Seattle is the home of the Space Needle, Starbucks and a steady flow of newcomers. The population boom means rental rates are decreasing as more people are renting their homes instead of purchasing them for the first time in decades.
But only about half of Seattlites have a renters insurance policy to protect their personal belongings. Renters insurance is the best way to protect yourself while renting your home, so we’ve researched the best renters insurance in Seattle to make it easy for you to get a policy for the cost of venti lattes for you and a couple of friends.
Best Renters Insurance in Seattle:
- Best Overall in Seattle: PEMCO
- Cheapest Renters Insurance in Seattle: Jetty
- Best for Coverage Options: State Farm
- Best for Filling in Financial Gaps: Famers
- Best for Military Members: USAA
- Best Renters Insurance in Seattle:
- Renters Insurance in Seattle: An Overview
- Average Annual Renters Insurance Premium in Seattle
- Renters Insurance Coverage Explained
- Inclement Weather and Nature-Related Risks in Seattle
- Best Renters Insurance Providers in Seattle
- Get a Renters Insurance Policy in Seattle Today
Renters Insurance in Seattle: An Overview
Seattle has been a city dominated by homeowners, but for the first time since the 1950s renters are starting to outpace homeowners in the city.
A record 360,000 residents lived in rental units in Seattle in 2018, according to U.S. Census data, and that was a 16% increase in renters in 5 years.
Unlike auto insurance, there is no minimum requirement for renters insurance coverage when you’re renting an apartment, townhouse, condominium or house in the city. And the U.S. Census Bureau also reports that only about 51% of renters in Seattle have renters insurance policies.
Although it’s not required, unless by some landlords, renters insurance is the best way to protect your personal property, liability, and ensure you have a place to stay in case your residence becomes uninhabitable.
Average Annual Renters Insurance Premium in Seattle
Renters insurance protects your property against fire, smoke and water damage. It also can protect against liability, and can help replace your belongings against theft and other mishaps.
The average cost of a renters insurance policy in Seattle is about $168 per year. That breaks down to about $14 each month for $30,000 or more in personal property coverage with a $500 deductible. Besides paying to repair or replace your personal property, renters insurance will cover the expenses for lodging when you’re unable to stay at home.
You can save from 10% to 25% on your monthly or annual renters insurance premium when you bundle the policy with your auto, life, or other policies with the same carrier.
Renters Insurance Coverage Explained
While your upstairs neighbor prepares dinner, he leaves a pot boiling on the stove and starts a kitchen fire. Your ceiling is set ablaze and the water to extinguish it floods your place, which is so filled with smoke you and other tenants have to evacuate. You can’t stay there anytime soon and your clothes, furniture, electronics and other items are ruined.
The property owner probably has a landlord insurance policy, but it won’t help you.
If you have renters insurance, you may experience inconvenience and trauma. But your policy will pay for a warm, comfortable place to stay while you’re displaced from home and all your items will quickly be repaired or replaced.
A renters insurance policy protects your personal belongings against fire, theft and other damage. It also gives you protection from liability if someone gets hurt while visiting your home, and pays for your expenses if you can’t stay in your home.
A renters insurance policy typically offers these coverage types:
- Personal property: Coverage usually includes the cost of replacement or repair of your belongings such as furniture, clothing, electronics and other items up to the policy’s limits. If you purchased $30,000 worth of coverage, for example, your policy will pay up to $30,000 to replace or repair your items.
- Liability: Coverage pays for medical bills for a guest if you are responsible for their injury and will pay for any accidental damage you cause to someone else’s property. Depending on the amount of coverage you purchase, your policy can pay up to $100,000 for a liability, for instance.
- Additional living costs: If your rental home is damaged and you can’t live there, this coverage pays for your additional expenses such as a hotel room, food and clothing.
- Medical expenses: This coverage pays for medical bills for guests injured in your home or on your property.
Inclement Weather and Nature-Related Risks in Seattle
Seattle is known for its beautiful, but often rainy weather. In fact, on average, it rains about 38 inches over 156 days during the year. But temperatures usually stay between 40 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the season.
While the city doesn’t often experience severe weather, it’s not immune to major weather disasters. Actually, the region has ranked 1st in the nation for the number of weather hazards it faces, including flooding, earthquakes, winter storms and landslides.
The city is positioned near 3 fault lines, so earthquakes are the most serious hazard Seattle faces. Small earthquakes happen often, and the threat of a major earthquake is real. In July 2019, the U.S. Geological Survey reported a 4.6 magnitude earthquake rattled an area about 40 miles northeast of Seattle. A few minutes later, a 3.5 magnitude aftershock hit about 30 miles northeast of Seattle.
The most recent large earthquake to shake the Seattle area happened in 2001, when a 6.8 magnitude earthquake was reported just north of Olympia, Washington. The threat of a 7.0 magnitude earthquake could trigger possible tsunamis, strong water currents, landslides and dozens of fires weather experts predict.
The city is starting the process of evaluating the risk to older, high-rise buildings and improving construction safety standards. Meanwhile, homeowners and business owners pay more for homeowners insurance and business liability insurance to protect their properties against earthquakes. Many who are willing to pay the high rates are forced to get coverage through riskier, loosely regulated carriers. According to the Seattle Times, most Washingtonians do not have earthquake insurance because of expensive premiums.
Best Renters Insurance Providers in Seattle
When you’re looking for renters insurance in Seattle, it’s a good idea to compare carriers, prices, the features and benefits they offer. Here’s a rundown of the best renters insurance providers in Seattle:
1. Best Overall in Seattle: PEMCO
With a winning combination of reliable coverage at affordable prices, PEMCO Insurance is Seattle’s best renters insurance provider. It offers $30,000 worth of coverage for about 50 cents per day. But when you select the carrier, you don’t have to sacrifice good customer service for a cheaper price.
The Seattle-based mutual insurance company caters to its local residence base, and its agents take pride in providing customized service along with speedy claims processing. The carrier is ready to take your claims 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
2. Cheapest Renters Insurance in Seattle: Jetty
When a fire or burst pipe turns your place uninhabitable, Jetty promises to be there. Or, say you travel across the border to Victoria and your phone and laptop are stolen, Jetty’s got you in Canada, too. No matter your Seattle, Ballard, Capitol Hill or West Seattle neighborhood, Jetty offers renters insurance policies at a price that’s hard to beat.
On top of that, you can customize your policy for your personal needs. Within 10 seconds, you can get a quote for the best renters insurance policy in Seattle tailor-made for your lifestyle and budget. Jetty will make sure you don’t end up couch surfing if something happens to your place. It won’t cover cocktails or room service, but it will help you with temporary lodging when you really need it.
3. Best for Coverage Options: State Farm
Besides offering affordable renters insurance policies, State Farm offers an array of add-on options. Like many policyholders, you can buy additional coverage to protect you against identity theft. But you can more specifically tailor your coverage by choosing waterbed liability, if you still have one.
If you live near 3 fault lines, you might want to select the carrier’s earthquake coverage option, which most State Farm competitors don’t offer. After all, State Farm is the state’s largest insurer and offers reliable coverage and quick claims processing when you don’t have time to waste.
4. Best for Filling in Financial Gaps: Famers
Whether you lit several candles and started an apartment fire or a strong wind blew a flower pot off your balcony and hit a neighbor who is bruised and decides to sue you, Farmers has you covered. Farmers is best for filling in financial gaps that you may not consider and don’t even think about until something terrible happens.
It offers replacement cost coverage for your personal belongings, identity theft coverage and other policy options to help you when you are sleepless in Seattle.
5. Best for Military Members: USAA
If you live in Seattle and are a current or former U.S military member, you definitely should take a look at a USAA renters insurance policy. Its renters insurance policy is unique because it includes earthquake and flood coverage, which can offer big savings in the long run. USAA also covers property damage at replacement cost.
Most competing rental insurance carriers don’t offer these types of coverage or will charge for the extra coverage, and its price for a renters insurance policy is hard to beat.
Get a Renters Insurance Policy in Seattle Today
Life can come at you fast. It’s difficult to fathom coming home to discover that your apartment building has burned down or your unit is severely damaged. Most people believe it won’t happen to them until it does.
You can’t control what happens in Seattle, but you can protect yourself in case something unexpected occurs. You can get the protection a renters insurance policy offers for a few dollars per month in just a few seconds, so don’t delay. Get a quote today.
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