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RENTERS Insurance
RENTERS INSURANCE INSIGHTS

Learn who the best renters insurance companies are, how to shop for a policy and how to ensure you have sufficient coverage.

Many renters assume they’re covered by the landlord’s insurance policy if there’s a break-in or fire and their belongings are lost. The assumption couldn’t be further from the truth. A landlord’s policy does not replace or pay for your belongings. You would have to turn to your renter’s insurance — or pay to replace your furniture, TV, electronics, clothes and other items out-of-pocket.

The good news is, the best renters insurance is relatively cheap; far cheaper than the thousands of dollars you would pay to replace your things. For just $15 to $20 per month in premiums, you can rest assured that your renter’s insurance will pay for the cost to replace or fix your items. 

Best renters insurance companies

Most insurance carriers offer renters coverage, making the process of choosing one from the best renters insurance companies available overwhelming. To simplify the process, we reviewed dozens of carriers based on cheap renters insurance, the options and discounts they offer, whether they have a mobile app, etc.

CompanyBest forJ.D. Power ScoreNAIC ratioA.M. Best ratingMarket shareAverage Rate $40k/$1k/$100k
AllstateBest for Seniors8422.03A+8.38% (2nd)$195
American FamilyBest for smart homes8400.55A3.90% (7th)$231
FarmersBest for discounts8390.57A5.71% (5th)$171
LemonadeBest for customer satisfaction8660.98NR.11% (96th)n/a
Liberty MutualBest digital tools and app8250.79A6.48% (4th)$488
NationwideCheapest renters insurance8310.53A+3.12% (8th)$146
ProgressiveBest for bundling renters and auto8350.95A+1.58% (12th)n/a
State FarmBest overall8360.74A++17.96% (1st)$177
TravelersBest for apartment improvements8070.94A++4.07 (6th)$177
USAABest for military8880.51A++6.56% (3rd)$272

Allstate: Best for seniors and retirees

Allstate offers what you would expect from the best rated renters insurance companies: coverage for your personal property, reimbursed living expenses, medical coverage if a guest is injured on your property and liability insurance for covered hazards such as a burglary, fire or limited water damage. Allstate has a renter discount of up to 25% for those age 55 and over, not seeking full-time employment.

Most carriers will pay for damages caused if your water heater fails or a pipe leaks. However, if your belongings are lost due to flooding from heavy rainstorms or a hurricane, they are not typically covered. Allstate offers renters optional flood insurance if they live in high-risk areas.

Allstate’s premiums are low, the company has a big representation of local agents nationwide, as well as providing a user-friendly website and robust mobile app. The biggest drawback to Allstate renters coverage is the number of customer complaints. According to the NAIC, Allstate’s complaint index is well above average at 2.03.

American Family: Best renters insurance company for smart homes

Many homes and apartments nowadays have wireless cameras, thermostats and door locks that can be operated remotely and video doorbells. The trouble is, smart devices can be pricey. Luckily, you can offset the costs of securing your property using the latest tech when you buy renters insurance through American Family. The carrier offers smart home discounts for qualifying water sensors, security equipment and more. In addition, American Family has partnered with Frontpoint to bring you deals on a smart security system and HelloTech to set up all your devices. 

Even if you don’t qualify for the smart home discount, the carrier provides  other ways to save, including bundling renters and vehicle coverage. However, AmFam renters insurance is only available in 19 states

Farmers: Best for discounts

Renters insurance does not typically come with as many opportunities for savings as you would get for auto coverage. However, Farmers has broader discount options for renters than other companies. If you’re a first responder, doctor, educator, engineer or dentist, you could earn a professional discount. In addition, being a non-smoker or having multiple policies, a fire alarm or a security system can help you save.

Farmers is one of the cheapest and best rated renters insurance companies in our review. However, you won’t have many add-ons available to customize coverage. If you’re looking for more than a personal article floater for items over $500, you may need to look at other renters insurance companies.

Lemonade: Best renters insurance company for customer satisfaction

Lemonade tops J.D. Power’s annual study on home and renters insurance, beating all carriers besides USAA. (USAA isn’t ranked #1 because coverage availability is limited.) Lemonade does renters insurance differently by providing a form of online-only, crowd-sourced coverage. When you buy Lemonade renters insurance, part of your premiums are allocated into a group pool available for claims. This means that getting reimbursed for stolen or damaged items, or a guest medical bill should happen very quickly — in just a few seconds, according to Lemonade — because the funds are paid from the pool.

However, our independent study on Lemonade renters insurance based on responses from policyholders found that the claim of near-instant payouts isn’t typical. Although our study found that policyholders are happy with pricing and insurance options, 41% of the respondents said Lemonade took too long to pay claims. As long as you don’t go in with expectations of getting instant reimbursement if you file a claim, the carrier is a great renters insurance option.

Liberty Mutual: Best digital tools and app

If you’re too busy to call or visit a local agent to get renters insurance coverage, working with a provider that has a user-friendly online platform is a lifesaver. Buying renters insurance shouldn’t be complicated. Liberty Mutual’s digital tools are some of the best and highest rated of all insurance carriers, making the process from start to finish — convenient.

 Users in the App Store awarded the Liberty Mutual insurance app with a 4.8 out of 5. Android users gave it a 4.5 out of 5. You can manage your policy through the app or online, sign paperwork digitally and even file claims in just a few taps. But before you do, get renters insurance quotes from a few carriers — Liberty Mutual’s average annual premiums of $488 are twice as high as nearly all of the carriers we reviewed. 

Nationwide: Cheapest renters insurance company

Our study of cheapest renters insurance found that Nationwide has the lowest annual rates of all carriers examined. Coverage is roughly $12 per month. For anyone weighing “why do I need renters insurance”, $12 per month is far less stressful than having to pay out thousands of dollars to replace your personal goods after a fire or burglary.

Nationwide’s discounts are part of the reason premiums are low. You’ll find the standard ones including bundling, claims-free and protective devices. In addition, you have access to an On Your Side Review to help you find other ways to save while making sure you are properly insured. The short, free assessment with an insurance professional is available to help you understand and make the most of your coverage. Just watch out for the Brand New Belongings optional rental coverage. The idea of having your items replaced with brand new ones sounds great, but Nationwide reserves the right to repair your items instead of replacing them with a new version. 

Progressive: Best for bundling renters and auto insurance

You’ve probably noticed the mentioning of bundling discounts a few times by now. Buying (or bundling) car and renters insurance with the same carrier can help you save the most on renters insurance. Progressive can save you an average of 3% across the board when you have renters and auto through the carrier.  

Although the discount isn’t significant, there is another perk to bundling car and renters insurance. You could share the same deductible for both. If you file a claim for an incident involving your rental and your vehicle, you will receive reimbursement for one of the deductibles. The biggest drawback to Progressive is knowing who exactly you’re covered by. Your Progressive renter’s policy could be underwritten by one of the carrier’s affiliates and not directly through the company. 

State Farm: Best renters insurance company overall

State Farm is the largest insurer in the country and one of the oldest. In addition, the carrier consistently ranks well with customers and has the strongest financial strength rating of A++. State Farm checks nearly all the boxes of what makes a renters insurance company great:

  • Low rates
  • Several ways to file a claim (in-person, over-the-phone, online, through the app)
  • Offices and agents available nationwide
  • A full-featured website and mobile app
  • Plenty of coverage options

It’s hard to find any fault with the carrier. If we had to find any, State Farm’s renter’s policies can vary from one state to another, although that’s due to regulations. In addition, the insurer doesn’t offer as many discounts as other companies, but rates are already low to start.

Travelers: Best for apartment improvements

Most landlords do not allow renters to make any changes to a space. However, some renters manage to negotiate changes to the wall colors or get permission to add wallpaper or change the floors. Depending on how much the improvements cost you, having coverage that pays for replacement in case of a loss could be wise. Travelers Insurance allows you to apply up to 10% of your personal property limit if you need to fix or replace such improvements because of a covered loss. While 10% is included in a standard renters policy, you could pay for a higher limit.

Unfortunately, Travelers doesn’t have many other coverage options. The carrier is a good choice if you are looking for basic coverage without too many bells and whistles (besides housing improvements). Otherwise, there are other carriers that offer cheap renters insurance and more coverage options.

USAA: Best for military

USAA consistently scores highest in the J.D. Power renters insurance study every year based on what policyholders have to say. It’s not the cheapest renters insurance company at $272 per year on average, but when you consider that flood and earthquake coverages are included, the $22 per month may be a bargain.

Although USAA scores high with customers and provides comprehensive renters insurance for a low price, it doesn’t win the award for best renters insurance based on one important factor — USAA isn’t available to everyone. Only individuals affiliated with the Armed Forces (or their family members) can access coverage.

Best Renters Insurance Companies by State

Select your state below to see the average annual rate.

Currently showing results for California
Company NameMin of $40,000/$100,000
Allstate$255
Auto Club Enterprises Insurance Group$183
CSAA$261
Farmers$198
Liberty$186
Nationwide$301
Liberty$186
State Farm$177
Travelers$197
USAA$169

How much does renters insurance cost?

Insurance.com found that the average cost of renters insurance is $326 per year, which is only $27 per month. However, your premiums may be lower based on where you live, the level of coverage you get and the carrier you choose. Based on our findings of “how much does renters insurance cost” by carrier, you could get coverage through Nationwide for just $146 per year. 

Why do I need renters insurance?

The number of renters is increasing, in fact, according to a Pew Research Center report, there are more renters now than at any other point in the last 50 years. Currently, 36.6 percent of households are rented, only slightly below the 50-year high of 37 percent back in 1965.

If you are a renter, you are on your own when it comes to protecting your possessions. “A common misconception is that your landlord’s insurance will cover your personal property loss if there is a fire or other event, but that is not true. Your landlord’s policy only insures their property and liability. It doesn’t provide any protection for you,” warns Stefan Tirschler, product and underwriting manager at Square One Insurance.

If you are not currently carrying renters insurance, you are certainly not alone. According to a 2016 ORC International survey, only 41 percent of renters have renters insurance compared to 95 percent of homeowners that have homeowners insurance.

While this is a slight increase from 2015 (40 percent carried renters coverage) and a significant increase from 2011 when only 29 percent of renters carried renters insurance, there are still way too many renters who are not protected by this very affordable coverage.

This may be due to the fact that mortgage lenders require homeowners insurance while renters insurance is not usually a required coverage, but that is starting to change. “Renters insurance is getting more and more popular in the US rental market, and more and more landlords require it from their tenants, says Daniela Andreevska, marketing director at Mashvisor.

Going without renters insurance can be a very expensive mistake. A burst pipe, severe weather or a fire can quickly destroy most of your possessions, and if you don't have renters insurance, you will be on the hook for the cost to replace your items. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best companies for renters insurance?

There are many options when it comes to best companies for renters insurance. Finding the top carrier may depend on your needs. USAA may be best for military personnel. Farmers has great discounts for first responders. Renters who prefer to handle the whole process online or through an app should check out Lemonade or Liberty Mutual. For cheap renters insurance, Nationwide had the lowest rates in Insurance.com’s study. 

What factors to consider while choosing renters insurance?

The best way to find cheap renters insurance and quality coverage is by shopping around and comparing quotes from several companies. Before you choose renters insurance, take a look at what your deductible is and the types of coverage offered. You may want to add options such as flood coverage or replacement cost to save you money in case of a claim. Our renters insurance guide gives you everything you need to know when you’re shopping around for coverage and ready to choose.