COVID-19 Update: If you're thinking about renters insurance in the context of coronavirus, see below for information.
Renters insurance only costs a few dollars a month, but it could save you thousands if your home experiences damage or a break-in. We collected dozens of renters insurance quotes across Washington to find the best choices in the state.
Compare cheap renters insurance options in Washington
The cheapest renters insurance costs just $10 per month, but we don't recommend buying a policy based on price alone. Quality of service and coverage options are just as important.
Best for most renters
Best for coverage options
Runner-up for affordable rates
Best renters insurance for most people: State Farm
- Very low prices
- Good coverage options
- Well-rated customer service
- Minimum coverage limits could be lower
We recommend State Farm to most renters in Washington because it has the best mix of affordable rates, well-reviewed customer service and good coverage options.
State Farm was the cheapest of any insurance company we looked at in Washington, with a typical price of just $10 per month for $30,000 of property protection. That's 50% cheaper than the statewide average.
We are also fans of State Farm's customer service. It has a complaint index of just 0.35 from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), meaning it's received 35% as many complaints as you'd expect from a typical company of its size.
State farm has a fairly broad range of coverage options for their renters insurance policy, including replacement cost coverage, earthquake coverage and extended liability. However, it doesn't have as big a range as our pick for the best coverage options, Travelers Insurance.
Best coverage options: Travelers
- More coverage options than any other insurer we considered
- Slightly below-average rates
- Must buy policy on annual basis
- No earthquake protection
- Middle-of-the-road customer service
For renters who have very particular coverage needs from their renters insurance provider, we recommend Travelers Insurance. Its coverage options outmatched every other insurer we looked at.
We particularly like Travelers’ equipment breakdown and water backup coverages, which weren't available at any other Washington insurers we considered. While these add-ons might not be right for everyone, they can provide big benefits to people who need them.
The biggest drawback to Travelers is that its renters insurance policies are only available on an annual basis; every other company we looked at sold coverage by the month. This annual-only pricing does mean you have to come up with an average of $168 upfront. You also have to go through the hassle of getting a refund if you ever want to cancel coverage.
Month for month, prices at Travelers were below average, but only slightly. We found a typical cost statewide of $14 per month, which is $1 per month less than the overall average.
Customer service from Travelers was about average among companies we surveyed. Its NAIC complaint score was 0.50, meaning it got 50% as many complaints as a typical company of its size. Although that’s not a bad rating, it's more than our top pick, State Farm.
One coverage missing from Travelers that may be of interest to Washington renters is earthquake coverage. Earthquakes are relatively common in Washington, so renters who want to protect themselves from loss due to one may need to look at another insurer. Earthquake damage is not covered by normal renters insurance.
Runner-up for affordable rates: Allstate
- Rates 23% below state average
- Mediocre service reviews
- Not many coverage options
For renters looking for an affordable price but who can't get a good rate from our top pick, State Farm, we suggest Allstate. At an average of $12 per month, Allstate was the second most affordable rate we found statewide.
However, we only recommend it if neither of our top picks is a better fit, because Allstate's coverage options and customer service are both subpar. It only offers two coverage options: identity theft and extended liability; both of which are readily available at other companies.
And with a complaint ratio of 0.75, Allstate's customer service is not as strong as our top two recommendations.
How we chose the best renters insurance companies in Washington
When we evaluated the best renters insurance companies in Washington, we took three key factors into account: affordability, coverage options and customer service.
- Affordability: Does the insurer offer low prices for the same amount of protection when compared to its competitors?
- Coverage options: Does the insurer offer a mix of optional coverages that are appealing and relevant?
- Customer service: Are customers usually satisfied with the customer service they receive from their insurer?
Affordability: Finding cheap renters insurance in Washington
The average cost of renters insurance in Washington is $15 per month, but shopping around could save you a lot of money. We found that State Farm's average rate was just $10 per month, which could save you $127 per year if you switched from the most expensive provider we found.
|Insurer||Average monthly cost||% difference vs. average|
Our selected levels of coverage were:
- Personal property coverage: $30,000
- Liability coverage: $100,000
- Medical payments coverage: $1,000
- Deductible: $500
- Loss of use: $0
Compare cheap renters insurance options in Washington
Discounts: Not crucial for renters insurance
Unlike auto and homeowners insurance, where discounts can reduce your bill by hundreds of dollars per year, renters insurance tends not to have large discounts. The prices are already so low that a discount for loyalty or being a member of an affinity group may only save you a few dollars per year.
The only exception is a bundle discount. All of our top renters insurance picks in Washington also sell car insurance, and you may be able to get a discount for buying both policies from one insurer. These discounts can save you money on both your renters and car insurance policies and can make things more convenient when you're paying your insurance bill or making a claim.
Coverage options: Comparing renters insurance policies and benefits
Every renter's insurance needs are different, so we like when insurance companies offer a wide range of optional coverages that fit the most possible customers. Here are some key coverage options we looked for in Washington:
- Replacement cost coverage: Pays for the full cost to repair or replace a damaged item, without factoring in depreciation.
- Identity theft coverage: Pays for costs associated with identity theft, such as fraudulent credit card charges or identity protection.
- Valuable items coverage: Pays to repair or replace valuable items like jewelry or electronics, which may not be fully covered under a typical policy.
In addition, every renters insurance company we looked at offered these basic coverages. If you're considering a renters insurance company and it doesn't offer these protections, we recommend looking elsewhere.
- Personal property coverage: Pays to repair or replace property that is stolen or damaged by a covered peril.
- Additional living expenses: Pays for a hotel or other temporary accommodation if your home is uninhabitable.
- Liability coverage: Pays for damages you're responsible for to other people, such as in a lawsuit.
- Medical payments coverage: Pays for injuries incurred by others on your property, regardless of who is at fault. Pays out before liability coverage kicks in.
Customer service: Evaluating insurer quality in service and claims
A good customer service experience from your renters insurance company is essential, particularly when buying insurance or making a claim. Good service while buying means you'll have a smooth purchase process and find the right coverage easily, while good service during claims makes it more likely you'll be paid what you're owed — fast.
To evaluate customer service from renters insurers in Washington, we looked at three key metrics: the NAIC complaint index, J.D. Power's renters insurance survey and A.M. Best's financial strength rating (FSR). Here are the scores for all the companies we considered.
|Insurer||NAIC Complaint Index||J.D. Power rating||A.M. Best FSR|
- NAIC Complaint Index: This number compares the number of complaints an insurance company has received relative to its size. A lower number means more complaints and indicates that customers are more likely to be satisfied with their service. The national average is 1.00.
- J.D. Power rating: This score is based on a nationwide survey commissioned by J.D. Power asking how renters feel about their insurance companies. The scores are out of 1000, and the national average is 835.
- A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating (FSR): This letter grade evaluates an insurer's overall financial health. Grades range from A++ to D, and a higher grade indicates a better financial ability to pay out claims, even in times of high claim demand (like after a natural disaster) or during an economic downturn.
How does coronavirus affect renters in Washington?
Washington has mandated that renters who've missed payments due to coronavirus can't be evicted from their homes. While tenants still owe this rent, their landlords are required to present reasonable repayment plans for renters to abide by in the future.
As for your renters insurance, not much will change because of COVID-19. If you have to submit a claim, your renters insurance provider may require you to complete the entire process electronically. With the widespread transition to remote work, insurance adjusters aren't making in-home visits except in special cases. Additionally, many renters are waiving late fees and cancellations for customers who have missed payments because of COVID-19.
Washington renters insurance: Costs by city
The cost of renters insurance depends in part on where you live. People who live in cities could pay more if crime is more common there; or, people who live near the coast might pay more if their property is more susceptible to wind damage.
We've compared the prices of renters insurance for all the major cities in Washington to help you understand how your location impacts the cost of renters insurance.
|City||Average||% difference from state average|
Renters insurance costs vary by state, too. We've compared the average cost of renters insurance for every state in the United States in our nationwide analysis of renters insurance costs.
Our average rates are based on quotes collected from five of the top insurance companies that operate in Washington State: Allstate, Farmers, Liberty Mutual, State Farm and Travelers. All quotes are for a 30-year-old man who lives alone and hasn't made any recent renters insurance claims.
He's protected himself with $30,000 of personal property coverage with a $500 deductible, plus $500,000 of liability protection.