Just because you reside in a rental, doesn't mean you don't have a home full of valuables. You don't need a collection of furs and fine art to need insurance to cover your possessions.
Electronics, clothing, furniture and more are all in danger of loss in a catastrophic event or accident. While your landlord's insurance covers the building, you're responsible for insuring your apartment's personal contents, as well as liability from visitors and guests.
Unfortunately, many lessees don't feel renters insurance is necessary, or even think about it. But the good news is rental insurance is easy to get and often very affordable, averaging as little as $5 to $25 a month or so.
There are dozens of options for renters insurance, so which is the best one for you? While that depends on a number of factors, we can get you started by appraising some of the best renters insurance policies and rental insurance companies across the U.S. for 2019.
State Farm is known for being a market leader in cheap rates. In addition to an average monthly rate ranked best by ValuePenguin, State Farm offers an easy online quote process, high marks for customer service and speedy claim recovery.
With a dynamic mobile app called “Pocket Agent," State Farm often offers the most rates below average among the big insurance companies. Like a good neighbor, its excellent friendly service and coverage is widely available across the country.
That being said, the rental insurance division of the giant can sometimes seem like an afterthought, as actually applying for coverage can be a frustrating experience on their website.
If your fellow shoppers' experiences are important to you, Erie Insurance is often among the best reviewed and highest rated for their customer service and ease of signing up. In fact, J.D. Power ranked Erie first for overall satisfaction.
However, the downside is the company doesn't compete in most parts of the nation. At the moment, Erie's policies are only offered in 13 states.
If you're a techie, Allstate might be the good hands you want to be in. Allstate's online quote estimating, customer service and policy management tools and apps are the class of the industry.
With “Allstate Mobile" you can easily pay bills, start claims and review your coverage. “Digital Locker" is an app that lets you take photos of all your possessions and store them in case of a future claim.
But if you're looking for fun (and who isn't looking for fun from their insurance company), check out the “What's Your Stuff Worth?" tool which lets you figure out what all your possessions are worth and what it would cost to replace them.
While including a lot of extra protection, like standard water damage coverage, Allstate also lets you trim your policy to save money, such as the option to exclude off-premises theft protection, which can save about 22 percent. But be sure to shop around, as Allstate can be among the most expensive of the big box companies.
Start-up Jetty is a great alternative for young and savvy renters with easy-to-understand, affordable policies. Jetty's specialty is inexpensive policies that cover your basic needs with no bloat.
But that doesn't mean you can't get traditional renters insurance with property, liability and medical payments covered, plus additional valuable add-ons such as security deposit coverage, coverage for your lease guarantor requirements and Airbnb Host Theft Protection.
Need someone to co-sign your lease? Jetty can even assist with that.
Sure to be Beyoncé's favorite insurance company, fellow start-up Lemonade is an app-based company that specializes in homeowners and rental insurance, primarily targeted at young renters and urban-dwellers.
What policy-holders love most is the quick and automated quote and sign-up system. Most users can download the Lemonade app, sign up and receive a quote all through the app in about 90 seconds, the quickest and most simple process in the industry.
And once you're ready to sign up, you don't even have to speak with an agent. Instead, you'll be connected with an A.I. bot named Maya who will help you complete your purchase right inside the app.
And a bonus for the young, socially-conscious renter – through Lemonade's Giveback program, users can choose a non-profit that will receive a portion of unclaimed money at year's end.
Policy-holders swear USAA is the best insurance company on the planet, with agents and customer service reps that feel like family. Perfect, right? J.D. Power agrees, ranking it among tops in the biz, but USAA is only available to veterans, active military or a military dependent or relative.
If you qualify, you'll enjoy highly-competitive prices and benefits a-plenty. USAA doesn't set coverage limits for valuable items like televisions and computers and includes coverage for acts of God like floods, earthquakes, wind and lightning, which are usually absent from most policies.
And if you're military, there's no other insurance company that can look after your needs like USAA, such as coverage for lost or damaged military uniforms without deductible and coverage of possessions while deployed.
The differentiating factor about MetLife is that, unlike most other rental insurance policies, the areas of your property frequented by Snoopy and Woodstock are also covered.
While all companies cover the stuff inside your apartment, MetLife also covers the outside areas you're responsible for, including storage sheds, carports and garages and doghouses (even the ones that don't turn into World War One flying ace fighter planes).
But be sure that MetLife coverage is available in your area as not all of their agents handle rental insurance.
If you're in the market for a large selection of different options, Liberty Mutual may be your best bet. Nearly every sort of rental coverage that exists is available through Liberty, including high-claim areas.
But be careful that you don't get more coverage than you need. Depending where you live, Liberty can be one of the most affordable choices as well, but their rates tend to fluctuate wildly in different areas of the country.
That being said, Liberty is one of the most flexible providers for those looking for multi-policy discounts. So, if you have auto or life insurance with Liberty, you might be able to obtain a minuscule rate. Liberty also extends several other discounts for renters, plus awards an additional claims-free discount for policy-holders who do not file for five years.
Nationwide insurance is indeed on your side when it comes to personalization. Of the major providers, Nationwide's rental policy is the most customizable, as well as best for extended coverages. The company also provides well-reviewed and no-pressure customer service during the quote process and an easy-to-use online quote calculator.
On the downside, their rates can be higher than average in some areas, primarily in the Midwest and in large cities, and the company puts a greater emphasis on policy-holders who bundle with other coverages rather than stand-alone rental insurance.
As J.K. Simmons will surely tell you if you ask, Farmers' greatest differentiator in the industry is their variable deductible feature. This feature allows you to customize your deductible for certain situations, depending on your personal needs, if you feel you have greater risk of one type of claim and a lesser risk of another.
For example, if you find yourself at a higher risk of damage from wind and hail because of your location, but at a lower risk of electronics theft, you can weigh your deductible more towards weather rather than wearables.
Farmers' rental insurance, as a bonus, will even assist you with personal liability. They know a thing or two because they've seen a thing or two.
But what helps Travelers stand out is a dynamic property itemization process. What this allows you to do is easily itemize, or in insurance lingo “endorse," your valuables into known categories, such as electronics, computers, collectibles, jewelry, furs and more, rather than having everything under one “umbrella."
Additionally, Travelers allows you to apply a portion of your policy's coverage towards replacing improvements that you have made to your rental property. Don't be fooled by their under-the-radar marketing compared to the competition, Travelers is a great value with agents and affiliates across the nation.
Rated “Better Than Most" by J.D. Power & Associates (don't let the blasé title fool you, that's a good rating), American Family Insurance offers low rates with minimal hassle and few customer service complaints.
American Family's policies aren't all that different from the other big companies, but do offer some very interesting options that renters will find very useful, such as identity theft protection and extended coverage for a home office in your apartment. One down side is that American Family does not operate in all states.
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