Best renters insurance (and why you need it)

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Whether you are currently renting an apartment or a house  or you are considering making a move, purchasing renters insurance is a good idea. Just like other types of insurance, it guards you against the unknown and protects everything that you’ve worked so hard to achieve. And best of all, renters insurance is affordable if you choose the right company — and the right policy.

This is a list of the best renters insurance providers, including our recommendation for the top pick:

Best renters insurance company

Compared to the competition, Lemonade’s renters insurance stands out:

  • Policies start at $5/month
  • 100% online application
  • 90 seconds to get a policy

Get a quote for renters insurance through Lemonade in 90 seconds >>

Lemonade insurance review

What is Lemonade?

Founded in 2015, Lemonade Insurance Company is a newcomer in the insurance space. The business offers renters, homeowners, and pet insurance. The company’s business model is reliant on technology—particularly in the form of chatbots that handle both applications and claims—that allow it to keep its expenses, and prices, low.

Applying for Lemonade insurance

Applying for renters insurance through Lemonade is incredibly quick and easy. Visit their website and select the type of insurance that you’re looking for to begin the application process. This will trigger a chatbot that will guide you through the application. It will ask you for:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Whether or not you have a fire alarm or burglar alarm
  • Who else lives in your home (partner, kids, pets, roommates)
  • Whether or not you own any particularly expensive items, such as valuable jewelry, electronics, or fine art
  • Whether or not you currently have renter’s insurance
  • Your email address
  • Your date of birth

Upon hitting “submit,” the system compiles your quote. As it works, you can see in real-time how it grades you on certain factors including:

  • The building’s age
  • The building's durability
  • Your proximity to a fire station
  • How close you are to a shore

Interesting! 

After receiving your quote, you will be able to increase or decrease your coverage amounts on categories including:

  • Personal property, such as furniture, clothing, electronics, etc. The base level of coverage is $60,000. 
  • Portable electronics, such as your phone, tablet, laptop, etc. The base level of coverage is $3,000.
  • Personal liability, in the event someone gets hurt on your property and sues. The base level of coverage is $100,000. 
  • Loss of use, in the event you need to temporarily move out of your home due to damage. The base level of coverage is $18,000. 
  • Medical payments to others in the event that someone is injured on your property. The base level of coverage is $1,000.

At this stage, you’ll also be able to add certain specific items to your policy, such as jewelry, fine art, bikes, cameras, and musical instruments. Adding any of these items will increase your monthly premium.

After that, you just need to choose your deductible, and you’re all set! All told, you can complete the application in just a few minutes.

What does Lemonade renters insurance cover?

Lemonade renters insurance will pay to repair or replace covered items, up to your coverage limits, if they are damaged or destroyed by:

  • Smoke and fire
  • Inclement weather (such as rain, wind, lightning, or hail)
  • Crime and vandalism, including theft
  • Medical payments to others
  • Liability
  • Water damage caused by frozen pipes

Lemonade renters insurance does not cover:

  • Flood damage caused by anything other than frozen pipes
  • Damage caused by earthquake
  • Anything owned by roommates

How much does Lemonade renters insurance cost?

Lemonade says that its renters insurance policies start at just $5 per month. That being said, a number of factors will affect the final cost of your policy, including where you live, the age of your home, how close you are to the coast, how close you are to a fire department, your level of coverage, and whether or not you choose ancillary coverage. 

In completing a number of sample submissions with different variables, I received quotes ranging from an even $15 per month to $19.92. 

Types of insurance offered by Lemonade

In addition to renters insurance, Lemonade also offers homeonwer’s insurance starting at just $25 per month and pet insurance starting at $10 per month.

How does Lemonade work?

Lemonade is very transparent about how they operate. The company claims that just 25% of its customers’ monthly premiumso fund company operations. The rest of Lemonade’s revenue is used to pay claims, purchase reinsurance, and give back to the community in the form of donations. Indeed, the business is a certified B-Corp, which denotes their commitment to social and environmental activism.

Lemonade insurance pros and cons

Pros of Lemonade renters insurance:

  • Getting coverage is fast and convenient
  • Application and claims are 100% online
  • Coverage is affordable, starting at $5 per month
  • The policy is customizable
  • The company has a score of 4.4 out of 5 stars from the BBB
  • Lemonade is transparent about their pricing and business model
  • Certified B-Corp, so you will feel good about doing business with them.

Cons of Lemonade renters insurance:

  • Unlike some other, larger insurance companies, Lemonade does not allow you to bundle together multiple different policies
  • Lemonade is not available in all parts of the United States

Get a quote for renters insurance through Lemonade in 90 seconds >>

Top renters insurance companies

Below is a list of some of the other big-name insurance companies which also offer renters insurance.

Allstate renters insurance

Allstate is a big name in the world of insurance, offering renters insurance, car insurance, homeowner’s insurance, business insurance, life insurance, and more. This variety and the fact that Allstate allows you to bundle together different policies makes them popular among many. 

To apply for a quote online, you’ll need to provide your name, contact information, the address you want to insure, and whether or not you want to bundle the policy together with any other plans. You’ll also need to answer certain questions about the property. 

The website claims that you can pay as little as $4 per month for renters insurance if you are bundling the policy together with other insurance. In submitting a sample application, I received a quote for $12/month, which is comparable to other providers. 

Allstate has a score of 1.2 out of 5 stars from the BBB due to the volume of customer complaints.

Geico renters insurance

Founded in 1936, GEICO is another insurance company that has been around for quite some time and built up substantial name recognition. In addition to renters insurance, they offer car insurance, business insurance, life insurance, pet insurance, travel insurance, and a variety of other types of policies. 

You can apply for renter’s insurance online by visiting Geico’s website. You’ll need to provide your name, contact information, date of birth, and answer some questions about the property that you are insuring. All told, you can complete your application in as little as 10 minutes.

Geico offers a number of payment options. If you choose to pay for the entire year’s coverage all at once, you’ll be charged significantly less than if you opt into monthly payments. When I submitted my sample application, I received a quote of either $123 for the entire year, or $15.25 per month with a down payment of $20.51, for a total of $203.51 for the year.

Geico has a score of 1.14 out of 5 stars from the BBB due to a massive number of negative customer reviews. 

Progressive renters insurance

Progressive has been in business for 83 years, making it another giant of the insurance world. Like the others on this list, Progressive offers a variety of insurance policies in addition to renters insurance, including car insurance, homeowner’s insurance, life insurance, and more.

To get a quote, just visit Progressive’s website. You’ll need to provide your contact information, date of birth, and the address of the property that you want coverage for. You’ll then need to answer questions about whether or not you have dogs, how many people are living with you, and your preferred level of personal property coverage. Sometimes, you may need to provide your social security number if they are unable to compile your quote without one. The full application should take less than 5 minutes to complete.

In submitting my sample application, I received a quote for $19.87 from Progressive. This is higher than some of the other quotes I received, but within a reasonable range.

Like others on this list, Progressive has a very low BBB score of 1.13 out of 5 stars, mostly due to the amount of negative customer feedback. 

State Farm renters insurance

State Farm is another well-known insurance company, offering many of the same types of insurance as the others on this list.

In order to get a quote for renters insurance through State Farm, you’ll need to supply your name, email address, location to be insured, the date you want coverage to begin, the number of people living in the location, the value of any specific personal property that you need to insure. You’ll also select a coverage amount and provide some details about the home (such as whether or not it has a fire extinguisher, deadbolt, smoke detectors, etc.).

After submitting a sample application, I received a quote for $14.50 per month, which is comparable to the other quotes that I received. 

State Farm scores slightly higher than the other insurers on this list, with a score of 1.34 out of 5 from the BBB. 

USAA renters insurance

If you are an active or retired veteran or you were honorably discharged from the U.S. military, then you and some of your family members may be eligible for insurance through USAA. While they are most well known for their car, life, and homeowner’s insurance, this also includes renters insurance.

In order to request a quote for renters insurance, you’ll first need to determine whether or not you are eligible to join. To do so, you’ll need to create an account, which will require your name, email address, and your relationship to the military. This will include answering questions about:

  • The branch of the military that you served in
  • Your military status
  • Your component, or type of duty
  • Your rank
  • Your enlistment date
  • Your retirement date (if applicable)

After completing your profile, you’ll then need to complete the application for renters insurance, which will involve answering questions about the property to be insured. Because of the extra steps involved in creating a profile and ensuring eligibility, receiving a quote will likely take about 10 minutes from start to finish. 

The website claims that you can get renters insurance for as little as $10 per month. Keep in mind, that only active or retired military qualify for what is generally considered very good and affordable USAA products. Everyone else is SOL. 

USAA has a BBB score of 1.29 out of 5 stars. The company’s BBB profile also notes that USAA has recently settled lawsuits with both the U.S. Office of the Comptroller and the U.S. Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB) due to business practices that went against the law.

Frequently asked questions about renters insurance

Still not sure that you really need renters insurance? Below are answers to some of the most common questions you might have so that you can make a more informed decision. 

What is renters insurance?

Renters insurance is a specific type of insurance policy that offers coverage for individuals who rent an apartment or home. It is also sometimes called tenant insurance. While each policy will differ on the specifics, a typical rental insurance policy offers coverage to replace or repair damaged belongings held in the rented space, as well as bodily injury suffered there. 

This means that if the rented space were to be the victim of theft or vandalism, catch fire, suffer smoke damage flood, be damaged by a fallen tree, a resident or visitor be injured on the property, or you experience some other form of catastrophe, your rental insurance policy would pay to replace your covered property as well as related medical bills —up to your coverage amount.

Do you need renters insurance?

While having renters insurance is typically a good idea, it isn’t required by law. That being said, some landlords require their tenants to carry renters insurance. If your landlord requires renters insurance, then you will need a policy. Your lease agreement should specify whether or not this is required.

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Can I be evicted for not having renters insurance?

Yes. If renters insurance is specified as a requirement in your lease agreement and you are caught without coverage, then you can face eviction. If the requirement is not specified in the lease agreement, then your landlord cannot evict you for not carrying it.

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What does renters insurance cover?

Renters insurance covers any personal property that is kept in your rented space, whether that be an apartment, house, storage unit, etc. Examples of covered property includes furniture, clothing, electronics, and other items.

Exactly what is covered under a renters insurance policy will vary from policy to policy. At its core, however, a typical renters insurance policy offers you coverage that you can use to repair or replace items that are damaged or destroyed due to an event covered by your policy. Some of the most common covered events include:

  • Fire
  • Flooding from frozen pipes
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Weather damage
  • Medical care for injuries that occurred on the property, including slips, falls and dog bites 

Depending on your policy, renters insurance may also pay for you to stay in a hotel in the event that the covered space becomes uninhabitable due to a covered event. These expenses are sometimes referred to as additional living expenses. If a guest becomes injured while visiting you, and you are held liable for their medical bills, your policy may also provide liability coverage.

Not all events will be covered by all policies, so it’s important to understand your coverage before you make a purchase. It’s also important to understand your coverage limit, which is the maximum amount that your insurer will pay per limit.

If you live with a roommate, it’s important to note that they will typically need to purchase their own renters insurance policy.

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How much is renters insurance? 

According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average renters insurance policy comes in as $180 per year, or about $15 per month. 

That being said, the cost of your renters insurance policy will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • The company you purchase your policy from
  • The level of coverage you purchase
  • The types of coverage you purchase
  • The deductible you choose
  • Where you live

Another factor that may raise your price include whether or not you opt for pet liability coverage, which covers damage caused by your pet (such as a dog) to property that you do not own. This may include a neighbor’s property, or even the rented space itself. This coverage typically costs extra compared to a standard renters insurance policy.

Get a quote for renters insurance through Lemonade in 90 seconds >>

Frequently asked questions about renting a home

What do I need to know when renting a house for the first time?

Before renting a house, it’s important to ask certain questions:

  • What is your budget? Does this include monthly rent, any security deposit, and required renters insurance premiums?
  • Does your landlord require you to carry renters insurance? If so, do they require a minimum amount of coverage?
  • If you have pets, does the landlord allow pets? If so, do they require a renters insurance policy that includes pet liability?
  • Will you be sharing the house with roommates? If so, will they each carry their own renters insurance?
  • What damage, if any, already exists on the property? Document this before moving in so that you can dispute it in the event your landlord claims you are responsible for repairs.

What is the average cost for renting a house?

How much you can expect to pay to rent a house will depend on a number of factors. The most important of these factors include where in the country you live, followed by the size of the home. These costs can range substantially, from a low of $675 in West Virginia to a high of $2,349 in New Jersey. 

Why is it better to rent than buy a house?

While there are benefits to owning a home, such as the ability to build equity, renting also comes with its benefits. Some important benefits include the fact that:

  • Your landlord is responsible for repairs to the home, which can prove costly
  • Your landlord is responsible for paying property taxes (though these are typically built into your monthly payments)
  • You do not need to save up a down payment
  • Renters insurance is typically cheaper than homeowner’s insurance
  • It is easier to move

Lemonade Insurance

9.6

Overall

9.6/10

Pros

  • Coverage is affordable, starting at $5 per month
  • Application and claims are 100% online
  • Company has a score of 4.4 out of 5 stars from the BBB

Cons

  • Lemonade does not allow you to bundle together multiple different policies
  • Not available in all parts of the United States

Wealthysinglemommy.com founder Emma Johnson is an award-winning business journalist, activist and author. A former Associated Press reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has appeared on CNBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, TIME, The Doctors, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine. Winner of Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web” and a New York Observer “Most Eligible New Yorker," her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was a New York Post Must Read. A popular speaker, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality. Emma's Top Single Mom Resources.

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