As a renter, you need renters insurance to protect your belongings. You just never know in this crazy world. You computer could get stolen, there might be a flood that damages your furniture, or a random fire might break and burn all your clothes.
I once had a leak in the ceiling that dripped on my $2,500 laptop all night and destroyed it. Unfortunately, I did not have renters insurance. I'll never make that mistake again!
What Is Renters Insurance?
A renters insurance policy protects you and your belongings whenever you are renting a house or apartment.
As a landlord now, I require all my tenants to get renters insurance. If tenants refuse, I will move onto the next applicant because I don't want unnecessary stress and liability hanging over my head.
- Renters insurance has three main parts:Personal property coverage
- Liability coverage
- Additional living expenses coverage.
Personal property coverage protects your belongings if they are damaged, destroyed, or stolen. Personal property includes you expensive mattress, your clothes, your laptop, your flat screen 4K TV, your bicycle, and other personal items.
Liability coverage protects you if you accidentally damage someone else's property or someone gets hurt in your apartment. For example, if one of your friends gets hurt in your apartment during a party, goes to the hospital, and then decides to sue you your liability coverage should kick in for both medical and legal fees. You guys will probably no longer be friends.
Additional living expenses coverage will pay for finding alternative living arrangements if your apartment is damaged or uninhabitable. For example, your apartment might have experienced a flood. This is when you would use your renters insurance to help you find temporary living arrangements at a hotel, an Airbnb, or any comparable property that is for rent.
Overall, renters insurance is very affordable given it does not cover the structure of your rental, but the inside belongings only.
The Best Renters Insurance Companies
Now that we know what renters insurance is, let's look at some of the best renters insurance companies today.
Allstate is one of the largest insurance companies in the world with 2018 revenues of over $40 billion. The company was ranked 79th in the 2019 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue. Its current advertising campaign, in use since 2004, asks, “Are you in good hands?”
Liberty Mutual Group is an American diversified global insurer and the third-largest property and casualty insurer in the United States. It ranks 75th on the Fortune 100 list of largest corporations in the United States based on 2019 revenue.
Based in Boston, Massachusetts, it employs over 45,000 people in more than 900 locations throughout the world. As of December 31, 2019, Liberty Mutual Insurance had $133.644 billion in consolidated assets, $110.025 billion in consolidated liabilities, and $43.228 billion in annual consolidated revenue.
The company, founded in 1912, offers a wide range of insurance products and services, including personal automobile, homeowners, workers' compensation, commercial multiple peril, commercial automobile, general liability, global specialty, group disability, fire and surety.
Nationwide is on your side. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and affiliated companies is a group of large U.S. insurance and financial services companies based in Columbus, OH. Nationwide currently has approximately 34,000 employees, and is ranked #73 in the 2019 Fortune 500 list. Nationwide is currently ranked #53 in Fortune's “100 Best Companies to Work For”.
State Farm is based in Bloomington, Indiana and is the largest property and casualty insurance provider in the United States. It is also the largest auto insurance provider in the United States. State Farm is ranked 36th in the 2019 Fortune 500, which lists American companies by revenue.
State Farm relies on exclusive agents (also known as captive agents) to sell insurance. Only State Farm agents can sell State Farm insurance, and their agents can sell only State Farm products.
State Farm is known for auto insurance, which you can bundle with renters insurance to save money. With consistently low rates and excellent customer support, State Farm is an excellent option for renters insurance.
The United Services Automobile Association (USAA) is a San Antonio-based Fortune 500 diversified financial services group of companies including a Texas Department of Insurance-regulated reciprocal inter-insurance exchange and subsidiaries offering banking, investing, and insurance to people and families who serve, or served, in the United States Armed Forces. At the end of 2019, there were about 13 million members.
USAA was founded in 1922 in San Antonio by a group of 25 U.S. Army officers as a mechanism for mutual self-insurance when they were unable to secure auto insurance because of the perception that they, as military officers, were a high-risk group. USAA has since expanded to offer banking and insurance services to past and present members of the Armed Forces, officers and enlisted, and their families. The company ranked No. 100 in the 2019 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue
I've been a USAA member for over 25 years and I enjoy their service. My father served in Vietnam and my grandfather served in World War II in Honolulu, Hawaii.
MetLife, Inc. is the holding corporation for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MLIC), better known as MetLife, and its affiliates. MetLife is among the largest global providers of insurance, annuities, and employee benefit programs, with 90 million customers in over 60 countries. The firm was founded on March 24, 1868. MetLife ranked No. 43 in the 2019 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.
The company's principal offices are located at 200 Park Avenue, New York City in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, though it retains some executive offices and its boardroom in the MetLife Building, located at 200 Park Avenue, New York City, which it sold in 2005.
The Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO) is headquartered in Maryland. It is the second largest auto insurer in the United States, after State Farm. But like most insurance companies, they offer all types of insurance, including renters insurance.
GEICO is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway that provides coverage for more than 24 million motor vehicles owned by more than 15 million policy holders as of 2017. GEICO writes private passenger automobile insurance in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
Lemonade is interesting because it takes a flat fee from your monthly insurance premium, pays claims, and gives any leftover money to charities you choose. Renters insurance starts as low as $5 a month with Lemonade.
Lemonade is a startup and is only available in less than 30 states, but plans to continue expanding coverage.
Other solid life insurance companies include AARP and American Family.
Where To Shop For Renters Insurance
The easiest way to shop around for renters insurance is through PolicyGenius. They are the #1 insurance marketplace that helps consumers find the best type of insurance policy in one place.
On PolicyGenius you can compare each offer from qualified insurance companies instead of having to apply to each carrier one-by-one. You'll also find some of the best renters insurance rates.
Now that you know what the best life insurance carriers are, you can make a more informed decision once PolicyGenius highlights the various renters insurance quotes from multiple carriers.
About the Author: Sam worked in investment banking for 13 years at GS and CS. He received his undergraduate degree in Economics from The College of William & Mary and got his MBA from UC Berkeley. In 2012, Sam was able to retire at the age of 34 largely due to his investments that now generate roughly $250,000 a year in passive income. He spends most of his time playing tennis and taking care of his family. Financial Samurai was started in 2009 and is one of the most trusted personal finance sites on the web with over 1.5 million pageviews a month.