The best renters insurance offers liability and property protection, at an affordable price. As more and more people rent instead of own, renters insurance is increasingly important, but only about a third of renters have insurance.
The landlord's homeowners insurance policy doesn't extend to tenants and their possessions. I've carefully analyzed the policies available from several major insurance companies and reviewed the best renters insurance companies.
Key Considerations When Choosing Renters Insurance
The best renters insurance policies have the following features:
- Affordable Premiums: What you can afford will vary depending on your monthly income and expenses.
- Simple Claims Processing: This can be a grueling process if the company doesn't work with you to expedite results and pay your claim.
- Competitive Insurance Quotes: Insurance companies will match competitor rates if you mention it during a quote.
- Discount Bundles: Many insurance companies offer a discount if you purchase multiple policies from them (car and renters insurance, for example).
- Customer Service: You should be able to reach a representative by telephone or email whenever you have questions and inquiries.
To compare renters insurance companies, contact an independent insurance broker, shop around, and reach out to the companies directly.
How to Compare Renters Insurance
No two renters insurance policies are exactly alike. That's why it's important to compare renters insurance policies and companies before you settle on one. When shopping for a policy, you want to understand the difference between the types of renters insurance and what they specifically cover.
Generally, the best renters insurance companies offer a variety of coverage options. Many companies also offer extended coverage options for people living in areas that are more prone to certain natural disasters than others.
Here are the types of coverage the best renters insurance companies offer:
- Personal property: Normally, a policy will insure your personal property if it is damaged or stored. Renters are 25 percent more likely to have something stolen. Personal property coverage gives you peace of mind that your stuff is protected.
- Liability coverage: If someone trips and falls or is otherwise injured while visiting you, liability coverage protects you if he or she decides to sue. Liability coverage covers some or all of your legal costs. It can also cover the injured person's medical bills.
- Living Expenses: The best renters insurance policies will pay your living expenses if you have to move into a hotel or elsewhere because your rental is damaged. In the event of a fire or other damage that makes your home uninhabitable, living expenses coverage can be essential.
Review your policy carefully before you purchase it. You don't want to assume that your policy will protect you from smoke or water damage only to learn later that it doesn't. Double check that it offers coverage for theft, fire and smoke damage, vandalism and lightning.
You also have the option of purchasing extended coverage or policy add-ons from several of the top renters insurance companies. Theses add-ons provide additional coverage and protection, but only to people who need it. Here are a few extended coverage options worth considering:
- Earthquake Coverage: Many renters insurances policies won't cover damage caused by an earthquake. But, if you live in California or another area that sees frequent earthquakes, it can be worth paying extra each month for the additional protection.
- Sewer Coverage: Sewer problems happen and can cause a good amount of damage to your personal possessions. Your renters insurance policy might already offer sewer coverage. But if it doesn't, it can lead to additional expense.
- Insurance Riders or Floater Policy: Not all renters insurance policies cover high-value possessions. If you have expensive jewelry, designer handbags or other high-value items, you might need to purchase extended coverage so that those items are fully protected from loss or damage.
Questions to Ask
Everyone has different renters insurance needs. , Before you buy a policy, you need to assess how much and what kinds of coverage you actually need. You don't want to overestimate your coverage needs and pay for more than is necessary.
Underestimating your coverage can be way worse, though., If something gets damaged or stolen, you might have to pay a lot out of pocket. The same is true if you don't purchase enough liability coverage and someone gets severely injured at your home.
Here are some good questions to ask when you compare rental insurance policies:
1. What exactly does the policy cover?
You need to know exactly what protections your policy going to provide you. Does it cover personal property damage? What protections do you have if someone is injured at your home? You want to know exactly what you are buying.
2. Is all of your stuff covered?
The best renters insurance policies cover almost all of your personal belongings. But many insurance companies have restrictions on high-value items. Don't assume that your diamond necklace, Birkin bag or one-of-a-kind painting are covered under a standard policy. It's likely the insurance company will want you to purchase extended coverage for those high-end items.
3. Where am I protected?
Many renters insurance plans offer coverage if someone steals your stuff outside of your apartment or if an item is damaged outside of the home. You want to confirm that your possessions are covered no matter where you take them.
4. How much renters insurance coverage should I buy?
How much coverage you need depends on how valuable your stuff is, how many items you have and how difficult it is to replace those items. It's a good idea to inventory your possessions and determine how much it would cost to replace them. That will give you an idea of the amount of coverage you need to purchase.
5. Does my policy cover other people living with me?
Most policies won't cover roommates living together but will cover spouses and any dependants. There are exceptions, and it can be worth it to see if a company will let you and a roommate purchase a joint policy.
6. Will my policy cover my pets?
The liability portion of your renters insurance plan typically would cover you and your dog if it bites or causes severe injury to someone in or outside of your apartment. Some policies do have breed restrictions or might make you pay more to cover a breed that is more likely to bite or hurt a person.
7. Does the policy protect me if someone gets hurt?
If someone gets injured in your apartment, and it is your fault, the liability portion of your renters insurance policy would kick in.
8. What is the insurance company's story?
In my opinion, the history and reputation of the insurance company matter more than anything. An insurance company is only as good as its word and its rating. There are several sources that will tell you how good a company is and whether you can depend on it to process your claims quickly and to actually pay you.
The Best Renters Insurance Companies
Liberty Mutual Renters Insurance
- Company has a strong financial rating
- Easy & fast application process
- Customer service available 24/7
- Manage your account online
- Competitive renters insurance quotes
- Premiums can be pricey, depending on your residence area, property type and coverage options added
Liberty Mutual is a leading name in the industry. One of the benefits of Liberty Mutual's renters insurance is their availability throughout all 50 states, and they allow you to pay monthly without an additional fee. The low $100 deductible covers items such as smartphones and personal home computers. Coverage is also available for off-premise items. Liberty Mutual also has great customer service, including convenient email support.
Allstate Renters Insurance
- Insures various types of incidents
- Account opening is fast and easy
- Comprehensive standard coverage.
- Provides reduced premiums
- Online account management
- Availability and qualifications may vary state to state
Allstate is a great, reliable brand that has been around a really, really long time, Allstate is known for excellent coverage and top-notch customer service with an excellent track history of superb communication with their customers,It also has a reputation for offering countless help and support options. They have a surefire reputation for quality and reliability.
One drawback is that they do not offer as many discounts as other companies in the same market. But deductibles as low as $250 are certainly appealing, and coverage is generally pretty easy to obtain.
Some of the best features offered include Allstate's Digital Locker app, which helps you to manage your policy from all angles, from the convenience of your smartphone. The coverage calculator is a great tool to use to determine the value of your possessions.
USAA Renters Insurance
- Affordable rates
- Excellent customer service
- Some great discounts available
- Only available to service members and their family
USAA is a top-rated company that gets rave reviews from their customers. USAA is all about conveniently getting the job done, taking care of customers' needs, and handling issues in an efficient manner. They offer replacement cost coverage, covering a vast majority of items, and quotes are personalized to fit the varying needs of individuals. USAA also offers coverage for active service members, including those living on base. Renter's insurance coverage from USAA is among the best out there, but is only available to current or former service members and their families.
Esurance Renters Insurance
- Excellent 24 hour customer service
- Policies cover off premises belongings
- User-friendly online platforms
- Affordable coverage
- Limited coverage options compared to some providers
Esurance is one of the most popular brands of insurance around, particularly in the area of car insurance; however, they've made a name for themselves extending into a range of other types of coverage. They are known for their reliable reputation and having policies that are easily purchased online, very quickly, and with rates as low as possible.
Farmers Renters Insurance
- Competitive insurance rates
- Online quote tool
- Flexible premium payment terms
- Adjustable coverage
- Bundling discounts
- Quote tool limited to 19 states
- High premiums in certain states
- No live chat
Farmers is a big name in insurance and their renters insurance options are a solid choice when shopping for coverage. They offer affordable premiums and flexible payment terms, which i believe makes them an attractive option for many renters. They also offer other types of insurance (like fire and flood) and the ability to bundle them all together for a full coverage package.
Who Should Buy a Rental Insurance Policy?
Who should consider purchasing the top rate renters insurance policies? The answer is simple. If you rent property, you need rental insurance. Let's take a look at who might be renting a home and how the best renters insurance policies can help them.
You might not think you need renters insurance as a college student. After all, your stuff is mostly hand-me-downs or items you got for cheap at the thrift store.
But think about your laptop or computer that you need for school or about the textbooks you had to purchase for class. Those items cost a lot and will be expensive to replace if damaged.
College students generally need rental insurance whether they are living in a dorm or off-campus. Students living in a dorm might be covered by their parents' policy, but only up to 10% of the full coverage amount. Depending on your situation, that might not be enough protection.
You're out of college and are just starting your career. You might not have a lot of fancy, high-end stuff yet. But you also don't have the cash to easily replace items if they are lost or stolen. Since people under age 30 make up the largest share of the rental population, this is usually the demographic that needs rental insurance the most.
After years of homeownership, many senior citizens find themselves back in a rental, either because they've downsized or have decided to move to a retirement community. Seniors are more likely than 20-somethings or college students to have fairly valuable possessions as well as possessions with a lot of sentimental value. It's important that they have a renters insurance policy that fully protects their belongings from theft or damage.
Prioritize Your Needs
When something breaks or is stolen, you want to fix or replace it quickly. The best renters insurance companies are going to offer efficient claims processing. The sooner your claim is in process, the sooner you get your money and the sooner your life can be back to normal.
You want to work with a rental insurance company that puts your needs first or that makes you feel like a priority. n. Your claims should be given the proper attention they deserve, and if a provider cannot handle your needs effectively, you'll have a more difficult.
You are probably well aware, whether from reading up on company reviews or from your own experience, that some insurance companies are more relaxed than others in their sense of urgency when handling emergencies and customer claims. For the sake of your sanity, it's important to find a company that will process your claim in the fastest amount of time possible, at the least inconvenience for you.
Compare Renters Insurance Rates and Quotes
Rental insurance is a competitive industry. Companies are willing to compete for your business. It's pretty common for the best renters insurance companies to match the rates of their competitors, if you mention the rate one company offered you when obtaining a quote from a different company.
Of course, getting the best price isn't the only consideration. It's smart to do your research thoroughly and get acquainted with as many companies as you can. That way, you can find the company that best meets your needs.
Take Advantage of Discount Bundles
Some companies offer discounts if you bundle your rental insurance policy with another policy, such as car insurance. Bundling allows you the convenience of having all of your policies in one place, and the option to save a decent amount of money in the process.
Before you bundle, compare and contrast the policies available and their price. I'd recommend not sacrificing needed coverage for price, you don't want to get less car insurance than you need in an attempt to save money by bundling your policies, for example. Bundling can be a great deal, but it's not always the best deal.
How does a company take care of your needs when they arise? The best renters insurance companies are there when you need them. I consider it a red flag if insurance companies have limited ways to get in touch or limited customer service hours.If an insurance company does not provide telephone and email support for questions, concerns, and inquiries, you see automatically how much of a priority your satisfaction and needs are.
Cheap Renters Insurance: Things to Keep In Mind
When examining possible renter's insurance providers, here are some of the most important features to consider. Considering this is most likely going to be a long-term commitment, and an investment in your personal property, it's highly recommended that you choose wisely.
Choose the right rental property insurance for your budget. Go for premiums that are affordable. Obviously, this varies from person to person, and individual attributes must be taken into account. But you shouldn't struggle to pay your premiums each month.
Your personal monthly income and your expenses are the main focus when determining what premium you can afford. You've got to be able to afford the coverage. Luckily, most renters insurance plans are low-priced. The average policy premium ranges from $15 to $30 per month, or about what you'd pay for a night at the movies or a take-out meal.
When shopping around for the best renters insurance, pay attention to things like deductible, discount options, and the insurance company's financial rating. You should also keep an eye on how long you will have to wait before getting reimbursed after filing a claim.
The most trusted companies typically have the perfect combination of affordable premium, policy discounts, and bundle options. They'll save you money, give you peace of mind, and protect your belongings.
Keep in mind that the best renters insurance isn't the same as the best homeowners insurance. Even if your landlord has a great homeowners insurance policy, you'll need renters insurance to fully protect you and yours.