If you rent your home or are moving soon, you should seriously consider getting renters insurance. Depending on your lease agreement, it might even be required.
Renters insurance is a type of insurance policy that protects your personal belongings (like your computer) in the event that it is lost, stolen or damaged due to an incident in your home — such as a fire or sewage backup. You can also get extra protection for certain valuables like professional cameras, jewelry, fine art and more.
Moreover, renters insurance can also protect you in the event that a visitor gets hurt in your apartment or condo, since you can sometimes be liable for this, by covering their medical expenses so you don’t have to take on that huge out-of-pocket cost.
If something does happen to your personal property or someone gets hurt in your apartment and you get hit with their medical costs, you’ll need to file an insurance claim and submit any necessary documentation (i.e., photos, receipts, bills, etc.). You’ll pay your deductible and the insurance company will cover the rest.
Hopefully, you won’t have to file a claim, but if you do, many insurance companies try to make the process as simple as possible so you can get paid with ease.
If you aren’t sure which renters insurance company would be best for you, Select rounded up some of the best contenders to make the choice easier. We evaluated insurance companies based on monthly cost, policy coverage and opportunities to save, among others (see our methodology below).
Best renters insurance companies
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Best for fast, easy coverage
Lemonade Renter’s Insurance
Starts at $5/month; premium depends on the coverage amount you choose
Policy covers personal property damage caused by fire, vandalism, theft, and more; covers damage you accidentally cause others
Does not cover
Natural disasters, flooding, power outages, your roommate’s belongings, pest damage
- Easy sign-up process
- Affordable monthly cost
- Make claims through the app
- Ability to easily switch over from a different insurer
- Available in only 29 states
Who’s this for? Lemonade is an easy-to-use insurance platform to get coverage in a pinch. Users can sign up for a policy in just minutes — 90 seconds, according to Lemonade’s website — and get paid for a claim in just three minutes. You can use the platform to get homeowners, car, pet and term life insurance, but as far as renter’s insurance goes, the platform offers affordable coverage starting at just $5 per month. Your monthly cost will depend on how much coverage you need.
I personally use renter’s insurance from Lemonade and since my building requires me to sign up for a minimum of $100,000 in personal liability coverage, my monthly cost is just under $10.
You can also select some extra coverage for items that aren’t covered under a standard policy, like fine art, jewelry, watches, expensive cameras and more. And if you use the Lemonade app, you can easily adjust your coverage, add your spouse to your coverage, cancel your policy and file a claim right from there.
Best for military members and veterans
USAA Renter’s Insurance
Starts at $10/month; premium depends on the coverage amount you choose
Policy covers personal property damage caused by fire, vandalism, building collapse, theft, and more; standard coverage includes flood protection and no extra cost for earthquake protection; overseas insurance allows personal property to be protected if you are deployed or move abroad
Does not cover
Building and roof damage, water leak damage, damage caused by insects or pets, vehicle damage or theft, your roommate’s personal property
- Includes flood damage in standard coverage
- Discount of up to 28% on a specialized renters policy if you live on base, in barracks or military dorms
- Option to get insurance for your child if they’re moving out or living in a dorm
- 10% discount applied if you bundle renter’s insurance with auto insurance
- Easily use the USAA mobile app to file a claim
- Does not cover damage caused by pets or insects, water leak damage, or building and roof damage
Who’s this for? USAA renter’s insurance coverage is available nationwide to anyone who has a military affiliation. Other insurers don’t typically provide any protection for property damaged as a result of flooding but USAA does.
Coverage can also be used for damage from explosions, riots, artificially generated electrical current, aircraft, accidental tearing, cracking and burning.
USAA also offers extra coverage for protecting high-value items, like jewelry, a camera, musical instruments and fine art. The offer is known as Valuable Personal Property (VPP) insurance and pricing starts at $2 per month — you won’t have to pay a deductible if you file a claim, though, and if you bundle VPP insurance with renter’s insurance, you may qualify for savings.
Even if VPP insurance doesn’t suit your needs, there are still other ways to score a discount with USAA insurance. If you bundle renter’s insurance with auto insurance, you could receive a discount of up to 10%. Policyholders can also earn discounts for tacking on home security monitoring as a service and remaining claim-free.
Best for discounts
Progressive Renters Insurance
Starts at under $1 a day; premium depends on the coverage amount you choose
Policy covers personal property damage or loss, loss of use of your rental, accidental harm caused to another person or damage to their property, injury to another person that occurs in your rental space
Does not cover
High-value items like jewelry; additional coverage would be needed for such items
- Multi-policy discount for bundling renters insurance with other insurances (auto, boat, motorcycle, etc.)
- Discount for getting a quote at least three days before your policy starts
- Policy discount for opting in to receive insurance documents via email
- Discount for paying your policy upfront and in-full
- Discount for those living in a secured/gated community that requires key or remote access
- Coverage for water backup and damage must be added onto your policy
Who’s this for? Progressive is a household name in insurance, which can be appealing to those who want to go with a well-known brand. This insurer offers a host of ways for policyholders to save as much money as possible.
For starters, you can receive the multi-policy discount for bundling renters insurance with other insurances. This includes motorcycle, auto, boat insurance and more. A discount for bundling renters insurance with other policies is typically standard for the industry. Progressive also offers a discount for getting a quote at least three days before your policy starts, which means planning ahead and doing your research in advance can literally pay off.
Policyholders can get another discount for opting to receive their documentation via email, though, the exact discount amount is not disclosed. You may also save some money if you pay your policy in full and upfront or if you live in a gated/secured community.
Progressive is available nationwide, but you’ll want to double-check that you’re eligible for any of the discount offers based on the state you live in.
Best for wider coverage
Nationwide Renters Insurance
Starts at $20/month; premium depends on the coverage amount you choose
Policy covers personal property damage or loss, loss of use, personal liability, medical payments to others, building additions and alterations, credit card coverage for unauthorized transactions
Does not cover
High-value items, water backup, earthquakes, theft of items stored in motor vehicle, trailer, or watercraft; additional coverage can be purchased for these instances
- Coverage includes protection for unauthorized credit card transactions, forged checks and counterfeit money
- Multi-policy discounts available
- Discount available for having a smoke detector, fire alarm, or burglar alarm in your home
- Ability to qualify for a better rate if you don’t make any claims
- Minimum cost is a bit pricier compared to that of other insurance companies
Who’s this for? Like Progressive, Nationwide is another well-established insurance company. What stands out about this insurer is that policy coverage can apply to other unique events or mishaps, like unauthorized purchases being made to your credit card.
With a Nationwide policy, you can also be paid for any damages to additions, alterations, fixtures, improvements or installations that you make to your home.
Many of the policy discounts offered by Nationwide are standard — a discount for bundling different policies and a better rate for keeping your policy claim-free.
How does renters insurance work?
To sign up for renters insurance, choose your desired insurance company and enroll for coverage. You’ll need to choose a certain coverage amount, which will depend on what kinds of liabilities and items you’re looking to protect. For instance, if you’re looking to cover personal property, you might opt for $30,000 in coverage. If you’re protecting your personal liability, you might go for $100,000 in coverage. This is the maximum amount you’d be reimbursed in the event of an incident.
You’ll pay a monthly premium for the policy, which can cost just a few dollars but will depend on the company’s rates. If you never have to file an insurance claim, your monthly premium will essentially just be another monthly “bill” that you pay.
If you do need to file a claim, though, you’ll typically pay an upfront deductible. A deductible is a portion of the cost to replace your items that you must pay before your insurance kicks in and covers the rest. Usually, the larger your monthly premium, the smaller your deductible will be.
So while insurance doesn’t necessarily make it totally “free” to replace lost or damaged items or pay for personal liabilities, it can significantly reduce your out-of-pocket cost.
What does renters insurance cover?
Renters insurance usually covers your stolen or damaged personal property, bodily injuries that a visitor sustains while on your rented property, water backup, vandalism and damage from fires.
Renters insurance can also cover high-value items like jewelry and fine art, but you’ll usually need to tack on extra coverage, typically at a small additional cost. Renters insurance usually doesn’t encompass damage from floods or power outages. It’s also important to note that renters insurance protects the policyholder, meaning, your roommate and their belongings are not covered under your insurance unless they are added to your policy.
What’s the difference between renters insurance and homeowners insurance?
Renters insurance is meant to provide coverage for belongings, while homeowners insurance provides coverage for the actual building you live in and associated structures, like a garage or shed. Homeowners insurance is also usually required when you buy your property but if you’re a renter, you may not always be obligated to take on a renters insurance policy.
How do you file a claim?
The process for filing an insurance claim may vary slightly from one company to the next. Typically, you’ll need to provide photos of the damage, receipts and any other documentation or proof that is related to the claim you’re filing. This will help the company assess the damages.
Once your claim is approved, the timeline for payout will also vary from company to company.
Though it can often feel like another bill that you have to pay, renters insurance can really come in handy if your valuables were to be stolen or damaged by circumstances beyond your control. Instead of having to foot the entire cost of replacing those items, the insurance company will reimburse you once you pay your deductible amount. Hopefully, you never need to file a claim but renters insurance can always provide that peace of mind of knowing that you’re covered if anything were to happen.
To determine which renters insurance companies are the best, Select analyzed dozens of U.S. insurance companies that come with policies to suit an array of needs.
When narrowing down and ranking the best renters insurance companies, we focused on the following features:
- Cost: While monthly premiums can depend on the amount of coverage an individual needs, location, the value of your possessions and other variables, some insurance options offer policies with lower monthly starting costs.
- Policy coverage: Standard policies tend to include coverage for personal property loss or damage, personal liability and medical payments to others. Some companies may also include water damage, water backup and high-value items as add-ons for extra coverage.
- Maximum coverage amount: It is common for insurance companies to provide different coverage amounts for different concerns. Personal liability coverage can be as much as $1,000,000, while personal property coverage can go as high as $100,000 for standard companies. The maximum amounts vary from company to company. We have noted maximum coverage wherever possible.
- Renters discounts: Insurance companies typically allow policyholders to earn a small discount for signing on to bundle renters insurance with other policies such as auto insurance, RV insurance, boat insurance and more. Some companies may also offer an additional discount for having certain safety features in one’s home, including smoke detectors and burglar alarms. A rate reduction may be applied for those whose policy remains claim-free for a certain amount of time.
- Availability: For some insurance companies, policy availability will depend on the city or state, as not all companies offer nationwide policies and discounts for policies.
- Claim filing: Many insurance companies allow policyholders to file a claim via their app or through their online accounts. In loss of use cases, policyholders may be required to retain receipts to submit alongside their claim.
- Streamlined signup process: We considered whether insurance companies offered a convenient, fast online signup process.
- Customer support: Every insurance company on our list provides customer service available via telephone, email, secure online messaging and/or through an app. We also opted for lenders with an online resource hub or advice center to help you educate yourself about renters insurance policies and claims.
After reviewing the above features, we sorted our recommendations by best for fast, easy coverage, best for wider coverage, best for discounts and best for military members and Veterans.
Note that the premiums and policy structures advertised for renters insurance are subject to fluctuate in accordance with the company’s policies.
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Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.