Renters insurance is generally a cheap way to ensure you won't have to replace your belongings yourself if your property is damaged. Fortunately, this means it's possible to find renters insurance that's both affordable and high-quality.
To evaluate renters insurance companies, we calculated the average costs of coverage in 15 of the biggest renters markets in the United States. In addition to prices, we looked at the features offered by these companies and the number of opportunities for policyholders to reduce the cost of their renters insurance premiums. Since the cost of renters insurance can vary depending on the amount of protection you want to buy, we recommend using our quotebox to get prices in your area.
How cheap is renters insurance?
Renters insurance is one of the most affordable ways to protect your belongings. We found that the average cost of a $25,000 renters insurance policy is about $23 per month, or $276 per year — about the same as an annual credit card fee or three cups of coffee a week.
Compare cheap renters insurance in your area
The average cost of renters insurance only represents about 0.67% of the median income of renters in the United States, based on data from the Census Bureau. In many places, renters can pay even less.
Renters insurance premiums are largely influenced by the amount of coverage you purchase. We recommend determining how much coverage you need before comparing renters insurance companies to make sure that your quotes have high enough limits to protect your belongings.
Compare the costs of renters insurance: city-by-city breakdown
We gathered renters insurance quotes from the country's largest cities and concluded that the city with the cheapest renters insurance is San Diego. In the city, coverage costs an average of $13 per month or $156 annually. This is about 45% cheaper than average. New York, Denver and Washington, D.C. also had cheap rates.
Renters insurance costs can vary based on your individual claims history and the types of perils that may occur in your location.
Detroit has the most expensive renters insurance rates of the cities we checked. Its $70-per-month average is more than double the mean cost of coverage. We found that Houston also tends to have higher rates than average.
Average monthly renters insurance rates by city
New York City
Cheapest renters insurance: State Farm
- AM Best Rating: A++ (Superior)
- J.D. Power Rank: 3nd of 10 insurers
- Unique Value: Affordable rates with great claims-service, widespread availability
Overall, we found that the cheapest renters insurance is State Farm, which charges an average monthly price of about $18 for a standard policy. Additionally, customers insured with State Farm may be able to reduce their premiums even further by bundling renters insurance with another policy.
State Farm also gives renters the ability to upgrade their policies with a variety of endorsements, including increased limits for certain property items and identity theft restoration services. It's relatively easy to maximize your coverage while keeping your prices low using State Farm's online form, but if you'd rather work with an agent, you could check out any of the insurer's local offices.
State Farm is also available in nearly every state. Alternatively, other renters insurance companies can be harder to find across the U.S.
Cheap insurance for apartment renters and college students: Liberty Mutual
- AM Best Rating: A (Excellent)
- J.D. Power Rank: 8th of 10 insurers Unique Value: Easy-to-use online quote form with adjustable limits
Liberty Mutual's renters insurance has low limits that are great for apartment renters and college students alike. Typically, renters insurance from Liberty Mutual costs about $19 per month before any discounts, making it the second-cheapest company we found. In addition, in many cities with large college populations, including Chicago, Boston and Columbus, Ohio, its renters insurance is among the cheapest coverage available.
Liberty Mutual may be an appealing option for renters who don't have a lot of personal property, which is one reason it's a great choice for apartment dwellers. In many cities, you can buy a policy with a personal property limit as low as $10,000 for about $5 per month. However, we never recommend lowering your renters insurance policy limit below the total value of all your belongings.
Cheap customizable renters insurance: Nationwide
- AM Best Rating: A+ (Superior)
- J.D. Power Rank: 4th of 10 insurers
- Unique Value: Cheap upgrades to a basic policy
Nationwide is a great choice if you want many coverage options to select from. Customers may add to Nationwide's standard renters insurance with a variety of endorsements. The company offers water backup protection, extended property protection and replacement cost coverage, among others.
The price of a standard Nationwide renters insurance policy is about $25 per month. But you won't necessarily have to choose between enhancing your policy and having affordable renters insurance. Although adding optional coverage will raise your premium, we found that endorsements only tend to increase your price by about $2 each, depending on your limits.
Fast, cheap renters insurance: Lemonade
- Demotech Financial Stability Rating: A (Exceptional)
- J.D. Power Rank: 2nd out of 10 insurers
- Unique Value: Mobile app for purchasing and paying for insurance
Lemonade renters insurance is a great match for customers looking for cheap insurance in a hurry. It only takes a couple of minutes to request a quote and compare prices using Lemonade's online renters insurance form. Renters can easily find the best balance between cost and protection by checking how their rates would be affected by changing coverage levels.
Renters insurance rates from Lemonade were consistently among the cheapest in many large cities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Dallas. Additionally, in New York, Lemonade's renters insurance only costs about $8 per month.
The biggest downside to Lemonade is that it's not available in every state. Right now, it operates in most states with large renters markets, like New York, California and Texas.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who has the cheapest renters insurance?
State Farm has the most affordable renters insurance rates. On average, a policy costs $18.10 per month or $217 per year. However, rates fluctuate based on where you live, so it's important to compare quotes from multiple companies when shopping for renters insurance.
How can I lower the cost of renters insurance?
Many insurers allow renters to pick and choose the coverages they want in their policies. Fewer coverages and lower coverage limits mean less protection, but they also mean lower rates each month. Other than adjusting your policy to eliminate excessive coverage, the best way to make sure that you're getting a good price is by comparing quotes from multiple insurance companies.
Why does my landlord require me to get renters insurance?
Renters insurance only covers personal property and liability for the renter, with no protection included for the landlord's building. The reason that landlords often require renters insurance is that if their tenants' belongings get damaged by a fire or other accident, they want to make sure that an insurer is first in line to compensate the tenants, not the landlord.
Can I cancel renters insurance during my lease?
If your landlord required you to get renters insurance when you first moved in, you're obligated to keep an active policy until you move out. Usually, landlords ask to be included as an "interested party" on your policy, which means that the insurer has the landlord's contact info and will let them know if the policy is canceled.
We gathered quotes for a 25-year-old single renter with no insurance history. Our sample policy includes $25,000 of personal property coverage and $100,000 of liability protection with a $500 deductible. For Lemonade we requested quotes for $30,000, since the insurer only offers policies in increments of $10,000.
We used the Census Bureau's community estimates from the 2017 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates to check which of the biggest cities in the United States have more renters than homeowners. Then, we collected quotes from the largest providers in the nation.