The 8 Best Rental Insurance Policies of 2020
It's vital to make sure to protect your property
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Not only is renter’s insurance important to protect your valuable personal belongings, but it is also a requirement in many modern apartment complexes. A common misconception is that your landlord’s insurance covers your personal property. This is false. Landlord’s insurance only covers the physical structure but none of the tenant’s personal property.
A renter’s insurance policy covers your contents while living in a rented property against losses caused by a list of specifically named perils such as fire, theft, hurricanes or other natural disasters. You can add coverage by endorsement/rider for things such as expensive personal items, identity theft protection or increased additional living expense limits should you have to move out of your apartment for repairs due to a covered loss. You also have liability protection to cover accidents that may happen to anyone visiting your apartment such as a slip and fall. Each insurer will have different limits of coverage and policy options available.
When choosing where to buy renter’s insurance, there are several factors to consider, including pricing, policy offerings, financial strength, customer service and more. The following renter’s insurance companies are rated highly by J.D. Power & Associates, A.M. Best, Insure.com People’s Choice Awards, Consumer Reports, the Better Business Bureau and other rating organizations and are among the best choices for renter’s insurance in the insurance marketplace.
Best Overall Customer Satisfaction: Erie Insurance
Erie customers like the company for several reasons: reasonable rates, excellent customer satisfaction and good claims service. Erie Insurance was the No. 1 ranked renter’s insurance company in the J.D. Power Home Insurance Study with a 5-star out of 5-star power circle rating and an “A+” A.M. Best rating. Erie Insurance is headquartered in Pennsylvania. Coverage is offered in 12 states and Washington, D.C.
Erie’s rental insurance policy offers guaranteed replacement cost for personal property and additional coverage is available for identity recovery and expensive personal items. Erie Insurance offers a multi-policy discount of up to 30 percent (this discount can range from 14 to 30 percent). If you already have auto insurance with Erie, it makes sense to see if you can save by also getting a renter’s insurance quote. The Erie renter’s insurance policy will replace your property (television, furniture, electronics, etc.), pay for additional living expenses if you have to live somewhere else while your apartment is undergoing repairs and liability coverage for injury or harm to other people or their property while visiting your home.
Best Territories Served: State Farm
State Farm offers renter’s insurance at lower than average premium rates for most policyholders and customers (there are many discounts available and you can find coverage in every geographic region of the U.S.). State Farm has an outstanding reputation within the insurance industry. It has an “A++” financial strength rating with A.M. Best, and S&P Global Ratings give State Farm an AA rating.
State Farm’s renter’s insurance policy offers full replacement cost and offers a special discount for home monitoring systems. The policy also covers electronic up to $5,000 and up to $1,500 for business property kept in your apartment. There are also has some unique coverage options available in addition to the basic rental policy options such as waterbed coverage.
Best Discounts: Allstate
Allstate customers love all the discount options that come with its renter’s insurance policy, including the multi-policy discount, safe home discount, easy pay plan, 55 and retired discount and claim-free discounts. The claim-free discount will pay a discount of up to 20 percent on your rental insurance premium.
There is also a comprehensive line of policy options, including coverage for your high-dollar valuable such as jewelry and coverage for sewage/water backup. Allstate was listed in the top 10 renter’s insurance companies by Consumers Advocate.
Best for Cost: American Family
American Family Insurance scores high in the area of cost savings for renters with well below average premiums. The great thing is about a renter’s insurance policy with American family is that you are not giving up value in exchange for a cheaper insurance premium.
Several pluses of the American Family renter’s policy include coverage for electronics and coverage for firearms. You have coverage for mold damage and identity theft protection. American Family Insurance has an “A” Excellent financial strength rating from A.M. Best and received the 2nd highest rating (4 out of 5 stars) from J.D. Power & Associates.
Best for Claims Service: Liberty Mutual
Liberty Mutual may not offer the cheapest renter’s insurance policy but its claims service is among the best in the industry. In fact, the company is known for offering coverage in high-claims areas where other insurers may not. You can file a claim online or by phone 24/7 and managed your account online. Liberty Mutual Insurance has an “A” Excellent rating from A.M. Best.
A renter’s insurance policy from Liberty Mutual offers coverage for personal property against theft or damage of your contents inside your apartment or car, liability to protect you if someone else is injured or their property damaged while visiting your home, and additional coverage for home computers and smartphones. There is also an option to add coverage for all of your jewelry items under a single policy limit. You can save on your renter’s policy by bundling renter’s and auto. There is also a claim-free discount if you have not filed a claim for five years or more.
Best for Customizing Your Policy: Farmers
Renter’s insurance is not one size fits all, especially when it comes to the deductible. This is the amount you have to pay for a claim before the insurance company pays the remainder. Many insurers only offer one or two deductible choices, but with Farmers Insurance you can choose from several deductible options; you can have a different deductible for theft, wind/hail or other areas than for your general deductible. This allows you to get more coverage and pay less for claims in the areas where you may be at greater risk of a loss.
You can also get additional coverage for expensive personal items such as jewelry, computers or electronics; and an option for replacement cost coverage, meaning the insurance company will pay to replace the damaged property with the same materials and quality without any deductions for depreciation.
Farmers Insurance is rated “A” Excellent by A.M. Best and has received a customer service award from the Insure.com People’s Choice Awards. Farmers Insurance also received a 4.5 out of 5-star rating in the areas of value for the price, claims processing and customer service.
Best for Additional Coverage Options: Nationwide
Nationwide renter’s insurance coverage options are available for personal liability to cover bodily injury or property damage to others (an additional personal umbrella policy endorsement is also available that will add more liability protection to your policy), water backup, credit card coverage (pays for unauthorized transactions on your credit/debit cards up to a specified limit), firearms coverage, coverage for high-value items (computers, jewelry, electronics, etc.), personal umbrella coverage, credit card payments, as well as theft protections for valuables stored away from home. Nationwide’s renter’s insurance policy offers “brand new belongings,” which is a feature that replaces any items lost from a covered peril with brand new belongings.
Nationwide Insurance is a well-known and trust name in insurance. The company has an “A+” Superior A.M. Best rating and received a 3 out of 5-star rating in a J.D. Power and Associates customer satisfaction survey.
Best Renter’s Insurance for Additional Living Expenses Coverage: Travelers
Renter’s insurance offered by Travelers Insurance Company offers one of the best additional living expenses coverage on the market should you not be able to live in your apartment for a time due to a covered loss. Additional living expenses pay for things like hotels, meals, laundry, etc. The loss-of-use coverage will pay up to 20 percent of the personal property coverage which is more than some other renter’s insurance policies available. It also pays full replacement cost for computers.
Travelers Insurance and its subsidiary companies has an “A++” superior rating with A.M. Best and has received a 4.5 out of 5 star rating for claims processing and customer service from a J.D. Power & Associates customer satisfaction survey.