Protects yourself from stolen, damaged, or destroyed belongings due to a break-in, fire, or other unexpected events when renting an apartment. Policies also provide coverage if you cause harm to someone else or damage to their property. We’ve evaluated the best renters insurance providers based on coverage, customers satisfaction, financial strength, and overall quality.
Customizable coverage at affordable rates
$100 - $1,000
Toggle is an affordable insurance company founded by Famers Insurance Group. At Toggle, you can customize policies so they are fitting for your lifestyle. The company also aims to be inclusive so almost every financial situation can be covered, including college students.
What we like
- Customizable policies
- Coverage on the road
- Option to build your credit
- Coverage for a significant other at no additional cost
- Offers security against potential identity thieves
What we don't
- Available only in 26 States
- Only live chat customer support
Bundled insurance for cheaper rates
Branch Financial has a completely online coverage process that takes a few minutes to get complete. Its renter's insurance comes bundled with auto insurance, so you save more money.
What we like
- Valuable items coverage option
- Online application process
- Bundled insurance for discounts
- Wide range of coverage options
What we don't
- Available in a few States
- No standalone renters insurance available
What is renters insurance?
Renters insurance provides coverage for your personal belongings in the event of damage due to fire, vandalism, theft, and certain weather conditions. Items ranging from clothes, jewelry, furniture, rugs, dishes, money, firearms, sports equipment, musical instruments, personal computers, and electronics can be covered under the policy.
In addition, if your rental apartment becomes uninhabitable due to an unexpected event such as a fire, renters insurance will pay for temporary living expenses. It can also cover your legal expenses if a visitor to your home is injured and files a lawsuit against you.
Many renters may be under the assumption that they are covered by the landlord’s insurance policy, however, this is not the case. Without adequate renters insurance, you could potentially be left tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket if something unexpected happens.
Who needs renters insurance?
A common misconception is that people believe that they don’t own anything valuable. But, if you take count of everything you own, it will likely cost thousands of dollars to replace. This can be covered by a comparatively cheap renters insurance policy.
Renters insurance will also cover you for damage done to property in your apartment block. For instance, flooding from a sink can very quickly cause water damage to an apartment below you which can result in a very expensive clean-up.
You’ll only be required to purchase coverage if your landlord makes it mandatory. While it is not an obligation for everyone, anyone thinking about renting an apartment should consider it to protect themselves from personal property damage or liability costs.
How much does renters insurance cost?
The cost of renters insurance will depend largely on the state and city you live in. Starting at $8 a month in Wyoming and $10 a month in Pennsylvania, the average cost can go up to $18 a month in California and $22 a month in Louisiana.
The cost of renters insurance will depend on:
- Your state: Your location is the biggest factor that will determine the cost of your insurance policy.
- The city you live in: If your neighborhood or city has a higher crime rate, this will be reflected in a higher premium.
- Pets: In many cases, renters insurance includes liability if your dog bites another person on your property or away from your home. If you have a breed that is larger or more aggressive, this can increase the cost of your premiums.
- Credit history: Many insurers look at your credit-based insurance score to determine your ability to pay your premiums. A poor credit-based insurance score can double the cost of your premiums compared to someone with a good score. Your insurance score is used to show insurance providers how likely you are to make a claim. This is different from your credit score which lenders use to determine how likely you are to pay back debt.
- Probability of natural disasters: If you live in a location that is prone to natural disasters, renters insurance may end up costing you more.
- Your claims history: Your claims history will be taken into account by the insurer. The higher the number of claims in your history, the more likely your premiums will be increased.
- Deductibles and coverage limits: Low deductibles and high coverage limits will be reflected in higher premiums.
Many factors can contribute to a discount on your insurance premiums. These include:
- Multipolicy: Certain insurance providers give discounts for bundling policies such as auto and renters insurance.
- Safety features: If your apartment has certain safety features such as smoke detectors and security cameras, you could be eligible for a reduced premium.
- Small discounts: There can be small discounts for going with paperless billing or paying in full.
What does renters insurance cover for apartments?
Coverage for renters insurance will cover damage or theft of personal property and liability costs. Typically, policies include:
- Additional living expenses: If you are forced to live in temporary accommodation due to a fire or unforeseen circumstance rendering your apartment uninhabitable, renters insurance will cover the cost of your expenses while your apartment is being repaired.
- Personal liability: If someone has an accident on your property or your dog bites a guest, a lawsuit can be very costly. Renters insurance will help cover the legal fees and medical bills of the injured person. Typically, coverage extends to $100,000 for an insurance policy, but you can pay additional premiums to increase your coverage.
- Personal property: If your belongings are damaged or stolen due to one of the named covered ‘perils’ in your policy, a few of which include fire, vandalism, theft, and storms, renters insurance will provide coverage up to your policy limits. In addition, your personal belongings are also covered outside your apartment when you’re away from your home.
- Credit cards: Many policies will cover losses to the policyholder for credit card fraud up to the coverage limit.
When choosing your coverage, it is important to select a policy limit that provides adequate coverage for your needs. Take inventory of all your belongings in your apartment to ensure that you are reimbursed in the event of an unforeseen circumstance. It’s estimated that the average two-room apartment has approximately $30,000 worth of personal property.
What does renters insurance not cover for apartments?
Like all insurance policies, there will be limits to the coverage your policy will provide. You will only be covered by renters insurance if the peril is listed in your policy. Typical exclusions include:
- Flood damage: If your apartment block is at risk of flooding, it’s best to purchase flood insurance to help pay for the damages.
- Earthquake damage: This can either be purchased as a separate policy or as a policy add-on.
- Infestations: A common exclusion is an infestation due to bedbugs, mice, or other rodents. Depending on where you live you can get this as a separate policy.
- High-value items: Certain jewelry items may not be covered if they are valued above the policy limits. You may have to pay a premium to increase your coverage limits or take out a separate insurance policy.
- Property belonging to your roommate: It’s best to get separate policies unless your insurer allows you to share a policy.
- Car theft: Your car is not covered for theft or damage.
- Certain pets: An aggressive breed of dog can sometimes be excluded from your policy or other pets such as snakes.
While legal fees in the event of a lawsuit are covered, some insurers can oblige you to use an attorney provided by the insurance company. It’s best to fully read the terms and conditions before taking out a policy.
Can landlords require renters insurance?
While renters insurance is not required by law, some landlords can require you to buy a policy. As your landlord’s insurance will not pay for your belongings, it’s important to consider renters insurance to help you save money in stressful and unexpected situations.
What are extra add-ons for renters insurance?
Policies can be customized to meet your needs by paying for extra add-ons. Typically, these include:
- Replacement cost coverage: For added coverage of your personal property, replacement cost coverage will pay to replace stolen or damaged items at today’s retail prices. It does not take into account depreciation and the payout will be higher than receiving the actual cash value.
- Scheduled personal property endorsement: Certain items such as jewelry have special limits that provide insufficient coverage. For instance, valuable items such as a diamond ring worth $20,000 are unlikely to be covered under the basic policy. You can add a scheduled personal property endorsement to your policy to provide coverage for these items.
- Identity theft: Some policies may include identity theft as an add-on that can cover the replacement of documents and potential legal fees.
How to choose the best renters insurance for apartments?
It’s important to understand the terms and conditions before purchasing renters insurance so that you are aware of exactly which perils are covered and not covered. Before you select a plan, here is what to look for:
- Assess your needs: It’s important to have coverage limits that are enough to cover the cost of replacement for your personal belongings.
- Compare multiple insurance providers: Shopping around for an insurance policy can help you find an insurer with the best policy for your specific needs. Compare multiple providers to find the one that’s best for you.