Many companies provide renters insurance these days. They all provide similar coverage, which means you have to look at other factors such as price and customer satisfaction when finding the best renters insurance policy for you. We put together this guide to help you find your best, cheapest company.
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The top renters insurance companies
We ranked the best renters insurance companies in the U.S. based on policy offerings, customer satisfaction surveys, consumer complaint information and market share. These are our top picks.
Nationwide: Best overall
We chose Nationwide as our pick for the best renters insurance company due to its availability and its performance across all categories in satisfaction surveys. It received a score of 859 out of 1,000 from J.D. Power in its 2022 renters insurance study for overall customer satisfaction. The higher the score, the better. With the average for customer satisfaction being 841, this puts Nationwide in a strong position.
Furthermore, Nationwide has a 2022 National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Complaint Index of 0.20. An insurer's complaint index is based on the number of complaints it receives in relation to its size. The average complaint index rating is 1.0. The lower a provider's complaint index, the better. This puts Nationwide in a strong position.
Allstate: Best for online quotes
If you prefer to shop online and compare costs, or you value an easy-to-use interface, we recommend Allstate. The online quote process involves submitting personal information like age and marriage status, as well as characteristics of your home like type of building and security features.
In a matter of minutes, Allstate's site shows three options: a basic, standard and enhanced plan, all with a quoted price. You can then alter the coverage specifics and recalculate the quote price. For example, you can choose a higher deductible and watch your renters insurance quote drop, or increase your personal property coverage and see the rate increase.
State Farm: Best for young renters
State Farm's average rate for renters insurance is about $15 a month for $35,000 of contents coverage. This is good for young renters who may not have a lot of belongings, as it allows you to avoid paying for coverage you don't need.
Additionally, State Farm is the largest property and casualty insurance company in the U.S., meaning you can probably find an agent close to you who will help you through the process. Having an agent to answer your questions is especially useful for people who are purchasing their first property insurance policy.
Toggle: Best for college students
Toggle specializes in renters insurance. Part of Farmers, it provides customizable coverage and low policy limits, and can act as a supplement to your parents' insurance. Students who live in dorm housing owned by their university usually legally reside at their home address, meaning they're often covered by a parent's homeowners or renters insurance policy. However, if this is not the case or you need to boost your coverage, Toggle is a good option.
On the downside, Toggle insurance policies do not include additional living expenses. That means if you are unable to remain in your residence after a loss and are responsible for finding your own housing, your renters insurance policy won't help you pay for the extra costs incurred. However, if you're a student in university-owned housing, this most likely won't be a problem. Toggle makes it easy to select the exact coverage you need and prevents students from overpaying for coverage they don't need.
The Hartford: Best for older renters
The Hartford specializes in insurance products for customers over 50, especially AARP members, making it a great option for senior renters. The Hartford's partnership with AARP makes it easy for members to take advantage of its coverage.
In terms of customer service, The Hartford performed well on the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Home Insurance Study for renters coveragee. It received a rating of 846, positioning itself above the national average. Also, The Hartford currently has a complaint rating of 0.09, putting it well under the national average.
USAA: Best for veterans
USAA is only available to active military service members, veterans and their families, but if you fall under any of those categories, you're eligible for what is often considered the best of the best in insurance.
USAA received a rating of 886 in J.D. Power 's 2022 U.S. Home Insurance Study. It is not counted in the study's ranking due to its limited policyholders. Otherwise, it would be at the top by a lot. Furthermore, its NAIC Complaint Index rating is at 0.4, putting it well under the national average of 1.0.
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Factors to consider when choosing renters insurance
When getting renters insurance, you should consider several factors to get the policy you need at your best price. These factors include an understanding of your coverage needs, your budget and the company's customer satisfaction history.
The coverage you need
One of the main coverage points of renters insurance is personal property, or contents, coverage. Contents coverage pays to repair or replace your belongings if it is damaged or destroyed. Your landlord's insurance covers the structure of your rental home, so you don't have to worry about that.
To make sure you're not over-insuring or under-insuring your stuff, compile a home inventory list of all the belongings you want covered. Include their serial numbers and what you paid for them when you can. Having receipts or photos is helpful as well.
With the liability coverage portion of your renters insurance, the default minimum is usually $100,000. While this may seem like a lot, if an injury or property damage you cause results in a long court case or hospital stay, that amount can be reached and exceeded quickly. Anything over that limit will come out of your pocket. If you can, consider increasing your liability coverage to $300,000.
The average cost of renters insurance is $18 a month. While this may not be a lot, why not save money wherever possible? The best way to find a policy that fits your budget is to compare quotes from multiple providers. Being able to see multiple quotes and policy offerings side by side will get you the best combo of cost and coverage.
A renters insurance company's track record of taking care of its policyholders is as important as the coverage it provides.
J.D. Power releases an annual U.S. home insurance study that includes a ranking of the renters insurance providers with the best overall customer satisfaction. This study is measured based on five considerations: billing process, claims, interaction, and policy offerings and information.
The NAIC maintains a complaint index that rates how many complaints an insurer gets in relation to its size. Below is a table showing the comparison of customer satisfaction and complaint index ratings between top rental insurance companies.
|Company||J.D. Power satisfaction score||NAIC Complaint Index rating||Market share|
|Sources: J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Home Insurance Study, 2023 NAIC Complaint Index|
Essential tips when buying renters insurance
Hunting for the right renters insurance policy may seem like a challenge, but it can be simplified if you do a little prep work beforehand.
- Come prepared: When you start to compare quotes for renters insurance online, have everything you need at the start. Have the personal information you'll need to fill in and your inventory list on hand.
- Consider other coverage you may need: If you live in an area that is prone to earthquakes, landslides and/or flood damage, you may want to add on the appropriate supplemental insurance to your policy. None of the perils are usually included in the basic renters insurance policy of most providers. Talk to an agent if you're not sure. Also, if you have a pet you may have to get pet liability insurance.
- Compare multiple quotes: If you compare quotes with multiple renters insurance companies, your chances of finding the policy you need skyrocket. Have a clear view of your coverage priorities going in, and whittle down your insurer options until you have two or three finalist companies that seem best suited to fulfill your needs. If you need to have some questions answered before making a final choice, contact an agent.
Frequently asked questions
How much does renters insurance cost?
The average cost of renters insurance is $214 a year, but costs may vary based on your location, coverage amount and other factors.
How do I know if a renters insurance company is reliable and trustworthy?
Look at an insurer's J.D. Power and NAIC ratings. Both are highly reputable, and are considered authorities in customer satisfaction trends.
What types of coverage should the best renters insurance company provide?
A standard renters insurance policy usually contains the following:
- Contents coverage: This coverage pays to repair or replace damaged belongings.
- Additional living expenses: Also known as loss of use, this part of your policy helps cover additional expenses that can arise from relocation while damages to your rental home are repaired. These expenses include meals, rent and commute costs.
- Personal liability: If you are responsible for property damage or someone being injured in your rental unit, personal liability covers the resulting legal, medical and property replacement costs.
- Guest medical payments: This coverage takes care of initial medical expenses if someone is injured in your rental unit, regardless of who is at fault.
We gathered data and renters insurance quotes from the following 10 companies: Allstate, Erie, Farmers, The Hartford, Lemonade, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm and USAA.
We evaluated these companies based on:
- Policy offerings
- Consumer satisfaction surveys
- Customer complaint data
The consumer satisfaction surveys used were the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Home Insurance Study. Complaint data was sourced from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
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