COVID-19 Update: If you're thinking about renters insurance in the context of coronavirus, see below for information.
Renters insurance is generally a cheap way to ensure that you won't have to replace your stuff yourself if your property is damaged. Fortunately, this means it's possible to find renters insurance that's both affordable and high-quality.
We found that you can purchase renters insurance for as cheap as $18 per month on average, but it could be lower depending on where you live.
To evaluate renters insurance companies, we calculated the average costs of coverage in 15 of the biggest renters markets in the U.S. In addition to premiums, 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.
Cheapest renters insurance: State Farm
- A.M. Best Rating: A++ (Superior)
- J.D. Power Rank: 2nd of 14 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 lets its renters have 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 located all across the country.
State Farm is also available in nearly every state. Other renters insurance companies tend to have less consistent availability across the U.S.
Cheap apartment renters insurance: Farmers
- A.M. Best Rating: A (Excellent)
- J.D. Power Rank: 8th of 14 insurers
- Unique Value: Customizable levels of coverage
Farmers typically offers cheap renters insurance for people who are looking for renters insurance for their apartments. For instance, in New York City — the largest renters market in the country — Farmers sells renters insurance for only $12 per month, the third-cheapest we found behind State Farm and Lemonade.
Apartment renters could save money with Farmers if they aren't smokers or if their landlords restrict smoking inside. Farmers has discounts for not smoking, as well as for having a security system or fire alarm. If you're living in an apartment in a big city, Farmers's identity theft protection endorsement and replacement cost coverage are effective ways of giving yourself an extra level of protection from potential thieves.
For people who don't need a lot of renters insurance coverage, Farmers may be an extra-appealing option. You can buy a policy with a limit (maximum amount you'll be paid from a claim) as low as $4,000. Lowering your limits typically results in your monthly premium dropping, too. However, we never recommend lowering your renters insurance policy limit below the total value of all your belongings.
Cheap customizable renters insurance: Nationwide
- A.M. Best Rating: A+ (Superior)
- J.D. Power Rank: 5th of 14 insurers
- Unique Value: Cheap upgrades to a basic policy
Nationwide is a great choice if you want to have a lot of coverage options to select from. Customers may add to Nationwide's standard renters insurance with a wide variety of endorsements. You could add 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 raise your prices by about $2 per endorsement depending on your limits.
Cheap renters insurance for college students: Liberty Mutual
- A.M. Best Rating: A (Excellent)
- J.D. Power Rank: 9th of 14 insurers
- Unique Value: Easy-to-use online quote form with adjustable limits
Liberty Mutual's renters insurance has low limits that are great for college students. Even though college students don't typically have as much property as regular renters or homeowners, their stuff could still be expensive to replace without the coverage of an insurance policy. In many cities, Liberty Mutual sells policies with less than $10,000 of property protection for only about $5 a month.
Typically, renters insurance from Liberty Mutual costs about $19 per month before any discounts. This was the second-cheapest average quote of all the companies in our study. In addition, in many cities with large college populations, including Chicago, Boston, and Columbus, Ohio, Liberty Mutual's renters insurance is among the cheapest coverage available.
Fast, cheap renters insurance: Lemonade
- Demotech Financial Stability Rating: A (Exceptional)
- J.D. Power Rank: Not included
- 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 policies would be affected by adding different levels of coverage.
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 cost 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. For a full list of states where Lemonade does business, check out their website.
How cheap is renters insurance?
Interested in more than just price? Read our full comparison of renters insurance companies.
Renters insurance is one of the most affordable ways to protect your belongings. Based on quotes from the companies in this survey, 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 cost per year as an annual credit card fee or three cups of coffee a week.
Using data from the Census Bureau, we discovered that the cost of renters insurance only represents an expense of about 0.67% of the median income of renters in the United States. In many places, renters can see expenses that are even less.
ValuePenguin has also averaged the price of renters insurance for an assortment of other policy limits. As your premiums are largely influenced by the amount of coverage you purchase, we recommend comparing renters insurance companies based on how much protection you're likely to buy.
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. Here, coverage costs an average of $13 per month or $156 annually. This is about about 45% cheaper than this survey's average price. New York, Denver and Washington, D.C. also posted cheap premiums.
Renters insurance premiums 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.
|New York City||$14||$10||$20||$20||$12||--||--||$8|
Compare cheap renters insurance options near you
How coronavirus could affect renters and renters insurance
While the coronavirus probably won't affect your ability to get cheap renters insurance, its financial implications could result in late or missed payments to your provider. Fortunately, many renters insurance providers are excusing late fees and continuing service for policyholders who can't make payments due to COVID-19.
Additionally, most states have prohibited or advised against evictions for missed rent payments as long as the virus remains pervasive in the U.S.
You're most likely to see changes to your company's claims process as a result of coronavirus. Since many offices have closed to limit person-to-person transmission of COVID-19, an adjuster probably won't come to inspect damaged property in-person. Instead, your provider will likely ask you to document the damage using a camera or video-recording device and submit the claim electronically.
How can I lower the cost of renters insurance?
Many insurers allow renters to pick and choose the coverages that they want in their policies. Fewer coverages and lower coverage limits mean less protection, but they also mean lower premiums each month. Other than adjusting your policy to eliminate excessive coverage, you can also make sure that you're getting a good price by getting 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 ever ends.
How we found the cheapest companies
We used the Census Bureau's community estimates from the 2017 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates to check which of the United States' biggest cities have more renters than homeowners. Then, we collected quotes from the largest providers in the nation.
We gathered quotes for a 25-year-old single renter with no insurance history. Our sample profile was shopping for $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.