What are the best renters insurance companies?
Think you don’t need a renters insurance policy unless you’re older, well-off, and have expensive furniture or art collections?
If so, you’ve bought into one of the myths about renters insurance. And without basic personal liability coverage for your property, you’re playing fast and loose with your financial future.
Peace of mind is priceless, and it costs less than you may think to protect yourself from potential financial ruin. And you have no shortage of cheap renters insurance coverage options to choose from.
Best Renters Insurance Companies
These are the best renters insurance companies on the market. But no two insurers are alike, so before choosing a policy, carefully consider each company’s relative strengths and weaknesses, not just its insurance rates.
Best Overall: Amica
Amica delivers reasonably priced, customer-friendly renters insurance with a smile. Policies start under $20 per month, although your actual premium will vary based on where you live, what you’re covering, and which optional add-ons you choose.
Amica separates itself from the pack with clear value-adds like:
- A rapid application process that generates a working policy within minutes
- Up to 15% off when you combine renters, auto, life, and umbrella policies
- Loyalty discount after just 2 years with Amica
- Claim-free discount after just 3 years
- A+ (Superior) financial strength rating from A.M. Best
Best Bundle Discount: Erie Insurance
Erie Insurance is renowned for deeply discounted policy bundles. Combine your renters policy with auto insurance, life insurance, car insurance, or other policies, and you could qualify for premium discounts of 30% or more.
- Ranked second overall customer satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2020 home insurance study
- More than 12,000 local agents (an average of 1,000 per state served)
- Great homeowners insurance when you’re ready to buy
- A+ (Superior) financial strength rating from A.M. Best
Best Online Application Process: Lemonade
Lemonade is a lean, nimble renters and home insurance provider with a speedy onboarding process and an all-online policy application workflow that makes it easy to get renters insurance and get on with your life. Lemonade brags that the typical application takes just 90 seconds to complete, an order of magnitude faster than most competitors.
- Top honors in J.D. Power’s 2020 home insurance study (866 out of 1,000 points)
- Basic policies start as low as $5 per month
- Operates as a Public Benefit Corporation and certified B-Corp, managing a “triple bottom line” — people, planet, profit
- Fast, partially automated claims process — the average claim takes just 3 minutes to complete
Best Local Agent Network: State Farm
State Farm is one of the largest U.S. insurers, period, and boasts the largest local agent network of any renters insurance company on this list: nearly 20,000 in all. You don’t have to work with a State Farm agent to open or manage a renters insurance policy, but it’s nice to know you can turn to a live person in your community when the need arises.
- A++ (Superior) financial strength rating from A.M. Best
- Add-ons include special hazard coverage (earthquake, flood) and scheduled personal property protection for valuable items
- Save up to 17% when you bundle renters insurance and auto insurance
Best for Policy Add-ons: Allstate
Allstate is a full-service insurer that’s often mentioned in the same breath as State Farm. While State Farm’s local agent network is a bit bigger, Allstate noses ahead when it comes to policy add-ons like:
- Scheduled personal property
- Identity theft restoration coverage
- Umbrella insurance, which Allstate says is a must for pet owners in multi-tenant buildings
- Guest medical coverage, even if you’re not at fault
- Add renters insurance to an existing auto policy for as little as $4/mo
- Average monthly premium of $16
- 25% discount for nonworking seniors (55 and older)
Best for Actual Cash Value Replacement Coverage: Nationwide
Nationwide’s standard renters insurance coverages go beyond many competitors’. For example, it includes identity theft protection and zero-liability fraud protection for unauthorized debit card purchases at no additional cost — above-and-beyond rarities that can really come in handy for budget-conscious renters.
Nationwide also has an optional replacement cost add-on called Brand New Belongings. If you’re willing to pay modestly higher premiums, Nationwide promises to reimburse you at the estimated cost of buying new replacements for stolen or damaged items — rather than their current cash value, as is more common. This coverage is likely to pay for itself after a single burglary or covered loss.
Best for Professional Discounts: Farmers Insurance
Farmers Insurance is one of the few renters insurance companies that advertises premium discounts for certain types of public servants, including firefighters and teachers. These discounts vary by location and may not be available in all areas, but they’re a nice leg up for hardworking, often-underpaid renters.
- Smoke-free household discount (after 2 years)
- Affinity discounts for members of partner organizations
- “Personal articles floaters” (customizable sub-policies) for specific items worth over $500
Best Online Renters Insurance Broker: Policygenius
The quote aggregator Policygenius doesn’t issue policies of its own, but it’s worth including on this list. Policygenius walks you through the policy-building process, helping you save time by selecting from a range of coverages, deductibles, and add-ons and receiving quotes from multiple providers.
You’ll get a slew of renters insurance offers in an easy-to-understand format, making it painless to select the most cost-effective policy without sifting through emails or spending hours on the phone.
Methodology: How We Select the Best Renters Insurance Companies
We use several important metrics to evaluate renters insurance companies. We pay special attention to metrics relevant to companies’ likelihood of paying out claims, to policyholders’ range of choices and relative cost, and to the overall customer experience.
Financial Strength Rating
A third-party financial strength rating measures how likely an insurer is to pay out on claims, based on financial reserves and other factors. We use ratings from highly regarded independent rating agencies that impartially assess insurers.
Customer Satisfaction Rating
We also use third-party customer satisfaction ratings that use customer surveys and other data to determine how well companies treat their customers (on average). While your experience could vary, a high customer satisfaction rating should provide some assurance that your insurer will treat you well.
Renters insurance isn’t as complicated as some other types of insurance, but it does take different forms and may involve riders (add-ons) that affect policy cost and coverage. And while insurers with more coverage options aren’t necessarily better than more narrowly tailored competitors, we do prefer those capable of meeting a wide range of customer needs.
Renters insurance is not as expensive as homeowners insurance, on average. It’s also not as expensive as many first-time applicants fear.
Still, premiums do vary by insurer and policy. We aim to find insurers that offer better overall value for policyholders’ money — not necessarily the absolute lowest cost but a favorable balance between pricing, coverage, and claims.
Applying for property insurance shouldn’t be an ordeal. And while most renters insurance companies now process applications online, the duration and complexity of the experience varies widely. We prefer companies that make applying for renters insurance — as well as adding or dialing back coverage — as easy as possible
When you file a legitimate claim, you have every right to expect your insurance company to process, approve, and pay it quickly. Unfortunately, this isn’t the norm. We pay close attention to customer-reported claims issues and third-party evaluations of insurers’ claim processes to ensure that we’re recommending companies that actually make good on their promises.
Renters Insurance FAQs
You have questions about renters insurance. We have answers.
Do You Really Need Renters Insurance?
Probably. Despite persistent myths to the contrary, renters insurance makes sense for many renters.
If you don’t want to pay out of pocket to replace possessions of value — even “everyday” items like your TV, couch, or home computer — renters insurance is a good investment. And you can’t expect your landlord’s property insurance policy to replace these possessions. Their policy only insures the building itself, which doesn’t help you at all.
Renters insurance can also shield you from liabilities that may arise in the course of your occupancy. For example, if a guest injures themselves in your apartment, you could be the one held liable for their medical bills and lost income, not your landlord. Renters insurance can help pick up the tab.
How Much Does Renters Insurance Cost?
Not as much as you might think. Your actual monthly or annual premium depends on factors like:
- The policy’s dollar value (the maximum it’ll cover)
- The policy’s deductible (how much you have to pay out of pocket before coverage kicks in)
- Whether you have any unusually valuable possessions, such as gold or diamond jewelry (these may require supplemental insurance)
- Whether your policy covers items’ replacement cost value (RCV) or actual cash value (ACV) — the former being considerably more expensive
But a basic ACV policy with a relatively low coverage limit and relatively high deductible is likely to be very affordable — maybe as little as $10 or $20 per month. That’s not much more than the cost of your favorite streaming subscription.
What Does Renters Insurance Cover?
Renters insurance policies provide three broad types of coverage:
- Contents coverage, which reimburses you for possessions lost or damaged by covered perils
- Liability coverage, which defrays the cost of lawsuits brought by people injured or sickened in your rental
- Loss of use coverage, which helps pay for temporary housing if your rental unit becomes uninhabitable due to a covered event
Renters insurance policies use one of two lenses to determine whether to cover particular events: “named perils” and “all risk” policies.
The former limits coverage to events specifically named in the policy, while the latter covers claims related to any event except those specifically excluded in the policy. “Named perils” policies have lower average premiums than “all risk” policies.
What’s the Difference Between RCV and ACV?
Renters insurance policies use two different scales to calculate payouts: replacement cost value (RCV) and actual cash value (ACV).
An RCV policy calculates replacement cost based on current market value for an acceptable replacement. In other words, RCV pays enough for a brand-new replacement.
An ACV policy accounts for depreciation. It pays what the insurer thinks you’d get for an item if you sold it used. For older items, that’s far less than RCV.
Because they promise higher payouts, RCV policies have higher premiums than ACV policies. If you have a lot of relatively new possessions, an ACV policy could still provide a decent payout while fitting better into your budget.
How to Choose the Best Renters Insurance Company
When evaluating renters insurance companies, consider how they address your specific coverage needs as a renter. Ask questions like:
- Does the insurer offer policies with contents coverage, liability coverage, and loss of use coverage?
- Do payouts use the replacement cost value (RCV) or actual cash value (ACV) scale?
- Do policies cover “all risk” or “named perils” only?
- Can you add supplemental coverage for valuable items directly to the insurer’s policies?
- What other riders or modifications are available?
You’ll want to assess factors like financial strength ratings and customer satisfaction ratings as well. Even if an insurer appears to tick all the boxes, it’s not much good if they’re not able to pay out on a future claim.