Whether you live downtown or upstate, the best renters insurance offers extremely affordable protection from theft, damage, and personal liability.
To help you find the right coverage for your living situation, we've profiled the best and cheapest renters insurance options in New York City. We also looked at renters insurance costs from a statewide angle and found that affordability can vary quite a bit within New York State.
The Best Renters Insurance Companies in NYC
The tree best renters insurance companies in New York City are also the cheapest. Having dug into the coverage details, we recommend Lemonade, State Farm, or Farmers renters insurance policies based on affordability, customer service and ease of use.
Best for fast and cheap coverage: Lemonade
In terms of pure convenience for renters, Lemonade has a significant lead on the rest of the field. Getting active coverage from Lemonade takes less than ten minutes from start to finish on its app. If you've been procrastinating on getting renters insurance because of the potential hassle, Lemonade's quick process may be the answer.
The company is young and seeking growth, which may be one reason its premiums are also very low. While this might raise questions about its long-term ability to maintain these rates and pay claims, shoppers concerned about Lemonade's sustainability should note that it gets an A rating from Demotech Inc., indicating an exceptional ability to meet its obligations.
Best customer service: State Farm
While it's not the lowest rate available, buying renters insurance with State Farm means your claims will be handled by a nationwide insurer with a quality customer service reputation. Out of the insurers available to New Yorkers who rent, State Farm received one of the best user satisfaction scores in J.D. Power's study of renters insurance providers' pricing, policy offerings and interaction.
Aside from its strong reputation among consumers, State Farm's large scale means that it's unlikely to default on any claim — a rare circumstance which can still happen to small insurance companies whose customers get hit by a widespread disaster. New Yorkers can get a State Farm renters insurance quote online, but, as with many traditional insurers, you'll have to finalize your purchase with an insurance agent.
Best for customized coverage: Farmers
Besides offering the third-lowest rate for renters insurance among the companies we reviewed, Farmers provides a number of options that enable renters to save money or add endorsements to cover particularly high-value belongings. The flexibility of renters insurance at Farmers makes it a good fit if you want coverage that's optimized for you as an individual.
Some examples of the renters insurance add-ons at Farmers include the ability to opt into replacement cost coverage and identity theft protection — options that not every competitor offers. In other regards, Farmers is a solid if unremarkable choice. Its customer satisfaction score is about average relative to other renters insurance providers, and its financial stability rating according to A.M. Best is an A for "Excellent".
The Cheapest Renters Insurance Options in New York City
Based on our research, Lemonade is the cheapest company for renters insurance in NYC, offering $30,000 in personal property coverage for $9 per month, on average. If you're more comfortable getting a policy from one of the major traditional insurers, State Farm is the next cheapest renters insurance option for about $11 per month.
Other major insurers such as Liberty Mutual and Progressive have pricier rates, but shoppers should always get multiple quotes from different insurers, as prices are driven by a variety of factors including your location and the type of building you live in.
ValuePenguin works with trusted national carriers to help you find the best rate quickly, simply and easily — for free.
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Renters insurance costs by NYC borough
As is the case with rent itself, the five boroughs of NYC pay differently for renters insurance. We found that Brooklyn has the highest average price for renters insurance, while neighboring Queens has the cheapest. Manhattan, the most densely populated part of the city, has the second most expensive renters insurance on average.
But prices ultimately aren't that different, with a range of about $73 between the highest and lowest annual premiums we saw. The amount of coverage you choose affects the final rate more than any other factor. Still, the price of renters insurance should be incorporated into your calculation of housing costs when finding an apartment in NYC.
What does renters insurance include?
Renters insurance protects you in four major areas, including not only coverage for your physical belongings but also the costs of personal liability and inability to stay in your apartment.
|Coverage||What it is||Example|
|Personal property coverage||Protects all your belongings against damage or theft. With some limits, this can apply to losses that happen anywhere in the world.||A burglar breaks into your apartment and steals your laptop.|
|Personal liability coverage||Covers you if you're held legally responsible for injury to other people or their property. This includes medical costs and legal fees.||You bump into someone on the street, who drops and breaks their camera.|
|Additional living expenses (ALE) coverage||Also called loss-of-use coverage, this covers any costs beyond normal expenses if your apartment is made uninhabitable by a covered loss.||Your apartment's pipes burst, forcing you to stay in a hotel.|
|Medical payments coverage||This covers medical bills for guests who are hurt on your rented property. The feature is unrelated to liability and usually provides a few thousand dollars for basic medical expenses.||Your friend trips on his own feet and falls down the stairs.|
Personal property coverage does not cover everything that happens to your belongings — certain perils like floods are not covered.
Damage that's caused by your own negligence is also excluded. Below we've listed some of the more common perils in New York City for which a renters insurance policy will cover you.
Property crime in New York City is not as common as in other major cities like Los Angeles or Chicago, but the probability varies widely depending on where in the city you live. Renters insurance will ensure that you're made whole if your personal property is stolen from your apartment, up to policy limits.
According to FDNY records, the city saw nearly 13,000 structural fires over the first half of 2019. Fire and lightning usually cause the greatest losses in any single incident, but fortunately renters insurance policies always cover both.
For renters, water damage is the most frequently reported cause of loss. Older apartments in New York sometimes suffer from poorly maintained plumbing or burst pipes in the winter. Renters insurance will cover you for water damage as long as it is not flooding, which is defined by a storm surge and water entering the apartment from outside.
Do you need renters insurance in NYC?
Purchasing renters insurance is not required of tenants by law, and you'll only need to purchase a policy if your landlord requires it.
However, just because you aren't required to buy renters insurance doesn't mean you shouldn't consider buying it. Renters insurance offers valuable and cost-effective financial protection against unexpected events that could cost you far more if you were uninsured.
How many renters in New York actually have renters insurance? There are no hard numbers, but probably not enough of them. Statistics show that renters make up the overwhelming majority of New Yorkers. Considering that approximately 63% of tenants nationwide do not have renters insurance, a large share of New Yorkers are likely living without the useful protection the policies offer.
How much is renters insurance in New York?
We studied 64 cities, including New York City, spread out geographically throughout the state of New York. 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 Farmers insurance companies for New York State and a broader group of companies for New York City. The rates were then averaged to arrive at a mean for each city. 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|