The Best Renters Insurance for 2016

Caryn Anderson

If you think you don’t need renters insurance, think again. Natural disasters and personal catastrophes happen everywhere. Even if your roommate is covered, you aren’t. Your landlord has coverage on the building and the property, but that coverage doesn’t extend to your belongings. In the blink of an eye, you can lose everything. Having renters insurance makes the difference between replacing your stuff after an accident and having no stuff after an accident.

From cheap renters insurance to value-added extras, we rounded up information on some of the most attractive renters insurance policies available. Read on to learn more about the various insurers and how to choose the policy that’s right for you.

Compare the Top 10 Renters Insurance Companies

Before you choose a policy, get at least three renters insurance quotes to compare and contrast the options available. By doing this, you can find the renters insurance with the most competitive rates, highest degree of coverage and most favorable terms for your area. Keep in mind that not all policies are equal. Look beyond premium prices to evaluate the cost in relation to the benefits.

To help get you started with your research, we gathered information on 10 of the top renters insurance companies in the U.S. We chose these insurers based on their coverage options, prices, discounts and other standout features.

Geico

Geico stands out for its easy online access, mobile support and healthy military discounts. This is one of the most appealing companies for renters who prefer a completely online experience. Geico offers some of the most cost-effective renters insurance coverage, which includes personal property protection and liability coverage that pays benefits to cover the medical expenses of someone injured on your property and/or your legal defense. Geico also offers extra coverage options such as:

  • Replacement cost coverage, which reimburses you for replacing your belongings without considering depreciation.
  • Scheduled Personal Property covers high-value items such as jewelry, specialized electronics and collectibles.
  • Disaster Coverage pays benefits after floods, earthquakes, hail and wind. Natural disasters are often excluded from traditional policies.

Progressive

With its convenient online claims submission and multi-policy discount, Progressive’s renters insurance offers convenience and value. A big name in the property insurance market, Progressive is based in Ohio and serves renters across the country.

The insurer covers your personal belongings, your guests while they’re visiting you and any hotel expenses if you need a place to stay after a covered incident. Progressive provides reimbursement for what it costs to replace your damaged belongings with new without any depreciation.

Assurant

Assurant Renters Insurance offers deductibles as low as $100 and theft coverage for your personal property even if you’re away from your rental. This insurer has more than 70 years of experience, and it offers coverage for as little as $5,000 or as much as $95,000. Personal property and liability coverage come standard, but Assurant also offers extras such as:

  • Pet Damage: This includes up to $500 of damage to walls, carpets and baseboards.
  • Sewer or Drain Backup: This messy problem can cause thousands of dollars in damage, but coverage takes care of the cleanup expenses.
  • Earthquake Coverage: This option pays for damage to your personal property after an earthquake. It’s available in Washington and California.

State Farm

A solid history and a reputation for low rental insurance rates makes State Farm stand out from the crowd. It is one of the largest insurers in the country and its renters insurance protects your personal valuables, including electronics, computers, bikes and other personal property from losses caused by:

  • Theft or vandalism
  • Riots
  • Vehicles and aircraft
  • Fire
  • Snow, sleet and hail
  • Ice
  • Lightning
  • Storms

These policies don’t cover intentional harm to another person or to personal property. Other exclusions include ownership of watercraft and professional services or business pursuits. State Farm’s policies offer different options for deductibles and flexible liability coverage.

Allstate

Allstate renters insurance includes personal property coverage, options to cover high-priced belongings, reimbursement of living expenses if an event makes your rental unlivable, guest medical coverage and liability coverage for legal and medical expenses if someone gets hurt while they’re on your property. Allstate also offers extras such as flood insurance and personal umbrella insurance that gives you added liability coverage to reduce out-of-pocket expenses.

USAA

This is a standout option for active military members, their families and veterans. To be eligible, you need to qualify according to USAA’s criteria, which means being one of the following:

  • Active Military: A member of the Air Force, Navy, Army, Coast Guard or Marines
  • Former Military: An individual who separated or retired with an honorable discharge
  • Family: Un-remarried former spouses, widows and widowers of USAA members or children whose parents had or have USAA property or auto insurance
  • Cadets and Midshipmen: Individuals enrolled at U.S. service academies, on ROTC scholarship or in advanced ROTC

USAA’s renters insurance does not charge for several types of coverage that most insurers consider optional extras. Examples include:

  • Replacement cost
  • Moving and storage
  • Earthquake
  • Flood
  • Identity theft

USAA also offers custom plans for policyholders who live on base or store their belongings there. It’s easy to get an online quote in minutes.

AAA

Although it’s widely known for roadside assistance, the American Automobile Association (AAA) also offers great rates on property insurance, including homes, condominiums and rentals. Renters insurance includes coverage for your personal property as well as liability coverage. AAA also offers the option to purchase additional personal umbrella coverage, which adds to your liability coverage to pay for legal fees.

E Renters Insurance

E Renters Insurance is offered through LeasingDesk Insurance Services, a licensed agency that offers renters insurance across the country. This insurer offers flexible policies and payment options, portability that allows you to transfer your policy to your new home if you move, and coverage for personal belongings at a storage facility.

E Renters Insurance offers online servicing and a mobile app that makes it easy to compare plans, file claims and pay your bills. Policyholders get complete coverage, including personal liability protection of up to $100,000, emergency living expenses, replacement cost reimbursement and pet injury liability coverage. This insurer doesn’t perform a credit check, which makes it a good option for renters with a less than perfect credit history.

Liberty Mutual

In addition to being among the oldest insurers in the country, Liberty Mutual also provides nationwide coverage and discounts for policyholders who haven’t made any claims in the past five years. Liberty Mutual blends the digital with the personal, providing fast online quotes and a large network of local agents for face-to-face service.

Renters insurance policies provide protection from fire, theft and some forms of water damage. They also cover your personal property while you’re on vacation, moving or driving. Additionally, Liberty Mutual’s policy covers accidental damage to another person’s property. For example, if your kitchen sink overflows and causes water damage in the apartment below you, your policy covers the damage up to your maximum liability.

American Family

American Family Insurance has been providing insurance since 1927 when Herman Witter started the company. American Family offers competitive rates and coverage as well as optional extras to cover pets, home businesses and identity theft.

This is a great option for renters who want to speak directly with an agent. American Family Insurance offers online quotes, but you need to get in touch with your local agent to sign up. The added bonus of talking to a representative is that the agent can guide you through your options. Bundling multiple policies saves money while autopay options make premium payments fast and simple.

Top Renters Insurance by State

Your options for renters insurance — and the rate you can expect to pay — differ from state to state. When selecting the top renters insurance companies for various states, we looked at the overall cost, features and reliability of the insurance company.

Florida

  • Geico
  • Allstate
  • Liberty Mutual

Texas

  • Nationwide
  • Allstate
  • Liberty Mutual

New York

  • Gotham Brokerage (a family-run, local insurer that specializes in apartment and co-op insurance)
  • Allstate
  • Nationwide

North Carolina

  • Amica
  • State Farm
  • Allstate

Alabama

  • State Farm
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Allstate

South Dakota

  • State Farm
  • Allstate
  • Farmers

What Is Renters Insurance?

Renters insurance is a specialized type of property insurance. Much like homeowners insurance, renters insurance covers the policyholder’s personal belongings in the event of damage. It also covers liability in case someone gets hurt on the premises. Anyone who rents or sublets a home, apartment, condominium, duplex, townhome or loft is eligible for a renter’s insurance policy.

How Much Is Renters Insurance?

When you’re evaluating renters insurance cost, it’s helpful to have a basic idea of what to expect. Many of the top insurance companies offer access to online quote tools that provide a snapshot of what they charge in just a few minutes. Most renters pay $15 to $30 per month for their rental insurance policy, depending on the level of coverage. Opting for extras such as replacement cost, pet coverage and personal umbrella coverage drive up the price.

Other factors that affect the overall cost include where you live, especially if you live in an area prone to natural disasters or crime. Opting for a higher deductible, which is the amount of out of pocket expense you pay before your policy issues benefits, also lowers your premium cost.

As many renters realize once they start researching available policies, renters insurance doesn’t cost much more than you pay for takeout every week. Not having renters insurance could end up costing you everything, though.

What Does Renters Insurance Cover?

Good rental insurance policies include four basic coverage options as part of the standard plan. Coverages include:

  • Personal Property: This includes all of your clothing, furniture and other items that you use every day. Other covered items include musical equipment, jewelry and electronics. If you have very expensive possessions, such as luxury jewelry or high-end electronics, then you may need to add extended coverage. Additionally, your personal property is covered even if it gets stolen from your car or while you’re on vacation.
  • Liability: If someone else gets hurt while on your rental property, this coverage protects you from the costs of property damage and bodily injury to someone else.
  • Medical Payments: If a guest gets injured while visiting you, then this coverage pays for their medical bills even if you aren’t liable for the accident. It covers doctor fees, diagnostic testing and hospital stays for your guest, but it doesn’t provide any coverage for you or other members of your household.
  • Additional Living Expenses: In the event of a covered incident, such as a fire, in which the damage is so bad that you can’t live in your rental, this coverage pays for your temporary living expenses. It reimburses you for hotels and restaurants for a specified period of time.

On average, renters can get $30,000 of coverage for $150 to $300 a year. This is substantially cheaper than traditional homeowners insurance. Many insurers offer discounts on renters policies, including the following common options:

  • Claims-Free Discounts: If you haven’t filed a claim for a period of time, then you may be eligible for cheaper rates.
  • Protective Devices: Installing smoke detectors, fire alarms and security systems, which can possibly prevent incidents from occurring, often qualifies you for a discount.
  • Multi-Policy: Most insurance companies reward loyalty. Having an auto, health or other policy usually means that you’ll pay less for renters insurance with the same insurer.
You can trust that we maintain strict editorial integrity in our writing and assessments; however, we receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners and get approved.
Published September 8, 2016
Related Links

Leave Your Reply

Submitting comment...