9 Best Renters Insurance Companies in New Jersey of 2023
If you live in a rental home or apartment in New Jersey, it’s an absolute must that you purchase renters insurance. If your rental is burglarized and your expensive laptop or valuable jewelry is stolen, you’ll have to bear the cost directly for new replacements. And if you don’t have a lot of cash or savings in the bank to cover damaged or stolen personal belongings, a renters insurance policy can help by paying the costs and preventing you from paying out-of-pocket.
So, renters insurance for Garden State gives you peace of mind that you’ll be protected.
According to PropertyNest research, the average basic renters insurance in New Jersey is $17.36 a month or $208.32 a year.
For that low price, renters insurance will cover damage to your personal possessions, liability claims, and medical bills for guests who are injured due to an accident in your rental. In addition, if your rental becomes temporarily unlivable and unsafe due to a fire and you have to move out, renters insurance will cover your living expenses, such as hotel stays and restaurant meals.
In a nutshell, renters insurance is the best defense against things that happen in your life that you have no control over. Finding the best renters insurance policy in New Jersey can be a challenging endeavor.
You need to search for the most affordable policy with outstanding quality and better customer service with a live agent or the policy’s website. And you need to know how much you want to pay and what will be covered, among other things.
Compare the coverage and cost of the best renters insurance providers in New Jersey picked by PropertyNest expert editors:
Compare Renters Insurance Rates in NJ
Best Renters Insurance Companies in New Jersey
- Lemonade – Best for Resolving Claims Instantly
- Allstate – Best for Bundling
- Liberty Mutual – Best for Young Renters
- NJM Insurance – Best for Policy Add-Ons and Discounts
- State Farm – Best for Those Who Need a Local Insurance Agent
- Nationwide – Best for Customized Coverage at No Extra Cost
- Travelers – Best for Home Improvements
- The Hartford – Best for the Unique Riders
- Farmers Insurance – Best for Personal Property Coverage
Lemonade: Best for Resolving a Claims Instantly
- Starting from $5 mo.
- Quick sign-up process
- Quote access: Online only
Lemonade is the newest company on this list that sells renters insurance in New Jersey. Despite being young, it’s currently the darling of insurance companies. It’s more for the tech-savvy, as you can only buy a policy on Lemonade’s website and mobile app. It’s also ideal for those who want a policy that is simple to understand and has great clarity from a tech-based company.
But here’s the main reason why we chose Lemonade.
The insurance company states that about 30% of its claims are paid out instantly once you give your claim details in the company’s app. Similar companies usually take a few weeks to resolve a claim. Also, bear in mind that Lemonade favors total coverage for personal belongings.
Rather than giving you an actual cash value, Lemonade offers replacement cost value (RCV) coverage for your belongings, so you are in a good financial position to purchase new replacements even if your items are old, such as a three-year-old laptop.
Lemonade offers a range of plans to accommodate the needs and budgets of its customers. For only $5 per month, you can get started with just the basics; however, if your desired features include more than what's provided in this package, then an additional fee may apply based on how much time/money they would like their account set at different price points (e.g., monthly or annually).
The cost of renters insurance varies depending on where you live, the condition your building is in, and what kind of coverage you need.
Lemonade Renters Insurance Discounts
Lemonade offers a few key discounts to renters in New Jersey.
- Bundling discount: Discount to bundle pet or auto insurance (where available).
- Protective device: Policy buyers may qualify for savings for having burglar alarms, and smoke/fire detectors installed.
- Full payment: Renters can get a discount if they pay the entire premium for the year upfront.
Lemonade Renters Insurance Pros & Cons
- Affordability, with coverage starting as low as $5 a month.
- Online signup and claims processing are designed to be quick and easy.
- Lemonade’s Giveback program donates a percentage of revenue to charitable causes.
- Not for those who want to talk to a live customer service agent.
- Availability varies by state.
|J.D. Power (out of 1,000)||853|
|NAIC Complaint Index||1.94|
Allstate: Best for Renters With In-Home Employees
- Starts at $4 mo. when bundled with auto
- Quote access: Online & by phone
Allstate's renters insurance is a comprehensive coverage plan provider in New Jersey that caters to all kinds of budgets. They offer an array of packages, including Basic, Preferred, Plus, and Elite, from which renters can choose based on their specific needs. These plans guarantee remarkable liability coverage, ensuring protection from potential property damage and legal expenses. The service also includes coverage for fire, theft, vandalism, plumbing issues like water damage, and more.
Notably, Allstate has several discounts and benefits for customers in New Jersey. You can save substantially when you bundle policies, install safety devices like smoke alarms or deadbolts, or through state government discounts. Additionally, existing Allstate policyholders and loyal customers can enjoy loyalty and bundling discounts. Basic Renters insurance policies from Allstate in NJ cost about $16 per month on average, making them affordable and beneficial.
Bundling renters insurance with auto insurance is a smart move for those who want to save more. Allstate makes it easy to bundle policies, and policyholders can benefit from some special bundling discounts. Bundling both policies may further qualify customers for additional discounts or benefits like specialized roadside assistance packages or accident forgiveness programs. By bundling your policies with Allstate, you can ensure you have optimal coverage that doesn't break the bank.
Allstate Renters Insurance Discounts
- Bundling discount: Get up to 10% off your auto policy and 25% off your renters policy when you bundle them.
- Easy Pay discount: Get a discount when you enroll in automatic monthly payments from your bank account.
- Retirement discount: Policyholders age 55 and up can receive a discount if they are retired and don't plan to seek employment.
Read a full Allstate renters insurance review.
Allstate Renters Insurance Pros & Cons
- Coverage for additional living expenses is included in a standard policy.
- The website has ample learning resources for consumers.
- Providers policyholders with a tool to take inventory of their personal belongings.
- Standard policies don't cover floods or earthquakes.
- Replacement cost coverage usually requires a higher premium.
|J.D. Power (out of 1,000)||837|
|A.M. Best - Financial Strength Rating||A+|
|NAIC Complaint Index||2.05|
Liberty Mutual: Best for Young Renters
- Starting at $5 mo.
- Quote access: Online or by phone
Liberty Mutual has been in business for over 100 years and has always offered low-cost insurance for renters, starting at $5 a month.
This makes it ideal for young renters and college students living in off-campus apartments. These people are usually just starting out in the workforce or are still in college and don’t have the means to buy renters insurance.
But if they looked at Liberty Mutual, they would see that the insurance company has a policy that caters to the young. The company can offer them the lowest rates for personal property coverage.
In addition, for New Jersey coverage, young people can take advantage of the cheapest renters insurance available. A basic policy can start as low as $5 and go up to $14. Liberty Mutual’s fees are 15% cheaper than its competitors in this class.
Liberty Mutual Renters Insurance Discounts
- Claims-free discount: Be claims-free for five years or more (may not be available in every state).
- Early shopper: Discount for getting a quote from LM before your current policy expires.
- Bundling discount: Save money when you bundle specific policies together, such as renters and auto.
- Preferred payment: Discount when you link your bank account for automatic payments.
- Online purchase: Get a discount right away when you purchase your policy online.
Read a full Liberty Mutual home insurance review.
Liberty Mutual Renters Insurance Pros & Cons
- Cheaper renters insurance rates than average in New Jersey.
- Easy to file a claim online that takes only 5 to 10 minutes.
- Discount when you bundle coverage.
- Covers 50 states, so if you move out of New Jersey, your rental insurance can follow you.
- Its quality of service is unfavorable.
- Runs near the bottom of a J.D. Power renters insurance study.
|J.D. Power (out of 1,000)||834|
|A.M. Best - Financial Strength Rating||A|
|NAIC Complaint Index||2.37|
NJM Insurance: Best for Policy Add-Ons and Discounts
Not only can New Jersey residents find great insurance coverage with larger national companies such as the ones named on this list, but they can greatly benefit from enrolling in New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company, an insurer of local origin. When considering renters insurance, it makes sense to go local because, likely, the provider can have a better understanding of the needs of local residents.
NJM really stands out when it comes to customizing one's coverage because of all the endorsement of policy add-ons available with their renters insurance.
Most insurers will offer policyholders with extra coverage, such as scheduling personal property for high-value items or an increased special limit for personal property. A number also offer extra coverage for damage done by a water back-up incident or even an earthquake rider. However, NJM goes far beyond this. Renters can add mold or fungus protection, identity theft, and credit or currency protection, as well as coverage for loved ones in an assisted living facility as well as items in storage units.
NJM is also a good option for people looking for a lot of discounts. Renters may qualify for at least 8 different discounts in New Jersey.
NJM Renters Insurance Discounts
NJM customers can take advantage of a number of discounts to lower their policy premiums.
- Bundling discount: Bundle your renters with NJM's auto policy and get a discount.
- Safe home discount: Safety devices like smoke detectors or a sprinkler system can help you save.
- Senior discount: Customers 65 and over will automatically qualify for this discount.
- Nonsmoking discount: Nonsmokers and those who recently quit will be rewarded with savings.
- Generator discount: Having a back-up or portable generator can also qualify you for a discount.
- Pay in Full: Automatically get a discount when you pay in full for the year.
- Auto-pay discount: Enrolling in automatic electronic payments will also help you find savings.
- Paperless discount: Save when you receive your policy documents online rather than by paper.
NJM Renters Insurance Pros & Cons
- Offers more endorsements than the norm--coverage is more customizable to the average NJ renter.
- The insurance has fewer than the expected number of customer complaints.
- Transparent and informative website with coverage options and about the company.
- Flood insurance is available through NJM.
- Many discounts are available.
- One of the lowest cost options in New Jersey.
- Doesn't offer an app or other tech tools for renters.
|J.D. Power (out of 1,000)||833|
|A.M. Best - Financial Strength Rating||A|
|NAIC Complaint Index||0.37|
State Farm: Best for Those Who Need a Local Insurance Agent
- Save Up to 17% With Insurance Discounts & Savings
- Quote access: Online & by phone
Most renters insurance companies we reviewed can be accessed by their app. You can file and track a claim, pay bills, and more.
But America’s largest insurance company, among many other things, is perfect for those who want to consult or connect with a local live agent to do their business or take care of problems.
Most of these people are older or retired and not computer or smartphone-savvy.
For these people, they want connection rather than technology, they want to talk to a live person who can comfort them, for example, in case of a loss.
Besides the standard coverage, one of the many features that stand out is the replacement cost coverage that all members receive. A standard policy covers the actual cash value of lost or damaged property. State Farm, in contrast, covers the current market value of the lost or destroyed property even if your property depreciates.
However, if you only want the actual cash value coverage, State Farm allows customers to skip the replacement cost coverage for a credit on your account.
For renters, State Farm only offers two discounts.
Multiple policy discounts when you bundle renters insurance with auto insurance.
If you have smart home protection, smoke detectors, alarms, deadbolt locks, and any measure that makes your rental safer, you are qualified for a home protection device discount.
State Farm Renters Insurance Discounts
- Bundling discount: Bundling renters with another policy like auto
- Protective device: You may qualify for a discount with the following devices: burglar alarm, home monitoring system, smoke/fire alarm
Read a full State Farm renters insurance review.
State Farm Renters Insurance Pros & Cons
- Includes inflation coverage.
- Very few customer complaints for an insurance company of its size.
- Can be costly if you add on add-ons.
- State Farm fails to list different coverages and savings on its site.
- Only two discounts are available for standard renters insurance.
|J.D. Power (out of 1,000)||836|
|A.M. Best - Financial Strength Rating||A++|
|NAIC Complaint Index||1.77|
Nationwide: Best for Customized Coverage at No Extra Cost
- Available in 44 states & Washington, D.C.
- Quote access: Online & by phone
Nationwide’s rental insurance for New Jersey residents offers the standard coverage, which includes personal property, liability, and medical payment coverage.
What makes Nationwide stand out is two coverages that are unique to the company and are offered for no extra cost if you buy a basic renters insurance policy.
The credit card add-on means you are covered for any unauthorized charges on your credit or debit cards up to your policy limit.
The building addition or alteration policy kicks in if your landlord allows you to make home improvements to your rental, all of which are covered.
Nationwide Renters Insurance Discounts
- Multi-policy discount: Save on your renters policy and another one when you bundle with policies for auto, boat, RV, etc.
- Protective device discount: Qualifying fire alarms, burglar alarms, or smoke detectors can earn you a discount.
- Claims-free discount: Be claims-free from a designated period, and you can save.
For more details, read a full Nationwide Renters Insurance Review.
Nationwide Renters Insurance Pros & Cons
- Some free coverage and helpful add-ons.
- Top provider in the industry.
- Personalized service due to the availability of local agents.
- Inflation protection.
- Below average customer satisfaction and reviews.
- Rates may be higher than some.
- For reviewers, credit card coverage is at the bottom of their needs since most come with loss protection.
- Content replacement coverage a bit misleading. Your replacement cost coverage may involve repairing your items rather than replacing them.
|J.D. Power (out of 1,000)||859|
|A.M. Best - Financial Strength Rating||A+|
|NAIC Complaint Index||0.04 (Very Low)|
Travelers: Best for Home Improvements
- Bundle Your Policies & Save Up to 5% on Car Insurance
- Quote access: Online & by phone
Travelers is a well-known company in the insurance sphere. Their rates for renters insurance are a little higher than the national average. Still, Travelers is a great option for renters in New Jersey who have made improvements or renovated their rental.
If you've had improvements made to your rented home, Travelers includes this unique coverage along with their standard renters policy, so you don't have to pay extra for this feature. You can apply up to 10% of your personal property policy for improvements coverage. Extending this coverage beyond is also available.
Reviewing what's covered under improvements is important before starting any repairs or alteration projects.
In addition, Travelers offers extra coverage as a rider for high-value items and an option for replacement cost coverage over actual cost value.
Travelers Renters Insurance Discounts
- Multi-Policy: Bundling renters insurance with auto gets you a 5% discount on your rate.
- Claims-Free: If you don’t file a claim for a specific time period.
- Protective Devices: Installing security systems or smart or connected home technology that can alert you to a fire or break-in.
Read a full Travelers Renters Insurance Review for more information.
Travelers Renters Insurance Pros & Cons
- More additional forms of coverage are offered.
- Low number of customer complaints.
- Rates may be somewhat higher than average but more coverage comes included with the standard policy than the norm.
- Add-on rates are comparatively high.
- Few discounts offered.
- May be slow in processing claims.
- Renters must pay the full premium at once.
|J.D. Power (out of 1,000)||801|
|A.M. Best - Financial Strength Rating||A++|
|NAIC Complaint Index||3.88|
The Hartford: Best for the Most Unique Riders
- Available in 50 states & Washington, D.C.
- Quote access: Online & by phone
A rider is a type of insurance policy that covers those who are insured with additional coverage and benefits.
The Hartford made our cut because the company offers unique riders. Here are some that other insurance companies do not offer. Equipment protection covers not only electronics that break down but also small appliances like microwaves that aren't built into the unit.
What’s unique is that if you buy electronics and appliances that are more environmentally friendly or energy-efficient, the insurance pays for the upgrade. The valuable items rider will pay up to $10,000 for stolen, lost, or damaged property per item to replace it.
Business properties in your home, such as office equipment and your laptop, are protected. Most renters insurance companies don’t cover mold, but at least with The Hartford, you can take out a rider for coverage against mold damage and liability.
With assisted living care coverage, a person who has a relative who resides in an assisted living care home will be covered. This means that the relative’s personal property, liability, and additional living expenses are covered.
A policy covers liability and even includes broken windows if you're responsible for property damage. For example, if your six-year-old throws a baseball at your neighbor’s window and it gets shattered, you’re covered.
You can even get coverage to protect yourself and your roommate. Both persons must be unrelated and have an equal interest in the rider. This is unique in that this coverage comes with no additional charge.
The Hartford actually offers this policy in cooperation with the AARP Homeowners Insurance Program, but you don't have to be age 50 or above to purchase this coverage.
The Hartford Renters Insurance Discounts
- Auto Renters Bundling: Get up to 20% off your renters insurance and an additional 5% off your auto policy when you bundle them together through the AARP Auto & Renters Insurance Program.
- 24-Hour Security Discount: Get credit if your apartment or rental has 24-hour security or a security monitoring system.
- Renewal Discount: Get credit when you renew your renters insurance policy with the Hartford.
Hartford Renters Insurance Pros & Cons
- Premiums are lower than those of many competitors.
- No coverage limit is imposed for lost or damaged electronics.
- Customers age 50 or older who are members of AARP can bundle auto and renters insurance to save money on premiums for both.
- If you live in a rental building that offers 24-hour, in-house security, you can get a discount on your premiums.
- Loyal customers who keep renewing their policies receive ongoing discounts.
- A significant focus on AARP members might turn off millennials and younger customers.
- The insurance receives a relatively high number of customer complaints.
|J.D. Power (out of 1,000)||886|
|A.M. Best - Financial Strength Rating||A+|
|NAIC Complaint Index||5|
Farmers Insurance: Best for Personal Property Coverage
Farmers Insurance puts its personal property coverage first.
Farmers will not only cover theft from your rental, as other insurance companies do, but will also pay you if you are subjected to theft from your car, rental vehicle, or hotel room while traveling.
The company features floater insurance, which is a policy that covers personal property that is easily movable and comes with more coverage than other similar renters insurance companies.
Also known as a “personal property floater,” Farmers cover belongings with high value, such as jewelry, furs, expensive electronics like computers and stereo equipment, musical instruments, and art.
The personal articles must be valued above $500.
In addition, you can get an add-on called Identity Shield. If your identity is stolen, Farmers will help you notify all three credit bureaus of identity theft and replace any important documents, to name a few.
Also, the Farmers mobile app, available for iOS and Android platforms, is intuitive and easy to navigate. You can access bills and payments, policy documents, claims filing and management, and direct contact with a Farmer's agent.
Farmers Renters Insurance Discounts
- Bundling discount: Discount for bundling renters with auto insurance.
- Protective device: Discount for smoke/fire alarms, home monitoring systems, or burglar alarms.
- Smoke-free discount: Discount for having a smoke-free home for the last two years.
- Good Payer discount: Discount for paying your premiums and bills on-time every month for the past two years.
- Profession discount: In some states, Farmers offers discounts for professionals such as teachers, firefighters, police, engineers, doctors, and dentists.
- Claims-free discount: Be claims-free for three years.
Read a full Farmers renters insurance review.
Farmers Renters Insurance Pros & Cons
- Floaters are available for extra coverage for valuable items.
- Farmers offers a wide variety of coverage.
- Covers inside water problems but doesn't cover damage from outside water sources.
- Farmers renters insurance isn't available in every state.
|J.D. Power (out of 1,000)||831|
|A.M. Best - Financial Strength Rating||A|
|NAIC Complaint Index||0.56|
|Company||PropertyNest Rating||J.D. Power (out of 1,000)||A.M Best Rating||BBB Rating|
Is Renters Insurance Mandatory to Rent an Apartment in New Jersey
In the state of New Jersey, renters insurance is not legally required to rent an apartment. However, it is highly recommended by renters and landlords alike due to the numerous advantages renters insurance provides.
What is the Average Cost of Renters Insurance in New Jersey?
The average renters insurance cost varies from state to state.
The average cost of basic or standard renters insurance in New Jersey is$17.36 per month or $208.32 per year.
But note that the average cost will raise the cost of your policy due to your rental location, for example, if you live in a city in New Jersey with a high crime rate or in a natural disaster zone.
Read on: Cheapest Renters Insurance in New Jersey
Is it Possible to Lower Your Renters Insurance Rate?
If you want to lower the cost of your policy, you can do several things:
- You can increase your deductible. Your deductible is the amount deducted from your payout for a loss of property. For example, if you have a $1,000 deductible and a claim for $5,000 in property damage, your insurance check will be $4,000. The higher your deductible, the cheaper your premium.
- If the company you choose offers car insurance, most will offer you a discount if you bundle your renters policy with your auto coverage. For example, a 5% bunding discount on a $3,000 auto policy would cost you $150. This figure can nearly pay for your renters insurance premium.
- Your policy will also give you a discount if your rental has a security system, such as smoke detectors, burglar alarms, safety devices, or deadbolts.
Remember that your rate will increase every time you file a claim for your personal items.
So, filing a claim only if the item is worth more than your deductible makes sense.
What Does New Jersey Renters Insurance Cover?
In the Garden State, Renters Insurance covers four areas. Of note is that these four areas are what usually make up renters insurance no matter where you live in the U.S. It is the riders and add-ons that make each renters insurance different.
Here’s a full list of covered losses found in most New Jersey renters insurance policies:
- Fire and lightning
- Windstorm and hail
- Theft and vandalism
- Damage by vehicle
- Smoke damage
- Falling objects
- Weight of snow, ice, and sleet
- Water damage not caused by flooding
Liability protects you against lawsuits from people who have bodily injuries or property damages that you or your family caused to them.
Liability also covers your legal defense, and a standard policy includes up to $100,000 in liability coverage.
For example, if your dog bites your neighbor, this policy will pay for any medical bills incurred.
This policy protects your personal property if there’s a covered peril.
A covered peril is a damaging event that’s carried in your policy, such as theft or vandalism.
And if there are climate changes like lightning and windstorms and your property is damaged too, that’s also covered.
Also, if it happens that there’s a fire, smoke damage, an explosion, and other events that may be listed in your insurance, you’re covered again.
|Cash or Other Forms of Currency||Bank notes, bullions, gold or silver (non-jewelry), coins, medals, smart cards, stored value cards.||Most renters insurance policies will only cover up to $200 in stolen cash.|
|Electronic Equipment||Phones (iPhones, Androids, etc.), computers, laptops, iPads, earbuds, smart watches, TV sets, gaming systems, Alexa or Google home devices, etc.||Standard renters insurance policies cover the loss or damage of electronic devices.|
|Clothing||Designer purse/handbags, shoes, jewelry, designer watches||Standard renters policies cover your personal clothing or designer handbags etc.|
|Power Tools||Drills & drivers, saws.||Covered under the personal property coverage.|
|Kitchen appliances||Refrigerators, microwaves, blenders, electric mixers, ice makers, coffee machines, and other appliances.||Renters insurance covers personal appliances if they are damaged, stolen, or destroyed by a covered peril.|
|Prescription drugs||Will not cover stolen prescription drugs.|
|Personal information||Bank accounts, identity information stolen from documents, or stolen personal equipment.||Most companies do not include identity theft as a covered peril in a standard renters insurance policy.|
|Firearms||Pistols, rifles||Legal firearms are covered under personal property coverage.|
Loss of Use
If there’s a fire or another covered event that damages your rental to the point that you can no longer live there safely, loss of use will reimburse you for any meals that you have at restaurants, as well as any basic or necessary living expenses that you have to pay out of pocket.
This means expenses from the smallest detail to the largest, from toothbrush and toothpaste to living expenses like a hotel or motel room.
This policy pays for medical bills if a person's bodily injury happens on your rental property, regardless of fault.
Remember that your insurance will cover all the events listed above as long as they don’t exceed the amount of coverage you bought.
Unfortunately, if any damage exceeds the amount of your coverage, you will be responsible for paying the costs that aren’t covered.
Covered losses include things like damage from fire, smoke, theft, vandalism, lightning, windstorms, explosions, and water from internal sources like plumbing leaks, a furnace, an air conditioner, and a water heater.
What are Endorsements?
Endorsements, also known as add-ons, are additional coverage added to your insurance to raise your coverage.
For example, standard renters insurance rarely covers damage from perils like earthquakes and floods. So you should get an endorsement for each if you want the added protection.
For some insurance companies, an endorsement may not be available for the coverage you need.
If this is the case, you may purchase a separate insurance policy to ensure you have additional coverage.
What Does Renters Insurance Typically Exclude?
A high-value property may only be covered up to $1,000 or $1,500. You may need to buy a separate rider if it's worth a lot more.
Some renters insurance has extra pet liability for an additional cost, but make sure to check this thoroughly since certain dog breeds are not included in your policy.
That’s because these breeds are regarded as dangerous or aggressive to renters insurance companies.
Certain natural disasters, such as earthquakes or floods, are usually not covered, even if they damage your property. This means you’ll have to shell out for repairs on your own.
Also not covered are vehicles, but remember that your bike is covered.
But if you leave your expensive Chanel clutch in your car and it is stolen, that’s covered.
Keep in mind that your car is not covered if there’s damage.
Accidentally losing or misplacing items that are small in price (your iPhone) or high in cost (your pricey engagement ring) is also not covered.
Renters insurance won’t cover infestations as well, such as bedbugs or mice.
And unless you share renters insurance with your roommate, your roommate’s property isn’t covered.
In most cases, renters insurance companies advise that you shouldn’t share a policy because you may have more property to cover than your roommate or vice versa.
So it’s a good idea if you and your roommate get your own renters insurance.
How Much Coverage of Renters Insurance Do You Need?
When you buy renters insurance, you’ll need to figure out how much coverage you need.
Renters insurance is like any insurance policy, as the cost of your insurance depends on how much coverage you purchase.
Basic coverage plans typically start with $20,000 in personal property coverage.
Liability coverage starts with $100,000, which can pay damages and legal expenses if you are sued because you accidentally injured or hurt another person or damaged that person’s property.
It’s recommended by various sources that you should have enough coverage for your personal effects in the event they are damaged or destroyed.
The coverage should protect the total value of your personal belongings, from clothes to furniture and electronics to appliances.
It’s important to know that one of the reasons why renters insurance is cheap is because the basic policy has very low coverage limits for valuable items.
Valuable items include jewelry, art, and collectibles such as old maps, stamps, and first-edition books.
So, you will have to purchase an endorsement for full coverage, which will increase your monthly rate.
When Coverage is Not Enough Coverage
As suggested above, many of your possessions will not be covered by your personal property limit.
If you own priceless or exorbitantly expensive things like that Longo print, don’t expect that your insurance will cover the full cost of that artwork.
That’s because renters insurance companies cap how much they’ll pay you for valuable properties like jewelry.
To make sure that your jewelry is insured to its full value, you once again have to acquire more coverage.
Your other choice is buying a rider, which is a provision in your policy that adds more benefits to your basic renters insurance.
For both, your rate will go up. However, riders are usually low in price because they don’t involve too much underwriting.
How Much Renters Insurance Should You Buy?
Like any insurance policy, the cost of your renters insurance depends on how many personal properties you have and how much coverage you need.
The more you have to lose, the more insurance you need.
Many consumers, however, want to save money on their premiums, but this can backfire when there’s an event that’s not covered, leaving the consumers underinsured.
To determine how much renters coverage to buy, make a note of all your properties, list them on a spreadsheet or similar documentation, and include the cost for each item.
Use a roundabout figure if you can’t remember how much you paid for an item or lost the receipt.
Your inventory won’t be needed when you purchase insurance, but the documentation can cover you if you need to file a claim because then you will be able to prove the value of everything you own.
Keeping your documentation safe is easy. Email it to you as an attachment, or give a copy to a relative or friend.
Be prepared, as discussed above, to pay for a supplemental policy or an add-on with higher coverage limits if you have expensive jewelry or artwork or other high-value items.
In addition, you'll have to decide what type of property coverage to buy: an actual cash value policy or a replacement policy.
What is the Difference Between an Actual Cash Value and a Replacement Cost Value?
Knowing the difference is important when purchasing renters insurance because your provider will ask you to decide between both.
Replacement Cost Value (RCV) is when your laptop gets stolen and is four years old, and your insurance will pay to purchase a brand-new laptop today.
The cost to replace your item means what it would cost to replace your damaged or stolen item today.
In contrast, the Actual Cash Value (ACV) policy will only reimburse you for the depreciated value of your possessions if they're damaged or destroyed. For certain items, such as laptops or tablets, this means you won't get nearly enough to replace them with new ones.
But if you’re willing to go a little bit higher in your monthly insurance cost, a replacement cost value policy will provide enough money for you to purchase new and comparable items.
The RCV typically costs much more than an ACV policy, but it pays to replace your possessions with similar new ones.
The RCV is the one that most renters insurance buyers choose. It’s the most popular option as it covers property entirely.
How to Purchase Renters Insurance
Like other insurance policies, it pays to make comparisons.
To narrow down your focus, ask around. If your family, relatives, and friends rent and have renters insurance, ask them what they like about their policies.
Ask them if they are comfortable with their monthly fee.
If you know real estate agents, reach out to them because they are probably the very few who know everything about renters insurance.
Also, look at a company’s ratings and how many stars it has.
Use the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and J.D. Power’s ratings to narrow your search.
You can also find insurance ratings from AM Best, which rates companies by their ability to pay once you make a claim.
And do what we did. Search each insurance company to find customer reviews.
That should also narrow down your search if there are several verified complaints or if the reviews contain less than four stars.
Shop around online. You can get insurance quotes online at a company’s website that can help with comparison shopping.
To get an accurate quote, you’ll want to get coverage that you actually need.
This works by calculating the value of your possessions, the weather risks in your area, and how safe your neighborhood is, to name a few.
Remember that you should enter the same limits for each type of coverage when shopping around to get a direct comparison.
Then look at each company’s optional coverages, which you must pay extra to add to your policy.
Whether that’s a rider or an endorsement, get an appraisal of your valuable necklace to see if you need more coverage that will cover the entire value of that piece of jewelry.
Note that each insurance company will differ in cost if you want extra coverage, so that’s another reason why you should shop around.
After shopping around, save those quotes and compare them. Which company offers the most coverage at an affordable price?
Do this, and you’ll arrive at a policy that you’ll want to purchase.
Don’t Forget to Check Out an Insurance Company’s Customer Service
Try to gauge how good a company’s customer service is.
For example, see if they quickly call you back after filing online for a quote.
Or see if they take the time to go over every add-on available with patience and some hand-holding, whatever it takes for you to have a crystal-clear background on a company’s policy or policies.
If they fulfill your needs, you’ll have an idea of how much hassle you’ll have if you ever have to file a claim.
And finally, don’t just shop for the lowest rate. You should always consider the quality of coverage and the insurance company’s agents or customer service reps.
To consider the quality of the policy, you should check out an insurance company’s website besides using it to get an insurance quote.
You’ll want to know if it’s simple to find a telephone number to communicate with a customer service rep if you need to.
Also, is the website simple to use to file and track claims or pay your monthly dues?
That company is not for you if it’s an arduous process to get a refund to cover your damages.
Why Do You Need Renters Insurance If the Landlord Is Insured?
If you think you don’t need renters insurance because your landlord’s insurance covers you, think again.
A landlord’s insurance covers the apartment building but not your personal possessions.
As such, you need renters insurance to cover your personal belongings and to have liability coverage.
If you want to ensure that your possessions are covered while renting, purchasing renters insurance is a good idea, especially if you have high-cost valuables.
And besides, if you accidentally damage a neighboring apartment, you are liable for the damages.
For example, if your bathtub leaks and causes damage to your neighbor’s ceiling and possessions beneath you, you will have to cover that out of pocket if you don’t purchase renters insurance.
This can be very expensive, and your neighbor can even sue you.
And suppose you forego renters insurance and there’s a break-in in your rental apartment or a storm that causes property damage. In that case, you alone may be responsible for a lot of money in repair, replacement, and liability costs to cover your losses.
Your landlord's insurance policy doesn’t cover the space you rent or your effects. The landlord’s insurance protects the building and only the landlord’s personal belongings.
And if that landlord’s building is undergoing repair, the landlord’s insurance won’t pay for your living expenses. Only a renters insurance policy will do that.
How We Ranked the Best Renters Insurance Companies in New Jersey
We gathered information from multiple trusted sites in renters insurance and the websites of insurance companies. We narrowed our search down to the needs of New Jersey residents. Read our full in-depth renters insurance methodology.
Online Experience & Usability
If you decide to buy renters insurance, you will be hit with a lot of information. You’ll need to know the difference between an RCV and an ACV, and the difference between an add-on, a rider, or an endorsement, for example.
Since renters insurance is complex, we looked at customer reviews on various sites that considered a company’s website and mobile applications based on how easy it is to navigate and how easy it is to file a claim in the fastest manner possible.
When looking for reviews for policy coverage, we also considered customer satisfaction. Is a company’s overall rating based on favorable reviews? Did the company receive an award for excellent service?
If so, we moved those companies to the top of our list.
We chose renters insurance that was affordable for every kind of renter.
Whether you have very expensive items you’d like to protect or basic coverage, you will find an insurer on this list that will fit your needs.
We also considered how many discounts an insurer can offer to policyholders that can reduce their monthly costs.
For example, we researched companies that offer discounts for bundling renters insurance with auto insurance and for upping the security of your rental.
We've researched renters insurance quotes in major New Jersey counties and key cities - Bergen, Middlesex, Essex, Hudson, and Monmouth. We compared the renters insurance quotes and averages in cities such as Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth & Lakewood to understand how much coverage would cost for your needs.