10+ Best Renters Insurance in California | 2022 List

People spend time finding the best place to live in California. But often, selecting the best renters insurance is just a check box in your lease.

If you rent your home for vacation through Airbnb either for the short or long term, renters insurance is a coverage you should definitely have.

Renters insurance can cover you against theft, fire, or potential liabilities, like your dog biting a neighbor.

Don’t let this be an afterthought. Make it a priority by selecting the best renters insurance for you and your tenants.

Here’s our guide to the best renters insurance in California.

Renters insurance is a coverage that can protect you when renting an apartment or home, yet a vast number of renters go without it.

According to an Assurant survey, 45% of renters do not have renters insurance coverage, despite its affordable price. The average annual premium for renters insurance is just $180, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

We evaluated several companies to find the best renters insurance companies in California.

For our ranking, we took into account price, coverage standards and limits, customer service, and claims handling to find the best companies.

Read on to find the right provider that meets your insurance needs.

What Is Renters Insurance?

Renters Insurance policy is a set of coverages designed to help protect tenants who live in a house or apartment.

Renters insurance protects renters from the costs of unforeseen property damage or theft and legal liability.

Anyone who rents an apartment, condo, house, or any other living space can purchase renters insurance.

A typical renters insurance policy includes three types of coverage that help protect you, your property, and your living conditions after a covered loss.

Read on to find out how each type of coverage works.

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What Does (Doesn’t) Renters Insurance Cover?

Renter’s insurance (sometimes called “tenants insurance”) provides coverage for unforeseen events, also known as covered perils.

You may not always be able to prevent certain situations, such as a break-in, theft, or injury to a visitor, and this is where Renters Insurance comes in.

Renters insurance generally provides financial protection through four types of coverage:

#1. Personal Property Damage:

If your personal property is damaged in a covered peril, your renter’s insurance company will cover the cost of the damage within the limits of your policy.

A covered peril is a damaging event mentioned on your policy (or not specifically excluded from coverage) such as fire, wind, or theft.

#2. Personal Liability:

If someone is injured or your property is damaged and you are at fault for the event, your policy will cover liability costs, including the cost of your legal defense.

A standard policy includes up to $100,000 of liability coverage.

#3. Additional Living Expenses:

If your home or rental apartment becomes unfit to live in due to a covered peril, your renters insurance policy will pay for expenses that exceed your normal living expenses.

This is sometimes called loss of use coverage.

#4. Medical Payments:

Limited coverage for medical expenses if a guest is injured on your property.

The four above policy are what renters insurance covers.

However, the liability and personal property coverage provided by renters insurance do not protect you from all risks.

For example, property damage due to flooding will not be covered and liability coverage for events involving dangerous dog breeds may also be excluded.
Coverage may also be more limited to certain high-value items, such as jewelry.

Here are some of the most common coverage exclusions and limitations in renters insurance policies:

  • Floods
  • Earthquake
  • Abysses
  • Bed bugs and other pests
  • Damage to your car
  • Your roommate’s belongings

This table shows the different types of coverage in a renters insurance policy and what they typically cover.

Coverage TypeWhat it CoversWhat it Doesn’t Cover
Personal Property DamageThe cost to repair or replace your belongings, such as clothing, furniture, and electronics, up to the limits in your policyProperty loss over your coverage limit
Personal LiabilityRepairs if you accidentally damage someone else’s property or a guest’s medical bills if you’re found responsible for their injuriesLiability protection over your coverage limit
Additional Living ExpensesAdditional costs you incur, like hotel bills, if the residence you rent is damaged and left uninhabitableDamage to the structure of the building you’re renting
Medical PaymentsLimited coverage for medical expenses if a guest is injured on your property.Do not protect you from all risk

Is Paying for Renters Insurance Worth It?

Renters insurance is sure worth it.

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Here are some of the reasons.

Renter’s insurance can protect you against financial loss with a relatively low monthly or annual premium cost.

While filing a claim may be rare, you may be able to combine your renter’s insurance policy with your auto insurance to further reduce costs.

Note that when reviewing policies, it helps to familiarize yourself with insurance jargon, such as replacement cost and actual cash value, to better understand the scope of your coverage.

Replacement cost is the cost of replacing an item, while actual cash value is the replacement cost minus any depreciation since you purchased it.

How to File a Renters Insurance Claim

If you need to file a renters insurance claim, start by letting your landlord know why you should file a claim and what the claim will cover.

This is especially important if your claim is related to fire, water or other damage to the building that affected your property. You will most likely need to obtain police or fire reports, repair documents, or other documents from the owner to complete your claim.

If your property has been stolen or damaged in a robbery, you will need to file a police report. If your renter’s insurance claim is related to a guest’s injury, be sure to get their personal information, health insurance information, and copies of all medical reports and bills.

Call your agent or renters insurance company and inform them of your next claim. They may ask for additional information that you will need to file your claim. They can also tell you how long you have to file a claim.

Once you have all the documentation in order, you can file your claim in person at the agent’s office, online at the renters insurance company website, over the phone, or through the company’s app. renter’s insurance.

Compile a list of all items that have been damaged or stolen and need to be replaced. Taking photographs of damaged property is also helpful when filing a renter’s insurance claim.

Where to Find the Best Renters Insurance in California?

California is known for its high real estate costs.

However, California has great cities where you can find the best renters insurance. Some of them are affordable, while others are relatively expensive.

Let’s look at the most affordable cities for renters insurance in California:

  • Fremont
  • Bakersfield
  • Fontana
  • Fresno
  • Oakland

You can expect to pay a little more for renters insurance in California if you live in any of these cities:

  • San Jose
  • Fresno
  • San Francisco
  • San Diego
  • Irvine

How We Chose the Best Renters Insurance in California (Ranking Methodology)

To find the best 10 renters insurance in California, we analyzed several of them with three characteristics, namely:

Affordability (Pricing): What renters can expect to pay for coverage in California

Coverage Options: The quality of a company’s standard coverage, as well as its available add-ons

Customer Service: A company’s reputation for providing consistent, quick and fair claims service

The companies we have here represent the best combination of cost, ease of use, coverage, and customer support.

What is the Best Renters Insurance in California

Now that you have a quick grasp on how renter’s insurance works in California, here’s your chance to find the best company for your renter’s insurance.

#1. State Farm: Overall Best

State Farm is one of America’s largest insurance companies. This platform offers just about all types of insurance for renters.

From record, State Farm provides comprehensive renters coverage at competitive prices.

State Farm doesn’t list many coverages or savings options on its site, but it does highlight discounts for combining your auto and renters insurance policies and for installing home security devices like burglar alarms and smoke detectors.

State Farm offers comprehensive renter coverage at competitive prices. You can tailor your renters insurance to your family’s needs and finances.

One way to save money and lower your monthly payment is to choose a higher deductible. You will pay more out-of-pocket if you have a claim. But, it’s still a way to protect yourself with a blanket if you don’t plan on using it, but need to meet the owner’s requirements.

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State Farm Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Get quotes online instantly, with coverage starting as low as $8 per monthDiscounts can vary from state to state
Policies are customizable
Multipolicy discounts are available
State Farm Pros and Cons

#2. Lemonade: Best for College Students

Lemonade is one of the newest and most innovative renters insurance companies trying to make getting a new policy as quick and easy as ordering an Uber.
While other insurers can take weeks to resolve a claim, Lemonade says that about 30% of your claims are paid instantly once you provide the details on the company’s application.

Lemonade seeks to shake up the insurance industry by donating a percentage of the remaining proceeds to charity. The company’s unique model features a peer-to-peer structure that helps all clients.

Lemonade also adds value to your standard rental policies by offering replacement cost coverage for personal effects rather than actual cash value. So you can afford to buy new replacement products, even for old stolen or damaged items.

Lemonade currently sells insurance in Washington, DC and the following 27 states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Jersey Mexico City , New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Lemonade Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Multiple discounts are available to reduce premiumsMore expensive than competitors (approximately $20 per month)
Basic policies include stolen credit card coverage
Easy add-on coverage for collectibles
Lemonade Pros and Cons

#3. Amica: Best for Senior Citizens

According to the NAIC, Amica stands out for the few consumer complaints it receives regarding its size by offering renters insurance in every state except Alaska and Hawaii.

In fact, 94% of the company’s clients have a long-term relationship with Amica. Amica even offers retirement products that could boost your savings. Big discounts include loyalty, which occurs after 2 years with the company.

It also has an easy-to-use website that allows consumers to get quotes, pay bills, submit and track claims online at any time.

In a nutshell, Amica is the right insurance company that can add additional coverage to your renter’s policy for jewelry, electronics, and other valuables, or purchases replacement cost coverage so that if your belongings are damaged or stolen, you receive enough to buy more.

#4. Nationwide: Cheapest Renters Insurance in California

If you’re looking for low-cost renter’s insurance, put Nationwide on your checklist.

The truth is, Nationwide has some of the most affordable policies in all of California.

The company offers you the option of adapting your policy to your needs. You can save a dollar by adding the company’s Valuable Plus coverage for your high-value items like watches, antiques, or jewelry.

Nationwide also offers credit card protection that covers you at no additional cost against fraudulent financial transactions.

In addition to the basics like personal property and liability coverage, Nationwide’s standard renter’s insurance policies include credit card coverage and building addition/modification coverage at no additional cost.

This means that you are covered for unauthorized charges on your credit and debit cards (up to your policy limit), and if your landlord allows you to make improvements to your home, those charges are covered too.

Finally, Nationwide offers a variety of basic discounts for consumers without a claim, who have multiple policies across the country, or who have smoke detectors and other protective devices installed in their homes.

Nationwide Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Multiple discounts are available to reduce premiumsMore expensive than competitors (approximately $20 per month)
Basic policies include stolen credit card coverage
Easy add-on coverage for collectibles
Nationwide Pros and Cons

#5. Toggle: Best for Home-Based Businesses

If you have a business or a side business, Toggle can help you protect your personal and business assets.

Toggle renters insurance has you covered wherever you are. So, if you are a digital nomad traveling for work or running a business from your living room, you can be protected against covered events like the loss of your computer, laptop in an airport or robbery while traveling.

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Sometimes, you can even add coverage for your pets or identity theft.

So that every year that you are covered and don’t file a claim, Toggle will lower your deductible to help you save money on a claim.

Toggle renters insurance policies are customizable and you can choose from basic coverage, which includes liability and covers up to $10,000 in personal property, a standard plan if you have a little more personal property to cover ($20,000), or a premium policy if has more expensive items to cover.

Toggle Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Easily make policy changes onlineOnly available in Illinois, Wisconsin, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Utah, and Virginia
Protect your business equipment
Inexpensive premiums, with premiums starting as low as $6.25/month
Toggle Pros and Cons

#6. Erie Insurance: Best Customer Service

Erie insurance basically offers liability and personal property coverage for renters in covered states, as well as coverage for living expenses.

Frankly, Erie shines when it comes to customer service, with fewer complaints than expected for a business of her size.

You can add several additional coverage options to your Erie rental policy, including for valuables such as jewelry or art and the replacement cost of your belongings.

Although Erie Insurance does not offer as much geographic range (only available in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Washington, DC), it provides excellent service to customer if you need to file a claim or have questions about your policy.

Getting $20,000 in personal property insurance and $100,000 in liability insurance, for example, will cost you about $150 per year.

Erie Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Competitively priced coverageNo add-on coverage options
Multipolicy discountsLimited availability
Great customer service
Erie Pros and Cons

#7. USAA: Best for Military Personnel

USAA provides insurance (as well as banking and investment products) for serving military personnel, veterans, and their families.

Also, USAA strives to be the first choice for all insurance needs of members of the military, veterans, and their immediate families.

To qualify, you must belong to one of these 3 groups, but if you do, you can get some of the best rates in all of California.

The company offers you both flood and earthquake protection on its standard policy, for example. Unlike its competitors, you don’t have to pay extra for these covers.

Apart from its military orientation, what sets the USAA apart from other renters insurance companies is the fact that flood and earthquake damage is covered by its standard renters policy.

USAA Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Competitively priced coverageNo add-on coverage options
Multipolicy discountsLimited availability
Great customer service
USAA Pros and Cons

#8. Liberty Mutual: Easiest Claim Filing Service

Liberty Mutual is the best tenant insurance in California for most renters. It is an insurance company that focuses on the process of fulfilling its promise by making it easy to file a claim online with a step-by-step process in its portal that requests incident details and photos.

It also offers affordable rates for renter insurance, with discounts available when you bundle coverage or when you go five years without a claim. Standard policies include liability coverage, personal property, medical payments, and additional living expenses.

The coverage is very affordable and only costs $13 per month – around $160 per year. That’s 23% cheaper than the California state average. Liberty Mutual costs just 80 cents more per month than State Farm, California’s cheapest tenant insurance.

Liberty Mutual Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Easy online claims filingDiscount availability varies from state to state
Get discounts when you bundle coverage
Get customized insurance for as low as $5 per month
Liberty Mutual Pros and Cons

#9. Farmers: Best One-Stop Insurance Shopping

What sets Farmers apart from the rest is its low number of consumer complaints, relative to the size of the business, and its user-friendly website.

The company offers standard renters insurance policies, with discounts for installing home security systems and being non-smoking.

Coverage includes personal liability, personal property, personal property replacement costs, medical payments, identity theft, and additional living expenses.

You can get a quote online and you can also file a claim online if you experience a covered loss. Also, customer service is available seven days a week if you have questions about your policy or need help to file a claim.

Farmers Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Highly-rated for claims satisfactionA processing fee applies to start a new policy
Get a quote or file a claim online
Low-cost coverage, with policies as low as $100 per year
Farmers Pros and Cons

#10. American Family Insurance: Best Value

American Family Insurance offers affordable renters coverage that includes your belongings, medical bills, third party liability, replacement costs for stolen items, and hotel stays if you are unable to stay in your rental home due to a covered event.

With a slightly lower consumer complaint rate than expected by NAIC, American Family is a solid option for renters insurance.

The company offers a range of discounts, including both common options (a discount for having auto and renter’s insurance with American Family) and one-off options.

One coverage option to consider is known as a decreasing deductible. If you add this to your policy, you’ll get a $100 credit on your deductible on the first day of coverage and then see your deductible drop another $100 with each renewal (up to a maximum of $500).

This means that you will pay less out of pocket each time you file a claim.

American Family Insurance Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Get a quote onlineThe average rating for customer satisfaction with claims, according to J.D. Power
Multiple discount options
Farmers Pros and Cons

Conclusion

California was one of the first states to issue a moratorium on evictions for missed rent payments. Renters insurance companies in California have augmented policies regarding claims-processing and paying bills.

So, if you have not gotten your renters insurance, we recommend paying what you can even while the moratorium is in place.

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