Renters 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 where you live. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average monthly premium for renters insurance is $180 per year (which comes to $15 per month)—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.
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.
Cheap Renters Insurance of April 2021
Best Overall : State Farm
Discounts for bundling policies
Get an online quote in seconds
Ability to customize coverage
Discounts not available in all states
Fewer discounts compared with other insurers
State Farm offers renters 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 also are discounts available for installing a home security system and having multiple policies with State Farm.
You can choose to apply for renters 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 for Android devices.
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
Multiple discount opportunities
Offers one of the best claims services in the country
Affordable policies starting at $5 a month
Different discounts depending on location
No water damage coverage in standard policy
Coverage not available for property worth more than $20,000
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 also are 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 for Android devices.
Why we chose it—Liberty Mutual’s extensive discount options make it stand out among the competition.
Best for Policy Bundling : Erie Insurance
Significant savings for bundling policies
Highly rated customer service
Limited add-on coverage options
Available in only 12 states
Must contact agent to get quote
Although Erie Insurance is available in only 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 renters policy. There are discounts for properties with alarm and sprinkler systems.
The insurer’s standard policy includes coverage for any individual stolen item including a little bit of protection 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 things not covered in the main policy. You can file a claim by calling 800-367-3743 at any time or contacting your agent.
Why we chose it—Erie Insurance’s large discount for those who bundle its policies is very generous.
Best for Customizable Options : Nationwide
Ability to apply for a quote online
Multiple discount options
Add-on coverage for collectibles and new items
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 include riders for water backup, earthquakes, and high-value items, such as antiques. You also can 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 renters 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
Deductible options ranging from as low as $50 to as much as $10,000
Multiple discount options available
No online quotes in some states
Average customer satisfaction ratings
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.
Its options for deductibles are not listed upfront on its website, but when you get an online quote, you can choose from more than a dozen combinations of deductibles, with options for all perils ranging from $50 to $10,000 and additional options to add a $250 deductible on theft-related claims or options to add a deductible ranging from $500 to $2,500 on wind- and hail-related claims.
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 Android devices.
Why we chose it—Farmers Insurance offers a multitude of choices for deductibles that you typically won’t find elsewhere.
Compare Cheap Renters Insurance
|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|
Who Can Get Renters Insurance?
Virtually anyone who rents can get renters 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 Renters Insurance?
Only your belongings are covered, not those of others living with you unless they’re on your policy. For example, your roommate’s belongings typically 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 Renters Insurance Online?
Yes. Most renters 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 Renters 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 carriers 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 Renters Insurance?
Although the average cost of annual premiums for renters 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 Renters Insurance Without Car Insurance?
You don’t need to purchase car insurance to qualify for renters 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.
The Bottom Line
Looking for cheap renters 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.
How We Chose the Best Cheap Renters Insurance
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.