Renters Insurance in California

Contributor, Benzinga

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

People have been rushing to live in California since the settlers came searching for fast fortunes. Are you renting an apartment, condo or house in the Golden State? Here’s our guide to best renters insurance in California.

Quick Look: The Best Renters Insurance in California

  • Best for Seamless 100% Digital Singup: Lemonade
  • Best for Existing Policyholders: State Farm
  • Best for Customizable Policies: Nationwide
  • Best for First-Time Policyholders: Amica

Best Renters Insurance in California

Now that you have a quick grasp on how renters insurance works in California, here’s your chance to find the best company for affordable renters insurance.

1. Lemonade

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

Lemonade is an innovative renters insurance provider and tries to make getting a new policy as quick and easy as ordering an Uber. The company’s robust app interface and tech-savvy focus make it perfect for college students.

Lemonade looks to turn the insurance industry upside down by donating a percentage of leftover profits to charity. 

Because of this focus, the savings are passed to the end-user. Affordable pricing helps college students who live on a tight budget and don’t have time for complicated processes. You can get a quote from Lemonade in less than 2 minutes.

You’ll be choosing an up-and-coming company with financial stability that is digital-friendly, affordable and socially responsible.

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.

get a quote securely through Lemonade’s website
Best For
Best For Seamless, 100% digital sign-up
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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

2. State Farm

State Farm is a household name ranked by J.D. Power for its customer service. It has exceptional financial strength and has an A++ rating with AM Best, the credit agency.

State Farm provides comprehensive renters coverage at competitive prices. You can tailor your renters insurance to your family’s needs and finances.

One way to save money and lower your monthly payment is to choose a higher deductible. You’ll pay more out of pocket if you have a claim. But it’s still one way to protect yourself with coverage if you don’t believe you’ll use it, but need to meet your landlord’s requirement.

Best For
Existing State Farm policyholders
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1 Minute Review

State Farm is among the best-known insurance companies in the country. The company boasts longevity — it’s been in business since 1922. It sells policies primarily through its network of more than 19,000 agents. Although many know State Farm for its auto and homeowners insurance, it also sells competitive renters insurance

Don’t assume your landlord’s insurance will cover you if there’s a fire or theft in your rental home. Your landlord’s insurance is designed to cover damage to the physical building itself. Landlord insurance includes roof and walls, but it won’t cover your personal belongings. You are responsible for the replacement of your furniture, clothing, electronics and more — unless you have renters insurance. 

State Farm offers renters insurance coverage that protects your personal property. Its coverage also includes liability insurance and loss of use. You can also opt for optional types of coverage like identity restoration and earthquake damage. 

State Farm offers just 2 types of discounts. On the plus side, its renters insurance is relatively inexpensive, and you can work with an agent to ensure you have the right amount of coverage. 

State Farm also offers an easy claims process and solid customer service, in addition to a mobile app that makes it easy to manage your policy. 

State Farm is a good choice for renters who prefer to work with an agent or who already have another type of State Farm policy. Learn more about its options in our State Farm renters insurance review.

Best For
  • Renters who want an in-person agent
  • Renters who already have another State Farm policy
Pros
  • Easy online claims process
  • The support of an agent
  • User-friendly mobile app
Cons
  • Only 2 types of discounts
  • Below average customer satisfaction ratings from J.D. Power

3. Nationwide

Are you looking for low-cost renters insurance? Put Nationwide on your checklist. Nationwide has some of the most affordable policies in all of California.

The company gives you the choice to tailor your policy to your needs. You can save a dollar and still add the company’s Valuable Plus coverage for your expensive items such as watches, antiques or jewelry. Nationwide also gives credit card protection that covers you from fraudulent financial transactions at no added cost.

You can stack up the savings with the protective device discount or zero- claims discount. Nationwide’s quote tool is secure and efficient. You’re only a few clicks away from protecting your possessions.

Best For
Customizable policies
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1 Minute Review

As one of the United States’ largest insurance providers, Nationwide offers homeowners insurance options across the country. If you already have a policy with Nationwide, you can easily bundle multiple coverages together to save on both policies. In addition to bundling, Nationwide also allows you to save using many other discounts, including discounts for having a security system installed in your home and for remaining claims free.

Unlike some other insurance providers, Nationwide makes it easy to claim a quote online (though you can speak with an in-person representative if you choose). Though Nationwide quoted higher than the national average price for homeowner’s insurance, these costs can vary widely by location. Overall, Nationwide provides homeowners with a quick and easy option to get covered. 

 

Best For
  • Homeowners looking for fast coverage
  • Homeowners who want the option to speak with an agent
  • Anyone who already has a Nationwide policy
Pros
  • Instant quote tool allows you to see prices quickly
  • Loss-of-use and credit protections included on standard policies
  • Offers a range of insurance products for bundling discounts
Cons
  • Confusing customer contact system
  • Pricing higher than average in some areas

4. Amica

Seniors value customer service along with competitive prices for their fixed incomes. Amica delivers and tops J.D. Power’s home insurance rankings, and it ends up beating the competition according to Consumer Reports as well. In fact, 94% of the company’s customers have a lasting relationship with Amica. 

Seniors can maximize discounts by bundling with auto insurance, life insurance or small business insurance. Amica even has retirement products that could add to your savings. Significant discounts include loyalty, which happens after 2 years with the company, and claim-free when you have no claims in the past 3 years.

Best For
First time policyholders
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1 Minute Review

Amica, while a lesser-known brand than some other insurers, has been providing fire and auto insurance since 1907 and is the oldest mutual insurer of automobiles in the US. The company, owned by its policyholders, prides itself on exceptional service and returns dividends to policyholders when premiums generate a surplus. Customers recently rated Amica Mutual as the highest rated home insurance provider in a recent JD Power survey.

Best For
  • Customers who are comfortable handling their insurance needs by phone or online
  • New home insurance customers
  • Customers looking to bundle insurance policies
Pros
  • Top rated in every category in JD Power’s home insurance survey
  • Bundling home and auto policies creates an opportunity to save on Amica Auto Insurance
  • Annual dividends are paid on eligible policies based on surpluses
Cons
  • Expect customer support to be phone-based or web-based due to a small brick-and-mortar presence
  • Coverage for some homes may not be available through this insurer

An Overview of Renters Insurance in California

Renters insurance differs from car insurance because you’re not legally required to have it. But it offers some unique coverages that are affordable when compared to other types of insurance. Some landlords require renters insurance before you can sign a lease.

Renters insurance functions like homeowners insurance:

  1. Expect to pay your monthly premiums to the insurance company to keep your coverages current after you sign up for a policy.
  2. You’ll pay to replace or repair any damaged or lost belongings when you have a claim.
  3. The insurer will then reimburse claims up to the limits of coverage. You can expect to pay a deductible before the insurance takes care of the remainder of the replacement costs.

Your renters insurance policy is more affordable than a homeowners insurance policy because it only covers your contents and not the dwelling itself. Renters insurance provides no coverage for damages to the physical structure of your unit or apartment — that’s the landlord’s responsibility. Landlord insurance protects the dwelling and renters insurance is just for the contents you have inside.

Average Annual Renters Insurance Premium in California

Renters insurance is surprisingly affordable. The average cost for a California resident is $200 per year, about $17 per month. You can find discounts to lower your renters insurance policy even more. 

Different renters insurance companies offer various discount programs depending on the customers they want to attract. These discounts are standard through the industry:

  • Payment option discounts: Most insurers offer a discount for paying your policy in full. If that’s not a possibility for you, you could lower your bill by choosing paperless statements or autopay.
  • Multi-policy discount: Bundling is 1 of the best ways to save money with the renters insurance company. Add car insurance, life or business insurance to increase your discounts all around.
  • Safety discounts: Have you bought a security system, smoke detector or fire alarm? The insurance company you choose might give you a deal for that.

Renters Insurance Coverage Explained

You can expect most renters insurance policies to have 3 types of coverage:

  • Personal property: Personal property coverage pays for the replacement or repair of your belongings up to the coverage limit for covered perils. Electronics, clothing, furniture and other personal possessions are all protected under this coverage. But personal property coverage doesn’t cover your vehicle — you need comprehensive car insurance for that.
  • Additional living expenses: What happens if the damage is so significant that it causes your home to be unlivable? Additional living expenses pays the cost of your new living arrangement while you wait for your apartment or unit to be repaired. Hotel, transportation and food expenditures are all standard costs covered under this protection.
  • Personal liability coverage: Personal liability coverage provides legal protection and pays judgments if someone is injured on your property. Personal liability coverage will also pay if you damage someone else’s property.

Most Affordable Cities for Renters Insurance in California

Where can you expect the best rates among the many California cities? Let’s look at the most affordable cities for renters insurance in California:

  1. Fremont
  2. Bakersfield
  3. Fontana
  4. Fresno
  5. Oakland

Most Expensive Cities for Renters Insurance California

California is known for its high real estate costs. You can expect to pay a little more for renters insurance in Los Angeles and if you live in any of these cities:

  1. Fresno
  2. San Jose
  3. San Francisco
  4. San Diego
  5. Irvine

Protecting Your Home With Renters Insurance in California 

Everyone wants to save as much as possible when buying insurance. But how do you know you got the best deal? The best strategy is to get quotes from several representatives before choosing a policy.

Renters insurance is like car insurance or homeowners insurance in that each company has a unique way of calculating your rate. Submit 5 applications seeking the same level of coverage with 5 insurance companies gets you 5 different prices.

People invest time in finding the best place to live. But often selecting renters insurance is only a box to check on your lease. Don’t let it be an afterthought. Make sure you shop around to get the best price for you and your family.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

Is renters insurance a requirement in California?

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Is renters insurance a requirement in California?
asked
A
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Renters insurance is not mandatory in California, but your landlord may require you to have it.

answered
Q

What is the lowest cost for renters insurance in California?

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What is the lowest cost for renters insurance in California?
asked
A
1

The lowest price for renters insurance in California is $13 a month or $160 yearly.

answered

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.