Cheap Renter’s Insurance

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Renter’s insurance is an affordable monthly expense that can protect you against damages due to theft of your belongings, liabilities claims, and medical costs. This is different from the homeowners insurance your landlord carries to cover the physical structure you’re living in. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average monthly premium for renter’s insurance is $15 (which comes to $180 per year)—potentially less than what it would cost to replace your belongings or pay for medical bills. 

To assist you in finding the best renter’s insurance providers, we evaluated 14 companies. We looked at factors such as price, customer service, claims processing, and coverage options to find providers that can best meet your insurance needs.

Cheap Renters Insurance

Provider Best For         
State Farm Best Overall   
Liberty Mutual Best for Discounts
Erie Insurance Best for Policy Bundling
Nationwide Best for Customizable Options
Farmers  Best for Deductible Options

Below you'll find renters insurance offers available from our advertising partners, followed by our complete in-depth list of the best cheap renters insurance companies we've found.

Best Overall: State Farm

State Farm
Pros
  • Discounts for bundling policies

  • Get an online quote in seconds

  • Ability to customize coverage

Cons
  • Discounts not available in all states

  • Fewer discounts compared with other insurers

State Farm offers renter’s insurance throughout the U.S. with standard policies that cover various losses, such as jewelry, collectibles, and, if the property is uninhabitable, a loss of use. The company also provides a host of customizable additional policies, such as riders for pet medical insurance, earthquake damage, identity restoration, and additional liability coverage. There are also discounts available for installing a home security system and having multiple policies with State Farm. 

You can choose to apply for renter’s insurance in person with one of State Farm’s more than 19,000 independent agents, or you can apply online and receive a quote within seconds.

Like other insurers, State Farm’s standard policy doesn’t cover damage from earthquakes, deterioration, animal activity, landslides, settling, and flooding. Policyholders can file a claim 24/7 online, by calling 800-732-5246, contacting their agent, or via State Farm’s mobile app on Google Play (4.3 stars, 25,689 ratings) or the App Store (4.8 stars, 200,843 ratings).

Why we chose it – State Farm is our overall winner because of its ease of use, attractive additional coverage, ability to apply for a policy both online and with an agent, and opportunities to receive discounts. 

Best for Discounts: Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual
Pros
  • Multiple discount opportunities

  • Offers one of the best claims services in the country

  • Affordable policies starting at $5 a month

Cons
  • Different discounts depending on location

  • No water damage coverage in standard policy

  • Coverage not available for property worth more than $25,000

Liberty Mutual’s standard policy coverage applies to your personal property (or ones you’re responsible for), liability, and additional living expenses in the event the property is uninhabitable. There are also additional coverage options, such as earthquake insurance, replacement cost coverage, and blanket jewelry protection

The insurer also offers many opportunities to receive discounts. These include discounts for safety and security devices, having multiple policies, being claims free, automatic payments, going paperless, getting a quote before a current one expires, and purchasing online. Liberty Mutual offers a 24/7 claims filing service online or via its mobile app available on Google Play (4.7 stars, 6,241 ratings) and App Store (4.8 stars, 33,098 ratings). 

Why we chose it Liberty Mutual’s extensive discount options make it stand out among the competition.

Best for Policy Bundling: Erie Insurance

Erie Insurance
Pros
  • Significant savings for bundling policies

  • Highly rated customer service

  • Competitively priced

Cons
  • Limited add-on coverage options

  • Only available in 12 states

  • Must contact agent to get quote

Although Erie Insurance is only available in 12 states, it offers a decent discount if you bundle its policies in one of those states. The company claims that in some cases the discount you get on an auto insurance policy may be able to pay for all the premiums for your renter’s policy. There are discounts for properties with alarm and sprinkler systems. Plus, applicants can lock in their rate, which prevents any surprises from increased premiums year after year. 

The insurer’s standard coverage includes up to $3,000 for any one stolen item and up to $500 for cash and metals. It also provides liability and personal property coverage when a policyholder is traveling and coverage for living expenses after a fire or other type of property loss. 

If you need more coverage, Erie offers riders for such things as lock replacement, earthquake protection, identity recovery, and sewer or drain backups, while also allowing floaters that provide higher limits for possessions. You can file a claim by calling 800-367-3743 at any time or contacting your agent. 

Why we chose it Erie Insurance’s discount of up to 25% for those who bundle its policies is very generous.

Best for Customizable Options: Nationwide

Nationwide
Pros
  • Ability to apply for a quote online

  • Multiple discount options

  • Add-on coverage for collectibles and new items

Cons
  • Higher premiums than competitors

  • Lower-than-average ratings for customer satisfaction

  • Not available in Alaska and Louisiana

What stands out about Nationwide is that its basic coverage offers credit card coverage—your policy will pay for unauthorized charges that were made on your card. The standard coverage also includes loss of use if the property is deemed uninhabitable, medical payment for others, personal liability, and theft and loss of belongings. 

Nationwide’s additional coverage also offers what the company calls its “Brand New Belonging” options—for qualifying damaged or stolen items, you’ll either get a brand-new one replaced or receive the difference between the cost to repair the item and its depreciated value. Other coverages you can add on include riders for water backup, earthquakes, and high-value items, such as antiques. You can also get protection for items in your trailer, motor vehicle, or watercraft. 

Like many other insurers, Nationwide offers discounts if you bundle your policies, haven’t filed renter’s insurance claims previously, or have a protective device installed. Policyholders can file a claim online 24/7 or by calling 800-421-3535.

Why we chose it Nationwide’s abundant additional coverage riders make its policies exceedingly flexible.

Best Deductible Options: Farmers

Farmers
Pros
  • Multiple discount options available

  • Ability to choose from different deductible options

  • Available nationwide

Cons
  • No online quotes in some states

  • Processing fee to get coverage

  • Average customer satisfaction ratings

Farmers Insurance offers many deductible options, unlike many other competitors that offer only one or two. In addition to your general deductible, you can choose different ones for areas such as hail, theft, and wind, allowing you to maximize the value of your policy if you’re able to choose areas where the risk of loss is great. 

Farmers’ basic coverage includes personal property, liability, medical payments, and additional expenses. Plus, you can opt for replacement cost coverage (it’ll replace your belongings without factoring in depreciation) and additional coverage for high-ticket items such as electronics and jewelry. 

The company’s discount options aren’t that much different from other insurers and include getting rewarded for bundling policies with Farmers, having a security or fire alarm installed, and being a nonsmoker. You can file a claim online 24/7, by calling 800-435-7764, via the app available on Google Play (4.5 stars, 4,740 ratings) and App Store (4.8 stars, 5,125 ratings).

Why we chose it Farmers Insurance offers a multitude of choices for deductibles that you typically won’t find elsewhere.

Who Can Get Renter’s Insurance?

Virtually anyone who rents can get renter’s insurance. In many cases, your landlord may require it as part of your rental agreement, either before or within a specified amount of time after you sign your lease. For college students, their parents’ homeowners insurance policy may be able to cover their possessions, but it’s best to check the policy.

What Is Not Covered in Renter’s Insurance?

Only your belongings are covered, not those of others living with you unless they’re on your policy. For example, generally, your roommate’s belongings wouldn’t be covered, but your spouse’s would be. 

In most cases, earthquake and flood damage aren’t covered in a standard policy. You can purchase an additional rider or a separate policy for earthquake insurance. Flood coverage is available from some insurers and the National Flood Insurance Program. 

Finally, protection against the physical structure of the building isn’t covered, as that is the landlord’s responsibility.

Can You Get Renter’s Insurance Online?

Yes. Most renter’s insurance companies allow you to apply and receive a policy online. You will need to provide certain information, such as the address where you’re renting, your desired coverage amount, and any additional riders desired.

Once complete, you can either print out your policy documents to show your landlord or have your insurance provider send a copy directly to them or the apartment complex. 

How Fast Can You Get Renter’s Insurance?

Renters can get an insurance policy as soon as the same day. When applying for coverage, you can choose the date when it becomes effective. Some insurance careers let you choose an effective date a few months before your move-in date, though probably not farther out than three months. 

How Much Should You Pay for Renter’s Insurance?

Although the average cost of annual premiums for renter’s insurance is $180 per year, you could pay more or less depending on a number of factors. This can include circumstances out of your control, such as location. Unfortunately, policies can cost more if you’re residing within a natural disaster zone or in an area with a high crime rate. 

Prices may also increase depending on the coverage amount and repayment types. Replacement cost policies, which pay to replace an item with a new identical or equivalent one, tend to be pricier, whereas actual cash value coverage, which factors depreciation into an object’s value, usually results in lower premium amounts. 

Many renters insurance companies are making adjustments to things like late-fees and stopping coverage of renters insurance due to missed payments, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020.

Can You Get Renter’s Insurance Without Car Insurance?

You don’t need to purchase car insurance to qualify for renter’s insurance. Keep in mind that stolen possessions inside your car are covered by some policies, but damages or theft to the vehicle itself are not.

Verdict

Looking for cheap renter’s insurance can take as little as a few minutes and be extremely affordable. If the value of your belongings far outweigh what it costs to pay for a policy, it’s probably worth taking one out

Methodology

We looked at 14 companies and compared them based on coverage options, limitations, customer service, ease of filing a claim, and pricing. These five companies emerged as the winners. 

Article Sources

Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. Insurance Information Institute. "Facts + Statistics: Homeowners and renters insurance: Average Premiums For Homeowners And Renters Insurance, 2008-2017." Accessed Aug. 6, 2020.

  2. Google Play. State Farm app. Accessed Aug. 14, 2020.

  3. App Store. State Farm app. Accessed Aug. 14, 2020.

  4. Google Play. Liberty Mutual Mobile. Accessed Aug. 14, 2020.

  5. App Store. Liberty Mutual Mobile. Accessed Aug. 14, 2020.

  6. Google Play. Farmers Insurance Inc. app. Accessed Aug. 14, 2020.

  7. App Store. Farmers Insurance Mobile app. Accessed Aug. 14, 2020.

  8. FEMA. "Flood Insurance." Accessed Aug. 6, 2020.