Best Renters Insurance Companies of 2019

Below, we list the best renters insurance companies of 2019 to help you find the right policy, whether you're looking for the cheapest rates or top-rated service.

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Renters insurance is an affordable way for tenants to secure financial protection against damage or theft of their personal property and potential legal damages. Although all renters insurance policies come standard with personal property, legal liability and additional living expenses coverage, no two policies are exactly alike, and shoppers should seek a policy that fits their needs. We've provided renters insurance recommendations for companies that fit a variety of tenant preferences, whether you're looking for quick coverage or great customer service.

The Best Renters Insurance Companies

  • State Farm
  • Erie
  • Allstate
  • Lemonade
  • USAA

State Farm: Best For Cheap Renters Insurance Rates

For those in search of the cheapest renters insurance coverage, State Farm is a great choice, as it consistently offers some of the most affordable policies. In fact, State Farm offers highly competitive rates in some of the most populous states, including California and New York. The company’s national presence and great reviews mean that customers not only enjoy affordable renters insurance rates but also access to great customer support.

Along with low rates, State Farm offers highly customizable renters insurance policies. State Farm’s online quote system allows you to adjust your policy for different coverage limits and add endorsements. Additionally, State Farm determines if you qualify for any discounts by evaluating your responses to a few questions that are asked during the quote process. Should you ever have any questions about your policy, you’ll have access to State Farm’s agents, who are favorably reviewed by customers.

  • A++ (Superior) A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating
  • Ranked third out of 13 Companies For Overall Satisfaction by J.D. Power

Erie: Best Renters Insurance Company for Great Ratings and Reviews

For renters who care more about their insurance company having the best reviews and strong ratings above all else, Erie Insurance is a great choice. J.D. Power, a company that specializes in analyzing customer experience, ranked Erie first out of 13 renters insurance companies for overall satisfaction. Erie is routinely recognized as one of the top insurance companies across several products. This means that the company has strong reviews and ratings that extend beyond just renters insurance, resulting in a strong reputation.

Erie’s main drawback is its limited availability. Currently, Erie only offers insurance coverage in the following states:

  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Washington, D.C.
  • A+ (Superior) A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating
  • Ranked first out of 13 Companies For Overall Satisfaction by J.D. Power

Allstate: Best Renters Insurance For The Technology-Savvy

Allstate provides the best technology features among renters insurance companies, offering its customers access to two key mobile apps: Allstate Mobile and Digital Locker. The former allows users to pay bills, start claims or simply review their coverage information on the go. Allstate’s Digital Locker app allows customers to photograph their personal possessions for easy access in the event that they ever need to make claims. No other insurance company comes close to matching the convenience that Allstate offers through its mobile apps.

Along with great digital features, customers have the ability to adjust coverage to their specific needs while saving money. For instance, Allstate policyholders have the option to exclude off-premises theft protection from their policies. Customers can save about 22% on their annual renters insurance costs by choosing to exclude the coverage from their policies.

  • A+ (Superior) A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating
  • Ranked fifth out of 13 Companies For Overall Satisfaction by J.D. Power

Lemonade: Best Renters Insurance For Quick Coverage

Lemonade allows prospective policyholders to download its app, receive a quote and sign up for coverage—all in a matter of minutes. If you’re looking for quick coverage, it’s unlikely you’ll find another renters insurance company with as quick and simple of a process. Other insurance companies often require you to speak with an agent before purchasing a policy, but with Lemonade you’ll be instantly communicating with an artificial intelligence bot named Maya. Lemonade allows you to purchase a renters insurance policy from within the app.

An added benefit of receiving renters insurance coverage through Lemonde is the ability to participate in Lemonade’s Giveback program. The program allows users to select a nonprofit cause that will receive a portion of unclaimed money at the end of the year. In its first year, Lemonade awarded $53,174 to 14 charities.

Lemonade’s drawback is that it’s only currently available in 17 states:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • District of Columbia
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin
  • No deductible for coverage that is purchased in excess of standard limits
  • 25% of claims are paid in three seconds

USAA: Best Renters Insurance For The U.S. Military And Their Families

The United Services Automobile Association (USAA) offers competitive renters insurance rates and great coverage to U.S. military members, veterans and their families. USAA’s renters insurance includes coverage against floods, earthquakes, windstorms and lighting. The aforementioned coverages are usually excluded from renters insurance policies. Therefore, customers are receiving great value in exchange for USAA’s already competitive rates.

An added benefit of obtaining a renters insurance policy through USAA is the company’s familiarity of working with military members. Other insurance companies may not have the insights that USAA does into the situations that U.S. military members encounter. For example, USAA’s renters insurance policies provide coverage for lost military uniforms without the need to pay a deductible. USAA is likely one of the most knowledgeable companies when it comes to renters insurance for military members and veterans.

  • A++ (Superior) A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating
  • Offers replacement cost coverage for damaged items

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Comparison of Cheapest Renters Insurance Companies

You should select a policy based on more than just its price but, for the same coverage, some insurers will offer reliable renters insurance on the cheap. We compared renters insurance rates from five of the biggest insurers to find which companies had the most affordable renters insurance. However, given the variability of insurance costs by region, you should always compare prices in your area from these and other insurers to see which company has the cheapest renters insurance for you.

Comparison of renters insurance rates from largest property insurers

InsurerAverage annual premium
State Farm$205
Liberty Mutual$233
Nationwide$338
Farmers$343
Allstate$367
Number is an average of rates across the 10 most populous states with data availability: California, Texas, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Georgia, North Carolina and New Jersey

State Farm

State Farm ranked as offering the most affordable renters insurance policy among the five insurers, with an average annual premium of $205 across our 10 sample states. If you're shopping for coverage from the major property insurers, you'll almost always get the best deal with State Farm. The country's leading property insurer had the cheapest renters insurance policy in five of the 10 states, with Texas the only state in which it ranked worse than second.

Liberty Mutual

With an average annual premium of $233, Liberty Mutual wasn't far behind State Farm, offering the second cheapest renters insurance policies. Given the minimal difference in rates from State Farm, it's definitely worth getting a quote from Liberty Mutual too if you're looking for an affordable renters insurance policy. In fact, either Liberty Mutual or State Farm had the cheapest renters insurance rates in eight out of the 10 states.

Nationwide

We found Nationwide had an average annual premium of $338 in our sample, ranking as the third cheapest insurer but markedly more expensive than State Farm or Liberty Mutual. If you're shopping with Nationwide you're unlikely to be getting the cheapest renters insurance available. The only state for which Nationwide had notably cheap rates compared to its competitors was Texas, where it ranked second of the five insurers.

Farmers

Farmers Insurance ranked as the second most expensive insurer on this list based on its average annual premium of $343. However, Farmers had some of the more variable prices of the group despite its high average premium: In California, Michigan and New Jersey, its rates ranked among the cheapest. Overall, it's probably still worth getting a quote from Farmers, as depending on your location, there is a chance you can get a particularly cheap rate.

Allstate

Allstate ranked as having the most expensive renters insurance policies in our sample with an average annual premium of $367. If you're looking for affordable renters insurance, you're better off shopping with its competitors: Allstate was not the cheapest, or even second cheapest insurer in any individual state in our sample.

Price Is Important, But It Shouldn’t Be The Only Factor

Renters insurance is meant to protect you against large expenses, like having to replace all of your personal items, meaning that your coverage limit should be a huge consideration. The cheapest renters insurance policy might not always be the best for every renter. Renters insurance is relatively inexpensive, with the average annual renters insurance premium in the U.S. being $187 per year. The difference in price between policies might be only a few dollars.

In some cases, a slightly more expensive policy might be the best choice, for instance, if the coverage is better or the insurer's services are better-suited for the individual policyholder. For example, one policy might be more expensive but also more attractive to a renter, because it includes a higher coverage limit in a specific category, such as jewelry. Simply put, paying a few more dollars per month might be worth it if you ever have to file claim.

How to Choose the Best Renters Insurance Coverage

The best renters insurance policy for you will include sufficient coverage for both property damage and legal liabilities at an appropriate price. Below we've included a guide of what to look for when choosing between renters insurance coverage options.

Choosing Renters Insurance Coverage Features

All renters insurance policies include three key coverage components: personal property coverage, liability coverage and loss of use coverage. Choosing higher limits for these coverages will give you more protection, but it will also increase the cost of your policy.

Personal property coverage: Personal property coverage reimburses you for unexpected damage to your personal belongings by a covered event—such as perils like fire or windstorms—or theft. Property coverage is the bedrock of renters insurance policies and provides tenants with peace of mind from knowing that their insurance companies will reimburse them for sudden and expensive disasters.

When buying a renters insurance policy, you'll want personal property coverage limits that are at or near the total value of your belongings. This will ensure you're financially protected for worst-case scenarios, such as a fire in your apartment that completely destroys your possessions. The average renter in a two room apartment owns possessions totaling $30,000 in value, according to Allstate.

Many tenants mistakenly believe they own much less than they actually do. In order to find the appropriate level of coverage for you, create a personal inventory of all your possessions and estimate their value. With this number, you can select personal property coverage limits that will cover your belongings in full.

Personal liability coverage: This coverage reimburses you for the legal costs associated with being found liable for property damage or bodily injury. A standard renters insurance policy covers tenants for up to $100,000 in legal liability coverage, but coverage levels from $300,000 to $500,000 can usually be purchased for a few extra dollars per month.

In our view, the standard $100,000 coverage limit is generally sufficient to cover most unexpected legal liabilities, but there's no guarantee it will be enough. If someone sustains a significant injury at or near your rental property, and it's determined that the injury is due to your negligence, you could be on the hook for sums in excess of this recommended limit. If you are risk-averse and desire more legal liability protection, you should consider increasing your policy limits, especially given the relatively low cost to do so.

Additional living expenses (ALE) coverage: Also referred to as loss of use coverage, ALE will fund expenses that are above and beyond your normal spending if you need to leave your home due to a covered event. For example, if smoke damage renders your apartment uninhabitable, the ALE portion of your renters insurance policy will cover your costs of living elsewhere—such as a hotel—up to policy limits. ALE coverage limits are usually set as a percentage of your total personal property coverage limits.

On top of these standard features, many renters insurance policies have optional coverage features—available at an additional cost—that will guard you against other unexpected, and financially costly, events. These optional features may include water backup coverage, identity theft coverage and coverage for rarer natural perils such as earthquakes and sinkholes. If you live in an area more susceptible to unusual natural events, or if you are concerned by unique risks such as identity theft, we recommend you seek a policy that can cover these dangers to ensure you’re fully protected.

How to Save on Renters Insurance Coverage

Carriers often provide a variety of ways for you to save on your renters insurance premium. One method, adjusting your deductible, will save you money on your monthly bill, but will cost you more in the event that you make a claim. Policy discounts, on the other hand, are an easy way to save money on your policy, assuming you meet the eligibility requirements to obtain the savings.

Renters Insurance Deductibles

A deductible is the amount of money you’ll be responsible for when you file a claim with your insurer. For example, if you file a claim for $6,000 in property damage due to vandalism, and your policy has a $500 deductible, your insurer will send you a check for $5,500; the value of the claim minus the value of the deductible.

If you had chosen a higher deductible, say $1,000, you’d only get a check for $5,000 in this scenario. However, you would also pay a lower premium for your policy. Ultimately, your choice in renters insurance deductible is down to individual preference. The decision is a trade-off between saving money on your premium versus saving money on your claims, as a higher deductible means you’ll have a lower premium and vice versa.

Renters Insurance Discounts

Many insurers provide discounts for those customers who take safety precautions in their homes, or for those who buy multiple insurance policies.

Tenants who have installed safety devices in their apartment or home, such as smoke and burglary alarms, are considered lower-risk policyholders, and will often receive discounts on their policies. When shopping for renters insurance, be sure to note if you have any protective devices that could qualify you for these savings.

If you are shopping for multiple insurance policies, it may make sense to buy them all with the same provider given the discounts that are typically offered. For instance, bundling auto and renters insurance could save you from 3% to 10% on your premium. You should always compare prices across insurers, however, as there is no guarantee that bundled policies with a single insurer will be cheaper than individual insurance policies bought from separate insurers.

Results Overview And Methodology: Best Renters Insurance Companies

While there might not be one renters insurance company that fits everyone's needs, evaluating what’s most important to you can help you narrow down your decision and select a company that makes the most sense.

Renters Insurance CompanyBest for…
State FarmCheap rates
ErieHigh ratings and reviews
AllstateTechnology-savvy policyholders
LemonadeQuick coverage
USAAU.S. military and their families

We compared renters insurance companies across three primary categories: rates, reviews and ratings, and financial strength.

  • Rates: Since renters insurance varies widely depending on a multitude of factors, namely your place of residence, we searched for companies that consistently offered low rates. Regardless, you’ll want to compare your renters insurance rates to national and state averages to ensure that you’re receiving competitive rates.
  • Reviews and ratings: How a company is reviewed and rated is very telling of its claims process. You’ll want an insurance company with great reviews and ratings so that if you ever need to file a claim, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your company has a strong track record of on-time payments.
  • Financial strength: Your renters insurance policy is only as good as your insurance company’s ability to meet your claims. A company with a great financial strength rating is unlikely to have trouble meeting any claims payment.
Michael Thrasher

Michael is a former research analyst at ValuePenguin covering property and casualty insurance, including homeowners and renters insurance.

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