Comparing renters insurance policies is like comparing apples to apples. While very similar, there are some aspects such as coverage, category limits, available endorsements and exclusions that differ between policies. To choose the best policy, renters should consider what they are most interested in a policy having and begin their search there.
- Best Renters Insurance Companies By Ratings
- Best Overall Customer Satisfaction: Erie Insurance
- Best For Cheap Rates: State Farm
- Best For Technology-Savvy Policyholders: Allstate
- Fastest Online Quote: Farmers
- Most Comprehensive Coverage: Liberty Mutual Renters Insurance
- Best For The U.S. Military And Their Families: USAA
We looked at customer satisfaction and financial strength ratings for some of the largest renters insurance companies, and found that Erie Insurance and State Farm ranked among the best. J.D. Power named Erie Insurance the award winner for best renters insurance in 2015 out of 12 major carriers. However, you’ll see in the table below that a number of other companies were also well-rated in overall customer satisfaction. State Farm was a second best, with similar overall reviews and claims process satisfaction.
The renters insurance companies with significant market share are all well-rated financially. An insurance company would have to be in poor financial shape before someone should automatically rule out purchasing a policy from it. We included two prominent financial rating agencies, Standard & Poor's and A.M. Best as references.
|INSURANCE COMPANY||OVERALL SATISFACTION (2015)*||CLAIMS PROCESS SATISFACTION (2016)*||AM BEST (2016)||S&P|
*J.D. Power Ratings represent the following: 5-Among The Best, 4-Better Than Most, 3-About Average, 2-The Rest.
For tenants less concerned about cost or convenience, and more interested in a rounded product and experience, Erie Insurance offers the best renters insurance policy.
According to J.D. Power, a global company that specializes in analyzing customer experience, Erie Insurance won the top award for Overall Satisfaction. The company was measured against 11 other renters insurance companies in the U.S. The categories considered for the overall rating included policy offerings, pricing, billing and payment and contacting the insurer. J.D. Power also ranked “Better Than Most” against 20 other companies in “Overall Customer Satisfaction” with claims.
For those in search of the cheapest renters insurance coverage, State Farm frequently offers some of the most affordable premiums we've seen. State Farm has the largest market share of any property and casualty insurance company in the U.S. and this is the case for other lines of insurance as well.
However, just because it is generally cheap doesn’t mean it'll be the cheapest option for everyone, or that there is anything wrong with the coverage. It's always in your best interest to obtain several quotes to compare. State Farm renters insurance offers adequate coverage and is easily customizable. It offers deductibles of $500, $1,000 and $2,000 and renters can choose to add earthquake coverage, waterbed liability and identity restoration coverage with just a click of a button. State Farm renters insurance policies also include medical payments coverage to others and the ability to easily manipulate personal property category limits when getting a quote.
Another benefit of having State Farm renters insurance, like any other State Farm policy, is that a policyholder might have a true professional relationship with an insurance agent. State Farm has captive agents -- meaning they work for State Farm -- and they act as both a salesperson, consultant and point of contact if a policyholder needs to file a claim. The likelihood of filing a claim is low, but some renters might like the idea of that relationship with one agent.
Anyone interested in and comfortable using technology to log personal property in a database, or filing a claim online, should consider Allstate.
Allstate has significantly invested in its digital mobile experience and made it one of the best for users in the industry. For years the company has offered a Digital Locker where policyholders can upload photos and information about belongings, which is crucial later on when filing a claim. They also have an Insurance Toolbox with information on how to contact agents, a glossary of insurance terms and everything in between.
Policyholders also aren’t forfeiting much for the convenience of technology either. Allstate offers a similar renters insurance policy to other companies we’ve reviewed.
Anyone with Allstate renters insurance has a choice of $250, $500 and $1,000 deductibles, which might be a nice perk, depending on the the renter. For some renters, the lower deductible (the amount a policyholder pays before their insurance begins to pay for a claim), the more attractive a policy might be. But keep in mind, that means the monthly premium will be higher. Allstate also offers identity theft protection and medical payments coverage for guests.
Those with an Allstate renters insurance policy also work with their own local agent, since the company’s agents are captive and are employed by Allstate. For some renters, having an agent acting as a consultant and point of contact is appealing.
Another good Allstate perk: Allstate’s renters insurance policies allow renters to choose whether they want off-premises theft protection. If it’s not coverage a renter thinks they will ever need, they can opt out of that coverage and save about 25% on their premiums.
Farmers renters insurance is very similar to the others but the company is doing something better than most: delivering quotes. Farmers requires the fewest number of steps and questions answered before providing a renters insurance quote online.
For the renter who isn’t too worried about price and just wants a quote as painless and quickly as possible, Farmers is the first website they should visit.
An uncommon feature in the Farmers online quoting tool is the ability for shoppers to adjust their renters insurance policy’s loss of use/additional living expenses coverage. In some cases, this amount is predetermined online and cannot be changed. The coverage begins at $5,000 but depending on where a renter lives, they might choose to increase it to better cover expenses that might be higher than in other areas. For example, the cost of a hotel stay and meals would be much higher in a place like New York City compared to a smaller city or suburban area.
Liberty Mutual renters insurance premiums tend to be more expensive than those of other companies, we've found. However, the coverage is very comprehensive.
All renters insurance policies generally cover the same things: personal property, liability and loss of use. That means things like fires, leaks, lawsuits and additional living expenses if a rental is destroyed are all generally covered. But Liberty Mutual will quote renters insurance policies for up to $1 million of liability coverage online, which is more than other companies will allow. The insurer also allows renters to easily add “Blanket Jewelry Coverage,” which is essentially an easily-added endorsement that increases the category limit for jewelry.
There are ways to lower the cost of the policy, too. Liberty Mutual has the highest optional deductible of $5,000. That means if a renter could afford a deductible that high, they can significantly lower their renters insurance rate. Liberty Mutual also gives renters the option to opt out of off-premises theft protection, which also can save them money on their premiums.
Without question, USAA offers the best renters insurance for those who qualify. The United States Automobile Association (USAA) only sells policies to members of the U.S. military and their families that are both inexpensive and far more comprehensive than most.
The average monthly USAA renters insurance premium in the U.S. is only $12, according to the insurer, which makes it one of the most affordable out of all companies. But what makes USAA’s coverage exceptionally attractive is what is included in the renters insurance policies for the price. Flood, earthquake, moving and storage and identity theft -- which are all normally excluded -- are covered by USAA renters insurance policies.
Another USAA perk: The benefits of working with a longstanding company already familiar with the financial and professional situations of U.S. military members and their families in undeniable. Again, for those who qualify, USAA is almost certainly be the best renters insurance policy.
Why Price Should Not Be The Only Factor
Renters insurance is relatively inexpensive -- the average annual renters insurance premium in the U.S. is $187 -- so 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, if the coverage is better or the insurer's services are better suited for the individual.
For example, one policy might be more expensive but also more attractive to a renter because it might have a higher limit for a specific category (such as jewelry). The renter might also like the more expensive company because it has captive agents.