If you rent your home or are moving soon, you should seriously consider getting renters insurance. Depending on your lease agreement, it might even be required.
Renters insurance is a type of insurance policy that protects your personal belongings (like your computer) in the event that it is lost, stolen or damaged due to an incident in your home — such as a fire or sewage backup. You can also get extra protection for certain valuables like professional cameras, jewelry, fine art and more.
Moreover, renters insurance can also protect you in the event that a visitor gets hurt in your apartment or condo, since you can sometimes be liable for this, by covering their medical expenses so you don’t have to take on that huge out-of-pocket cost.
If something does happen to your personal property or someone gets hurt in your apartment and you get hit with their medical costs, you’ll need to file an insurance claim and submit any necessary documentation (i.e., photos, receipts, bills, etc.). You’ll pay your deductible and the insurance company will cover the rest.
Hopefully, you won’t have to file a claim, but if you do, many insurance companies try to make the process as simple as possible so you can get paid with ease. If you aren’t sure which renters insurance company would be best for you, CNBC Select rounded up some of the best contenders to make the choice easier. We evaluated insurance companies based on monthly cost, policy coverage and opportunities to save, among others (see our methodology below).
Best renters insurance companies
- Best for fast, easy coverage:Lemonade
- Best for military members and Veterans:USAA
- Best for discounts:Progressive
- Best for wider coverage:Nationwide
Best for fast, easy coverage
Who’s this for? Lemonade is an easy-to-use insurance platform to get coverage in a pinch. Users can sign up for a policy in just minutes — 90 seconds, according to Lemonade’s website — and get paid for a claim in just three minutes. You can use the platform to get homeowners, car, pet and term life insurance, but as far as renter’s insurance goes, the platform offers affordable coverage starting at just $5 per month. Your monthly cost will depend on how much coverage you need.
I personally use renter’s insurance from Lemonade and since my building requires me to sign up for a minimum of $100,000 in personal liability coverage, my monthly cost is just under $10.
You can also select some extra coverage for items that aren’t covered under a standard policy, like fine art, jewelry, watches, expensive cameras and more. And if you use the Lemonade app, you can easily adjust your coverage, add your spouse to your coverage, cancel your policy and file a claim right from there.
Best for military members and veterans
Who’s this for? USAA renter’s insurance coverage is available nationwide to anyone who has a military affiliation. Other insurers don’t typically provide any protection for property damaged as a result of flooding but USAA does.
Coverage can also be used for damage from explosions, riots, artificially generated electrical current, aircraft, accidental tearing, cracking and burning.
USAA also offers extra coverage for protecting high-value items, like jewelry, a camera, musical instruments and fine art. The offer is known as Valuable Personal Property (VPP) insurance and pricing starts at $2 per month — you won’t have to pay a deductible if you file a claim, though, and if you bundle VPP insurance with renter’s insurance, you may qualify for savings.
Even if VPP insurance doesn’t suit your needs, there are still other ways to score a discount with USAA insurance. If you bundle renter’s insurance with auto insurance, you could receive a discount of up to 10%. Policyholders can also earn discounts for tacking on home security monitoring as a service and remaining claim-free.
Best for discounts
Who’s this for? Progressive is a household name in insurance, which can be appealing to those who want to go with a well-known brand. This insurer offers a host of ways for policyholders to save as much money as possible.
For starters, you can receive the multi-policy discount for bundling renters insurance with other insurances. This includes motorcycle, auto, boat insurance and more. A discount for bundling renters insurance with other policies is typically standard for the industry. Progressive also offers a discount for getting a quote at least three days before your policy starts, which means planning ahead and doing your research in advance can literally pay off.
Policyholders can get another discount for opting to receive their documentation via email, though, the exact discount amount is not disclosed. You may also save some money if you pay your policy in full and upfront or if you live in a gated/secured community.
Progressive is available nationwide, but you’ll want to double-check that you’re eligible for any of the discount offers based on the state you live in.
Best for wider coverage
Who’s this for? Like Progressive, Nationwide is another well-established insurance company. What stands out about this insurer is that policy coverage can apply to other unique events or mishaps, like unauthorized purchases being made to your credit card.
With a Nationwide policy, you can also be paid for any damages to additions, alterations, fixtures, improvements or installations that you make to your home.
Many of the policy discounts offered by Nationwide are standard — a discount for bundling different policies and a better rate for keeping your policy claim-free.
Though it can often feel like another bill that you have to pay, renters insurance can really come in handy if your valuables were to be stolen or damaged by circumstances beyond your control. Instead of having to foot the entire cost of replacing those items, the insurance company will reimburse you once you pay your deductible amount. Hopefully, you never need to file a claim but renters insurance can always provide that peace of mind of knowing that you’re covered if anything were to happen.