Compare Cheap Renters Insurance in Seattle
The average cost of renters insurance in Seattle, Washington, is about $14 per month, or $168 per year. Renters insurance provides financial protection for your belongings, personal liability and the costs of relocating while your apartment is uninhabitable. We analyzed the cheapest renters insurance companies in the Seattle area and also made recommendations for the best renters insurance companies for residents of the Emerald City.
Cheapest Renters Insurance Companies in Seattle
We collected quotes in Seattle for six of the biggest renters insurance companies in the state of Washington, plus Jetty, a rising renters insurance start-up. We found that Allstate had the cheapest renters insurance policies in the city at approximately $144 per year. And beyond its affordable base price, Allstate has plenty of opportunities for savings given it offers discounts for buying multiple insurance policies or enrolling in its automatic payment plan. The most expensive renters insurance policy on offer was by Safeco, a Liberty Mutual company, with an annual premium of $216.
Not all renters insurance companies offer exactly the same coverage, but our findings show that shoppers can often save dozens of dollars per year for equivalent coverage by shopping among different companies.
Compare Cheap Renters Insurance in Seattle
Best Renters Insurance Companies in Seattle
The best renters insurance company for you may differ depending on your personal profile and your preferences. Below, we've given our recommendation for the best policies in Seattle for specific types of shoppers, with PEMCO rating as the best overall renters insurance company.
PEMCO: Best Overall Seattle Renters Insurance Company
PEMCO is a Seattle-based mutual insurance company that caters to local residents, and it has the best combination of coverage, affordability and customer service of renters insurance companies serving the area.
PEMCO ranks as the third cheapest of the seven largest renters insurance companies in Washington State, but its affordability doesn't result in a poorer customer experience. With a customer complaint ratio of zero, it comes out first in the group for our measure of customer service. A lower ratio indicates fewer customer complaints relative to the size of the company's market.
Renters insurance company
Customer complaint ratio
Complaint ratio is for home insurance policies and provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. A lower ratio indicates customers are happier with their service. Home insurance complaint ratios are used as a proxy for renters insurance policies, given that the policies are similar and data for renters insurance is unavailable.
And the coverages you'll find in its standard policies are generous. PEMCO policies provide replacement cost coverage for personal property, meaning that if you make a claim, you'll be reimbursed for an item of similar like kind and quality, ignoring wear and tear. It also includes water backup and sump overflow coverage, protecting you against a form of water damage that can be very expensive. Many renters insurance companies will make you pay extra for both of those coverages; with PEMCO they're included no matter what.
Those who work in the education industry or graduates of the University of Washington, in particular, should get a quote with PEMCO, as the company offers discounts for customers who fit those profiles.
State Farm: Best for Shoppers Who Want Additional Coverages
State Farm offers one of the most affordable renters insurance policies in Seattle, and it also gives policyholders plenty of variety through its wealth of optional coverage add-ons. If you want protection against identity theft, a common add-on coverage, State Farm can add it to your renters insurance policy. But shoppers who talk to a State Farm agent will see it has a breadth of coverages for more idiosyncratic risks, such as waterbed liability.
Perhaps the most relevant State Farm coverage for Seattle residents is earthquake coverage, as renters insurance policies typically don't cover earthquake damage. If you're concerned about the potential of a mega-quake in Seattle destroying your personal property, State Farm can cover you with its earthquake endorsement.
USAA: Best for Current and Former U.S. Military Members
The coverages included in USAA renters insurance rival those of PEMCO, but not everyone can buy a policy. Only current or former U.S. military members or their families can purchase a USAA policy in Seattle or elsewhere.
If you are eligible, you should definitely consider a USAA renters insurance policy. Not only do its standard policies reimburse property damage at replacement cost, but they also include both flood and earthquake coverage. Most renters insurance companies cover neither, and the ones that do will make you pay extra. Qualifying Seattle residents concerned about earthquake damage or who don't want to purchase a separate flood insurance policy should look to USAA.
Why Seattleites Need Renters Insurance
Tenants are not legally required to hold renters insurance in Seattle—or in Washington State, more generally—but it's possible that your landlord will put a renters insurance requirement in your lease. If this is the case, you will need to buy a renters insurance policy. Otherwise, you are free to remain uncovered.
However, mandated or not, we recommend that all tenants purchase a renters insurance policy. At a reasonable price, renters insurance gives you valuable financial protection against theft or damage of your personal property, legal liability costs and the costs of living elsewhere if you have to temporarily leave your apartment.
Renters insurance covers…
- Personal property: If your things are damaged in a covered event—such as fire or windstorm—or stolen, your renters insurance policy will reimburse you for the loss. Although floods typically aren't covered, water leaks are; that’s important in Seattle's rainy climate.
- Personal liability: If you're responsible for injury to others or damage to their property, personal liability covers the cost of damages and your legal defense. A typical policy will have $100,000 in coverage.
- Additional living expenses (ALE): ALE covers living expenses above and beyond your normal living expenses if a covered event makes your apartment uninhabitable. It's also called loss of use coverage.
Tenants in Seattle who are concerned about the risk of a major earthquake should be sure to pick a renters insurance company that can cover that peril in particular. Most renters insurance policies exclude earthquake damage from personal property coverage. Among the major renters insurance companies available in Seattle, State Farm and USAA offer earthquake coverage as part of their policies.
Quotes are for a renters insurance policy in Seattle with $30,000 in personal property coverage and $100,000 in personal liability coverage. We collected quotes for an apartment in Seattle for the seven biggest homeowners insurance groups in the state of Washington, given the similarity of renters and homeowners insurance policies and the fact that market share numbers for renters insurance are not available. Jetty, a renters insurance start-up, was included in the cost analysis, while USAA was excluded due to data unavailability. Customer complaint ratios were also taken from home insurance policies, as the National Association of Insurance Commissioners does not collect complaints for renters insurance policies.