Imagine coming home to find all of your possessions destroyed in a fire or other catastrophe. Your landlord’s insurance policy won’t help you; it covers building repairs only, not your personal belongings. That’s why it pays to have renters insurance.
Dozens of insurers offer renters policies. Which one is right for you? NerdWallet evaluated some of the top renters insurance companies for financial strength, ease of filing and tracking a claim, coverage options, discounts and other factors. Below are the companies that came out on top.
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The best renters insurance companies
Here are NerdWallet’s picks for the best renters insurance. Click on the companies’ names to read our reviews. And check back soon, as we’re adding more renters insurance reviews all the time.
|Note: Not all insurers are available in all states.|
|*USAA renters insurance is available only to active military, veterans and their families.|
More about the best renters insurance companies
Offering renters insurance in every state except Alaska and Hawaii, Amica stands out for how few consumer complaints it receives relative to its size, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. It also has an easy-to-use website that allows renters to get quotes, pay bills and file and track claims online at any time.
You can add extra coverage to a renters policy for jewelry, electronics and other valuables. You can also sign up for replacement cost coverage, which gives you enough money to buy new items if your belongings are damaged or stolen, rather than simply reimbursing you for the current (depreciated) value of those lost items.
Discounts are available for people who pay their bills automatically, sign up for paperless billing, bundle car insurance with renters policies, stay with their insurer for at least two years, or go without filing a claim for at least three years.
Country Financial is a solid option if you live in one of the 19 states the company serves. It receives far fewer consumer complaints than expected for an insurer of its size, according to the NAIC.
For renters who want a little extra coverage, Country Financial has generous limits. It offers up to $1 million of liability insurance in case you’re sued, plus up to $25,000 in medical payments to those injured on your property. You can also add extra coverage if you have valuable items such as engagement rings or musical instruments.
You can save money by bundling your renters policy with another type of Country Financial insurance (such as auto) or going at least five years without filing a claim.
In addition to the basics, such as liability and personal property coverage, Nationwide’s standard renters insurance policies include credit card coverage and building addition/alteration coverage for no extra cost. That means you’re covered for unauthorized charges on your credit and debit cards (up to your policy limit); if your landlord lets you make improvements to your home, those are covered as well.
Nationwide offers a basic slate of discounts for people who are claim-free, have multiple Nationwide policies or have smoke detectors and other protective devices installed in their homes.
Nationwide receives about the expected number of consumer complaints for a company of its size, according to three years’ worth of data from the NAIC.
Travelers puts renters first in a variety of ways. Its user-friendly website makes it easy to file and track claims online, learn about coverage options and get a quick quote. Travelers also gets fewer consumer complaints than expected for a company of its size, according to the NAIC.
The company offers discounts for renters who have multiple policies with Travelers or who have devices such as internal sprinkler systems or smart home technology.
Allstate is a particularly attractive pick for older renters: Retirees age 55 and up can save up to 25% on their premium.
Allstate also offers discounts for renters who bundle their policies or elect to have their insurance payments automatically withdrawn from a bank account.
Beyond its generous discounts, Allstate is a good bet for renters thanks to its excellent mobile app. You can use it to pay bills, view policy documents, file a claim and contact your agent.
With fewer consumer complaints than expected, according to the NAIC, American Family is a solid choice for renters insurance.
The company offers a range of discounts, including both common options (a discount for having car and renters insurance with American Family) and unique ones (a generational discount for renters ages 18 to 30 whose parents are also insured with American Family).
One notable coverage option is a “diminishing deductible.” If you add this to your policy, you’ll get a $100 credit toward your deductible on the first day of coverage. Then your deductible will drop another $100 with each renewal (up to a maximum of $500). A lower deductible means you’ll pay less out of pocket each time you file a claim.
Despite its name, Auto-Owners offers more than just car insurance. Its renters policies can be upgraded with the Renters Plus package, which covers water backup of sewers and drains, waterbed liability, and loss of refrigerated products (for example, if your power goes out and you have to toss spoiled food).
You can also upgrade to replacement cost coverage for your belongings. This means that if you have a 3-year-old laptop that’s stolen or damaged for a covered reason, Auto-Owners will pay out enough for you to buy a new one rather than a used one.
Auto-Owners has a generous selection of discounts for those who are claim-free, pay their premiums on time, opt for paperless billing, and more.
Pennsylvania-based Erie operates in 12 states and Washington, D.C., and draws fewer consumer complaints than expected for a company of its size, according to the NAIC.
Erie has several bundles that you can add to your policy, offering extra coverage for identity theft recovery and damage from sewer and drain backup. In most states that Erie serves, you can also get coverage for theft, damage or liability claims if you’re renting out your space on sites like Airbnb.
You can save on your policy if you bundle multiple insurance types with Erie, or if you get a quote at least seven days before you want coverage to begin. In some states, renters above a certain age may also get a discount.
On Farmers’ user-friendly website, you can easily get a quote or find a nearby agent for more personalized service.
In addition to industry-standard discounts for purchasing multiple policies with the company and having safety and security devices, Farmers also offers lower rates for customers in certain professions, including doctors, nurses, teachers, police officers, firefighters and engineers.
Renters who haven’t smoked for at least two consecutive years can also save on premiums.
» MORE: Farmers renters insurance review
The Hanover offers three renters insurance packages to choose from. The most economical option covers just the basics: your belongings, liability if you cause harm to others, and expenses if you have to move out of your home during covered repairs.
With an upgrade to the Select package, you’ll get extra coverage for things like food lost in a power outage and identity theft-related expenses. This package also includes replacement cost coverage for your belongings.
Select Plus is The Hanover’s top-tier offering, with all coverage from the other two packages plus additional insurance for valuable items such as jewelry or firearms. With this package, you won’t have to pay a deductible if a major disaster destroys at least half of your belongings.
The Hanover’s renters insurance isn’t available in all states.
The Hartford caters to older renters through its partnership with AARP; if you’re not a member of AARP, you can still get a policy through The Hartford’s network of independent agents.
The Hartford offers a wide range of additional coverage options, including the ProtectorPLUS Zero Deductible Benefit, which is included at no extra cost. This benefit waives up to $5,000 of your deductible if you have a qualifying claim of $27,500 or more. Other potential add-ons include replacement cost coverage for personal belongings, extra coverage for valuables, and identity fraud coverage.
One drawback: The Hartford has significantly more consumer complaints than expected for a company of its size, according to the NAIC.
One of America’s largest insurance companies, State Farm offers just about every type of insurance, including renters.
To talk through your options on the phone before purchasing a policy, you can consult with a local agent. If you’d rather get it all done online, you can get a quote, file and track a claim, pay bills and more on the State Farm website. Some tasks can be completed quickly without having to create an account.
State Farm doesn’t list many coverage or savings options on its site, but it does highlight discounts for combining renters and auto insurance policies, and for installing home safety devices such as burglar alarms and smoke detectors.
USAA offers insurance (plus banking and investing products) for active military personnel, veterans and their families.
Aside from its military focus, what sets USAA apart from other renters insurance companies is the fact that damage from floods and earthquakes is covered by its standard renters policy. Most other companies don’t offer this coverage unless you pay extra. This could provide significant value to renters who live in regions where floods or earthquakes are a risk.
The company receives significantly fewer consumer complaints than expected for an insurer of its size, according to the NAIC.
How to compare renters insurance
The average renters insurance cost is about $14 a month, depending on how much coverage you have and where you live. But price shouldn’t be the only factor you consider in a renters insurance comparison.
A standard renters insurance policy includes several types of coverage:
- Personal property coverage, which replaces your belongings if they’re stolen or damaged in a covered disaster.
- Liability coverage, which pays out if you’re sued and found responsible for an injury to a guest in your home or damage to someone else’s property.
- Medical payments coverage, which pays for less expensive injuries to guests in your home, regardless of fault.
- Loss of use coverage (sometimes called “additional living expenses”), which pays for hotel stays, restaurant meals or other relocation costs while your rental is being repaired after a covered disaster.
Make sure you enter the same limits for each type of coverage when shopping for renters insurance quotes in order to get a direct comparison.
Then, take a look at each company’s optional coverage, which you can pay extra to add to your policy. Do you need more coverage for a pricey musical instrument, or would you like to add identity fraud protection? Each insurer has slightly different options, and some are even included in your base premium, so it’s worth shopping around.
Finally, consider the company’s website. Is it easy to find a phone number to chat with an agent if you need to? If you prefer doing everything online, can you get quotes, file and track claims, and pay bills through the company’s website or app? Checking out these options before buying a policy can save you some hassle later.
The best renters insurance policy for five common scenarios
Got a dog, a roommate or an engagement ring? These scenarios can determine what type of renters insurance you need.
You have a roommate
Some insurers let roommates share a renters insurance policy in states where it’s allowed. But just because you can share doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.
Before you sign a policy, have a frank discussion with your roommate about how to split insurance payments — especially if your roommate has a lot of stuff that could drive up the cost of the quote. Be sure you agree, too, on the type of renters insurance coverage you’ll get.
You’re on a tight budget
To reduce the policy cost, consider increasing your deductible, which is the amount that would be subtracted from your payout if you filed a claim. But first ask yourself: How much could you pay out of pocket if your stuff were stolen or damaged?
To discover the most affordable options in your state or metro area, see NerdWallet’s Best Cheap Renters Insurance.
You would want new items if your belongings were destroyed
Lost your TV in a fire? Replacement cost coverage pays for a brand-new one just like it. If this is what you want, then buy a renters insurance policy with replacement cost coverage. It typically costs a bit more than what’s called an “actual cash value” policy, but it pays to replace your possessions with similar new ones.
You own expensive jewelry or electronics
You may think all your belongings are covered up to your personal property limit, but many renters insurance companies cap how much they’ll pay out for select valuable items such as jewelry or electronics; that cap is typically around $1,000 or $1,500 for each category. If you own multiple computers and smartphones or a pricey engagement ring, you might need extra coverage — often called a “floater” or “scheduled coverage” in industry parlance — to make sure those items are insured for their full value.
You have a dog
A lawsuit against you over a dog bite could ruin your finances for years. If you want coverage for this, make sure dog bites are included in the liability portion of your renters insurance policy and that the breed you own isn’t excluded.
Find the best cheap renters insurance in your state
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