Renters insurance is something that can protect you when renting an apartment or home, yet many renters go without it. According to an Assurant survey, 45% of renters don't have renters insurance coverage, despite its affordability. The average annual renters insurance premium is just $180, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Renters insurance can cover you against theft, fire, or potential liabilities, such as your dog biting a neighbor.
We evaluated 12 companies to find the best renters insurance providers. For our comparison, we considered price, coverage standards and limits, customer service, and claims processing to find the best companies. Read on to find the right provider that meets your insurance needs.
8 Best Renters Insurance Providers for 2020
Get quotes online instantly, with coverage starting as low as $8 per month
Policies are customizable
Multipolicy discounts are available
Discounts can vary from state to state
State Farm offers nationwide renters insurance coverage at affordable rates with customizable policy options. Multipolicy discounts are available, as are discounts for installing a home security system. This insurer has an A++ rating from AM Best and an AA rating from S&P Global Ratings, thanks to its financial soundness and ability to pay claims.
State Farm's renters insurance covers a wide range of losses and provides loss of use if the property is uninhabitable after a loss. However, it excludes damages to the property itself, water damage caused by flooding, and damage related to earthquakes, landslides, settling, deterioration, animal activity. You also have the option to purchase add-on coverage, including pet medical insurance and identity restoration.
Coverage starts as low as $8.25 per month. Details of coverage can vary in some states, as can discount rates.
Why We Chose It: State Farm wins as the best company for renters insurance overall because of its widespread availability, ease of use when obtaining a quote, and the opportunity to receive rates as low as $8.25 per month.
Identity Protection Services are included with each policy
Outstanding customer service
Flexible payment plans
Loss of use is not included in standard policies
Need to get in touch with an agent for a quote
MetLife is another nationally recognized name that offers renters insurance coverage. Basic policies include coverage to repair or replace property, up the actual cash value. Covered events include tornadoes, hail, fire, theft, and vandalism. Additional coverage is available if you'd like to insure specialty items, such as electronics, musical instruments, luxury items, and sports equipment, for amounts up to $15,000.
Renters insurance from MetLife is available in all 50 states and standard policies include $100,000 in liability coverage. Discounts are available through certain employers and membership organizations, which can save you money on premiums. You can also save through multipolicy discounts.
MetLife offers customer service support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you'd like to get a quote, you'll need to get in touch with a MetLife agent rather than requesting an instant quote online.
Why We Chose It: MetLife is deserving of the runner-up spot because it has nearly the same coverage inclusions as State Farm and has member organization discounts available.
Get a quote online
Multiple discount options
Average rating for customer satisfaction with claims, according to J.D. Power
American Family Insurance offers affordable coverage for renters that includes your personal property, medical bills, liability, replacement costs for stolen items, and hotel stays if you're unable to stay in your rental home because of a covered event. Add-on coverage is available for medical insurance for pets, jewelry can be covered up to $1,500, and you can also include coverage for a home office or home business space. Policy estimates are around $15 per month, on average.
There are multiple ways to get discounted renters insurance coverage, including multipolicy discounts, smart home discounts, and autopay discounts. Bundling with your auto insurance could save you up to 15% on your renters insurance policy, which is comparable to what other companies offer in terms of discounts. Diminishing deductible coverage can reduce your deductible as long as you maintain your policy, which is another way to save money on renters insurance.
Why We Chose It: American Family Insurance gets the nod for best value because the diminishing deductible adds value to the already reasonable rate of $15 per month and it's also eligible for other discounts.
Highly-rated for claims satisfaction
Get a quote or file a claim online
Low-cost coverage, with policies as low as $100 per year
Processing fee applies to start a new policy
Farmers rates near the top for claims satisfaction, according to J.D. Power. The company offers standard renters insurance policies, with discounts for installing home security systems and being a non-smoker. Coverage includes personal liability, personal property, replacement costs for personal property, medical payments, identity theft, and additional living expenses. Policyholders can easily bundle renters policies with auto, personal articles, and life insurance.
You can get a quote online and you can also file a claim online if you experience a covered loss. Farmers has an A, excellent rating with AM Best, a signal of its financial strength and operating ability. Customer service is available seven days a week if you have questions about your policy or need help with making a claim.
Why We Chose It: Farmers wins its category for offering a wide range of coverages, including renters insurance, so you can make it a one-stop-shop for insurance. For example, you can cover yourself as a renter as well as insuring motorcycles, vehicles, pets, electronics, and even your identity.
Multiple discounts are available to reduce premiums
Basic policies include stolen credit card coverage
Easy add-on coverage for collectibles
More expensive than competitors (approximately $20 per month)
Nationwide offers basic renters insurance that covers personal property, loss of use, personal liability, medical payments to others, building additions and alterations, and unauthorized credit card charges. You can also add on coverage for valuables and collectibles, earthquakes, water damage, and theft protection for personal belongings that are stored in a vehicle, trailer, or watercraft.
Discounts are available if you have multiple insurance policies with Nationwide or if the home has protective devices, such as smoke alarms or a burglar system. You can also get a discount for keeping your policy claim-free. One added benefit is the On Your Side Review, which allows you to get a personalized review of your insurance to ensure that you have the right coverage.
Why We Chose It: Nationwide wins its category because it automatically extends coverage to your collectibles, including things like silverware, watches, and furs. Optional coverage is also available for securities, including stamps and deed documents.
Easily make policy changes online
Protect your business equipment
Inexpensive premiums, with premiums starting as low as $6.25/month
Only available in Illinois, Wisconsin, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Utah, and Virginia
If you run a business or side hustle, Toggle can help protect your personal and business property. Renters insurance policies are customizable and you can choose from basic coverage, which includes liability and covers up to $10,000 in personal property, a standard plan if you have a little more personal property to cover ($20,000), or a premium policy if you have more expensive items to cover.
Toggle's renters insurance covers you where you are so if you're a digital nomad who travels for work or you run a business from your living room, you can be protected against covered events such as losing your laptop in an airport or getting mugged while traveling. You can even add on coverage for your pets or identity theft. Each year you're covered and don't file a claim, Toggle will reduce your deductible to help you save money during a claim.
Why We Chose It: Toggle wins its category for having the most comprehensive coverage for home-based business owners and digital nomads. If you're running a home business or side gig and you want to make sure things like computers, cameras, or other business equipment and supplies are protected.
Easy online claims filing
Get discounts when you bundle coverage
Get customized insurance for as low as $5 per month
Discount availability varies from state to state
Liberty Mutual is an insurance company focusing on the process of delivering its promise by making it simple to file a claim online with a step-by-step process in its portal that asks for incident details and photos. It also offers affordable rates for renters insurance, with discounts available when you bundle coverage or when you go five years without a claim. Standard policies include liability coverage, personal property, medical payments, and additional living expenses.
If you need more than that, you can add on coverage for personal property replacement cost, jewelry, or damage caused by earthquakes. Quotes are available online and the company operates in all 50 states so you can get covered no matter where you rent. Claims filing is available 24/7 online or via the Liberty Mutual mobile app and it takes just five to 10 minutes to get your claim started expediting how fast you get a check.
Why We Chose It: Liberty Mutual won its category because of how easy it is to file a claim if your property is damaged or stolen. Claims are started within 10 minutes and often processed within a couple of days.
Competitively priced coverage
Great customer service
No add-on coverage options
Erie Insurance offers personal property and liability coverage for renters in covered states, as well as living expenses coverage. While Erie Insurance doesn't offer as much in geographic range (only available in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C.), it does offer excellent customer service if you need to file a claim or have questions about your policy. Erie assigns a dedicated representative to each policyholder to ensure that your point of contact knows who you are and what your needs typically entail.
Discounts are available when you combine policies with Erie and there are over 13,000 agents available to help. Though basic, policies are affordable for most budgets. Obtaining $20,000 in personal property coverage and $100,000 in liability coverage, for example, will run you around $150 per year, assuming you opt for a $500 deductible.
Why We Chose It: By assigning a dedicated agent to a policyholder, Erie raises the bar with individualized insurance service.
What Is Renters Insurance?
Renters insurance covers you, not your landlord. Your landlord may have insurance that covers the property you're renting but it doesn't extend to your personal possessions. For example, if someone were to break into your apartment and steal your valuables, renters insurance would cover the cost of replacing those items rather than requiring you to replace them out of pocket. If you're sued for something like your dog biting a neighbor, renters insurance could help you avoid a lengthy court case or having to make payments to satisfy a civil judgment.
Some states base insurance rates for renters on credit history, though not all do. Here's an overview of what renters insurance covers.
What Does Renters Insurance Typically Include?
Most policies include at least $100,000 in liability coverage and $10,000 to $15,000 in personal property coverage, though some experts recommend purchasing up to $300,000 in liability coverage. The limits for medical coverage may be lower, at $1,000 to $5,000 as these cover friends and family visiting your property.
Your personal property coverage can include things like computers, jewelry, antiques, collectibles, books, clothing, and other possessions. Getting a quote from multiple renters insurance providers can give you an idea of what baseline coverage is available.
What Does Renters Insurance Typically Exclude?
Higher-value items may not be covered in full by a renters insurance policy. Jewelry, for example, may only be covered up to certain maximum limits (i.e. $1,500). You may be able to purchase a separate rider that would allow you to increase coverage limits. There may also be limitations regarding pets. For instance, your policy may exclude certain dog breeds deemed dangerous or aggressive.
Certain natural disasters, such as earthquakes or floods, may also be excluded from your coverage. Renters insurance doesn't cover vehicles, though it will cover bicycles.
What are the Expected Costs of Renters Insurance?
The average cost of renters insurance premiums is $180 per year. Prices may increase based on how much liability or personal property coverage you choose to include. Doubling liability doesn't affect premium costs the same way that doubling personal property protection does.
Here's an example of pricing for different levels of coverage through State Farm, with a $1,000 deductible. Note that premium costs may decrease with a higher deductible.
Is Paying for Renters Insurance Worth It?
Renters insurance can protect you against financial losses with a relatively small monthly or annual premium cost. While filing a claim may be a rarity, you may be able to bundle your renters insurance policy with your car insurance to bring the cost down even further. Note that when reviewing policies, it's helpful to be familiar with insurance jargon such as replacement cost and actual cash value to better understand the extent of your coverage. Replacement cost is the cost to replace an item, while actual cash value is the replacement cost less any depreciation since you purchased it.
How to File a Claim
If you need to file a renters insurance claim, there are certain steps you'll need to take. Here's a quick checklist of what your insurance company may expect:
- A copy of a police report if you're filing a claim in connection theft or vandalism
- A detailed list of items that were lost or damaged
- Photo or video documentation of the items, if possible
- Records of any living expenses you may incur if you're unable to stay in the rental unit
You will need to use your insurance carrier's online claims form or obtain a claims form directly from the carrier to process any claim.
How We Chose the Rental Insurance Companies
We evaluated a total of 12 rental insurance providers for this review, comparing them based on pricing, customer service, coverage options, and limitations and the ease of filing a claim. The companies included here represent the best combination of cost, ease of use, coverage, and customer support.