Best Renters Insurance | Top Policies & Providers For 2020
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.
11 Best Renters Insurance Companies
Here are the 11 best renters insurance companies in 2020:
- 🏆 Lemonade: Best Overall
- Allstate: Best for Policy Bundles
- Liberty Mutual: Best for Claims Satisfaction
- State Farm: Best for Policy Discounts
- Nationwide: Best for Coverage Options Available
- Auto Club of Southern California Insurance Group: Best Ranked by J.D. Power
- American Family: Best for Competitive Rates
- USAA: Best for Military Families
- Toggle: Best for Business Owners
- Erie Insurance: Best for Customer Service
- Jetty: Best for Airbnb Hosts
Lemonade is a newbie compared to many other insurance providers – but it’s already receiving lots of praise. I think it’s an excellent choice for millennials because Lemonade takes a different approach and its policies have plenty of unique features.
- 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 easy to use.
- 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, in 2016, it set a new world record 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- You can file a claim online. Some larger insurers still require phone claims. Liberty Mutual has online and over-the-phone agents available.
- Bundle discount. You can save money with Liberty Mutual if you bundle renters and auto insurance.
- Not the cheapest rates. Liberty Mutual does not always offer the best rates for renters insurance policies, though prices vary by market and in special promotional periods you can learn about why shopping around.
- 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.
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.
- Instant online quotes. State Farm has offices all over, but there’s no need to leave the comfort of your home. You could get quick and free insurance quotes online by entering a few details about your life and your personal belongings.
- Customizable policies. You could tailor your policy to your needs – like increasing the amount of personal property you want or getting additional coverage to protect you from identity theft or an earthquake.
- 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.
- Pocket Agent App. You can also access lots of information via the State Farm app like getting a quote or submitting a claim or just confirming what your policy covers. It even has an ATM locator. Pretty handy!
- Agents everywhere. If you’re the kind of shopper who likes to meet with agents in person, you’ll like State Farm which has offices just about everywhere.
- Competitive rates – but not the cheapest. Those looking for the best renters insurance rates can find cheaper premiums elsewhere.
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.
- Online access. You can get your insurance quote as well as apply for the policy online.
- 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.
- 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.
Auto Club of Southern California Insurance Group
Auto Club of Southern California Insurance Group was ranked best in J.D. Power’s 2018 U.S. Home Insurance Study – and it has received highest ratings for overall satisfaction, policy, and price.
- Highly-rated provider. According to the findings of the J.D. Power survey (which surveyed 14,122 homeowners and renters), customers are happy with Auto Club of Southern California Insurance.
- Easy online quote. Getting a renters insurance quote online is easy – you’ll enter some details, and voila!
- Customer Satisfaction. Customers also ranked the provider well in terms of the price of its policies, so you should be getting a good deal.
- Variety of policies. Since Auto Club of Southern California Insurance Group offers so many different types of policies, you can combine the product offerings and save as a result.
- Limited availability. Only available in Los Angeles, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Orange, Riverside, Mono, San Diego, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Tulare, Santa Barbara, and Ventura.
American Family Insurance
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.
- Get a quote online. As with most other insurance providers now, you can easily and quickly get a quote online.
- Affordable rates. If you’re looking for affordable renters insurance, American Family offers low prices compared to some other insurance providers.
- On top of the affordable rates, you can also get several discounts. Examples include multi policy (e.g., for bundling auto and renters), smart home (available to customers who use smart home tools that may help monitor break-ins), and discounts available to those who don’t make a claim for a certain period of time. Plus, there are others, like Payment, Loyalty, and Generational.
- Offers Pet Insurance. If your pet is hurt as a result of a covered loss, American Family will pay for veterinary costs and final expenses.
- Average insurance claims satisfaction. According to the 2018 J.D. Power study, the claims satisfaction was about average.
USAA Renters Insurance
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.
- 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.
- Limited Availability. USAA renters insurance is only available for U.S. military members and their families.
Toggle Renters Insurance
Toggle claims to have “hit the refresh button on renters insurance” – and it’s hard to argue with that.
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.
- 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.
- Wide variety of policies to choose from. 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.
- 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.
Erie Renters Insurance
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Jetty Insurance specializes in providing easy-to-access coverage options.
- 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.
- Available nearly nationwide. Another great thing about Jetty is that it’s widely available – you can access it in 46 states.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. Lemonade even has plans starting at just $5 a month.
- 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.
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.
Also, some landlords will require you to get a renters insurance policy – and that’ll be written into 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.
Types of Coverage
Here are the basic types of coverage offered by the best renters insurance providers:
Personal Property Coverage
Personal Property Coverage includes coverage for your everyday belongings like your appliances, clothing, furniture, and specialty items like musical instruments and jewelry. If your items cost a pretty penny, you’ll need to add extended coverage.
Medical Payments to Others
If a house guest gets injured at your rental home, this will cover their medical costs, whether you are liable or not. Medical payment includes 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.
Liability coverage protects you if someone gets injured and then sues you for damages. A judge could decide you’re responsible for the injury. This could mean you’re on the hook for medical costs, lost wages, or even punitive damages.
Liability protection could prevent the judge from ordering your assets sold to pay these costs. Your liability protection should be large enough to cover your biggest financial assets.
Personal liability seems like no big deal until you need it. Sure, none of us plan to get into this situation but it happens.
Additional Living Expenses/ Loss of Use
If you are temporarily displaced as a result of the water damage, smoke damage, or fire damage in your apartment, this part of your renters policy could pay your additional living expenses. These expenses may include hotels and even restaurants, depending on the policy.
|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.|
|Personal Property||Could pay to replace your personal belongings which were destroyed by natural disasters, fire, smoke, storm, or water damage or were stolen.|
|Medical Payments||Helps with medical expenses after an injury in your apartment even if you don’t get sued.|
|Additional Living Expenses||Could pay for a hotel, meals, and other accommodations while your apartment gets repaired after a covered peril.|
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.
Best Renters Insurance: Summed Up
|Renters insurance||Best for…|
|3.||Liberty Mutual||Claims Satisfaction|
|4.||State Farm||Policy Discounts|
|5.||Nationwide||Coverage Options Available|
|6.||Auto Club of Southern California||J.D. Power Ranking|
|7.||American Family||Competitive Rates|
|10.||Erie Insurance||Customer Service|
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.
And now – are you unsure whether to rent or buy? Check out my post Rent or Buy? How I made $350,000 In 4 Years.
You may also want to learn about how buying a home can help you reach financial freedom in 3 Best Ways to Buy a Home in 2020.
Other Renters Insurance Companies
These companies did not make our top list of best renters insurance providers, but it doesn’t hurt to do in-depth research on all companies before you chose your policy:
Renters Insurance by State
To learn more about renters insurance by state, check out the following articles:
- California Renters Insurance
- Georgia Renters Insurance
- Maryland Renters Insurance
- New Jersey Renters Insurance
- North Carolina Renters Insurance
- Oregon Renters Insurance
- Pennsylvania Renters Insurance
- Texas Renters Insurance
Renters Insurance by City
Or, to learn more about renters insurance by city, check out the following articles: