Renters insurance is an affordable way to protect your personal property against the threat of damage or theft. It also protects you against a lawsuit if a guest in your home is hurt or their property is damaged. The lowest average price for renters insurance we found was $11 per month, or $138 per year.
You can get renters insurance from major insurers such as State Farm and newer startups such as Lemonade, but the best renters insurance company depends on what you want in a policy. Our recommendations highlight companies that fit a variety of preferences ranging from great customer service to quick and easy coverage.
How much is renters insurance?
While price isn't the only factor in choosing the right insurance policy, it is an important consideration. We compared renters insurance rates from across the country to give you an idea of what to expect. If you're searching for the cheapest renters insurance provider, make sure to compare quotes for your location.
Find the Cheapest Renters Insurance Insurance Quotes Near You
State Farm offers the cheapest average renters insurance rate we found among the five major insurers, with an average premium of $156 a year, or $13 a month. The country's leading property insurer has the cheapest renters insurance policy in 36 states.
If you're looking for an affordable renters insurance policy, it's worth getting a second quote from Travelers or Nationwide. While their state-wide average premiums are more per month than State Farm, rates may be cheaper in your area.
Renters insurance protects you against large expenses, like having to replace all of your personal items. This makes coverage limits an important consideration. Cheap renters insurance might not always be worth the savings if it doesn't include enough coverage to properly protect you and your belongings.
Renters insurance costs $19 per month on average, while having insufficient coverage can cost thousands if you need to make a claim.
How to save on renters insurance
Carriers provide a number of ways for you to save on your renters insurance premium. Raising your deductible will lower your monthly bill, but will cost you more if you file a claim. On the other hand, qualifying for policy discounts often helps reduce your costs with no downside.
Renters insurance deductible
A deductible is the amount of money you must pay when you file an insurance claim. Higher deductibles mean less protection and lower rates, while lower deductibles equal more protection and higher rates. In the event that you have to make a claim, a renter with a $500 deductible will receive a payout of $500 more than someone with a $1,000 deductible.
Ultimately, choosing a deductible comes down to your preference for risk. You either save money on your premium or save money on any potential claims.
Renters insurance discounts
Many insurers provide discounts for customers who take safety precautions in their homes, or for those who buy multiple insurance policies. Some common discounts available to renters include:
- Multipolicy discount when you bundle your renters and car insurance policies.
- Home alert protection discount for installing a fire alarm, smoke detector, burglar alarm or other home monitoring system.
- Claims-free discount
- Automatic payment discount
- Online shopping discount
Find the best renters insurance in your state
Best for affordable rates: State Farm
- A.M. Best rating: A++ (Superior)
- J.D. Power rank: 2nd out of 10 insurers
- Unique value: Best rates and nationwide availability
If cost is your main concern as a renter, State Farm's consistently cheap renters insurance policies are a great choice. In addition, its national presence and high J.D. Power score suggest State Farm customers enjoy access to fantastic customer support.
State Farm also gives renters many ways to customize their coverage, including optional add-ons like pet medical insurance, umbrella insurance, earthquake insurance and business property and liability coverage.
Best for quick coverage: Lemonade
- Demotech financial stability rating: A (Exceptional)
- J.D. Power rank: Tied for 1st out of 10 insurers
- Unique value: Exceptional customer service and rapid claims payouts
If you’re looking for same-day renters insurance coverage, you probably won't find a company with a process smoother than Lemonade's. You can download Lemonade's app, get a quote and pay to start coverage in a matter of minutes. The company achieves this by replacing the traditional agent experience with an artificial intelligence bot named Maya.
Lemonade is usually among the cheapest options available, which adds to the company's value for consumers. As for claims, Lemonade says that 30% are handled instantly using its app, and some are paid in as few as three seconds. That’s significantly faster than most traditional claim processes.
Lemonade currently sells renters insurance in 28 states and the District of Columbia.
Best mobile app experience: Allstate
- A.M. Best rating: A+ (Superior)
- J.D. Power rank: 5th out of 10 insurers
- Unique value: Mobile apps for bills, claims and documenting property
While we expected a startup to lead the way in new technology for delivering renters insurance, we found that insurance giant Allstate offers the best online experience.
Renters insured by Allstate have access to two key apps. Allstate Mobile lets you pay bills, file claims and review coverage information, while Digital Locker offers a way to store photos of your personal possessions in the event you need to make a claim.
Best for military: USAA
- A.M. Best rating: A++ (Superior)
- J.D. Power rank: Top score among all insurers
- Unique value: Military-only rates and service on all products
USAA enjoys a well-earned reputation among the military community, and its benefits extend to renters. It offers affordable renters policies that include replacement cost coverage and protection against floods and earthquakes — perils, which are almost always excluded from renters insurance at other companies.
USAA's familiarity with the unique needs of military members only adds to its value. For example, USAA renters insurance policies provide deductible-free coverage for lost military uniforms. And once you decide to buy a home or a new car, USAA's broad set of financial products gives you access to the same quality of service in those areas, too.
What is renters insurance?
Renters insurance protects tenants from the costs associated with personal property damage or theft and legal liability. It can be purchased by anyone renting an apartment, townhouse, condo, single-family house or other living space. Unlike homeowners insurance, renter's insurance does not cover damage to the structure of the building, which should be covered by the landlord's insurance policy. A typical renters insurance policy includes three main coverages:
Personal property coverage reimburses you if your personal belongings are damaged or stolen by a covered peril, like fire or smoke. You'll want a personal property coverage limit equal to the total value of your belongings.
Most renters insurance companies offer actual cash value or replacement cost coverage for your items. Policies that use actual cash value pay you the market price, or depreciated value, of your belongings after a loss. Replacement cost coverage guarantees that you'll receive enough money to replace your belongings with the same or similar new items.
Personal liability coverage protects you if someone files a lawsuit or claim against you for bodily injury or property damage. A standard policy includes up to $100,000 in renters liability insurance. However, coverage levels of up to $500,000 usually cost just a few extra dollars per month.
Additional living expenses (ALE) coverage, also called loss of use coverage, reimburses you for expenses that occur if your home becomes uninhabitable due to a covered event — such as the cost of a hotel, or food if you don't have access to a kitchen. The limit is usually set as a percentage of your personal property coverage limit.
Beyond these standard features, many renters insurance policies have optional coverage features that can protect you after other unexpected and costly events. These may include:
If you live in an area vulnerable to particular disasters, or if you're concerned about risks such as identity theft, paying extra for these additional coverages may be important for you.
Do I need renters insurance?
We recommend that all renters consider purchasing a renters insurance policy. It’s an affordable way to protect against the financial impact of theft, property damage and personal liability.
Some landlords and property management companies require you to purchase renters insurance to limit their risk that you will try to hold them responsible for personal property damage or liability costs.
How to choose the best renters insurance company
Before you begin your search for the best renters insurance company, it's important to determine how much coverage you need.
Step 1: Calculate the amount of personal property coverage you need
Most insurers offer two options when it comes to replacing your personal property. Policies that calculate the cost based on actual cash value provide you with the market value or depreciated value of your items.
If you have replacement cost, your insurer will pay to replace your items with the same or similar new ones.
The personal property portion of your policy protects all of your belongings — that means that the limit should be high enough to replace all of your possessions if they're destroyed or stolen. The best way to determine your personal property limit is to create a home inventory listing each of your belongings and an estimated cost to replace them.
While the overall limit is the most important thing to consider, pay special attention to expensive or valuable items. Insurers place a cap on the amount they will cover in certain categories, like jewelry, so you may need to purchase additional insurance in the form of a special endorsement or scheduled personal property if your items exceed the coverage limit.
Examples of items that you may need to purchase additional insurance for include:
- Engagement rings and wedding rings
- Expensive electronics
- Business property
- Musical instruments
Step 2: Determine your liability coverage needs
The amount of personal liability coverage you need depends on your likelihood of being sued and the amount of assets you need to protect. Standard renters insurance policies include up to $100,000 of liability coverage. However, you may need higher limits if your apartment or home poses an increased risk to guests. For example, renters with a pool are at a greater risk of being held liable for a slip and fall.
Step 3: Consider your need for additional living expenses coverage
Additional living expenses (ALE) coverage is usually calculated as a percentage of your policy's personal property coverage. This amount covers your cost of living if you have to move out of your home after a loss, so it needs to be enough to cover a hotel room or rent, moving costs, food costs if you don't have access to a kitchen and additional transportation expenses associated with living away from home.
Step 4: Determine whether you need additional coverages
Most major insurers offer a number of additional coverages that you can choose from. You may want to add extra protection to your policy if any of the following apply to you:
- You have very valuable personal property.
- You live in a disaster area.
- You operate a business from home.
- You have a pet.
- You are concerned about identity theft.
- You have high exposure to liability (for example, you own a boat or recreational vehicle).
Step 5: Compare companies
Once you determine the amount of insurance you need, you can start compiling quotes. Make sure that each policy has the same coverage limits so you can accurately compare prices and offerings. You'll want to consider:
- Rates: Since renters insurance varies widely depending on a multitude of factors, namely your place of residence, we searched for companies that consistently offer low rates. Regardless, you’ll want to compare your renters insurance rates to national and state averages to ensure you’re receiving competitive rates.
- Reviews and ratings: How a company is reviewed and rated tells a lot about 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 customer satisfaction.
- Financial strength: Your renters insurance policy is only as good as your insurance company’s ability to meet its obligations to you. A company with a great financial strength rating is unlikely to have trouble making claims payments.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much is renters insurance per month?
Nationally, the average cost of renters insurance is $19 a month. However, rates fluctuate between $11 and $37 depending on where you live.
How much is renters insurance for an apartment?
The average cost of renters insurance for an apartment is about $16 per month, or $187 per year. The cost to insure an apartment is generally less than a single-family home, however, quotes vary based on your coverage limits and deductible.
Why does my landlord require me to get renters insurance?
Landlords often require tenants to get renters insurance because it makes it less likely that tenants will seek compensation from the landlord in the event of property damage or liability. Renters insurance covers a tenant's personal belongings and provides medical payments to others that get hurt in the apartment, so it's a useful first line of defense for both the renter and the landlord.
Is renters insurance different from homeowners insurance?
Renters insurance is different from homeowners insurance because it does not cover the structure, or dwelling, of your rental home. Your landlord or property management company should have an insurance policy that covers the dwelling in case of damage for which you are not liable.
Does renters insurance cover items in a storage unit?
Renters insurance generally covers items in a storage unit up to 10% of your personal property limit. However, there are some restrictions that you may want to discuss with your insurance carrier.
Can I get short-term renters insurance?
Some insurers offer the option for renters to purchase a policy for a period shorter than a year. Renters have the option to purchase a one-year policy and cancel it before the end of the term. However, you may not be eligible for a refund of premiums paid, or could be charged an early cancellation penalty. Depending on the length of your stay, it may still make financial sense to take out a year-long policy. At an average rate of $19 a month, the cost of being uninsured may be greater than the forfeited premium if you experience a loss.
To find average nation-wide renters insurance rates, we compiled quotes from the five largest insurance companies in each state, based on data availability. Our sample renter is an unmarried 30-year-old male with no roommates or pets living in a multi-unit building with the following limits: