that you have as much protection as you need.
Where is Nationwide Available?
Ironically, Nationwide doesn't offer renter's insurance in every state. You won't be able to work with Nationwide for renter's insurance if you live in Alaska, Hawaii, Florida, Louisiana, New Mexico, New Jersey, or Massachusetts.
Provides standard coverage for unauthorized credit card activities
"On Your Side" review to make sure your insurance is a good fit
Extensive protections in standard policies
On the expensive side
Not available in every state
Best for Easy Claim Filing: Liberty Mutual
Liberty Mutual earned an A rating from A.M. Best. This indicates that Liberty Mutual is in a solid position to honor its financial commitments to its policyholders. Founded in 1912, Liberty Mutual has maintained a good reputation for reliable insurance and responsive customer service over the years.
Why Liberty Mutual Stands Out
Liberty Mutual offers a streamlined claims service that sets itself apart. Although the claims are not approved instantly, the mobile app allows you to complete a claim in less than 10 minutes. You'll be prompted to answer a series of questions and to add photos when possible.
The standard policies offered by Liberty Mutual cover personal property, additional living expenses, and liability and medical payments.
But you'll need add-ons to find the appropriate coverage for earthquake damage and personal property replacement costs. Additionally, you could spring for blanket jewelry coverage to keep all of your jewelry protected no matter where you are, with no deductible required.
One great thing about Liberty Mutual is the sheer number of discount options available. A few discounts available include bundling discounts, Early Shopper discounts, a claims-free discount, an automatic payment discount, and online purchase discounts. Who doesn't love the option to save even more?
Where is Liberty Mutual Available?
Liberty Mutual offers renter's insurance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Blanket jewelry coverage available
All add-ons are not available everywhere
May not qualify for all discounts
Get a quote from Liberty Mutual here.
Best for Specialized Coverage: Assurant
In most cases, Assurant won't be able to win a price comparison. However, the specialized coverage opportunities make Assurant a solid option for some renters.
Assurant has been around under one name or another since 1892, making it the oldest insurer on this list. With that, you might be surprised that you haven't heard of them. The lack of a robust consumer-facing presence may be due to the company's focus on the markets in Asia and Latin America.
But the less well-known brand still offers American consumers worthwhile renter's insurance policies. Plus, it has earned an A rating from A.M. Best.
Why Assurant Stands Out
Assurant offers a wide range of coverage that protects against fire, lightning, smoke, explosions, theft, hail, windstorms, vandalism, falling objects, ice, snow, sleet, pipe bursts, cracked AC units, freezing, power surges, riots, aircraft, and volcanic eruption.
Additionally, Assurant offers bed bug extermination as a part of its standard policy in some states. That can come in very handy since it can get expensive to remove these pervasive critters.
Beyond all of this, you may also find food spoilage costs covered in your standard policy. Depending on your state, you may be able to get coverage that includes reimbursement for food replacement costs if your fridge or freezer gives out. The maximum reimbursement available is $100.
Although coverage to replace your items and all of these perks is nice, it might not fit into your budget. Unfortunately, renter's insurance might be required by your landlord and leave your budget in a pinch. But Assurant comes to the rescue with liability-only coverage options. With this bare-bones plan, you'll get coverage for property damage liabilities and personal liabilities.
Where is Assurant Available?
Assurant offers renter's insurance in all 50 states and Washington D.C.
Liability only options
Extensive coverage available
Food spoilage reimbursement is available
- Limited customer service hours
Best for Discounts: Farmers
Farmers has been providing top-notch insurance since 1928. Although the company was originally founded to help farmers and ranchers gain access to appropriate insurance, the product line has expanded from there.
Renter's insurance is one of the many insurance products offered by Farmers. You'll find slightly higher rates, but the ability to add on unique coverage options to suit your needs.
Why Farmers Stands Out
The add-on coverage options available through Farmers allow you to customize coverage beyond the average standard policy. Like most other renter's insurance companies, the standard policies offer personal property, liability, and loss of use coverage.
Beyond that standard policy, you'll have access to add-ons, including coverage for high-value items and identity theft restoration. If you decide to work with Farmers, you can file a claim via the mobile app, phone, text, or email.
You can qualify for a few great discounts from Farmers. The company offers discounted policies for non-smokers, policy bundlers, and the installation of a security system or fire alarm.
Plus, you may qualify for other discounts based on your state or profession. For example, doctors, nurses, engineers, dentists, teachers, police, and firefighters are all eligible for discounts. If you want as many discounts as possible, reach out to your local agent to see what's available. Or make sure to indicate your eligibility in the online process.
Where is Farmers Available?
Farmers has limited availability for renter's insurance. You'll only be able to work with Farmers if you live in North Carolina. However, the states available seem to change on a regular basis. If you really want to work with Farmers, it may be worth reaching out to your local agent to see what they can do for you.
Range of discounts available
User-friendly mobile app
Live agents available in 50 states
Not available nationwide
Higher rates reported
Get a quote from Farmers here.
How Does Renter's Insurance Work?
Renter's insurance covers the cost of replacing your belongings if they are damaged in a covered event. For example, if your rental unit burns down, renter's insurance will pay (in full or in part, depending on your coverage) to replace your items. Assuming, of course, that fire is a covered event on your policy.
Depending on your policy, it may also cover the loss of use of the unit and pay for you to stay in a hotel or new unit while your rental is being repaired.
It can also cover you if someone is injured due to your own fault. For example, if you are mopping your kitchen floor and a guest slips and falls.
There is a common misconception that your landlord would be responsible for any type of incident that occurred on the property. But unfortunately, that's not true. Although your landlord likely has insurance on the property, their coverage wouldn't help replace your items or cover you in the event of a liability issue.
With that, renter's insurance works to protect you and your stuff from things that could go wrong in your rental. If you run into a covered event such as a burst pipe or guest medical issue, then your renter's insurance policy would help to cover the costs.
What Does Renter's Insurance Cover?
Renter's insurance won't cover every type of event that could happen on the property. But here's what it should cover.
Most standard renter's insurance policies provide protection against the loss of your personal belongings. For example, this may include your furniture, clothing, electronics, kitchen equipment, hobby equipment, and more.
Your items may even be covered while they aren't in your apartment. So if your laptop is stolen at the coffee shop, your renter's insurance policy may replace it.
Additionally, renter's insurance covers temporary relocation costs if your rental is uninhabitable due to a covered event and some types of liability protection. Some of the most common covered events include fire, theft, or vandalism. But the details of what qualifies as a covered event will vary based on your insurance policy.
H3: What Does Renter's Insurance Not Cover?
Renter's insurance won't protect you from everything. In most cases, you won't be covered in the event of a flood, earthquake, or if the building itself is damaged.
And although renter's insurance covers your belongings, it might be smart to boost your coverage. If you have expensive collectibles or jewelry in your home, then you may want to spring for extra coverage.
Do I Need Renter's Insurance?
Renter's insurance protects your finances against the unexpected.
For instance, let's say that a neighbor starts a fire next door that scorches your belongings or a thief breaks in to steal your valuables. Consider whether or not you could afford to replace your items. In most cases, it would be a challenge to buy new items for your home out of pocket.
Even if you don't think that your items are very valuable, think about the financial cost of replacing your entire apartment's furnishings in one go. Most of us simply couldn't shoulder that financial burden out of the blue.
Renter's insurance will also provide protection if a guest is hurt in your apartment. You don't want to be stuck with the bill if you are sued by a guest for any reason.
If you think that fire, theft, or being sued for a guest's slip in your apartment could upset your finances, then renter's insurance is the right move. It will provide the peace of mind you need to cover your belongings at an affordable monthly rate.
Additionally, some landlords will require you to purchase renter's insurance. If that's the case, then this smart decision is made for you.
How Much Do I Need?
Before you dive into a renter's insurance policy, you should take an inventory of your belongings. Personal property protection is a big reason for many to consider renter's insurance. With that, you want to make sure that the coverage is enough to reimburse you if your belongings are the victim of a covered loss.
As you take an inventory of your items, write down what the item is, the purchase price or current value, the age of the item, and anything else you think might be useful information. It might take some time. But it will help you arrive at an appropriate estimate of the value of your household items.
Additionally, you'll need to choose the right deductible for your situation. Choose an amount that won't cause too much financial stress if you have to cover it unexpectedly.
H2: How Much is Renter's Insurance?
The cost of renter's insurance will vary based on your state and your unique situation. But you'll see companies advertise renter's insurance starting from just a few dollars per month.
But according to the Insurance Information Institute, the average cost of renter's insurance was $179 per year in 2018 -- that's about $15 a month. Based on this latest available data, you can get an idea for how renter's insurance would fit into your budget.
How to Get Renter's Insurance
Ready to sign up for a renter's insurance policy?
Before you jump in, make sure to do some research on what coverage amount you'll want. From there, take the time to shop around and get quotes from different insurance companies. In addition to comparing costs, compare the actual coverage amounts provided.
Also, don't forget to look for any discounts you might qualify for. If you need help, there are plenty of local agents available at several companies that would be more than willing to help out. After taking the time to review your options, move forward with the renter's insurance policy that best suits your situation.
Renter's insurance can provide protection against a worst-case scenario. Even if your landlord doesn't require renter's insurance, it may still be the right move.
With the right policy, you could have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you are protected in the space you call home.