Renters insurance — also known as an HO-4 policy — is a homeowner’s insurance policy that protects a renter’s personal belongings against perils without coverage for the dwelling itself. The best renters insurance policies offer comprehensive coverage with affordable premiums
Read below to learn what companies met our criteria and how we found the best providers.
Best Renters Insurance Companies of 2021
- Lemonade – Most Innovative Provider
- Erie Insurance – Best Comprehensive Coverage
- Nationwide – Best Optional Add-Ons
- Amica Mutual – Best Customer Experience
- Allstate – Best for Retirees
- Auto-Owners – Best for Living Abroad
- State Farm – Largest Market Share
- The Hartford – Best for Home-Based Businesses
- Young Alfred – Best for Online Quotes from Top Providers
Lemonade – Most Innovative Provider
|Holds a B-Corp certification for environmental and social responsibility||No replacement-cost options|
|Lower rates compared to other providers||Loss of use coverage has a dollar limit instead of a time limit|
|Claims can be filed through the app with a video recording||Unavailable in 22 states|
|Claims are filed and processed in as little as 3 minutes|
Lemonade is an online insurance company with a unique business model. They take a fixed percentage of every renter’s insurance premium paid to cover its operational costs and then use the remaining money to pay out covered claims. Whatever funds are leftover at the end of the year are donated to a charity chosen by policyholders.
Lemonade is an excellent choice if you are looking for the cheapest renters insurance with straightforward coverage. Its standard policy includes personal property, personal liability, and loss of use coverage.
You can customize your limits and deductibles to maximize your savings and add scheduled personal property if it’s worth it. Buyers can also get a policy discount by paying the total annual premium upfront and by installing protective devices in your home.
Erie Insurance – Best Comprehensive Coverage
|J.D. Power Claims Satisfaction Study: 869/1,000|
|NAIC Complaint Ratio: 0.27||A.M. Best Rating: A+|
|Discount rate for auto and renters bundle||Claims phone line is open 24/7|
|Customizable policy bundles||Services and product offerings vary per state|
|Expandable personal liability coverage|
|The basic policy includes identity theft protection|
|24/7 Claims phone line|
Erie Insurance provides comprehensive coverage for most natural disasters and perils. In case a particular risk is not covered, it offers a variety of endorsements to customize coverage to each individual.
Besides their basic coverage, Erie sells various customizable policy bundles:
- The Advantage bundle increases coverage limits above base levels and includes identity theft coverage
- The Plus bundle waives the deductible if your loss exceeds $50,000 and increases coverage limits, adding coverage for trailers, watercraft, pets, and business personal property
- The Select bundle includes everything mentioned above but with higher limits, coverage for a larger watercraft, and reimbursement for the costs of criminal defense for up to $25,000 if you successfully fight a criminal indictment against you or your family
Nationwide – Best Optional Add-Ons
|J.D. Power Claims Satisfaction Study: 892/1,000|
|NAIC Complaint Ratio: 0.60||A.M. Best Rating: A+|
|Discount rate if you bundle with auto, home, and life insurance||Unavailable in Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts, or Oklahoma|
|File claims online, on the phone, or with an agent|
|Up to 24 months of Additional Living Expenses (ALE) coverage|
Nationwide offers an array of optional add-ons for renters insurance. These include:
- Brand New Belongings coverage to replace lost items
- Valuables Plus coverage for high-value items
- Water Backup coverage for property damage from backed-up sewers or drains
- Theft Extension for belongings stolen from your motor vehicle
- Earthquake coverage for losses caused by earthquakes and volcanoes
Nationwide also stands out for its comprehensive basic coverage. The policy covers building additions, improvements, or installations in your home, credit card coverage for up to a certain amount of unauthorized transactions, and ALE coverage if you’re unable to live in your rented property for a while.
Amica Mutual – Best Customer Experience
|J.D. Power Claims Satisfaction Study: 894/1,000|
|NAIC Complaint Ratio: 0.22||A.M. Best Rating: A+|
|Policies start at $4 a week||Discounts are not available in every state|
|15% discount when you bundle with auto insurance||Service is not available in AK and HI|
|Loyalty policy discount after two years|
|Premium reduction if you’ve been claim-free for three years|
Amica Mutual earns top marks for its commitment to customer service. Not only do they have the lowest complaint ratio out of all the companies we evaluated, but live phone representatives are available 24/7 for technical claims and roadside assistance.
The company’s renters insurance features a program that allows you to earn credits — $100 a year for up to five years — to apply towards an Amica’s homeowners insurance policy if you ever buy a house.
Apart from these benefits, Amica’s basic renters policy is relatively standard. Basic coverage includes personal property coverage, liability coverage, and loss of use (ALE). Additional add-ons extend protection to smart devices, computers, and identity fraud, as well as personal property replacement-cost coverage.
Allstate – Best for Retirees
|J.D. Power Claims Satisfaction Study: 882/1,000|
|NAIC Complaint Ratio: 0.71||A.M. Best Rating: A+|
|Policies start at $4 a week when bundled with auto insurance||Requires employment information|
|Coverage for off-premises theft||Sparse policy information online|
|Add-on for identity theft restoration|
Allstate currently handles the US’s second-largest policy market share, and it’s one of the leading auto insurance providers in the US. As a reputable insurance company, Allstate offers reliable renters insurance coverage for personal property, liability, medical bills & expenses, and loss of use.
For policyholders over 55, the company offers discounts of up to 25% off the regular premiums. However, to be eligible, policyholders must not be actively seeking full-time employment.
Users can get quotes online and customize their plans based on coverage level, insurer payout limit, and deductible amount. You can customize your coverage and see how your cost would change with the different options. Additionally, Allstate offers a Home Inventory Guide and Digital Locker feature to help speed up any claims through the Allstate mobile app.
Auto-Owners – Best for Living Abroad
|J.D. Power Claims Satisfaction Study: 900/1,000|
|NAIC Complaint Ratio: 0.24||A.M. Best Rating: A+|
|Worldwide personal property and liability coverage||No online quotes|
|Multiple discount options||Sparse information regarding policy structure available online|
|Enroll in paperless billing and save||Not available in 24 states|
|Discounts for paying on time or having a favorable loss history|
|Pay upfront to reduce the cost of your annual policy|
Auto-Owners’ basic coverage is best for living abroad because it provides property and liability coverage for all your personal possessions and incidents occurring anywhere in the world. Medical payments to others are also included, covering anyone injured within your house, as well as additional living expenses (ALE) for expenses and accommodations after a covered loss.
Auto-Owners also offers a variety of discount options if you meet their requirements. Policyowners can lower their premium by:
- Bundling renters insurance with auto insurance or life insurance
- Enrolling in paperless billing
- Paying the annual premium upfront in full.
- Installing safety devices, like smoke detectors and fire extinguishers
- Paying on time for the past 36 months or having a favorable loss history
Optional supplements to your standard renters insurance policy include:
- Renters Plus to cover loss of refrigerated products or damages due to water back-up.
- Personal Property Replacement Cost coverage to repair or replace your belongings without adjusting value for depreciation.
State Farm – Largest Market Share
|J.D. Power Claims Satisfaction Study: 880/1,000|
|NAIC Complaint Ratio: 0.49||A.M. Best Rating: A+|
|Premium discount if you bundle auto and renters insurance||Discounts and additional policy offerings are not available in every state|
|Discount for installing qualified home security devices|
|Choosing a higher deductible can lower your premium|
State Farm has the largest insurance market share in the US. The company is well known for its comprehensive list of policies and products covering everything from home insurance & property to life insurance and all kinds of vehicles.
To receive a quote, potential buyers can use State Farm’s renters insurance quote checklist and contents calculator to properly assess their living arrangements and personal belongings. With this information, the company can tailor a coverage price customized to your specific insurance need.
Renters insurance add-ons include:
- Additional liability protection coverage
- Additional business property coverage
- Identity theft restoration
- Earthquake damage
- Incidental business liability
The Hartford – Best for Home-Based Businesses
|J.D. Power Claims Satisfaction Study: 885/1,000|
|NAIC Complaint Ratio: 0.33||A.M. Best Rating: A+|
|Bundle with auto insurance for a discount||No discount for bundling renters and business insurance|
|Above-average customer satisfaction ratings||No coverage in Alaska or Hawaii|
|Offers policies through AARP and independent agents|
With The Hartford, home-based business owners can get their renters insurance and business insurance from the same provider. The company’s renters insurance policy offers coverage for personal property, built-in improvements, loss of use living expenses, liability claims, and medical payments. Damage to someone else’s property is also covered for up to $100,000.
The Hartford’s is one of the best small business insurance for comprehensive coverage. It covers any gaps left by either homeowners’ insurance or renters insurance. There are three policy options:
- General Liability Insurance if you or your business is sued
- Business Owners Policy protects the property, inventory damage, and loss of income along with general liability coverage.
- Business Owner’s Policy with Endorsements, which is the same as the Business Owner’s Policy, but with the option to add extra protections based on your specific needs.
Young Alfred – Best for Online Quotes from Top Providers
|Available quotes from over 40 top insurance carriers||Prices may vary once the insuring company completes the underwriting process|
|Doesn’t sell your information to third parties||As a third party seller, policyholders will be subject to specific policies from the insurance provider|
|24/7 online availability|
|A large part of their profit goes to a charity selected by insurers|
Young Alfred isn’t an insurance company, per se, but rather an insurance agency and comparison site. After a few short questions, Young Alfred checks your risk level against a billion or more data points to give you customized online quotes from several top-rated renters insurance companies.
While this service is nothing new — there are dozens, if not hundreds, of insurance comparison sites on the internet — Young Alfred stands out in three important ways:
- It only partners with companies rated A- or higher by financial rating firms A.M. Best and Demotech.
- Young Alfred doesn’t sell your personal information to other companies.
- The site also offers a free risk assessment that details the risk of common insurance perils in the location you want to insure, so you can decide what optional policies are right for you.
Other Renters Insurance Companies We Considered
|Discount for smoke-free households and approved security and safety systems||Not available in every state|
|Identity theft protection||High NAIC complaint ratio|
|Specialty coverage packages for electronics and luxury items||No loss of use coverage|
|Cash-value replacement coverage|
|Identity theft protection|
|890/1,000 points in J.D Power’s Property Claims Satisfaction Study||Limited availability nationwide|
|Loss of use protection||High NAIC complaint ratio|
|Discount for paperless billing, autopay, and bundling|
|A++ A.M Best Rating||Product is limited to military members, veterans, or family|
|Includes flood and earthquake coverage||High NAIC complaint ratio|
|Overseas coverage in case of deployment or moving abroad|
Renters Insurance Guide
What Does Renters Insurance Cover
Renters insurance includes three types of insurance coverage options:
Personal property coverage protects items you own or use inside your home, storage, or even in a hotel room or car while traveling. This coverage may even extend to other people’s belongings while they’re in your home
Generally, personal property coverage applies if you suffer a loss or damage caused by any of these perils:
- Fire or lightning
- Windstorm or hail explosion
- Riot or civil commotion
- Aircraft vehicles
- Vandalism or malicious mischief and theft
- Falling objects
- Weight of ice, snow, or sleet
- Overflow of water or steam from a heating system or appliance
- Cracking or burning of a heating system or appliance
- Power surge
- Freezing of plumbing
- Volcanic eruption
Coverage limits apply with a basic personal property policy. If the item you want to insure exceeds the covered value, like highly valuable jewelry, you need to purchase a rider for additional coverage. Insurance riders for easy-to-transport items, like jewelry, luxury handbags, or expensive electronics are also known as “floaters.”
Reimbursement options for personal property claims:
- Cash value: the policy will only reimburse the current value of the item at the time the loss happened
- Replacement value coverage: the policy covers the full value cost of the item’s replacement
Personal Liability and Medical Payments to Others
This coverage protects your assets if someone is injured or there are damages on your property up to the covered limit. Only guests or other third parties may file a claim for medical payments. This protection does not apply to the policy owner or to people who live with them. Insurance can pay for:
Damages if the injured person files a lawsuit against you
Healthcare costs if the incident causes an injury that requires someone else to seek medical assistance.
Pet liability in case your pet injures somebody else
Funeral costs should the injury result in death
Loss of Use or Additional Living Expenses (ALE) coverage
ALE coverage sponsors the cost of staying somewhere else while damage to your residence is repaired or until you find a permanent place to live. Coverage may include:
Cost of a hotel room or rent for a temporary apartment
Cost of meals if can’t cook at home and must eat out
Cost of boarding a pet
Cost of personal property storage
Any added work commute costs from your temporary accommodation
To file an ALE claim, remember to keep receipts for all relevant expenses for the insurance company to determine your reimbursement. Be aware that ALE has a limited coverage amount, as well as a time limit. After that time is up, the policy will not pay your living expenses, even if your situation has not returned to normal.
Identity Theft Protection
Renters insurance may include coverage for identity theft. Some companies charge extra for identity theft protection, while others include it as part of the base policy for a set amount. You can choose to waive it. Protections may include:
Coverage for costs of financial recovery if someone uses your financial data or social security number fraudulently.
Coverage for credit repair services. These include attorney fees and the hiring costs for a fraud specialist. The latter helps clear fraudulent charges from your financial records, keeping your credit score in check.
Limited reimbursement for money stolen from your bank account or credit card
What Renters Insurance Doesn’t Cover
Pet injury or death
Renters insurance can include a pet liability clause that protects you if your dog injures someone. However, if your dog is injured or dies, you cannot file a claim with renters insurance because a dog is not considered personal property. To insure your loyal companions, look into alternative pet insurance policies.
If you have roommates, your policy will not cover their personal property unless it has been explicitly added to the policy. Encourage them to take out policies for themselves so you can all be covered to the fullest extent.
Although insurance companies allow joint policies, this is not recommended because:
- If your roommate files a claim, your insurance rates will go up, as you’d now be considered higher risk
- Splitting the premium is complicated. Your roommate may have items of higher value than yours, driving up the premium, yet you’re responsible for half of the policy
Flooding or earthquakes
Renters insurance covers damage caused by fire, lightning, wind, and hail, but not every natural disaster is covered. If an earthquake damages your rental house or apartment floods or, insurance will not cover the losses.
In case of water damage due to a storm or a hurricane, it’s important to note a distinction:
- Water damage may be covered if it’s due to a window breaking or the roof blowing off, causing water to enter the residence
- Water damage is excluded from coverage if the water contacts the ground before reaching your home, as is the case with a flood or storm surge
- If the flooding triggers a fire or explosion or your home is looted after you evacuate, you may be covered for your losses, but the damage caused by floodwater is not included as a covered peril
If you rent in flood-prone areas, you may want to look into flood insurance policies for additional protection.
Home-based business owners must be well-informed on the landlord’s homeowners policy and their own renters insurance policy coverage. In most cases, personal items that are used for business purposes (appliances, raw materials, work computers) are not considered personal property and are exempt from renters insurance coverage. Additionally, customers are not considered guests, which means that liability coverage does not protect you if they get injured on the premises.
To be fully protected, it’s best to look into additional small business insurance policies. This type of policy offers property protection for work-related items and income loss, along with general legal liability coverage.
What is the Average Cost of Renters Insurance?
Owning a home requires ensuring the dwelling itself, and since this isn’t the renters’ responsibility, renters insurance is far less expensive than homeowners’.
According to the NAIC, the national average cost of renters insurance is $180 annually, which comes down to $15 a month.
Insurance rates will vary according to:
- The value you’re seeking to insure
- The level of coverage you want and the deductible size.
- Area of residency, prevailing local crime rate, and frequency of inclement weather such as windstorms and fires
The five states where renters insurance is the most expensive are Mississippi, Oklahoma, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas, and even then, the highest average premium is only $21.50 per month
|Average Renters Insurance Annual Premium Costs by State|
|New Hampshire |
|New Jersey |
|New Mexico |
|New York |
|North Carolina |
|North Dakota |
|Rhode Island |
|South Carolina |
|South Dakota |
|West Virginia |
Source: National Association of Insurance Commissioners, “Dwelling Fire, Homeowners Owner-Occupied, and Homeowners Tenant and Condominium/ Cooperative Unit Owner’s Insurance Report: Data for 2018”
How to Save on Renters Insurance
Shop around and request online quotes
Premiums can vary considerably among companies. Make sure to research companies from which you already hold insurance policies of other types, such as car insurance.
Bundle your policies
Most companies offer a discount when you purchase (or “bundle”) two or more types of policies, such as renters insurance with auto insurance. Bundling your insurance also allows you to pay both bills at once and consolidate your claims under one account.
Ask about discounts
Many insurance companies offer discounts if you meet the requirements. Examples of these are:
- Premium discount if you install safety devices around your home
- Reduced premium when you don’t file a claim after a certain time has elapsed with the policy
- Rate reductions for signing up for automatic debit or paying your policy annually instead of monthly
Choose a higher deductible
You can save by choosing a higher deductible. Some companies offer personal property deductibles as low as $250, but such a low amount will increase your premium. If you opt for a more typical deductible of $500 or $1,000, the monthly premium can be lower
Negotiate rent discount with the landlord
See if you can negotiate with your landlord for a reduction on your rent payments in exchange for having a renters insurance policy. Renters insurance is beneficial to your landlord, as it reduces their liability if one of your guests is injured on the property.
Tips to Pick the Right Renters Insurance Company
- Check the company’s financial stability to make sure it will be able to pay your claims
- Check customer satisfaction scores, rankings, and complaints from organizations such as J.D. Power and the NAIC
- Speak with an independent insurance agent or broker, one that sells policies from multiple companies. They can reliably compare the pros and cons of several potential insurers for you
- Don’t discount word of mouth. Ask friends and relatives who they’re insured with and about their satisfaction with the company, including any claims experiences they might have had
- Know what the policy won’t cover and make any necessary adjustments. You can take out additional policies or riders, increase coverage limits, or save money for a rainy day
How to File a Claim
- Inform your landlord of the situation and any damages or losses.
- File a police or fire department report in case of fire, flood, or theft. Keep a copy.
- Make any necessary repairs to avoid further damage (in case of flood, for example). The insurance should cover the cost of these. Further damage arising from your delayed response will not be covered.
- Document the damage, keep every repair receipt and any added living expenses
- Consult the terms of your policy.
- Initiate a claim with the insurance company by calling an agent or through an app, if available.
Best Renters Insurance FAQ
How much is renters insurance?
According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), a renters insurance policy typically costs from $15 to $30 a month, depending on such factors as your location and the value of your belongings.
What is renters insurance?
Renters insurance — otherwise known as an HO-4 policy — is an insurance policy that protects a renter’s personal belongings against perils without coverage for the residence itself. In case of loss, renters insurance will cover your items’ actual cash value or replace them at their current value.
What does renters insurance cover?
Renters insurance covers your personal property in case of damage or theft. Coverage applies to accidents, weather damage, theft or vandalism, and loss of use if your home is inhabitable for a certain amount of time. It also protects you from medical liabilities and legal costs if a guest is injured in your home.
How to get renters insurance?
Determine the value of your belongings and how much coverage you need to replace everyone in the event of a loss. This can include jewelry, clothing, furniture, and even DVD collections. Find out what is and isn’t covered under your landlord’s homeowners insurance. Shop insurance companies, research customer experience, get quotes, and compare premiums to get the best deal. After that, apply and determine if you need special coverage and insurance riders for high value items, such as expensive jewelry. Finally, select your preferred deductible and start paying your policy.
Is renters insurance worth it?
Renter’s insurance is a vital safety net if you own high-value items like cameras, computers, or collector’s items. Your property will be covered from fires, power surges, vandalism, and theft–even if your belongings are inside or outside the apartment or in your car. Premiums for renters insurance are more affordable than other policies, and many companies let you set your own deductible.
The policy is worth it if replacing your personal property out-of-pocket is significantly more expensive than what you’d spend on the insurance premiums and the deductible. For example, if you have more than $1,000 worth of stuff, insuring it for a $150 yearly premium and a $500 deductible will be more affordable than replacing it all yourself if the unexpected happens.
What does renters insurance not cover?
Renters insurance does not cover uninsured roommates, water damage and earthquake damage, or any pets that you may have. Read in-depth details about renters insurance exclusions in our guide section.
What is the difference between renters insurance and homeowners insurance?
Homeowners insurance protects your home and personal property from damage or theft and extends personal liability coverage. Premiums vary by state but average around $100 per month nationally.
Renters insurance covers the tenant’s belongings and protects them from legal and medical liabilities in case a guest is injured in the home. It does not cover the dwelling or primary structure, which means it is far less expensive than homeowner’s insurance, often costing less than $20 a month.
As a separate type of policy, the landlord’s insurance will cover the actual dwelling or primary structure and other structures like tool sheds and garages. The policy also protects personal property stored on the premises if it is used to service the rental, like any maintenance equipment (lawnmowers, leaf blowers, etc.).
How We Found the Best Renters Insurance Companies
We looked for the best renters insurance companies in the country by examining the following:
- Customer satisfaction scores in J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Property Claims Satisfaction Study. Our top renters insurance companies must be well-ranked to qualify.
- Financial strength as determined by insurance credit rating agency A.M. Best. A high financial stability rating means the company has a higher likelihood of paying out claims and is less likely to declare bankruptcy in the foreseeable future. We eliminated companies with ratings below A+.
- Complaint index data for property insurance policies, as compiled by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). The companies’ complaint ratio must be well below the national average, which is 1.00.
Note: Neither Lemonade nor Young Alfred met all of the methodology requirements included in our Top Picks list. They aren’t included in J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Property Claims Satisfaction Study, aren’t registered with the NAIC, and have no financial strength rating from A.M. Best. Nonetheless, we believe they deserve serious consideration as two of the best renters insurance companies today.
Summary of the Best Renters Insurance Companies of 2021
- Lemonade – Most Innovative Renters Insurance Provider
- Erie Insurance – Best for Comprehensive Coverage
- Nationwide – Best for Optional Add-Ons
- Amica Mutual – Best for Customer Experience
- Allstate – Best for Retirees
- Auto-Owners – Best for Those Living Abroad
- State Farm – Renters Company with the Largest Market Share
- The Hartford – Best for Home-Based Businesses
- Young Alfred – Best for Online Quotes from Top Providers