How Much Renters Insurance Do I Need?

Contributor, Benzinga

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

Renters insurance can help protect your things in the event that you’re the victim of a fire, break-in or if your property is lost. Estimations from Allstate Insurance say that the average renter has around $30,000 of value in his or her possessions, so it can be surprisingly beneficial to protect yourself. How much renters insurance do you need, and what considerations should you make before you sign up for a policy?

How Much Renters Coverage Do I Need?

  1. Not all policies provide equal protection
  2. Your high-value items may require additional protection
  3. Document everything you own before you enroll
  4. You may have more value hiding in your closet than you think

What is Renters Insurance?

Renters insurance is a special type of insurance that covers only the interior of your property. Homeowners insurance packages typically protect against things like roof leaks or damage to your home’s siding caused by weather. Renters insurance packages typically do not include coverage for the exterior of the property, as this is considered to be the responsibility of the landlord.

Renters insurance usually covers losses from unforeseen events and can even help you cover the costs of a temporary place to live if your apartment or rented space becomes uninhabitable. Because renters insurance only covers the possessions inside the property and not the entirety of the property itself, it is usually much less expensive than homeowners insurance.

Depending on your building and where you live, your landlord may require you to maintain a certain level of renters insurance as a condition of your lease. Some leases may even require you to hold coinsuranceequal to a certain estimated percentage of the worth of your valuables.

Types of Renters Insurance Policies:

1. Loss of use

Loss of use coverage provides financial assistance if your apartment becomes unlivable. Loss of use coverage can provide for a hotel stay, coverage for meals that you would normally cook at home if your kitchen is damaged. It can even immediately replace necessary personal items. However, it’s important to note that you must have an existing renters insurance policy package for loss of use coverage to kick in. For this reason, loss of use coverage is typically included as an add-on to other types of renters insurance.

2. Personal property

Personal property coverage helps to replace your items if they are lost or damaged. This type of insurance can include things like clothing, electronics and furniture up to your policy’s limit.

3. Personal liability

Personal liability insurance protects you in the event that you are found legally responsible for damage to another person’s property that occurs in your rental space or injuries resulting from your personal possessions. For example, if a friend trips and falls over a ball you left in your yard, breaks his or her ankle, and sues you for the cost of medical bills, personal liability insurance can help you avoid paying out-of-pocket costs for the damages.

The Best Renters Insurance

We picked the best affordable renters insurance companies, detailed below.

Best For
People with Side Hustles
Pros
  • Easy to tailor coverage
  • Reasonable rates
  • Loyalty rewards
  • Coverage for significant other
Cons
  • Only offers renters insurance at present
  • Not available in all states

1. Toggle

Toggle® is a member of the Farmers® Insurance family, and it offers coverage you don’t typically find with renters insurance.

You can find coverage for side hustles and the 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. You can reach a representative from 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.

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. 

Best For
Discounts
Pros
  • Offers a mobile app
  • Can bundle your policy with other Progressive insurance products
  • Offers the option for low deductibles
Cons
  • Need to enter personal information such as your birthdate and social security number to receive a quote
  • Can only make monthly payments if you enroll in automatic withdrawals

2. 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.

Best For
Best For Seamless, 100% digital sign-up
Pros
  • Easy application that you can complete using the app
  • Fast, hassle-free claims process
  • Supports charities
Cons
  • Not available in all states

3. Lemonade

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

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

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.

Best For
Pay-per-mile insurance from an established company
Pros
  • Extensive agent network
  • Easy sign-up process
  • Many customer service options
Cons
  • Drivewise and Milewise aren’t available in all states

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, which 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 and 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 To Consider Before Choosing A Policy

  • Not all policies provide equal protection, so pay attention here.
  • Some policies only cover the average value of lost items, while others offer replacement value coverage.
  • Your high value items may require extra coverage.
  • You may need individual riders to cover super high value items, like coverage for an individual piece of jewelry or any other expensive items.
  • Riders also expand the typical limits of coverage to cover losses in more unique circumstances.
  • Document everything you own before getting coverage, even things you think don’t have value.

You might assume that after you lose your item(s), your insurance will reimburse you for the costs of the new items as long as your insurance is up to date, you’ve met your deductible (if your policy has one), and the damage or theft is covered by your package. However, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise if you’ve chosen a package that provides fair market value reimbursement.

Fair market value policies only cover the average value of the items lost, which may make total replacements impossible if you lose something out of stock, the item is not made any longer or has depreciated in value. For example, if it cost you $500 to purchase a bed frame that’s out of stock, a fair market insurance package may only offer you $250 for a new bed frame, regardless of the fact that newer models are currently sold at $700.

The best renters’ insurance packages instead offer replacement value coverage, which will cover the actual costs of replacing your lost or stolen items with new versions. Replacement value policies will ensure that you’re actually compensated for the costs of a new item, which is important because many renters underestimate how much depreciation can affect their possessions.

Renters insurance policies usually have coverage limitations on high-value items like jewelry, artwork, heirlooms and other valuables. When a high-value item goes missing or is destroyed, most policies limit the amount of money you can get for a reimbursement. There may be a caveat in your contract that states that only $5,000 may be used as jewelry insurance. This is often the case even if you have purchased a policy that provides replacement value coverage.

get a quote securely through Lemonade’s website
Best For
Best For Seamless, 100% digital sign-up
N/A
1 Minute Review

Lemonade Insurance Company is a newer player when it comes to renters insurance. It’s become a popular choice because it uses technology to simplify buying insurance and getting claims paid. 

You can get the full Lemonade experience using its mobile app or website. To buy a policy, Lemonade walks you through a short, easy application. During the application, you can determine your deductible and adjust for areas that need more coverage. For example, if you have expensive electronics, you may want to increase your coverage above the default to ensure you can get them replaced if a worst-case scenario occurs. 

Another feature that sets Lemonade apart is its Giveback program. When you get a Lemonade policy, you choose a nonprofit to support. There are many charities to choose from, including the American Red Cross, UNICEF, Teach For America, the ACLU and The Trevor Project. Out of the premiums you pay each month, Lemonade pays its expenses and pays claims. Any premiums left go toward your charity of choice. Lemonade donated over $2 million in 2021 through its Giveback program. 

Lemonade is best for those who are comfortable communicating and filing claims through the app or website. If you have questions for Lemonade, you can get in touch through the app or by clicking the “Help” button on the bottom of the website, by emailing them directly at help@lemonade.com, or giving them a call. 

Lemonade also isn’t available in all states. Its renters insurance is available in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District Of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Learn more about Lemonade renters insurance in this review. 

Best For
  • Renters who want a simple application process
  • Renters comfortable with using apps
  • Renters who want to support charities through the businesses they work with
Pros
  • Easy application that you can complete using the app
  • Fast, hassle-free claims process
  • Supports charities
Cons
  • Not available in all states
get started securely through Allstate’s website
Best For
High-Value Items
N/A
1 Minute Review

Allstate is a well-known insurance company with a national presence. It offers several insurance products, including renters insurance. If you have multiple policies with Allstate, you may be eligible for a discount on your insurance products. Allstate offers comprehensive renters insurance coverage, including water and sewer damage. It also offers generous protection for expensive items such as jewelry. If you live in a high-risk area, however, you may notice that your renters insurance premium is much higher than some of Allstate’s competitors.

Best For
  • Renters who own high-value items
  • Renters who live in areas that are considered moderate or low-risk
Pros
  • Water and sewer damage included
  • No overall limits on reimbursement amounts
Cons
  • Premiums can vary widely depending on where you live
  • Below-average coverage for electronics
Best For
Discounts
N/A
1 Minute Review

Progressive is a long-standing insurance company, founded in 1937. It has an AM Best rating of A+ and an S&P rating of AA. Progressive’s renters insurance provides affordable coverage that can help you recover financially from an unexpected loss.

Best For
  • Opportunity for discounts
  • Easy claims process
Pros
  • Offers a mobile app
  • Can bundle your policy with other Progressive insurance products
  • Offers the option for low deductibles
Cons
  • Need to enter personal information such as your birthdate and social security number to receive a quote
  • Can only make monthly payments if you enroll in automatic withdrawals

Choose the Right Renters Insurance

Just like home insurance policies are stingy about providing coverage for damage following a flood, renters insurance policies can have limitations on the events in which they will provide coverage. Many renters policies exclude pets and vehicles from their coverage, and some policies will exclude certain types of preventable damage like bed bug infestations.

Exclusions and coverage limitations are two of the reasons why it’s so important to thoroughly read every clause in your insurance policy before you sign so you can be sure that everything you think is protected is actually covered. There’s nothing worse than finding out that your policy doesn’t have enough coverage after a fire has decimated your apartment’s furniture or a thief has made off with your electronics. 

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.