Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States. You might put your personal property at risk if you live in a flood zone and don’t have a flood insurance policy.
Let’s take a look at what flood insurance is, how it applies to you and where you can find the best flood insurance for renters.
Explore Flood Insurance
Tip: Compare 2-3 companies.
Best Flood Insurance for Renters
- Best Overall for Flood Insurance: Chubb
- Cheapest for Flood Insurance: Allstate
- Best for Bundling: Progressive
- Best for Easy Add-Ons: GEICO
- Best for Residents of Puerto Rico: United Surety
Flood Insurance: An Overview
Flood insurance is a type of insurance coverage backed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Flood insurance is sold through FEMA-approved independent insurance companies and prices are set by federal underwriters.
Flood insurance policies include 2 types of coverage:
- Building property coverage: Building property coverage helps protect the physical structure of your home. It pays for your repair bills if your home is damaged by flooding. The maximum coverage limit for building coverage is $250,000.
- Personal contents coverage: Personal contents coverage compensates you for items you own that are damaged after a flood. This coverage helps you replace things like clothing, electronics, small appliances not attached to your home and more. The maximum limit for this type of coverage is $100,000.
Flood insurance typically doesn’t cover any of the following:
- Living expenses, even if your home was completely destroyed by flooding
- Damage in underground or hidden rooms, including basements and crawl spaces
- Cars and self-propelled vehicles (including ATVs and scooters)
- Outdoor structures and furniture, including decks, patios, outdoor septic tanks, landscaping and wells
- Damage from mold and mildew that could have been avoided by the homeowner
- Any losses to currency, precious metals and stock certificates you have in your home
As a renter, you’ll typically only want to purchase personal contents coverage. Your landlord may be required to purchase building property coverage, depending on where your home is located.
Renters Insurance: An Overview
Renters insurance is a type of protection that compensates you for your belongings that are damaged after a natural disaster or break-in. Most renters insurance policies include 3 parts:
- Personal property compensates you for things like electronics and clothing after a covered peril.
- Loss-of-use compensates you for hotel and food expenses if your home is destroyed to the point where it’s deemed unlivable.
- Personal liability compensates you if you’re sued after someone is injured or has their property damaged inside your home.
Every renters insurance policy includes a list of covered and uncovered perils. If your things are damaged by a covered peril, you can file a claim; if you suffer damage from an uncovered peril, you can’t. Most renters insurance plans exclude flood damage from coverage. If you want protection from flooding, you’ll need to purchase an independent flood insurance policy.
Renters insurance isn’t legally required like other types of insurance. However, your landlord might require that you have insurance as a condition of your lease.
Flood Insurance Premiums for Rental Properties
Flood insurance is different than homeowners insurance and auto insurance because prices are set by the federal government. This can be great news if you don’t like shopping around for a policy, but it doesn’t mean that everyone will pay the same amount of money for flood insurance. Let’s take a look at some of the factors that FEMA considers when it creates a quote for your renters flood insurance.
- Year of building construction: If you live in an older building, you might pay more for flood protection.
- Building occupancy: The more people you have living in your home, the more possessions you likely own and the more you’ll pay for flood insurance.
- Number of floors your building has: If your building has more floors, you’re less likely to see damage to your possessions after a flood. This is especially true if you live on a higher floor in an apartment building.
- Your home’s flood risk: FEMA has mapped out each county’s flood risk and designed each address with a flood risk rating of “high,” “moderate” or “low.” If you live in a high-risk flooding area, you’re more likely to experience a flood and you’ll pay more for coverage. You can check your flood risk rating using FEMA’s flood map service rating.
- The location of the lowest floor in relation to the elevation requirement on the flood map: The higher your building’s elevation, the less likely you are to experience flood damage. This lowers the price you’ll pay for insurance.
- The deductible you choose and the amount of coverage: Your policy’s deductible is the amount of money you’ll need to spend before your insurance kicks in and starts paying for damage to your possessions. The higher your deductible, the less you’ll pay each month for flood insurance.
Choose contents-only coverage from your FEMA-approved provider when you rent. Because contents-only coverage doesn’t include coverage for the structure of your building, it’s significantly more affordable than a full flood insurance policy.
Best Flood Insurance for Renters
Now that you understand how flood and renters insurance works, it’s time to take a look at some of the best flood insurance policies for renters.
1. Best Overall for Flood Insurance: Chubb
Need quick, affordable flood insurance for a rented space? Consider a policy from Chubb. Chubb offers both affordable renters insurance policies as well as independent flood protection you can add to your plan with a quick call to your representative.
Chubb specializes in quick responses when you file a claim. The company will contact you less than 24 hours after you file a claim. Fast claims and a comprehensive list of policy inclusions mean 97% of Chubb policyholders would recommend Chubb to a friend or family member looking for insurance.
2. Cheapest for Flood Insurance: Allstate
Unlike most types of insurance coverage, the cost of flood insurance usually doesn’t vary from company to company. This is because flood insurance policies are priced and sold through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and issued through authorized 3rd-party insurance companies. The NFIP assigns a price based on your home flooding risk.
The best way to lower the cost of your flood insurance is by securing the most affordable renters insurance possible. Allstate offers affordable renters insurance throughout the country and you can bundle your coverage with an existing Allstate policy. You can also lower your monthly expenses even further by taking advantage of Allstate’s wide range of discounts.
3. Best for Bundling: Progressive
You might already have an auto insurance policy from Progressive — it’s one of the largest car insurance providers in the country. If you do, you can save money when you bundle your renters insurance, flood insurance and auto insurance together. You can save more than 5% on your policy when you bundle.
Progressive can also bundle your renters policy together with other types of coverage — from business insurance to ATV coverage, Progressive’s team does it all. It also offers a wide range of discounts you can use to make your policy even more affordable, including home security system discounts and discounts for paying for your policy in advance.
4. Best for Easy Add-Ons: GEICO
Looking for an easy way to add flood insurance to your renter’s insurance policy? Consider coverage from GEICO. If you’re an existing GEICO policyholder, you can quickly log into your account online and add flood contents coverage to your policy.
Don’t already have a policy from GEICO? You can quickly get a quote online and enroll in your GEICO policy from the comfort of your home or office. Flood insurance policies from GEICO are simple to understand — it’s an excellent choice for renters who are new to flood insurance.
5. Best for Residents of Puerto Rico: United Surety
Flash flooding is a major hazard for residents of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Unfortunately, many renters insurance and flood insurance providers exclude these territories from their coverage maps.
United Surety is one of the few flood insurance and landlord insurance companies that offer comprehensive flood policies in Puerto Rico. United Surety offers private flood insurance options, which means that you can get up to $1 million in coverage — about 4 times what’s available through NFIP policies. Policies are available for rented homes, condos and apartments. United Surety also offers enrollment and quote information in Spanish, which can be an invaluable asset for native speakers.
Protect Your Belongings
Are you ready to get started protecting your home and belongings from water damage? Getting a quote for flood insurance is quick and easy with Benzinga. Just enter a bit of information on where you live and you’ll instantly see options available to you. It takes less than 30 seconds to get started on the path to a well-protected future.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) Q: Does the type of home matter?
Normally, since renters insurance only covers your belongings, the type of home will not matter. What will matter is that in a larger home, you will have more personal possessions, thus more to insure. You will want to look at the limits the policy has and consider having an add-on/rider that will cover your higher priced items like jewelry, collections, and precious metals. You can learn more by reading our homeowners insurance guide. Get a custom renters insurance quote.
2) Q: Will renters insurance cover roommates?
3) Q: Does where you live matter?
Since your renters insurance covers your belongings, where you live does not necessarily matter if you are moving locally. However, insurance prices do vary from state to state. Most policies will move when you move; your rate may just change if your move is drastic. Other factors are other state law and limits a new landlord may impose. Get an instant custom renters quote in seconds.