Best Renters Insurance | Top Policies & Providers For 2020

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Your landlord’s insurance policy should fix the damage to your apartment after a fire or a break-in. But your landlord’s insurance couldn’t replace your damaged, stolen, or destroyed personal belongings.

Instead, you’d have to pay out of pocket to replace your stuff.

Renters insurance offers an affordable way to protect your personal belongings in your apartment or rental home. I think it’s worth it to buy a policy.

So in this post, I’ll share my favorite rental insurance companies.

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Best Renters Insurance Companies for 2020

Here are the 11 best renters insurance providers to get cheap but reliable coverage today:

  1. 🏆 Lemonade: Best Overall
  2. Allstate: Best for Policy Bundles
  3. Toggle: Best for Business Owners
  4. State Farm: Best for In-Person Service
  5. Liberty Mutual: Best for Discounts
  6. American Family: Best for Unique Coverage Options
  7. Erie Insurance: Best for Customer Service
  8. USAA: Best for Military Families
  9. Nationwide: Best for Extended Coverage
  10. Progressive: Best for Customer Service Availability
  11. Jetty: Best for Airbnb Hosts

1. Lemonade Best Overall

Lemonade Insurance Logo

Lemonade is a newbie compared to most of the other insurance providers here, but it’s already receiving tons of praise – including being ranked #1 by J.D. Power in this year’s U.S. Home Insurance Study.

It’s an excellent choice for millennials, and I have a policy with them myself.

SPEED
90 seconds to get insured and equally fast claim processing (get paid in less than 3 minutes!), thanks to the company’s heavy use of AI

COST
Basic policy for $10.17/mo. Company advertises rates as low as $5, but we didn’t receive a rate this low for any of the quotes we ran. YMMV, but the real rates were still amongst the cheapest.

REPUTATION
Ranked #1 by J.D. Power in the renters insurance segment with a score of 866 in 2020’s U.S. Home Insurance Study. B+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Not BBB accredited. Also worth mentioning was the 4+ star rating by customers on the BBB website, where the next highest on this list had only 2 stars.

PROS

  • Artificial intelligence. Lemonade uses AI to process claims, making the whole process much faster. It’s the future of insurance! Just snap and upload a photo to start the claims process.
  • Claims app/website. Not all insurers have customer-friendly apps and websites – but Lemonade’s is intuitive and feature-rich.
  • Quick claims processing. Not only can you easily make claims on Lemonade’s app or website, but the claims process is also super fast. According to the company’s website, it set a new world record in 2016 by processing a claim in 3 seconds!
  • “Giveback” program. When you buy a Lemonade policy — for renters or homeowners insurance — you select a non-profit you care about. Once a year, Lemonade will give money to that cause. That’s pretty great, because not only are you insured but you’re also contributing to the social good.

CONS

  • Not available in all states. Lemonade isn’t available in Alabama, Delaware, Florida, and several other states.
  • No auto insurance. Many companies offer discounts for bundling policies – but you won’t be able to do that with Lemonade which specializes in renters and homeowners insurance.

Protect Yourself Now:

2. Allstate Best for Policy Bundles

Allstate Insurance Logo

Allstate is one of the best known names in the insurance world – mostly because of its car insurance policies. But this company also excels with renters coverage, especially if you already have an Allstate auto policy.

You could bundle your renters insurance with your auto insurance for extra savings – something you can’t do with a company that offers only renters insurance.

SPEED
It’ll take about 5-10 minutes to get an online quote

COST
Basic policy for $21.42/mo

REPUTATION
Score of 841 in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Home Insurance Study. A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Not BBB accredited.

PROS

  • Digital Locker App. The app includes several useful features allowing you to manage your policy easily.
  • Free estimation tools. You can quickly determine the level of coverage you need by using Allstate’s estimation tools and calculators.
  • Extended coverage. Have an expensive item that has especially high value? Allstate offers an extended coverage option which means you can make sure your high value belongings get protection.
  • Green improvement. This is a cool extra coverage option that helps cover the additional cost of replacing your items with energy-efficient versions after a claim.

CONS

  • Average customer satisfaction. Like a lot of large insurance companies, online reviews of Allstate reveal some frustrating experiences during the claims process. Your local agent can make or break this process for you.

Protect Yourself Now:

3. Toggle Renters Insurance Best for Business Owners

Toggle Insurance Logo

Toggle claims to have “hit the refresh button on renters insurance” – and it’s hard to argue with that. At the same time, they’re backed by Farmers Insurance, so you get the benefits of an Insurtech innovator with the stability and experience of a long-time, trusted provider.

Toggle offers some competitive features like making instant changes to your coverage limits online and offering “Side Hustle” coverage which helps you protect your side businesses.

SPEED
It took less than a minute to get a quote

COST
(A very) basic policy for $5/mo, or $12.50 for more comparable coverage

REPUTATION*
Score of 839 in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Home Insurance Study. A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. BBB accredited since 1951.

*Ratings are for parent company Farmers Insurance

PROS

  • Great online functionality. You can easily make changes to your insurance policy online – whether you’re moving into a new address, or want to add new items.
  • Years of experience. Toggle is a member of the Farmers Insurance family, meaning it draws on over 90 years of experience and stability.
  • Unique add-ons. With Toggle, you can get plenty of different types of insurance policies – from “Pet Parent” for your furry baby to “Side Hustle” coverage, helping you protect that weekend passion of yours.

CONS

  • Limited availability. Currently, Toggle is only in 23 states, including Illinois, Wisconsin, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Utah, Virginia, Arizona, Oregon, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Michigan, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Kentucky. Toggle says it plans to expand in the coming years.

Protect Yourself Now:

4. State Farm Best for In-Person Service

State Farm Insurance Logo

Another well-known name in the insurance world, State Farm, offers all types of insurance products – from auto and home to life and renters insurance.

This A.M. Best top-rated company also provides excellent renters insurance policies for those who want to protect their belongings but don’t own their home.

SPEED
It’ll take about 5-10 minutes to get an online quote

COST
Basic policy for $14.63/mo

REPUTATION
Score of 836 in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Home Insurance Study. A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Not BBB accredited.

PROS

  • 50,000 local agents available with offices just about everywhere, if you prefer face-to-face service.
  • Pocket Agent App. Despite the strong local presence, State Farm also doesn’t skimp on the digital experience. With the State Farm app (rated 5-star in both Apple and Google’s app stores), you can get a quote, submit a claim, or just confirm what’s covered under your policy conviently from your phone. It even has an ATM locator. Pretty handy!
  • State Farm also offers several discounts worth noting – such as multi-policy discounts and home protection alerts. Home protection alerts let you save more if you have protection features in your rental unit – like a burglar alarm, smoke detectors, etc.

CONS

  • Competitive rates – but not the cheapest. Those looking for the best renters insurance rates can find cheaper premiums elsewhere.

Protect Yourself Now:

5. Liberty Mutual Best for Discounts

Liberty Mutual Logo

Liberty Mutual has been around for over 100 years and is mostly known for its auto insurance. But it has renters insurance coverage which means you could bundle renters and auto to save money.

SPEED
It’ll take about 5-10 minutes to get an online quote

COST
Basic policy for $15.30/mo

REPUTATION
Score of 825 in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Home Insurance Study. A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. BBB accredited since 1931.

PROS

  • Multiple discounts. Premiums from Liberty Mutual are super competitive – especially compared to the other big insurers – in big part because of the number of discounts available. You can save by bundling, going paperless, being claim-free, shopping in advance, enrolling in autopay, etc. Basically everyone qualifies, often just by opting for things that make your coverage more convenient.
  • You can file a claim online. Some larger insurers still require phone claims. Liberty Mutual has online and over-the-phone agents available.

CONS

  • Rates vary more than typical. Most insurance providers’ rates will vary based on location – but Liberty Mutual’s rates seem to fluctuate more than usual.
  • Not the best overall rating. Liberty Mutual receives an average score in J.D. Power’s U.S. Home Insurance Study.

Protect Yourself Now:

6. American Family Insurance Best for Unique Coverage Options

American Family Insurance Logo

Established with a goal of insuring farmers, American Family Insurance is now one of the biggest insurance companies in the U.S. You may want to consider this company for its lower-than-average premiums.

SPEED
It’ll take about 15 minutes to get a quote, which is completed on a partner website

COST
Basic policy for $18.03/mo

REPUTATION
Score of 840 in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Home Insurance Study. A rating from the Better Business Bureau. Not BBB accredited.

PROS

  • Unique add-ons. You can conveniently extend your standard renters policy to also include optional coverage for pets, travel protection, identity theft, or home-based businesses.
  • Bike owner? Coverage is standard. Bicycle coverage is free with a standard policy.
  • High customer satisfaction. According to the 2020 U.S. Home Insurance Study by J.D. Power, the satisfaction of American Family customers was amongst the best.

CONS

  • Average rates. American Family wasn’t the highest, but they certainly aren’t the lowest cost provider either. Discounts are available though for bundling, smart home renters (available to customers who use smart home tools that may help monitor break-ins), loyalty, and to those who haven’t filed a claim in a while.
  • Too personal. Like a couple other companies on this list, American Family requires your social security number just to get a price quote, which is a turn-off for me.

7. Erie Renters Insurance Best for Customer Service

Erie Insurance Logo

Erie Insurance ranked second highest in the Home Insurance Study with a five-star rating for overall satisfaction as well as price. But only 12 states have Erie Insurance coverage.

SPEED
No option for online quotes; instead, you have to reach out to a local agent. The one we spoke to was helpful, but this obviously slowed the process down significantly and is way less convenient compared to the online functionality offered by other providers on this list.

COST
Basic policy for $11.87/mo

REPUTATION
Ranked #2 by J.D. Power in the renters insurance segment with a score of 865 in the 2020 U.S. Home Insurance Study. A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Not BBB accredited.

PROS

  • Competitive pricing. Erie gets high marks for affordability, which is excellent news if you’re looking for cheap renters insurance.
  • Good customer service. Erie gets high marks from J.D. Power.
  • Offers various types of insurance. If you also need auto insurance, you could take out both policies at Erie and get a multi-policy discount.

CONS

  • No extras or add-ons. If you’re looking to add extras like additional coverage for valuables or extra protection for your pet – you should probably look elsewhere.
  • Limited geographic availability. Erie insurance operates in only 12 states: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and also Washington, D.C.
  • Limited online claims. Most claims need to be made via the Erie claims hotline or directly with an agent.

8. USAA Best for Military Families

USAA Logo

USAA Insurance is available only for active duty, retired, enlisted and honorably discharged members of the U.S. military.

The adult children of military members and veterans could also be eligible for membership if the parent is a USAA member and insurance policyholder.

The standard renters policy from USAA has several built-in features that many other policies would charge more for.

For example, flood and earthquake coverage comes with its standard policy, which is not the case with most competitors who will cover water damage from a broken appliance or burst pipe but not from a natural flood.

SPEED
Getting a quote is integrated into USAA’s website, so if you’re logged in it will save time by automatically pulling your information. It only took about 3 minutes to get a quote.

COST
Basic policy starting at $10/mo

REPUTATION
Score of 888 in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Home Insurance Study. A- rating from the Better Business Bureau. Not BBB accredited.

PROS

  • More coverage. USAA policies cover earthquake, flood, fire, and even volcanic eruptions as part of a standard policy.
  • You can move, pack, or store your belongings. Your things are covered, regardless of where they are (that includes your car) — essential if you’re on active duty.

CONS

  • Limited availability. USAA renters insurance is only available for U.S. military members and their families.

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9. Nationwide Best for Extended Coverage

Nationwide Logo

Nationwide is excellent for accessibility – as well as affordable renters insurance rates.

And, since this company offers more than just insurance (there’s also investing, banking, and planning for retirement), it can be a good place to address several areas of your finances at once.

SPEED
It’ll take about 5-10 minutes to get an online quote

COST
Basic policy for $24.08/mo

REPUTATION
Score of 831 in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Home Insurance Study. A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. BBB accredited since 1955.

PROS

  • Useful add-ons. Nationwide also offers add-ons like Water Backup (protects you against water damage caused by backed-up drains or sewers) and Earthquake (which kicks in to cover a portion of your losses in the event of a volcano or earthquake). Policyholders could even use this renters plan to protect against credit card fraud and identity theft.
  • Extended coverage. Nationwide stands out from the others for their coverage outside your home – if valuables are stolen from your car or boat, you’re covered.

CONS

  • Customer satisfaction about average for home insurance. Based on the J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Home Insurance Study, Nationwide ranks as about average in customer satisfaction.

Learn More:

10. Progressive Best for Customer Service Availability

Progressive Logo

Progressive is a name-brand insurance provider that offers a wide range of discounts and 24/7 customer support.

SPEED
It’ll take about 5-10 minutes to get an online quote

COST
Basic policy for $34.48/mo

REPUTATION
Score of 835 in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Home Insurance Study. B- rating from the Better Business Bureau. Not BBB accredited.

PROS

  • Save 12% on average by bundling policies.
  • Multiple discounts available, like “quote in advance”, digital document delivery, or pay in full
  • 24/7 customer service so you never need to worry about not being able to reach someone

CONS

  • Too personal. When shopping rates, we’re comfortable sharing email and location information, but Progressive requires your social security number in step 1, which is a turn-off for me.
  • Rates aren’t very competitive. Even with discounts, Progressive is one of the most expensive providers on this list.

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11. Jetty Best for Airbnb Hosts

Jetty Insurance Logo

Jetty Insurance is another great option for millennials. Like Lemonade, Jetty is new to the business, having started in 2015.

Jetty has partnered with two established insurers, State National Insurance Company and National Specialty Insurance Company, both of which have A.M. Best ratings of A.

While Jetty provides easy-to-access coverage options, they also specialize in a unique space that caters to hosts and property owners by providing protection that extends to your guests and even offering a lease guaranty service that offers an alternative to an expensive cash deposit.

SPEED
Streamlined process for getting coverage if you’re living or moving into one of their partner properties but otherwise, enrolling is a cumbersome exchange with their sales team.

COST
Basic policy for $9.64/mo

REPUTATION
Not ranked in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Home Insurance Study. C rating from the Better Business Bureau. Not BBB accredited.

PROS

  • Great for Airbnb hosts. Do you rent your home via Airbnb? Jetty offers Airbnb host protection called Airbnb Host Theft Protection which expands your renter’s coverage to include Airbnb guests.
  • Excellent online features. With an easy sign-up process and a user-friendly website, Jetty is perfect for someone who wants to get things done quickly, efficiently, and without having to say a word.

CONS

  • Limited discounts. Jetty isn’t the best for discounts – but their insurance rates are very competitive.
  • Can’t file a claim online. Surprisingly, for such a tech-advanced company, you can’t claim online with Jetty – it has to be done over the phone.
  • Limited availability. Jetty is only available at select partner properties.

Quick Summary: Best Renters Insurance Companies

We based our ranking of the best renters insurance companies on a combination of the average cost we were quoted, the renters segment of J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Home Insurance Study, BBB rating, financial strength as rated by A.M. Best, customer satisfaction, and the speed and ease of getting a quote.

Best for… Cost
(monthly)
A.M. Best J.D. Power BBB BBB Customer Reviews
1. Lemonade 🏆 Best Overall $10.17 NR 866 (#1) B+ / not accredited 4.5 star
(222 reviews)
2. Allstate Policy Bundles $21.42 A+ 841 A+ / not accredited 1 star
(220 reviews)
3. Toggle* Business Owners $12.50 A 839 A+ / accredited 1.5 star
(102 reviews)
4. State Farm In-Person Service $14.63 A++ 836 A+ / not accredited 1.25 star
(213 reviews)
5. Liberty Mutual Discounts $15.30 A 825 A+ / accredited 1 star
(400 reviews)
6. American Family Unique Coverage Options $18.03 AA 840 A / not accredited 1 star
(49 reviews)
7. Erie Insurance Customer Service $11.87 AA 865 (#2) A+ / not accredited 2 star
(45 reviews)
8. USAA Military $10.00+ AAA 888 A- / not accredited 1.25 star
(534 reviews)
9. Nationwide Extended Coverage $24.08 AA- 831 A+ / accredited 1 star
(115 reviews)
10. Progressive Customer Service Availability $34.48 AA 835 B- / not accredited 1 star
(395 reviews)
11. Jetty Airbnb Hosts $9.64 NR NR C / not accredited 1 star
(2 reviews)

*Toggle ratings are for parent company Farmers Insurance

Best Renters Insurance Near You

Like most insurance products, your location can not only have a huge impact on premiums, but may even influence which company has the best reputation. This is especially true for traditional providers with a local presence: your agent can make or break your experience.

The above list is a good starting point nationally, and we’ve called out companies that aren’t available in certain areas. But to get more precise recommendations, enter your zipcode below or check out the localized articles:

Compare Renters Insurance Companies In Your Area
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Renters Insurance by State

To learn more about renters insurance by state, check out the following articles:

Renters Insurance by City

Or, to learn more about renters insurance by city, check out the following articles:

Is Renters Insurance Worth It?

Nationally, the average cost of renters insurance coverage is $180 a year, according to an annual study from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

That’s only $15 a month to protect thousands of dollars in personal property and personal liability coverage.

Your actual cost would vary depending on where you live but even if you paid $25 a month, this coverage would pay for itself if a natural disaster destroyed some of your property and you filed a successful claim.

Renters insurance is totally worth it.

Why Do I Need Renters Insurance?

I came across an article in Forbes a while back that said we live in a society where we can have it all but own none of it – a “Rentership society.”

That’s because we now place more importance on experiences instead of things. We no longer need to own a house to feel like we’ve achieved something.

But whatever your reasons for renting over buying a home, you need renters insurance. Let me tell you why.

  1. Not having renters insurance is a gamble. If a robbery or vandalism damages your personal belongings, or if your rental house bursts into flames, you’d lose a lot. The replacement cost for your clothes, electronics, furniture, and so on could reach tens of thousands of dollars. Renters insurance can protect you from this kind of financial loss.
  2. Can you trust your next-door neighbor? You may think, “I’m so responsible – I don’t think anything would ever happen.” But if you live in a block of flats, it’s not just your actions that matter. And your next-door neighbor might not be so careful. Your neighbor leaving an appliance on, a candle burning, or carelessly tossing a cigarette could leave you with no belongings, homeless, and in a lot of debt.
  3. It’s affordable. Renters insurance premiums are not as pricey as you might expect – there are plenty of affordable options. The average cost of renter’s insurance is only about $15 a month, with some of the insurtech providers (like Lemonade or Toggle) coming in as low as $5.
  4. It’s easy to get insured. Nope – you won’t have to move mountains to get renters insurance; quite the opposite, the whole process can be quick and easy.
  5. Some landlords will require you to have it. Often, landlords will include the requirement in your contract. But even if you’re not required to buy it, I strongly recommend taking the initiative and getting covered anyway. Do it for you, not for anyone else.

So, consider adding some financial security to your everyday life — whether you’re excited to be moving into a new apartment or have been renting for a while.

How Does Renters Insurance Work?

Like car insurance or homeowners insurance, renters insurance policies can give you access to a larger amount of money in exchange for paying your regular insurance premiums.

When you pay your insurance premium each month, you’re paying for protection just in case. You’ll always hope you’ll never have to file a claim on your policy. Filing a claim means something has gone wrong.

So renters insurance provides peace of mind that you’d have a plan in place in case something bad happened like a natural disaster, vandalism, or burglary.

You could argue against paying for something you hope you’ll never use, but that’s true for any type of insurance coverage. Unfortunately you can’t buy coverage and expect it to cover you after someone has already broken in and destroyed your property.

That’s why I like to think about insurance as a way of protecting your financial freedom. You pay a small fee (insurance premium) so you don’t have to pay a lot more, unexpectedly, after a natural disaster, vandalism, or theft.

Types of Coverage

Here are the basic types of coverage offered by the best renters insurance providers:

Coverage What It Does
Liability

Protects your finances in case someone sues you in court and wins damages because of an injury sustained in your apartment.

In this type of situation, you could be responsible for medical costs, lost wages, or even punitive damages.

Obviously, none of us plan to get into this situation but it happens. Instead of being forced to sell assets to pay these costs, your liability protection should be large enough to cover this.

Personal Property

Could pay to replace your everyday belongings (like your appliances, clothing, furniture, and specialty items like musical instruments and jewelry) which were destroyed by natural disasters, fire, smoke, storm, or water damage or were stolen.

If your items cost a pretty penny, you’ll need to add extended coverage.

Medical Payments

Helps with medical expenses after an injury in your apartment even if you don’t get sued.

In other words, if a house guest gets injured at your rental home, this will cover their medical costs, whether you are liable or not. Medical costs include things like doctor’s fees, X-rays, and hospital stays.

This covers only the medical costs of your guests – so it wouldn’t apply to you or any other members of your household.

Additional Living Expenses Could pay for a hotel, meals, and other accommodations while your apartment gets repaired after a covered peril (water damage, smoke damage, or fire damage in your apartment).

Not all insurance carriers provide all four types of coverage. You may be able to save money by getting a policy without medical payments or without additional living expenses.

MetLife, for example, does not offer additional living expenses coverage. As you shop and compare quotes, be sure you’re comparing policies that offer the same kind of coverage.

How to Get Quotes and Apply For Renters Insurance

Applying for renters insurance is simple. Just enter your basic details into an online form — your name, address, phone number and often your Social Security number.

With Lemonade you could use the company’s mobile app to start the process.

The application may ask about your pets, roommates, and characteristics of the unit (smoke detectors, burglar alarms, etc.).

If you have a dog, it’s worth noting that while most dog breeds are covered by renters insurance, breeds like Chow Chow, Akitas, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, and Staffordshire Terriers, normally aren’t.

These details about your life and your apartment will help determine the price of your monthly insurance premium.

But no matter how much you want an affordable renters insurance policy, make sure you’re truthful in your application. If you don’t tell the truth and then you needed to use the policy, your claim could be denied, and you could be sued for insurance fraud.

Replacement Cost vs. Actual Cash Value

Your insurer may ask whether you want replacement cost coverage or actual cash value coverage. This is an important question. Replacement cost coverage could deliver more security. It could reimburse you for the cost of new stuff.

An actual cash value policy covers only the assessed value of your things. So your policy would pay you the value of your 5-year-old TV — not pay you enough to buy a new TV.

Going with actual cash value coverage could save money on premiums but this decision could cost a lot more if you needed to file a claim for property damage.

A Note About Financial Strength

Insurance providers talk a lot about their financial strength ratings. All of the companies on my list above have stable ratings from A.M. Best and other credit agencies. If you’re shopping with another company check out its financial strength ratings before finalizing your coverage.

This is even more important with life insurance since a policy could last 30 years. But renters insurance policies should come from a stable company, too.

What’s the Best Rental Insurance for Your Needs?

So, there you have it. Renters insurance is cheap and easy to buy. You may not consider it a must, but not having renters coverage means you’re not financially protected if something unexpected happens.

For example, if your personal property – your laptop, TV, record player, that camera you saved so long for and absolutely love – got stolen, your renters insurance policy could help replace them.

Without renters insurance you’d have to replace everything out of your pocket – or make do without them. If you’re broke, you may even have to forget you ever owned them.

No fun, right? That’s why renters insurance is a necessary element of your overall financial fitness.

I hope this list of best renters insurance companies has helped you find the right insurance provider.

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