You want to protect your belongings in a rental property against theft, loss or destruction, and a renters insurance policy is the way to do it. Whether you are renting a home or an apartment or living in a college campus dorm room, finding affordable coverage at a reasonable price can be challenging. Renters insurance may sound like just another rental expense, but it can save you money in the long run.
This article compares six insurance companies to help you choose the right one for you.
Best Renters Insurance Providers
GOBankingRates compiled data from different renters insurance companies based on price and rating on AM Best’s insurance ratings scale. AM Best is one of the many trusted companies that rate the financial strength of insurance companies. From the data, GOBankingRates evaluated, compared and chose six of the best renters insurance providers.
The following chart shows a quick comparison of the six best renters insurance companies and our top picks in terms of average monthly cost and AM Best’s financial rating. This rating can help you determine which renters insurance company is the best fit for you.
|Renters Insurance Provider||Best For||Sample Average Cost Per Month||AM Best Rating|
|Geico||Cheapest renters insurance||$12||A++|
|Liberty Mutual||Online/mobile experience||$15||A|
|State Farm||Customer service||$16||A++|
|Progressive||Computers and electronics||$19||A+|
|Nationwide||Jewelry and collectibles||$20||A+|
|Farmers||Bundling with auto coverage||$22||A|
Why Should You Get Renters Insurance?
Imagine returning home from a nice dinner out only to find your apartment has been broken into. Everything is in disarray, and your television, your laptop and your grandmother’s silverware have been stolen.
Or what if you’re having a party and one of your guests is injured while visiting your home? If a lawsuit arises and you need to cover medical costs, that gets expensive without insurance coverage.
If you get a renters insurance policy before any of these scenarios happen, you and your personal property will be covered in the event of damage, theft or on-property injury. Peace of mind is inexpensive — the Insurance Information Institute reported that in 2018, renters paid an average of about $179 annually for complete renters insurance coverage.
Understanding Renters Insurance
Renters insurance is a type of property insurance that covers a renter’s personal property in the event of a loss. Renters insurance provides policyholders with financial protection that can replace their belongings such as clothing, furniture and other valuables in case of damage, fire, theft and other liabilities.
There are typically three general types of renters insurance that provide financial protection for your personal belongings if your apartment catches on fire or is broken into.
- Personal property
- Living expenses
Do You Really Need Renters Insurance?
By law, you as a tenant are not required to carry renters insurance to protect your liability and personal belongings. However, property owners or landlords can legally require you to purchase renters insurance as a term of your lease agreement.
Still Not Sure?
If you still don’t know whether to purchase rental insurance or not, ask yourself these questions:
- What if I became legally responsible for damages to the property I rent?
- How much are my personal belongings worth?
- What would I do if someone were injured in my apartment and filed a legal claim against me?
- If my personal belongings were destroyed in a fire, would I be financially able to replace them?
Even if you aren’t required to buy renters insurance, you may not want to dismiss the idea completely. You could benefit from renters insurance if you rent a house, an apartment or even a room in any type of domestic dwelling.
To get sample monthly quotes, we entered data for two adults renting a two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment in Baltimore. Here’s how they compare in terms of cost value and types of coverage. The lists of coverages are not all-inclusive, but they show some commonly covered items and protections that each renters insurance company provides.
Best Cheap Renters Insurance
Geico also offers a special jewelry insurance policy for valuables such as diamonds, wedding rings and engagement rings. This jewelry insurance policy is separate from Geico's renters insurance coverage.
Best Online/Mobile Experience
Liberty Mutual offers a variety of customized renters insurance coverage options for as low as $5 per month. Standard coverage pays the actual cash value of your covered personal property and replaces it in the event of loss. The coverage also helps pay for medical bills if someone is injured while at your residence.
Best Customer Service
State Farm has special coverage limits that apply to certain types of personal property, including boats, collectors' items, business property, securities, furs and firearms.
Best Coverage for Computers and Electronics
When you start your renters insurance policy quote with Progressive, it will apply each of your qualifying discounts as you go to save you time and money. You save an average of 3% on your auto insurance if you bundle it with a Progressive renters insurance policy.
Best Coverage for Jewelry and Collectibles
You can obtain a customized renters insurance policy quote from Nationwide on its website, by calling its toll-free phone number or by visiting a local agent in person. Nationwide is on the higher end of this list for monthly cost of coverage. Factors that can affect your premium are where you live; the size, condition and age of your residence; and the value of your possessions.
Best for Bundling with Auto Insurance
Farmers renters insurance policies help cover the cost of temporary living expenses such as a hotel room and meals if you can't live in your rented space because of a fire, flood or other natural event. Farmers also offers renters insurance discounts if you have multiple policies, are a nonsmoker, or have an installed security alarm or fire alarm.
No matter what size accommodations you are renting, your landlord’s insurance policy only goes so far. Your renters insurance will have to pick up the slack from there. If your clothes, fine jewelry, furniture or important documents are destroyed due to a fire or vandalism, your renters insurance policy could possibly become the best purchase you ever made.
What Do You Need To Get a Quote?
Now that you have an idea of what types of renters insurance coverages are available to you and at what cost, here is a simple checklist of items you’ll need to get a quote and find the best renters insurance policy for your needs.
To help determine your coverage, policy cost and deductible, you’ll need to provide your:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Email address
- Number of people living in the residence full time
To get the most accurate quote, you’ll need to provide information about your residence’s safety features and fire protection, your insurance claims history and any additional protections you have. Some of this information may include:
- Fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems, smoke detectors, burglar alarms, deadbolt locks
- Distance to the nearest fire station
- Insurance claims for losses made in the past three years
- Name of your current or most recent insurance provider
- Dates of your last coverage
- Items that may require increased coverage — jewelry, computers, etc.
If you don’t have all of the items and information in front of you when you begin your quote process, don’t worry. Renters insurance provider websites allow you to save your quote and come back to finish it later. Most of them will even send you a reminder email to do so.
- Which renters insurance is the best?
- There are a few top renters insurance companies to choose from. Geico usually has the lowest rates. State Farm provides excellent service and has local agents and offices for additional help.
- What is the best home renters insurance?
- Based on AM Best's rating for financial stability, Geico and State Farm both have the highest rating of A++ to take first place for best renters insurance.
- How much is renters insurance for $100,000?
- GOBankingRates research found you can get renters insurance coverage for as little as $12 per month.
- How much should I pay for renters insurance?
- Expect to pay $12 to $15 per month for a basic renters insurance package. Keep in mind that if you have high-value items such as jewelry, electronics or collectibles, you may need to insure their full value for an extra fee.
Cynthia Bowman contributed to the reporting for this article.
This article has been updated with additional reporting since its original publication.
GOBankingRates is a personal finance and consumer interest rate website owned by ConsumerTrack Inc., an online marketing company serving top-tier banks, credit unions and other financial services organizations. Some companies mentioned in this article might be clients of ConsumerTrack Inc., which serves more than 100 national, local and online financial institutions. Rankings and roundups are completely objective, and no institution, client or otherwise, paid for inclusion or specific placement. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the companies included in the article. All fees and rates are subject to change at the issuers’ discretion. Some rates might be short-term or promotional offers only, and it is possible additional terms and conditions must be met to obtain the rates listed. Rates and availability might vary by region. Verify terms and conditions before opening an account.
GOBankingRates bases its assessment of “best” and “top” products on the above-stated parameters to create a baseline for comparison. This assessment is an approximation of “best” and “top” designed to help consumers find products that might be appropriate for them. There could be other options available as well. Consumers should consider various options appropriate for their circumstances.