Find the Cheapest Renters Insurance Quotes in Your Area
We evaluated renters insurance policies for a sample policy that included $30,000 in personal property coverage in 305 cities in the state of California in order to determine which cities had the highest and lowest annual renters insurance costs. Based on this sample policy, California renters pay on average $220 per year for renters insurance for their home or apartment. Renters insurance prices in California vary by 119% between the cities in our study. Below, we profile the most and least expensive cities in California for renters insurance. Read more about our findings, or use our quote tool above to find renters insurance quotes in your area.
- Cheapest Renters Insurance Companies in California
- Top 5 Least Expensive Cities for Renters Insurance In California
- Top 5 Most Expensive Cities for Renters Insurance in California
- What Does Renters Insurance Cover in California?
Cheapest Renters Insurance Companies in California
We gathered quotes for our sample residence across 305 cities from State Farm, Farmers, Allstate, Liberty Mutual and Nationwide. Quotes from each company were averaged to find which insurance companies had the best renters insurance rates in California. The graph below shows the average annual costs to insure our sample residence by company alongside the state average:
Find the Cheapest Renters Insurance Quotes in Your Area
Top 5 Least Expensive Cities for Renters Insurance in California
1. Santa Maria, CA
Santa Maria is located approximately 13 miles west of California’s coast. The city is well known for its wine production, but has varied industries. The city’s top employers include the Vandenberg Air Force Base, the Santa Maria-Bonita School District and the Marian Medical Center. Vandenberg is the third largest Air Force Base in the United States.
Residents of Santa Maria pay an average annual renters insurance cost of $166, which is 25% less than the California average. Based on our study, Santa Maria ranks as the most affordable city for renters insurance in the state. Between the insurance companies in our study, we found that annual cost of renters insurance in Santa Maria varied by $114. Liberty Mutual offered the most affordable rates at $124 per year, which is $42 less than the city’s average.
2. San Luis Obispo, CA
San Luis Obispo is located nearly halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The city is well known in the region as the home of Bubblegum Alley, an alleyway near Higuera Street where visitors stick their chewed gum on the walls. It’s estimated that there are approximately two million pieces of gum in Bubblegum Alley.
The city boasts the second most affordable renters insurance rates in the state. Our research found that the average annual cost for renters insurance in San Luis Obispo was $167, which is 24% less than the state average. Nationwide offered the least affordable quotes by a margin of $24. State Farm, Farmers and Liberty Mutual were similarly priced, offering quotes within $6 of each other.
3. Pismo Beach, CA
Pismo Beach is located along California’s central coast. The city was founded in 1939, but quickly faced risk of being disincorporated. Pismo Beach was able to avoid that fate by eight votes. Today, the city is a vibrant beach town, which thrives off of the tourism industry.
Pismo Beach is the third cheapest city for renters insurance in the state of California. On average, residents of Pismo pay $167 annually for their renters insurance. That represents a rate that is $53 less than the state mean. State Farm and Farmers both offered annual quotes of $130 for renters insurance. Similar to other affordable cities for renters insurance, Nationwide offered the most expensive quote at an annual cost of $238.
4. Lompoc, CA
The city of Lompoc is well known in the region for its abundance of flowers. So much so, that Lompoc is nicknamed the City of Arts and Flowers. In fact, some of the top attractions in the area are the flower fields, which flourish from April through September. Visitors can expect to see a variety of flowers, including Queen Annes Lace, Stark and more.
Lompoc ranks as the fourth most affordable city for renters insurance in California. The average annual renters insurance rate in the city is $169, which is $51 less than the state average. We recommend comparing quotes from State Farm, Farmers and Liberty Mutual as they offered quotes within $1 of each other. Nationwide offered the most expensive quote from the insurance companies we sampled at an annual cost of $249, which is $40 greater than the next highest quote.
5. Arroyo Grande, CA
Like many other cities in California, Arroyo Grande is a city with an industry based on tourism. One of the city’s best attractions is the swinging bridge. The bridge is 171 feet long and 40 feet high. While the bridge is free to visit, you can request a novelty lifetime pass for admittance to the bridge by contacting the city.
If you’re looking for cheap renters insurance in Arroyo Grande, we recommend starting with Liberty Mutual, which quoted our sample residence an annual rate of $124. That said, Farmers and State Farm offered rates that were just $6 and $7 greater, respectively. Arroyo Grande is the fifth most affordable city in California for renters insurance. Based on our study, residents pay 23% less than the state average.
Top 5 Most Expensive Cities for Renters Insurance in California
1. Beverly Hills, CA
Beverly Hills is located approximately 13 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Despite being surrounded by other cities, including Santa Monica and Culver City, Beverly Hills maintains its own services, such as police, fire and water treatment. Beverly Hills is home to the world famous, Rodeo Drive, where visitors and residents alike enjoy the vast amount of retail shops.
Beverly Hills is rated the least affordable city for renters insurance in California. On average, residents pay $364 for renters insurance, which is 65% greater than the state average. The most affordable rate was offered by State Farm at an annual cost of $246. Even State Farm’s quote was greater than the state average of $220. State Farm and Farmers were the only insurers to offer annual quotes of less than $300 for our sample policy.
2. Oakland, CA
Oakland is situated in the San Francisco Bay. The top employers in the area are the Kaiser Foundation, the Oakland Unified School District and the County of Alameda. In 2008, the City of Oakland was among the top three employers. Now, it has fallen to fourth.
The most affordable renters insurance rate in Oakland was offered by Farmers at an annual cost of $187. The second most affordable renters insurance policy was offered by State Farm at $226, which is $39 greater than Farmers’ quote. Oakland is the second least affordable city for renters insurance in the state of California.
3. Culver City, CA
Culver City, named after Harry H. Culver, was established in 1917. The city was carefully planned to be positioned along railroads, major transportation routes, and near Los Angeles. Harry Culver played a big part in the city’s early development. It wasn’t until major movie studios moved to the area that the economy was stabilized.
Based on our research, annual renters insurance quotes in Culver City vary by $246. Culver City is the third least affordable city for renters insurance in California. On average, residents pay $326 per year, which is 48% greater than the state mean. The least affordable insurance company, Liberty Mutual, offered a rate of $458. State Farm offered the cheapest rate for our sample policy at an annual cost of $212.
4. Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles is the second largest city in the United States and the largest in California. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the city had a population of over 3.7 million. Los Angeles is a thriving city with multiple professional sports teams, higher education institutions and museums. One of the city’s largest industries is leisure and hospitality.
If you’re looking for affordable renters insurance rates in Los Angeles, we suggest starting with Liberty Mutual, which quoted our sample residence a cost of $196 annually. Nationwide offered the least affordable rate at $422 per year, which is $226 greater than the quote offered by Liberty Mutual. Based on our study, Los Angeles ranked as the fourth most expensive city for renters insurance in the state.
5. Pasadena, CA
Pasadena is located on the outskirts of Los Angeles. The city is famous for its annual Rose Parade, which has taken place for over a century. The Rose Parade is a New Year’s celebration that is broadcast live across many areas in the United States.
State Farm quoted the least expensive renters insurance rate in Pasadena at $144 annually, which is $315 less than Liberty Mutual’s quote of $459. Based on our study, Liberty Mutual is the least affordable insurance company in the city. The city of Pasadena ranked as the fifth least affordable city for renters insurance in the state of California. Residents pay 31% more for renters insurance when compared to the state mean.
What Does Renters Insurance Cover in California?
Renters insurance in California, as it does in all states, will provide financial protection through four main coverage features.
- Personal property coverage: If your personal belongings are damaged or destroyed in a covered peril, your renters insurance will reimburse you for the cost of replacing them up to your policy's limits. Common perils may include theft or water damage from burst pipes. Depending on their location, tenants in California could be particularly vulnerable to fire damage, which is covered under renters insurance.
- Personal liability coverage: If you're responsible for injury to other people or damage to their property, liability coverage will cover the costs of the injury or, if you're sued, the cost of your legal defenses. A typical renters insurance policy covers up to $100,000 in liability costs. When landlords require that their tenants have renters insurance, it is often to ensure that tenants are covered for legal liability.
- Additional living expenses (ALE) coverage: Also called loss of use coverage, this feature will cover expenses if California tenants are unable to live in their rental home or apartment due to a covered event. Coverage will only extend to costs above and beyond your normal expenses. For example, if a wildfire renders your apartment uninhabitable, ALE will cover the costs of staying in a hotel up to specified dollar and time limits.
- Medical payments coverage: Covers a limited amount of medical costs if a guest is injured on your property.
Renters insurance is not required by law in California—or any other state, for that matter—so you typically won't have to buy coverage unless you want to. However, it is possible that your landlord will require renters insurance in your lease. In this case, purchasing it will be mandatory.
Regardless, we generally recommend that tenants purchase renters insurance given its affordability and the protection it offers. The average rent of an apartment in major cities in California is generally over $1,000 per month, and an extra $18 per month to ensure the security of your belongings and guard against legal liability is almost always worth it.
We studied 305 cities, spread out geographically throughout the state of California. The sample renters insurance policy we gathered quotes for included $30,000 of coverage. Quotes were obtained from State Farm, Farmers, Allstate, Liberty Mutual and Nationwide insurance companies. The rates were then average to arrive at a mean for each city. To see an alphabetical list of all the cities included in the comparison analysis, please see below. We’ve displayed all cities with the average annual cost of insurance for our benchmark policy and how much each city costs relative to the statewide average.
|Rank||City||Average Insurance Rate||Cost Compared to Average|
|185||Big Bear Lake||227||3%|
|170||El Dorado Hills||223||1%|
|273||Fall River Mills||256||16%|
|76||Half Moon Bay||199||-10%|
|286||La Canada Flintridge||268||22%|
|158||Marina Del Rey||220||0%|
|245||Point Reyes Station||244||11%|
|49||Rancho Santa Fe||190||-14%|
|41||San Juan Capistrano||188||-15%|
|2||San Luis Obispo||167||-24%|
|166||South Lake Tahoe||222||1%|