Most people take for granted the importance of having rental insurance when renting an apartment or condo, and that can be a huge mistake. They assume their landlord has coverage and any problems related to the rental are their responsibility.
The reality is that the landlord’s insurance only protects the building structure and not your personal items. For example, if the bathroom tub from the unit above leaks into your closet and all of your clothes are ruined, your landlord’s insurance won’t cover the damage. This is also true for stolen items. If your laptop is taken from your apartment, for example, and you find yourself in danger of identity theft, there is nothing your landlord’s insurance can do about it.
Rental insurance would be your savior as it covers the replacement and damages to your personal belongings. Having identity theft insurance would protect you in case any information was hacked from your stolen laptop. Identity theft insurance helps repair not only your identity but credit reports. According to the Insurance company Allstate, an average renter owns $30,000 worth of possessions. Aren’t your personal possessions – your clothes, computer, jewelry, art, cameras and more – worth rental insurance coverage?
Locating the best rental insurance company to purchase a policy from can be tricky. Insurance companies tend to offer similar coverage and pricing. Rental insurance is relatively inexpensive, but it varies depending on where you live, how it’s impacted by climate, whether it’s a high crime area, discounts and other factors. The average cost of renters insurance a year is $187 or $15.58 a month, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
Here are the top rental insurance companies to choose from when purchasing rental insurance. The companies chosen were based on the criteria shared below. Keep in mind that cost and coverage were not included, as they are very similar among the companies.
Criteria to determine best rental insurance companies
Ratings: The financial strength of the insurance companies are rated by the following financial agencies: Standard & Poor’s, A.M. Best and Moody.
Overall Customer Satisfaction: The ranking of overall customer service was based on J.D. Power’s survey of insurance companies. Based on the analysis, companies received a two to five ranking in customer service satisfaction.
Five = Among the best of the companies
Four = Better than most companies
Three = About average
Two = The rest were considered average
Discounts: Savings to your policy that your insurance carrier will provide if you qualify.
Resources: Additional information or online tools the company provides.
What Makes Their Company Unique: Information that differentiates the company from the other companies.
Best companies for rental insurance policies
Allstate was founded in 1931 and is headquartered in Northbrook, Illinois. The company is one of the largest property and casualty businesses in the insurance industry. Allstate has $108.6 billion in assets and over 12,000 local agents spread throughout the nation.
Ratings: Allstate has strong financial ratings, including an A+ from A.M. Best, an AA- from Standard & Poor’s and an Aa3 from Moody’s.
Overall Customer Service: Ranked a three, considered about average.
Discounts: Allstate offers a number of discounts including:
- Multi-policy discount if you include your auto policy with your renter’s insurance.
- Save 15% if you equip your home with safety devices like security systems or fire alarms.
- Save 5% if you sign up for automatic withdrawal from your bank.
- Save 25% if you are 55 and enjoying your retirement.
- Save 20% if you switch to Allstate and receive bonus savings for every year you stay claim-free.
Resources: Offer a number of online resources, such as What Does Renters Insurance Cover?, Allstate Digital Locker, What is your “Insurance Personality” and a Rent vs. Own Calculator. They also offer a guide called Renter’s Insurance Made Simple.
What Makes Their Company Unique: Allstate is considered a financially stable insurance company that provides reliable and comprehensive coverage. They are known to offer competitive rates and excellent customer service. They provide a scheduled personal property coverage of high-priced belongings that aren’t included in standard personal property coverage. Allstate employs local agents who act as consultants and points of contact.
Headquartered in Bloomington, Illinois, State Farm is ranked 35 on the 2016 Fortune 500 list of largest companies. State Farm offers banking products, mutual funds and a variety of insurances. The company started in 1922 and, today, it manages over 84 million policies and accounts and has over $138 billion in assets.
Ratings: The company has been awarded an A+ from A.M. Best, an A1 from Moody’s, and an A+ from Standard & Poor’s.
Overall Customer Service: Ranked a four, considered to provide service better than most.
Discounts: State Farm offers the following discounts:
- A home alert protection discount if you have fire or smoke detectors, burglar alarms or any home monitoring system.
- If you choose to have a higher deductible, you may be able to lower your premiums.
Resources: Online app to create an inventory of your possessions. The website has good content and is easy to navigate.
What Makes Their Company Unique: State Farm plans are nationwide. The company is considered one of the top insurers in the U.S. and has been in business for nearly 100 years. State Farm offers personal liability and medical payments that apply when you’re legally liable for property damage or bodily injury resulting from accidents considered covered. State Farms offers additional coverage of your “special items” such as cameras, collectibles, computers, jewelry and more. It is offered worldwide and State Farm will pay the cost to repair or replace your property. This coverage also extends to theft and accidental physical damage to property. Customers can customize their renter’s insurance policies and make claim-related contact with State Farm 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Based in Columbus, Ohio, Nationwide is a Fortune 100 company that offers a wide-array of financial services and insurance plans. The business was launched in 1925 by offering auto insurance to local farmers. Today, Nationwide offers rental insurance in 44 states and has over $197 billion in assets.
Ratings: The company has been awarded an A+ from A.M. Best, an A1 from Moody’s, and an A+ from Standard & Poor’s.
Overall Customer Service: Ranked a three, considered about average when providing service.
Discounts: Nationwide offers the following discounts:
- Save 20% on your renters insurance when you also insure your car with Nationwide.
- Get a discount on renters insurance if your rental has smoke detectors, fire alarms, burglar alarms or other qualifying devices.
- Qualify for a discount if you stay claims-free.
Resources: Straightforward website with helpful content about insurance process. Offer Home Safety and Care Tips and an apartment checklist.
What Makes Their Company Unique: Nationwide offers renters insurance plans in only 44 states. They allow you to customize a policy to get the exact amount of coverage that you need. They require a minimum of $20,000 in personal property coverage to trigger its “Brand New Belongings” full replacement value option. Nationwide offers policies that cover the medical costs for other people that are injured in an accident occurring on your property. They also provide credit card coverage for unauthorized transactions, as well as forged checks and counterfeited money.
Liberty Mutual Group sells property, casualty, health and life insurance products to individuals and businesses. The company launched in 1912 and opened its first branch in Springfield, Massachusetts. Today, Liberty Mutual Insurance serves U.S. clients, while Liberty International makes plans available throughout Europe, Asia and Latin America. The company has over $125 billion in assets and, during 2016, earned over $38 billion in revenue.
Ratings: Liberty Mutual has been issued an A from A.M. Best, an A from Standard & Poor’s, and an A2 from Moody’s.
Overall Customer Service: Liberty Mutual is ranked a two, which suggests they do not offer great service compared to other companies.
Discounts: Liberty Mutual offers the following discounts:
- Save if you have not filed a claim with your previous insurance carrier for five years or more.
- Save money when you bundle Liberty Mutual rental insurance with another insurance policy such as auto insurance.
Resources: Liberty Mutual provides a renter’s insurance coverage calculator, which is an online tool used to determine the value of your possessions.
What Makes Their Company Unique: Liberty Mutual is a trusted brand within the insurance industry. The company doesn’t offer the most comprehensive renters insurance plans available, but they offer affordable rates as a trade-off. Liberty Mutual offers rental insurance for as little as $12 a month. They will quote renters insurance policies for up to $1 million of liability coverage online. They will also allow renters to add a “Blanket Jewelry Coverage,” which increases the category limit for jewelry.
The Hartford is a property and casualty insurance company founded in 1810. It is headquartered in Hartford, Connecticut. In addition to offering home, auto, renters and umbrella insurance to individuals, the company also offers various types of business insurance, including property and liability. Currently, The Hartford has over $230 billion in assets.
Ratings: The insurance company has received an A+ from A.M. Best, an A1 from Moody’s, and an A+ from Standard and Poor’s.
Overall Customer Service: Ranked a five and considered to offer the best service to its customers.
Discounts: The Hartford has the following discounts:
- When you buy both your rental and car insurance with The Hartford, you’ll save on both policies.
- With the AARP® Auto & Home Insurance Program from The Hartford, you’ll receive savings of up to 20% on the cost of your renters insurance and up to 5% on your auto insurance.
- Save on your policy if your apartment or rental unit features a 24-hour security service.
- Save money if you renew your affordable home renters insurance policy with the AARP® Homeowners Insurance Program from The Hartford.
Resources: The Hartford offers an online site called The Extra Mile, providing information related to auto, home, life transitions, technology and wellness.
What Makes Their Company Unique: The Hartford has been in business for over 200 years and has over 100 offices located throughout the U.S. Customers can tailor policy features to meet their specific needs and has 24/7 access to claims services. The Hartford’s “New For Old” protection of your possessions pays the actual cost to replace your possessions, regardless of age or condition. Medical payments cover emergency medical bills for anyone injured on your property, including your pet. Identity theft is offered as an additional option where you can be reimbursed up to $25,000 in out-of-pocket costs needed to restore your identity.
USAA is a Texas-based Fortune 500 diversified financial services group of companies. The business was founded in 1922 by a group of U.S. Army officers. Today it is considered one of the largest and most financially stable property insurance companies in the U.S. with $28.2 billion in assets. USAA exclusively serves members of the armed forces and their families.
Ratings: USAA has been ranked high. They have received an A++ from A.M. Best and an AAA rating from Moody’s, which are top scores. USAA has additionally received an AA+ from Standard & Poor’s.
Overall Customer Service: As USAA is an insurance provider only open to U.S. military and their families, it was excluded in the rankings of the J.D. survey. The survey does note that if USAA was included, it would rank a five, which is considered to be a company that provides the best service overall.
Discounts: USAA offers discounts from your new or renewed renters policy if you’ve had no renters claims paid by USAA in the last three years. USAA will offer the option of increasing your deductibles to reduce your premium. If you choose to have your auto policy with USAA, they will offer a discount. Also, as a member of USAA, you will also have access to financial resources, personalized savings along with shopping discounts.
Resources: USAA offers a mobile app for multiple device platforms.
What Makes Their Company Unique: USAA provides comprehensive renters insurance at better-than-average rates for members of the U.S. military and their families. USAA is quite desirable as an insurer due to its comprehensive coverage of almost any possession you have and its willingness to cover every scenario imaginable, including floods and earthquakes. Another great advantage of USAA is they will cover the cost of items damaged or stolen with brand new ones. USAA’s standard policy includes liability and personal property coverage, but they also allow you to customize your coverage.
Esurance was founded in 1999 and has over 3,000 associates nationwide. Esurance uses state-of-the-art technology and offers a seamless 24/7 claims service. The company is backed by Allstate, a Fortune 100 company that has over $130 billion in assets and more than 80 years of industry experience.
Ratings: Esurance has received high ratings from both customers and financial institutions. The insurance company has been given an A+ from A.M. Best.
Overall Customer Service: Based on its parent company Allstate, they rank a three, offering about average service.
Discounts: Additional savings are offered when renters coverage is added to an existing auto policy.
Resources: They have an easy-to-use mobile app and a quick comparison quote. Another online resource is an interactive map that shows state-specific renters coverage and how you can get insurance for your apartment.
What Makes Their Company Unique: Esurance specializes in bringing a modern-world approach to insurance. They are a member of the Allstate family and have a strong financial backing. They are easily accessible and provide insurance directly to consumers online, over the phone and through select agents. If a policyholder is forced from their residence due to a fire, water damage or another unforeseen incident, Esurance will provide coverage of any additional living expenses such as paying for a hotel. Another benefit Esurance offers is medical costs if a visitor is injured in a policyholder’s residence.
Before shopping around for rental insurance to protect those worldly possessions of yours, it’s a good idea to take inventory of your belongings. This online tool will also help you to determine how much and what type of coverage you will need. You can do that with an app such as Know Your Stuff. Request quotes from multiple rental insurance companies to compare offers. You can find more rental insurance companies in the SuperMoney’s Renters Insurance Review Directory.