Renting an apartment or house does not eliminate the need for insurance. Renter's insurance protects your personal belongings from loss or theft and provides liability coverage for you in the event someone is injured while in the living space you are renting. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, renter's insurance isn’t prohibitively expensive at about $15 to $30 per month and the protection it affords is well worth the modest cost. Among the many companies that sell renter's insurance, reviewers and experts have identified several that offer exceptional coverage and value.
Allstate Corp. (ALL), one of the best-reviewed renter's insurance companies, is especially well-known for its exceptional online resources. These resources, including the "What’s Your Stuff Worth?" tool and Digital Locker app, make determining the value of personal belongings and accounting for them a breeze.
Although Allstate’s premiums can be more expensive than average in some high-risk areas, the company does provide water and sewer damage coverage as part of its renter's insurance policy. Allstate also provides great coverage for high-ticket items, such as jewelry.
Liberty Mutual also provides superior online resources, a desirable feature for many renter's insurance buyers. Although pricing can be high in some geographic areas, overall the company’s quotes are very competitive. When seeking a quote from Liberty Mutual, the online tool allows you to modify coverage for personal property, identify theft, computers and jewelry, providing a helpful and painless way to determine how much coverage to purchase.
State Farm rates are among the lowest available. The easy-to-use online quote tool allows for adding coverage for things like computers and jewelry as needed. Flexibility is also a hallmark of State Farm’s liability coverage. State Farm provides a range of deductible options, as well as flexibility with the level of liability and medical payment coverage.
One note of caution: water and sewer backup coverage is not included and is not available online. For that, you need to speak to a local agent. You can locate an agent through the online portal or by checking Yellowpages.com.
American Family features lower-than-average premiums, but coverage areas are somewhat limited and you can’t purchase its renter's insurance in some parts of the U.S. The website, while helpful, provides an estimate and not a complete quote. Since coverage isn’t available everywhere, you first need to determine if there is an agent in your area. That’s can be easily done on the website by clicking the “Find an Agent” button.
The policies include the availability of extended (floater) coverage on high-value items, such as computers, jewelry, a stamp or coin collection, etc. This is a plus as not all companies offer extended coverage.
Nationwide does have stricter-than-usual limits for high-ticket items. Many insurance companies will reimburse you up to $5,000 for lost or stolen jewelry and similar items. Nationwide’s limit is $500. You can increase coverage for expensive items – at a higher cost.
Coverage does include the building and additions, which means if there is damage to an exterior hallway or carport that is part of your rental property, Nationwide will reimburse you up to a designated limit.
Farmers is one of the more competitive insurers out there. The company’s online quote tool is flexible, especially with regard to liability, medical payment and the deductible part of the coverage. However, the tool has limited availability and can only be used in 19 states. Unlike many insurance companies, Farmers does not provide an online chat service, but solid claims management and a very good mobile app help make up for that shortcoming.
Although coverage for jewelry is lower than average, coverage for electronics is exceptional. Overall, Farmers offers very competitive rates, a real plus for most renters. The company’s variable deductible feature is especially worth noting, depending on risk factors in your area.
The Bottom Line
Any of the companies listed here can provide cost-effective renter's insurance coverage, provided coverage is available where you live. Remember, it costs nothing to get a quote, and the online quote process is easy with most insurers. In general, the more quotes you can get, the better.
Make sure you obtain sufficient coverage for your belongings and to protect you in the event of an accident on the property you rent. Adjust the deductible to a level that is comfortable and set monthly premiums in an affordable range.