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1 Best Renters Insurance Companies and Rates

Best Renters Insurance Companies and Rates

Published by 
Jess Miller
Last updated: 
December 1, 2019
Apartment balcony

As the popularity of renting versus home ownership continues to grow, renter's insurance is increasingly important. Renter's insurance policies are affordable, widely available, and offer extensive coverage. Despite the widespread availability and low expense of renter's insurance, many renters have limited knowledge of what renter's insurance is, who needs it, and what renter's insurance covers.

Renter's insurance is an affordable way for renters to protect valuable personal belongings, cover the expense of temporary living expenses, and—in some circumstances—offers protection from legal liability. All renters should consider a renter's insurance policy.

To make the process of buying renter's insurance even easier, discounts are available for eligible customers, including college students and seniors. We've selected the top rated agencies to bring you the lowdown on their renter's insurance policies, including a breakdown of coverage and annual rates.

Check out our guide for detailed information on 2019's best renter's insurance companies and rates, including:

  • Renter's insurance policies with in-app purchase options
  • Renter's insurance policies with extensive coverage, including water damage
  • Low rate renter's insurance for veterans and members of the military
  • Helpful tips for finding the best rates by region and all available discounts

Read onto to discover the best renter's insurance companies and rates.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Renter's Insurance?

Like homeowner's insurance, renter's insurance policies can protect renters in the event of damage or theft. Unlike the homeowner's insurance, renter's insurance does not protect renters from property damage or certain natural disasters. Renter's insurance can reimburse renters for stolen and damaged belongings resulting from burglary and some natural disasters.

2. Who Needs Renter's Insurance?

apartment architecture balcony building
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All renters should consider a renter's insurance policy. As the popularity of renting to homeownership increases, the importance of renter's insurance increases alongside this rising trend among young people. Renter's insurance policies range in budget, but are highly affordable, with several options available to suit college students, families, and young professionals.

3. What Does a Renter's Insurance Policy Typically Cover?

A renter's insurance policy can reimburse the value of personal belongings and protect renters from legal liability in the event that a guest or visitor is physically harmed on their property (coverage varies).

Policies vary, but most renter's insurance will cover:

  • Fire and theft
  • Water damage (excluding floods)
  • Injury
  • Temporary living expenses
  • Personal belongings and valuables In addition to standard coverage, add on coverage is available and varies by company.

Some forms of add on coverage for renter's insurance include:

  • Identity fraud protection
  • Earthquake damage

Inquire about coverage and add on coverage with a licensed insurance agent.

4. Why is Renter's Insurance Important?

The primary reason most renters should think about getting a renter's insurance policy is to protect their possessions and personal belongings.

Although a landlord or building owner's insurance policy protects renters from the coast of property damages, only a renter's insurance policy can offer protection of possessions and personal belongings by reimbursing policyholders with a payout amount to replace damaged or stolen goods.

House destructed by fire
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Renter's insurance also protects residents from legal liability, an area of the law which many renters may possess a limited understanding. In other words: if a guest or visitor suffers an injury while on a renter's property, renter's insurance could protect policyholders from legal liability and potential lawsuits, should the injured party decide to file a claim against the renter.

Lastly, a lesser-known benefit of renter's insurance is coverage for hotel stays in the event that a disaster (such as a fire or earthquake) temporarily displaces residents from their home.

5. Does Renter's Insurance Cover Fire and Theft?

House Burning
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Renter's insurance policies cover damages resulting from fire or theft after the policyholder has paid their deductible amount. In most circumstances, damages for stolen goods are eligible for reimbursement once deductibles are met, based on the amount of coverage policyholders purchase.

6. What is The Difference Between Actual Cash Value and Replacement Cost?

Most renter's insurance policies offer payout amount options specific to one of two choices: actual cash value or replacement cost. While the terms may seem interchangeable, their definitions are not the same.

Policies that payout for damages in actual cash value reimburse renters for the actual amount of an item at the time of purchase. For example, a laptop damaged in a fire purchased ten years ago would receive a reimbursement amount for the actual cash value of the same computer today.

In comparison, a policyholder with a replacement cost plan would receive reimbursement to replace the laptop without losing money on the depreciation rate. A renter's insurance policy that pays out damages in replacement costs will reimburse the renter with the full costs to replace the damaged laptop.

7. Can Renter's Insurance Protect Renters Away from Home?

Burglar trying to open window at night using crowbar
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A renter's insurance policy can protect renters while on vacation, and replace stolen goods taken from other locations outside of the renter's home, including stolen goods resulting from car theft or break-ins.

8. Does Renter's Insurance Cover Injury Resulting From a Dog Bite?

Policies vary, but some renter's insurance plans protect renters from legal liability in the event of a dog bite. Renters should inquire about dog bite protection with their insurance agent for details regarding dog bite injury coverage, as certain breeds face exclusion from several policies coverage guidelines.

9. Does Renter's Insurance Cover Damage Resulting from a Flood?

Most renter's insurance companies do not cover flooding or replace goods damaged by a flood. In most circumstances, renters should consider flood insurance if they are at risk of flooding.

10. Where Can I Buy Renter's Insurance?

House on Grass
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Renter's insurance is available through several national insurance agencies, including State Farm, Allstate, and Nationwide. Free quotes are available on most company websites, and policies can be purchased either online or by phone with the help of a licensed insurance agent.

11. Is Renter's Insurance Worth It?

Renter's insurance is an inexpensive policy that protects renters from damages and stolen property with policies that offer a variety of coverage amounts. Ranter's insurance is a valuable investment that is a fraction of the expense of auto and life insurance. Purchasing a renter's insurance policy is wise for all renters, and the protection offered by each policy's coverage makes renters insurance worth it.

How We Chose Our Favorites

Accuracy is important to us, that's why the companies featured on our Best Of guides earn a spot on our list through a rigorous research process.

The companies featured on our Best Of guides are sourced only from top rated choices in their respective categories, put to the test by our team of consumer specialists, then reviewed by a team of experts before earning a spot on our list.

Erie: Best Renter's Insurance for Northeast and Midwestern States

Erie

Image source: erieinsurance

For renters residing in several states spanning the northeast, midwest, and areas of the south, Erie Insurance offers renter's insurance policies that consistently receive the highest ratings from J.D. Power and Associates.

Erie's reputation for excellent customer service and satisfaction place the company at the top ranking among competitors. Erie Insurance coverage is only available in select states, but residents of Ohio, Illinois, New York, and several states spanning the midwest and southern regions of the country should take advantage of Erie's top customer service ratings and extensive coverage.

Pros and Cons

Erie Insurance ranks number one among competitors according to J.D. Power and Associates. The company offers several policies that customers may bundle with renter's insurance. Erie Insurance is available in select regions of the northeast, midwest, and certain areas of the southern United States.

Where to Buy

Customers can receive a free quote using the company's website. Customer service is available through Erie's website by phone or live chat.

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State Farm: Best Renter's Insurance for Low Rates

State Farm

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State Farm is an excellent choice for inexpensive renter's insurance that offers consistently low rates and extensive coverage. State Farm is a national insurance agency with a presence across the United States. The company ranks high in customer service, beating Allstate for overall satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates.

State Farm's renter's insurance policies are highly specific to renters needs and are customized to fit just about any renter's profile. By answering a short questionnaire on the company's website, State Farm offers free quotes and available discounts to each customer, along with coverage limits individually tailored to your requirements.

State Farm's licensed insurance agents receive high customer satisfaction ratings and guide customers through the process by taking the guesswork out of buying renter's insurance.

Pros and Cons

State Farm receives high ratings for customer satisfaction and offers extensive coverage at low rates.

Where to Buy

A State Farm policy can be purchased with the assistance of a licensed State Farm Insurance agent. Visit the company's website for more information and to receive a free quote.

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Lemonade: Best for Instant Renter's Insurance

Lemonade

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Lemonade is a direct, online insurance agency that provides customers with a quote and policy in minutes. Lemonade uses an artificial intelligence bot to asses prospective customers needs, answer any questions regarding the process, and issue renters an insurance policy all within the Lemonade app.

Although highly tech-savvy, Lemonade is a user-friendly app that guides customers through the process of purchasing renter's insurance, typically in under ten minutes. Currently, Lemonade coverage is available in only seventeen states, but the company is rapidly expanding.

Pros and Cons

Lemonade's app and artificial intelligence bot, Maya, easily guide customers through the process of buying renter's insurance in minutes. For renters who purchase more insurance than they require, Lemonade charges no deductible. Lemonade approves claims instantly, with twenty-five percent of the company's renter's insurance claims paid in under five seconds.

Where to Buy

Free quotes are available online, and policies are purchased directly through the Lemonade app. Currently, renters residing in seventeen states spanning several regions of the country may purchase a Lemonade renter's insurance policy.

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Allstate

Allstate

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Allstate is a national insurance agency with a presence in all fifty states. Allstate receives consistently high rankings in customer satisfaction for its renter's insurance, auto, and homeownér policies. Like Lemonade, Allstate customers can manage their account through the company's website and apps.

While Allstate customers can manage their account features entirely online, they will need to speak with one of the company's licensed insurance agents by phone or live chat to purchase a renter's insurance policy. Allstate coverage is highly specific to customers needs and can be tailored to include only the coverage for which renters would like to pay.

Pros and Cons

Allstate ranks fifth in customer satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates. The company's apps are streamlined and easy to navigate, offering complete account management virtually.

Where to Buy

Allstate renter's insurance policies can be purchased by phone or through the company's website with the help of a licensed Allstate insurance agent.

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Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual

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Liberty Mutual is another nationwide lender that frequently offers rates among the lowest in the industry. Liberty Mutual's low rates for renter's insurance policies run neck and neck with State Farm, so customers looking for the lowest rates possible should get a quote from both agencies.

Liberty Mutual's annual rates for renter's insurance are low, making the company an excellent choice for renters in search of the cheapest policies, especially college students and young professionals.

Pros and Cons

Liberty Mutual is a national insurance company with a presence in all fifty states. Rates are remarkably affordable, typically averaging second lowest rates nationwide.

Where to Buy

Customers can visit the company's website for a free quote. A renter's insurance policy is available with the assistance of a licensed Liberty Mutal insurance agent.

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Nationwide

Nationwide

Image source: nationwide

As its name implies, Nationwide offers renter's insurance policies to residents across the United States. Their policies are typically among the most customizable, allowing renters to tailor coverage to their specific needs and limits. The company's website features a free online quote tool, and rates typically fall within the average range.

While Nationwide's rates are typically mid-range between Liberty Mutual and more expensive options like Farmer's Insurance, the company's premiums are often much higher in some areas of the country. Renters in the metro Detroit area may want to seek a lower budget alternative to Nationwide.

Pros and Cons

Nationwide offers highly customizable renter's insurance policies with a range of coverage options for residents in all fifty states. The company's rates range from average to low in most regions of the country, but premiums run as much as two and a half times higher in the metro Detroit region.

Where to Buy

A Nationwide renter's insurance policy can be purchased with the help of a Nationwide insurance agent by phone or live chat. The company's website provides free online quotes, and its live customer service associates are knowledgeable and friendly.

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USAA

USAA

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USSA provides members of the military and their families with comprehensive renter's insurance policies at low rates. In addition to low rates, USAA's renter's insurance policies cover damages that are frequently excluded from most other plans, including damage from flooding, lightning, and windstorms.

USAA renter's insurance specializes in serving military members and is tailored to meet the needs of military families and veterans.

Pros and Cons

USAA goes above and beyond in terms of coverage, offering protection from floods, lightning, and windstorm where other companies do not. The company's rates typically fall among the lowest available. USAA renter's insurance is available to enlisted military members, veterans, and their families only.

Where to Buy

A USAA renter's insurance policy can be purchased online with the help of a knowledgeable USAA licensed insurance agent.

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Final Verdict: Our Pick for The Best Renter's Insurance Policy

Apartment Loft
Image source: pixabay

Ultimately, the best renter's insurance varies considerably based on several determining factors. Various factors including region, living arrangement, and available discounts affect rates. When shopping for a renter's insurance policy, it's helpful to keep in mind that local insurers often provide the lowest rates when compared with nationwide insurers like State Farm.

Residents of the Northeast and Midwest may find the lowest rates for renter's insurance with Erie, while west coast resident may find the lowest rates with agencies local to their region. In terms of nationwide coverage, top-rated customer service, and top-rated website, Allstate is our pick for the best renter's insurance policy.

Why We Chose Allstate

Allstate's renter's insurance policies offer extensive coverage at modest rates, and the company's two apps (Allstate Mobile and Digital Locker) simplify the process of account management and filing claims online.

In terms of protection for personal belongings, Allstate ranks among the highest in customer satisfaction, thanks to their generous payouts for stolen or damaged high ticket items like jewelry and electronics.

Coverage

Tornado devastated
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Extensive coverage sets Allstate apart from competitors, and the company covers certain forms of damage that other companies exclude. For example, an Allstate renter's insurance policy covers water and sewer damage where most other companies do not.

It should be noted, however, that water damage is not synonymous with flood damage, and renters with an Allstate policy are still required to purchase flood damage separately (if interested or at risk).

Feature Packed Apps

Among millennial renters and college students, Allstate is a favorite for its feature-packed apps, Allstate Mobile and Digital Locker. The apps allow policyholders to manage their Allstate accounts entirely online, with assistance from knowledgeable live chat agents to answer any questions or concerns.

Customer Satisfaction and Modest Rates

In addition to ranking fifth out of thirteen for customer satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates, Allstate received an A+ Rating from A.M. Best for financial strength. Allstate provides free quotes and modest rates to renters in most areas of the United States.

Apartments
Image source: pixabay

However, renters in the metro Detroit area may want to seek an alternative to Allstate, as the company's premiums average over two times as high for residents of Detroit and the city's surrounding suburbs.

Allstate offers several discounts to save renters even more on their plans, including reduced rates for senior citizens and multipolicy holders who bundle their renter's insurance with an Allstate auto insurance policy.

Overall, we chose Allstate renter's insurance for low annual rates and extensive coverage, award-winning customer service, and secure account management online with Allstate Mobile and Digital Locker.

Featured image source: pexels

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