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Best Renters Insurance Companies for 2016

Which company offers the best renters insurance?

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Renters Insurance Comparison

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.

Best Renters Insurance Companies: What to Consider

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 Before You Choose the Best Rental Insurance Company

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 Review

  • Pros
  • Company has a strong financial rating
  • Easy & fast application process
  • Customer service available 24/7
  • Manage your account online
  • Competitive renters insurance quotes
  • Cons
  • 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 Review

  • Pros
  • Insures various types of incidents
  • Account opening is fast and easy
  • Comprehensive standard coverage.
  • Provides reduced premiums
  • Online account management
  • Cons
  • 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 Review

  • Pros
  • Affordable rates
  • Excellent customer service
  • Some great discounts available
  • Cons
  • 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 Review

  • Pros
  • Excellent 24 hour customer service
  • Policies cover off premises belongings
  • User-friendly online platforms
  • Affordable coverage
  • Cons
  • 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 Review

  • Pros
  • Competitive insurance rates
  • Online quote tool
  • Flexible premium payment terms
  • Adjustable coverage
  • Bundling discounts
  • Cons
  • 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 the Best 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.

College Students

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.

20-Somethings

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.

Seniors

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.

The Best Renters Insurance Companies 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.

Best 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 from the Top Renters Insurance Companies

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.

The Best Renters Insurance Offers the Great Customer Service

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.

Best Renters Insurance Companies Recap

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.

Best Renters Insurance Companies FAQs

Who pays for water damage from fire sprinklers?

Sometimes accidents cause complicated issues with insurance coverage. Without knowing the specifics of each individual policy I can only speak generally about what is typical in this kind of situation.

Most renters insurance policies cover damage from both fire and water damage as a result of burst pipes or sewer backups. However, since fire sprinklers can cause water damage simply by doing what they are designed to do, this is a grey area in terms of coverage. Because they can cause significant damage on their own, sprinkler systems in homes are debated. Although, they do suppress fires that can spread more quickly and cause injuries (or worse) to people than water can. Either way, you should find and review your insurance coverage agreement to check the specifics. Talk to a representative if you truly think you should have been covered.

As for the question of who covers the damage when renters insurance doesn't cover it, there are a couple things to consider. First, take a look at the terms of your lease. Anytime you talk about damage, money and repairs with your landlord, you should know the rules of your agreement.

Second, ask your landlord about his or her landlord insurance. Landlord insurance often covers damage to the apartment so far as the landlord's property is concerned. That means it may cover property damage to walls, floors, appliances and carpeting but not the renters personal property. You may still have to pay for damage to things that you own personally but if you don't have to cover damage to the apartment itself you may save some out of pocket expense.

Again, review your policy and the terms of your lease for a definitive answer.

Can I rent a home without renters insurance?

This question may vary from situation to situation. Some landlords require their tenants to have renters insurance in order to protect themselves from liability. Others leave it up to the renter whether or not they want to ensure the contents of the home. Most plans are generally very affordable so it is worth having in the event of damages from theft, fire, vandalism or any other natural disaster. Be aware that renters insurance does differ according to the state you live in so discuss this aspect with your landlord if you're not familiar with the local parameters. Also, a common misconception is that if your landlord has property coverage this will cover your possessions as well. Property insurance strictly covers the rental property-not the belongings contained within it. Another aspect to take into consideration is the extent to which you want coverage. A studio apartment, for example, would not require the same amount of coverage as a fully furnished 4-bedroom home.

Does a college student need renters insurance?

College students not living on campus can benefit greatly from purchasing a renters insurance policy. The typical college student brings anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 worth of personal belonging with them. From theft and vandalism to natural disasters and accidental damage, there are a number of occurrences which may take place during a student's time away at college. State Farm has one of the most affordable renters insurance policies on the market. They feature umbrella discounts, online account management, and a trove of other features. Considering how affordable some monthly renters insurance policies are it is well worth it to have the assurance in the event of an emergency.

What coverage do I need?

When shopping around for a suitable renters insurance policy, review the factors in the same way you would if you were car shopping. Take into consideration the types of standard coverage, your minimum deductible amount, limits, exclusions, and of course the price. Based on a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice, rental properties are almost 80 percent more likely to be burglarized than owned residences. For especially valuable items in your home, double check to make sure that they're covered in the policy. Sometimes jewelry or antiques may need a separate rider to be protected.

Is my roommate covered under my renters insurance policy?

Unless the individual is specifically noted on the renters insurance policy they will not covered. Before purchasing a policy which covers more than one individual's valuables, take a moment to consider the value of the property being insured. The reason for this is because insurance companies assess the value of the contents home before issuing a premium. So, if your roommate just purchased a brand new entertainment system or let's say an expensive laptop, this will most likely cause an inflated premium rate. For that reason, it's generally advised that each member residing in a home get their own policy.

How much is renters insurance typically?

According to an insurance industry trade group, the average cost is $12 per month, or $144 per year, for a policy that covers $30,000 of property coverage and $100,000 of liability coverage.

I don't own much, so should I even bother purchasing renter's insurance?

You would be surprised how much all of the items you own could end up costing you if you replaced them-clothes, electronics, pots, pans, etc., all of which you would have to pay for out of pocket if your rental dwelling burnt down and they were all destroyed. Often, the piece of mind of having that protection is just as important as the protection itself.

Does your landlord require you to have renters insurance?

In many cases, your lease will specify that you must maintain renter's insurance in a certain amount.

What does renters insurance cover?

A renters insurance policy typically includes a few types of coverage: personal property protection, which helps protect your belongings in case of a covered loss; liability protection, which can help protect you financially in case someone is injured in your home and files a lawsuit; reimbursed living expenses, which helps cover additional costs of staying somewhere else after a covered loss renders your home uninhabitable; and guest medical protection, which can help pay medical expenses for someone injured at your home.

Won't my landlord's insurance policy or policies cover my belongings or anything that happens in my apartment?

Landlords will typically always carry their own insurance policies but these typically will not provide coverage for your belongings or liability protection in the event someone injures themselves on your apartment and sues you. This is why many landlords require you to have your own renters insurance policy.

What is personal liability insurance and is it included in the typical renters insurance policy?

Liability coverage helps protect you if someone is injured at your home and sues you. Many renters insurance policies include personal liability coverage.

Are electronics such as computers or televisions covered under my renters insurance policy?

Your television, computer and other electronics are all personal possessions, so if you have a renters insurance policy with personal property coverage, that protection would likely extend to your computer or any other electronics. However, if your computer is worth more money than the limit on your policy, you may want to consider purchasing additional coverage.

What is the difference between actual cash value and replacement cost?

Another thing to take into consideration is whether your policy offers replacement cost coverage, which will pay enough for you to purchase a new item of the same kind, or actual cash value, which reimburses you for the amount of money you might reasonably expect to receive if you sold the item today.

What are my premium payment options for my renters insurance policies?

Premiums typically can be paid by credit card, debit card or as an Electronic Funds Transfer from a checking account. Note however that a few insurers, particularly some of the newer ones, may not accept any paper payments such as checks or money orders.

If you have to file a claim, how do you prove what you owned that was stolen or destroyed?

Typically, a claims adjuster will ask you to provide records that show ownership of your personal items. They typically will not expect you to have a receipt for every item you own, but will instead be satisfied with bank or credit card statements that show you purchased the items or owners' manuals. However, insurers do typically recommend you keep an inventory of your possessions in the event of a fire or other disaster that might necessitate you making a claim.

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@Cory It depends on your specific plan. I've found that renters insurance costs $12 a month on average but you may have more coverage than a typical plan. Its always good practice to check your policy to find out what you are actually paying for and to periodically shop around for better deals if you think you are paying too much.

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Not really sure how much this stuff costs normally, but I'm getting charged $18/month.... is this average, or am I getting a good deal?

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In order for MoneySavingPro to remain a consumer free service, many of the companies covered in our industry reviews compensate MoneySavingPro for new sign ups.

However, the results of our comparison tools, the rankings of the providers and the information presented is not affected by compensation. Indeed, many of these companies approach us for an advertising partnership after we have already written a published their reviews.

While we try to research and review as many providers as possible in the 100+ industries we cover, we have not reviewed every company available.

Our rating system is independent of compensation and reflects our true understanding of the industry and the company based on a variety of factors. The companies that receive the highest rating will always be the providers that we believe offer the best value to the consumer.

Advertiser Disclosure

In order for MoneySavingPro to remain a consumer free service, many of the companies covered in our industry reviews compensate MoneySavingPro for new sign ups.

However, the results of our comparison tools, the rankings of the providers and the information presented is not affected by compensation. Indeed, many of these companies approach us for an advertising partnership after we have already written a published their reviews.

While we try to research and review as many providers as possible in the 100+ industries we cover, we have not reviewed every company available.

Our rating system is independent of compensation and reflects our true understanding of the industry and the company based on a variety of factors. The companies that receive the highest rating will always be the providers that we believe offer the best value to the consumer.