eRenterPlan is a renters insurance policy that may be offered to you by your property manager when you sign a new lease. Although signing up for eRenterPlan can be an easy way to fulfill requirements to obtain renters insurance, we recommend you review other insurers for cheaper and more comprehensive policies.
eRenterPlan Renters Insurance: Our Thoughts
eRenterPlan is a simple, but not cheap, renters insurance policy offered in more than 7,500 properties and 1.8 million units throughout the U.S. If your building mandates that tenants have renters insurance, your landlord or property manager may have a partnership with eRenterPlan and suggest you purchase its policy. eRenter's policies are only available in apartments for which property managers have subscribed to the service, and it is an easy way for them to automate the process of making sure their tenants are covered. However, just because your residence requires a renters insurance policy does not mean you are obligated to purchase one from eRenterPlan. Given the policy's limitations, you should fill a requirement to have renters insurance with a different renters insurance company.
eRenterPlan is a bare-bones renters insurance policy with almost no scope for a buyer to customize their coverage. When purchasing the plan, you'll simply select your personal property coverage and deductible, and you're given a minimal choice of add-on coverage options. Worse yet, eRenterPlan has a poor customer service reputation and does not offer competitive renters insurance rates.
Bottom line: eRenterPlan may be an easy way for property management companies to ensure their tenants have coverage, but if you're a renter, then we recommend you purchase a policy from an independent insurance company that fits your needs. The alternatives to eRenterPlan are most likely cheaper and may offer more value for your money through additional features, customization and stronger customer service reputations.
How does eRenterPlan Work?
eRenterPlan is a product offered by LeasingDesk Insurance Services, a licensed insurance agency based in Irvine, California, which acts as a broker for renters insurance policies. You may encounter eRenterPlan if your apartment mandates that you obtain renters insurance coverage. In this case, you could be directed to www.eRenterPlan.com or www.renterslive.com, where you'll be told you can find the best available rates and coverage for your building. However, eRenterPlan doesn't underwrite the policies itself, meaning if you acquire a policy, you're actually being covered by one of three insurers:
- American Modern Insurance Group
- American National Insurance Co.
- Markel Corp.
eRenterPlan will only be available in buildings that have registered for their coverage with LeasingDesk, so if you enter your ZIP code on its website and don't see your building, you won't be eligible for a policy. Instead, you'll be offered a quote from a partner organization called CoverMyStuff. These policies are distinct from eRenterPlan and are underwritten by Homesite, a subsidiary of American Family Insurance, one of the largest insurers in the country by market share.
eRenterPlan Renters Insurance Policy Coverage
eRenterPlan provides the standard coverage features you would expect from a renters insurance policy, but the product has limited options for adjusting your base coverage and adding features. For instance, coverage for property damage has a maximum limit of $50,000, so if your personal property is worth more than that, eRenterPlan policies won't cover you in full.
Moreover, personal liability coverage is limited to a flat $100,000, preventing you from opting for the higher levels of coverage typically offered by insurers. This level of coverage is fairly standard in renters insurance policies, but insurers will generally provide choices for liability insurance far in excess of $100,000 at limited additional cost. For example, if you opt for $20,000 of property coverage with State Farm, you can increase your liability coverage from $100,000 to $300,000 for the same price, all else equal. Emergency medical payment coverage in eRenterPlan is equally inflexible at a flat $1,000 of coverage. Finally, although eRenterPlan offers adjustable limits for theft or damage to jewelry, it does not let you adjust limits for other high-value items. So if you have valuable silverware or goldware that you want to ensure is covered, you will be stuck with eRenterPlan's standard limit.
There are two positive features of eRenterPlan coverage, but neither makes eRenterPlan worth considering above other options. The first is that property damage is valued at replacement cost. This means that if your personal property is damaged or stolen, you will be reimbursed for an item of similar quality regardless of wear and tear. However, inclusion of replacement cost reimbursement is fairly common in renters insurance policies, and if it's not included in standard coverage it can usually be acquired for a small additional fee.
The second positive feature is fairly generous coverage for the additional living expenses (ALE) incurred—beyond your normal living expenses—if your residence becomes uninhabitable. Most renters insurance policies will cover ALE up to a percentage of your personal property coverage, such as 30%, but eRenterPlan will cover ALE up to 100% of your personal property limit until your apartment is habitable again. Although this coverage is more generous than standard renters insurance, it's also unnecessarily high. For example, say your normal living expenses are $2,000 a month and you're forced to leave your apartment. If your new monthly expenses are $2,500 a month, your ALE is the difference between that and your normal expenses, or $500. If you have eRenterPlan's lowest ALE limit of $10,000 and are paying additional living expenses of $500 per month, it would take you 20 months to reach your limit.
|Covered by eRenterPlan||Coverage details||Limits|
|Personal property||Covers damage to or theft of your personal belongings. Reimbursement comes at replacement cost||$10,000 to $50,000|
|Personal liability||Covers you and your family from the cost of lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage to others||$100,000|
|Emergency medical payments||Covers emergency medical expenses to a guest injured on your residence||$1,000|
|Additional living expenses||Covers the cost of staying elsewhere if your residence is temporarily uninhabitable due to a peril covered by the policy, such as a fire||The same as your chosen personal property limit|
eRenterPlan also has extremely limited options for add-on coverage, with only three additional coverage features:
- Water sewer backup: Covers damage caused by backup of the city water system through sink, tub, toilet and water drain. Costs an additional $12 per year.
- Pet damage: Covers up to $500 in damage that your pet causes to the apartment including carpets, walls and baseboards. Costs an additional $18 per year.
- Increased limits for jewelry: Theft of jewelry is covered up to $1,000 in the standard eRenterPlan policy. You can increase the limit to $2,500 for an additional $24 per year or increase the limit to $5,000 for $60 per year.
If you shop at other major insurers, all of these eRenterPlan features will be available to you. But other insurers will also include the ability to change liability and medical payment limits and offer a wider variety of add-on features like identity theft coverage.
eRenterPlan Renters Insurance Quotes Comparison
eRenterPlan touts itself as a one of the cheapest option for tenants who need renters insurance, but established competitors often provide cheaper rates. In collecting sample quotes for a standard renters insurance policy, major insurers offered quotes that were easily cheaper than eRenterPlan. eRenterPlan's insurance prices aren't exorbitant—in fact, the rates offered through its partner insurer Homesite are much higher. But given the limited customization and lack of discount options, there's not much reason to purchase eRenterPlan when cheaper options provide similar or better coverage.
These rates are based on sample quotes with common features and do not account for the fact that major insurers offer discounts that eRenterPlan doesn't. For instance, with State Farm you can get discounts for home monitoring systems, including smoke detectors and burglar alarms, and you can bundle your renters insurance with another policy, such as auto insurance, to get further discounts on your premium.
eRenterPlan Customer Reviews and Ratings
eRenterPlan has a poor reputation for customer service, with users often complaining about the inaccessibility of customer representatives. Specifically, customer reviews cite difficulty canceling their eRenterPlan insurance policy given that its representatives are generally unresponsive. If you are a current policyholder and need to cancel, you cannot use your eRenterPlan login to cancel online. Your only option is calling its phone number at 1 (888) 512-4204.
However, it's important to distinguish between the role eRenterPlan plays as a broker of renters insurance policies and the separate role played by the insurance companies covering your policy. If you purchase an eRenterPlan policy and are concerned about making a claim, you may have slightly less to worry about given the decent reputation of its three underwriters: American Modern Insurance Group, American National Insurance Co. and Markel Corp. When you file a claim, you won't be making a claim with eRenterPlan but rather with one of these three insurers. All three grade decently on customer complaint ratios, as calculated by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Compared to a national median of 1.0, these insurers score 1.19, 1.18 and 0.88 respectively, meaning that the number of complaints are slightly above or below the median level of complaints for insurers when adjusted for market share.