Best Renters Insurance

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Contributor, Benzinga
January 20, 2022

Did you know most of our readers prefer to work with Lemonade for their renters insurance needs?

Live in a rental home or apartment without renter’s insurance? You could be putting yourself at major risk by not having coverage. Unlike homeowners insurance, type of coverage doesn’t cover the dwelling you reside in, but it does offer personal property coverage, liability coverage and additional expenses coverage — and you can often find much more cheap renters insurance than you can for home insurance coverage.

Luckily, it’s never been easier to protect your home with an affordable renters insurance policy. Use our tips and tricks to research options near you and consider a quote from one of our favorite cheap renter’s insurance providers.

Here's some of our favorite renters insurance providers.

1. Lemonade

Lemonade is an innovative and engaging new insurance provider that offers some of the most affordable policies on the market..

It works like this: out of the premium you pay, Lemonade takes a flat fee, with the rest going to paying out claims. Then, once a year, they tally up the unclaimed money leftover, and donate it to charities chosen by their customers.

 It’s a unique model that does away with the incentive most insurance companies have to pay out as little as possible in claims to maximize profits.

Renters can get insurance starting as low as $5 a month, making Lemonade by far one of the most affordable ways for renters to protect themselves. Lemonade earned a Financial Stability Rating of A-Exceptional from Demotech Inc. 

Lemonade’s sign up and claims process is exceptionally simple. You can get a quote from the app in as little as 90 seconds using an intuitive question-and-answer style format. Discounts are available for fire and burglar alarms. At the end of your signup, you receive a transparent policy summary that tells you exactly where your money goes.

Digital, socially-responsible and exceptionally affordable, Lemonade is a top renters insurance choice if you’re tech-savvy.

2. Toggle

Toggle®, a member of the Farmers® Insurance family, makes buying renters insurance easy. 

You can tailor your coverage to what you need and opt-out of any coverage that you don’t.* Toggle also offers coverage you don’t typically find with renters insurance, including coverage for side hustles and its associated equipment or inventory. It also offers access to Credit LiftSM, a service that reports your rent and utility payments to credit bureaus so you can improve your credit score. 

Toggle’s customer service representatives are readily available via chat, with extensive customer service hours (9 a.m. to 12 a.m. EST Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST on Saturdays). It also offers an online claims process, so it’s easy to file and track what’s happening with your claims. 

Toggle is currently available in the following states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.

3. Progressive

Renters insurance policies from Progressive offer you comprehensive protection.

Under a Progressive policy, you get personal property coverage, liability coverage and also reimbursement for living expenses if your home or apartment is severely damaged.

Policies from Progressive are easy to understand and its website makes it clear what is and isn’t included with your coverage.

Additional policy options include water damage and personal injury protection. The average cost of renters insurance from Progressive is between $13 and $35 per month, which makes it an exceptionally affordable choice.

Progressive offers a great selection of policies available throughout the United States suitable for most renters’ budgets and needs. The insurance powerhouse also offers a wide range of discounts. Because Progressive offers over 30 insurance types, you’ll probably find some way to take advantage of its bundling discount.

You can also get a discount when you pay your policy in full, opt to receive documents via email or get a quote at least 3 days before you need it to go into effect. Progressive is our top choice for renters who don’t want to sacrifice quality for cost.

4. Allstate

Allstate provides a standard bundling discount and discounts for adding a burglar alarm, signing up for automatic bill pay, staying claims-free and reaching retirement age.

If you already have an auto insurance policy from Allstate, you can get coverage for as little as $4 a month. This makes its auto bundling discount the best choice for renters. You can also adjust your deductible to pay even less per month.

Allstate’s policies are affordable and include many types of coverage that some competitors consider add-ons. For example, Allstate renters insurance plans include reimbursement for living expenses. They also include guest medical insurance as standard coverage.

Add-ons from Allstate include flood protection, personal umbrella policies that boost your coverage in the event of a lawsuit and even identity theft protection.

What is Renters Insurance?

Renters offers you financial protection as a renter. The main coverages included in a rental policy are:

  • Personal property coverage
  • Personal liability coverage
  • Additional living expenses coverage

Note: some landlords may require you to have renters insurance as part of your lease. Either way, it’s a smart financial decision to consider.

Important Terms to Know

Before you start looking at policies, there are a few basic insurance terms you may want to know:

  • Premium: This is the amount of money you pay monthly or annually for your renters insurance policy. 
  • Deductible: If something happens, you’ll need to file a claim with your insurance company. Your policy will have a deductible, which is a set amount of money you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket for any damages. Once you’ve met your deductible, your insurance company will be able to reimburse you for your claims.
  • Liability limit: There are several types of coverages included with most renters insurance policy. Each coverage will have a liability limit. This is the maximum amount that your insurance company will pay out on your claims.

Who Needs Renters Insurance?

Before you purchase a policy, understand the difference between renters insurance and landlord insurance. Landlord insurance protects your physical building and your landlord’s risk, while renters insurance is designed to protect you and your belongings. 

Some landlords require proof of renters insurance before you can move in. Others don’t have any rules regarding renters insurance. Either way, renters insurance is a financial decision you should consider. If items in your home are damaged or lost by theft, your renters insurance could be the only option to help you recover financially. 

You’ll need home renters insurance if your landlord requires it. Even if your landlord doesn’t, a renters insurance premium is a small price to pay for the security it offers. Remember, your landlord insurance does not protect you or your belongings. A renters insurance policy is the only product that can protect your personal items when damage or loss occurs.

Average Premiums for Rental Properties

Your premium depends on a number of factors. The quickest and most accurate way to find out how much your renters insurance premium will be is to get a quote. Here’s the information you’ll need to determine your premium:

  • Where you live
  • The amount of coverage and your liability limits
  • Your desired deductibles
  • Your credit history
  • Any past claims you’ve made on your insurance policies
  • Pet ownership

What Renters Insurance Covers

Renters insurance covers the cost of replacing or repairing things that you own inside an apartment, home or condo that you rent. As a general rule, renter’s insurance only offers coverage for your personal property — things like clothing, musical instruments, furniture, etc.

A standard renters insurance policy includes the following coverages:

  • Personal property includes personal belongings inside your home. When items are damaged or stolen, your renters insurance policy can help you by reimbursing you for the repair or replacement of your belongings. Make a list of your belongings and the cost to replace each of them to figure out how much personal property coverage you need.
  • Additional living expenses: If your home is damaged by a covered event to the point that you cannot live there, living expenses coverage will reimburse you the costs of any day-to-day necessities. This can include the cost of a hotel stay or eating out. 
  • Personal liability: If someone is injured in your home, they may hold you responsible. Renters insurance has personal liability coverage that may include the legal fees involved with defending yourself in a lawsuit. You may also be able to use this coverage if you are sued for damaging someone else’s property.
  • Medical payments: You can use this coverage to pay for medical care.
  • Damages to others’ property: Renters insurance can also cover damage to borrowed items, as long as the damage occurs in your home.

Some renters insurance policies allow you to add extra coverage, such as water sewer backup coverage and jewelry, electronics or other valuable personal item coverage.

Anything else you don’t own (like fixed-in-place furniture and major appliances) is covered under homeowners or landlord insurance. Your policy will list a set of named “perils” you’re protected under.

Most renters policies also include liability coverage. Liability coverage protects you in the event that someone injures themselves inside of your home and sues you. In most cases, liability insurance will cover you for both legal representation and court-awarded medical bills.

What Questions Should I Ask About Rental Insurance?

Here are the main questions to ask a rental insurance agent.

  • What perils are covered?
  • What is covered in my policy? What isn’t covered?
  • Are flood, earthquakes and other natural disasters covered perils?
  • Are my roommates covered by my policy?
  • Are my pets covered?
  • How much is an average premium?
  • Will making claims make my premium go up?
  • Are my belongings protected outside of my rented dwelling?

How to Pick the Right Renters Insurance Policy

Here are a few tips for choosing a renters insurance policy.

Tip 1: Know Exactly Which Perils Are Covered and Not Covered

Every renters insurance policy will include a list of covered perils. When you shop for affordable insurance, you might come across policies that cut perils in favor of lowering your premium’s price tag. Don’t choose any policy until you read and understand what is and isn’t covered.

Tip 2: Get Several Quotes

Just like with auto and homeowners insurance companies, every renters insurance company uses its own formula to determine how much you’ll pay for renters insurance. It’s possible to get the exact same policy from 10 different companies at 10 totally different price points. Don’t be afraid to shop around when you compare renters insurance policies — you might be able to save hundreds of dollars a year just by getting another quote.

Tip 3: Get a Rider

(You might have an expensive item in your home that needs a little extra protection — think your spouse’s engagement ring or your signed guitar.) However, most insurance policies include a limitation on how much money you can get back for a single item that’s lost or damaged. For example, your policy may include $10,000 worth of coverage, but it may also have a clause that says you can only use up to $1,000 on jewelry coverage.

A rider is a renters insurance add-on that extends your line of coverage to totally cover more valuable items. It’s a good idea to get a rider on anything you own that’s very expensive or difficult to replace.

Tip 4: Save More With a Higher Deductible

Your deductible is the amount you have to pay after damages before your insurance “kicks in” and starts providing coverage. You’ll pay more for your monthly premium if you have a plan with a low deductible. If you choose a plan with a higher deductible, you take on more of the charges if you need to file a claim, so your monthly premium will be lower.

Consider choosing one with a higher deductible if you’re looking to get a renter’s insurance policy on a budget.

Tip 5: Bundle Your Renters Insurance

Already have auto insurance, life insurance or business insurance? There are policies out there to cover almost everything. Chances are, your renters insurance policy isn’t the only type of insurance you have in your household. Most insurance companies offer multiple types of insurance and offer bundling discounts to encourage repeat customers to stick around.

If you already have some kind of insurance, contact your insurer and request a quote. Be sure to remind the agent that you have a current policy and that you’d like to bundle them together. Compare this quote with other low-cost renters insurance picks.  

Tip 6: Choose a Good Company

Choosing a reliable and well-reviewed renters insurance company will give you better protection than springing for a cheaper but more questionable company. If you’re not sure where to start your search, consider one of our favorite cheap renters insurance policy providers listed below.

What to Look for in a Rental Insurance Company

Unfortunately, not every renters insurance provider is of equal quality. Look for these essential features while you shop.

  1. Lots of discount opportunities. Consider choosing a policy provider that offers multiple discount opportunities. From investing in a home security system to opting for email statements to enabling automatic bill pay, the best insurance companies offer plenty of ways to lower your bill.
  2. Clear policy inclusions and exclusions. The best renters insurance policy providers aren’t shy about telling you exactly what is and isn’t covered under your policy. Look for a provider who makes it easy to understand the multiple types of coverage and perils.
  3. Coverage for temporary living expenses. If your home is deemed unlivable, where will you stay? The best renters insurance policies go beyond just replacing your things — they also provide coverage for the costs of everyday life while you recover from your loss and have your home repaired.

Protect Yourself with Renters Insurance

Many renters skip renters insurance because they think that they don’t need it or they can’t afford it. But the average renter only pays about $15 for renters insurance per month, according to data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Compare that to the cost of a lawsuit if someone is injured inside of your apartment or the cost of replacing all of your stuff after a fire.

It doesn’t hurt to make a few calls and collect some quotes — you never know how little you might be able to pay for thousands of dollars’ worth of coverage.

Get Protection Now

Lemonade offers fast, easy coverage through their seamless application and claims process. Get personal property and liability protection with Lemonade Renters Insurance.

About Sarah Horvath

Sarah is an expert in the insurance, investing for retirement and cryptocurrency space.