8 Best Renters Insurance Companies in Washington DC of 2023

Learn which renters insurance companies are the best in Washington, D.C., for your home. Compare the coverage options, discounts, company ratings, and average rates.
Washington DC

If you're a tenant, you can purchase renters insurance to safeguard your personal property from damage or loss. This type of policy provides coverage for theft, burglary, fire, and various natural disasters, such as windstorms, hail, and severe winter conditions. Especially if you reside in Washington, DC, it's recommended that you invest in a policy since numerous suburbs experience high crime rates and severe flooding.

However, with so many options available for renters insurance, it can be challenging to find the right one for you. To assist you in making a decision, we have narrowed down the best renters insurance companies by category, taking into account cost, coverage, and customer service.

According to PropertyNest research, the average basic renters insurance cost in Washington, DC, is $15.68 a month.

Compare the coverage and cost of the best renters insurance providers in Washington DC picked by PropertyNest expert editors:

Compare Renters Insurance in Washington DC

The Best Renters Insurance in Washington DC

  • Lemonade – Best Policy Feature
  • Liberty Mutual – Best for Discounts
  • Allstate – Best Policy for Bundling With Car Insurance
  • State Farm – Best for Higher Deductibles
  • Progressive – Best Renters Insurance Policy for Consumer Experience
  • Erie Insurance – Best Renters for Rapid Claim Settlement
  • Amica Mutual – Best Renters for Additional Coverages
  • Nationwide – Best Renters for Coverage That Comes Standard

Lemonade: Best Policy Feature

Lemonade Renters Insurance Washington DC
Editors star rating review
Editor's Rating (4.5 Stars out of 5)

Lemonade has only been in business for a few years, but it already has an impressive online and mobile app presence where you can take care of all your insurance needs without ever having to talk to an agent.

You can file and make a claim, purchase a policy, and sign up for extra coverage options.

What we liked the most was Lemonade’s “Zero Everything” feature. It’s not an add-on but rather a policy modification. It allows you to select a $0 deductible for a higher rate.

The best part is that this feature guarantees that your rate will not increase in the future.

And it’s easy to qualify for because you can have blemishes on your record; if you only make two or less monthly claims, you’re set.

Read a full Lemonade home insurance review.

Lemonade Renters Insurance Discounts

  • Burglar Alarm - Installing a burglar alarm can trigger a premium discount because it makes your rental safer.
  • Fire Alarm - A fire alarm will also make your rental safer, and you can also get a discount.
  • Claims-Free - You can save if you’ve gone without making a claim in five years.

Lemonade Renters Insurance Pros & Cons

  • Ability to sign up for coverage within minutes.
  • Getting a quote only takes 90 seconds.
  • Handles 30% of claims instantly.
  • Company donates a portion of revenue to charity.
  • Cheap renters insurance coverage.
  • Only two discounts: securing your rental and bundling.
  • Not a good fit for those who prefer working with an agent.
How is Lemonade Renters Insurance Rated?
J.D. Power (out of 1,000)853
NAIC Complaint Index1.94

Liberty Mutual: Best for Discounts

Liberty Mutual Renters Insurance Washington DC
Editors star rating review
Editor's Rating (4.5 Stars out of 5)

Liberty Mutual is a nationwide insurance company that offers renters insurance with solid coverage and with various options, but its cost is higher than competitors, and its customer service is average.

Renters insurance from liberty mutual starts as low as $5 a month and can go up depending on add-ons.

However, Liberty Mutual offers discounts that, taken together, can significantly lower your renters insurance premium.

Read a full Liberty Mutual home insurance review.

Liberty Mutual Renters Insurance Discounts

  • Claims-Free - If you haven’t filed a renters claim with any insurance provider for the last five years, you’ll get a discount.
  • Early Shopper - If you get a quote from Liberty before your current policy expires, you can save it when you sign up.
  • Multi-Policy - Bundling your renters insurance with auto will see your rate drop.
  • Safety Device - You’re eligible for a discount if you install safety devices in your rental, such as a burglar alarm, deadbolts, fire extinguishers, a fire alarm, or a smoke alarm.

Liberty Mutual Renters Insurance Pros & Cons

  • For insurance needs or questions, three ways to contact: online, telephone, and in-person agents.
  • Several coverage options.
  • User-friendly website and mobile app.
  • Blanket jewelry extra coverage replaces lost or stolen jewelry without a deductible or an appraisal.
  • Higher than average premium.
  • Doesn’t reward loyal customers with lower prices per year.
  • Customer service is average.
  • Replacement cost does not come standard.
  • Theft coverage will increase your premium.
How is Liberty Mutual Renters Insurance Rated?
J.D. Power (out of 1,000)834
A.M. Best - Financial Strength RatingA
NAIC Complaint Index2.37

Allstate: Best Policy for Bundling With Car Insurance

Allstate Renters Insurance Washington DC
Editors star rating review
Editor's Rating (4.5 Stars out of 5)

Allstate renters insurance is a solid offering from one of the largest insurers in the U.S. It covers the basics as well as a few useful extras.

Allstate has one of the best renters insurance in DC because of its online presence and cheapest rates when you bundle it with your car insurance.

You can get a quote, buy a policy, pay your bill, find a local agent, and file and track claims on Allstate’s website.

Allstate’s mobile app—available on both iOS and Android—is also convenient.

And if you don’t want to file and track your claim on the website or app, you can do so by contacting an agent directly by phone.

And if wildfire or other covered natural disaster occurs, you can even file in person at an Allstate mobile claims center.

You can also buy a policy through the insurer’s network of local agents.

In addition, for customer service, the help center on Allstate’s website has a chatbox that you can use.

In sum, Allstate gives you many options to contact, get a quote, and more. You can use the robust online and mobile app, contact an agent directly via phone, use the live chat, and even use email to get in touch with an agent.

Read a full Allstate Renters insurance review.

Allstate Renters Insurance Discounts

  • Multi-Policy Discount - Bundle renters with other Allstate products.
  • Autopay Discount - Receive a discount when you sign up for auto pay and link your checking account.
  • Claims-free Discount - You'll save if you haven’t made a claim in five years.
  • Age Discount - Discount for retired policyholders who are 55 years or older.
  • Safe Home Discount - Installing safe home devices like fire, smoke, and burglar alarms, gets you a discount.

Allstate Renters Insurance Pros & Cons

  • Innovative ways to contact insurer.
  • Ability to file and track claims using website and mobile app.
  • Offers a variety of discounts to lower your premium.
  • Website tool helps calculate the value of your personal belongings.
  • Personal umbrella policy provides liability protection beyond the limits of regular policies.
  • Replacement cost coverage not standard.
  • Discounts and policies may not be eligible for certain states.
  • According to customer reviews and JD Power, customer service is below average.
  • Average customer satisfaction for claims.
  • Has relatively few extra coverage options.
  • Received more complaints to state regulators than expected for a company of its size.
How is Allstate Renters Insurance Rated?
J.D. Power (out of 1,000)837
A.M. Best - Financial Strength RatingA+
NAIC Complaint Index2.05

State Farm: Best for Higher Deductibles

State Farm Renters Insurance- Washington DC
Editors star rating review
Editor's Rating (4.5 Stars out of 5)

State Farm is one of the largest insurers in the nation. Even so, the company has one of the cheapest policy rates.

Offering policies for $25,000 worth of coverage, State Farm’s renters rate is less than $11 per month or $134 per year.

In contrast, the average cost of renters insurance in DC is $20 per month or $242 per year.

State Farm’s renters quotes do not vary as much per town in DC.

For example, from Dupont Circle to Logan Circle, that low rate remains the same.

In addition to being the cheapest policy in DC, the behemoth insurance provider has a high customer satisfaction rate based on the review sites we visited.

Read a full State Farm renters insurance editor's review.

State Farm Renters Insurance Discounts

  • Safety Discount - Install any alarm systems, smoke alarms, and home monitoring systems to receive lower prices on your policy.
  • Multi-Policy - Bundle your car insurance with your renters insurance.
  • Higher Deductible - If you choose higher deductibles, you can lower your monthly premium. In general, the higher the deductible, the lower your premium. But with a higher deductible, determine how much of the cost you’re willing to shoulder in order to save on your monthly premiums.

State Farm Renters Insurance Pros & Cons

  • The AM Best rating is the highest possible grade.
  • Website has “find an agent” tool that allows you to quickly connect to a live customer service rep.
  • If you increase your deductible an extra $500, $1,000, or $5,000, your premium will be lower.
  • Automatically increases the amount of your coverage on your personal items as inflation changes the cost of living.
  • Discounts not available in certain states.
  • Add-ons can be costly.
  • You don’t get a discount if you never file a claim, unlike almost all insurers.
  • Policies not available through independent agents.
How is State Farm Renters Insurance Rated?
J.D. Power (out of 1,000)836
A.M. Best - Financial Strength RatingA++
NAIC Complaint Index1.77

Progressive: Best Renters Insurance Policy for Consumer Experience

Progressive Renters Insurance, Washington DC
Editors star rating review
Editor's Rating (4 Stars out of 5)

Progressive renters insurance is known for its many discounts to lower your premium and the ability to work with a world-class and reputable company.

But what Progressive is best known for is its excellent consumer experience. The insurer provides 24/7 customer service and has four ways to contact the company: portal, phone, online chat, and email.

Progressive’s website is chock full of information about renters insurance, and here you can find answers to common renters insurance questions. You can even get a quote online.

And if you call Progressive to make a renters claim, the company will easily direct you to the right agent that you need to speak to who will administer your policy for processing.

You can also call the insurer listed on your policy to file a claim.

However, unlike its competitors, you can’t file a renters claim online and must contact your insurer directly,

Nor can you use the mobile app for your renters insurance needs because it seems to be designed for other Progressive policies, such as auto and life.

In general, though, Progressive offers convenience in many ways and the company allows you to tailor your consumer experience to the type of communication you like best.

Read a full Progressive renters insurance review.

Progressive Renters Insurance Discounts

  • Multi-Policy - You can save an average of 3% when you bundle renters and auto insurance with Progressive,
  • Quote in Advance - If you get a quote at least three days before your policy starts, you’ll get a discount.
  • Receive Documents Electronically - If you choose to receive all your documents via email, that’s another discount/
  • Pay in Full - Paying your policy upfront in full is an easy way to get a discount.
  • Secured/Gated Community - Discount if you live in a gated community.

Progressive Renters Insurance Pros & Cons

  • Website allows you to get online quote.
  • Increased coverage at a cost for collections, watercraft, theft of firearms, and business property.
  • Additional coverage for computer and equipment, as well as business use of your personal computer.
  • Known for offering extensive named peril coverages.
  • Highest premium in comparison to similar insurers.
  • Without discounts, the rate remains high.
  • Does not operate in Alaska and Hawaii.
  • Filing renters claim must be done with insurer directly.
  • Mobile app is useless for renters.
How is Progressive Renters Insurance Rated?
A.M. Best - Financial Strength RatingA+
NAIC Complaint Index1.66

Erie Insurance: Best Renters for Rapid Claim Settlement

Erie Renters Insurance, Washington DC
Editors star rating review
Editor's Rating (4.5 Stars out of 5)

Erie Insurance has a solid reputation and a high consumer rating. It offers a broad renters insurance coverage, one of the best because that’s the company’s specialty.

Erie is best known for its quick response time for claims and rapid claims settlement.

You may be able to receive reimbursement payments electronically in just minutes if you hold a Visa debit card or have a Zelle account.

Erie’s quick response time by calling an agent that is readily available to you makes filing a claim easy. And the company means it, as you can call even on weekends or during a major holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Erie is powered by expert employees who have been trained to handle renters claims to give you the best possible claims experience.

This is important since having a claim can be overwhelming.

In addition, you can also track your claim and see what’s happening with it wherever you are using Erie’s mobile app.

However, the company does not offer online quotes or claims filing.

Still, these different ways to handle a claim make Erie a top choice for renters.

Erie Renters Insurance Discounts

  • Multi-Policy Discount - If you bundle your renters policy with your Erie auto policy, you get a sizeable discount.
  • Other Multi-Policy Discounts - You may also qualify for a multi-policy discount if you bundle your renters policy with a qualifying Life policy or Umbrella policy.
  • Safety Discounts - If your rental is safe due to the addition of a fire, smoke, or burglar alarm, for example, you’ll get a discount.
  • Advance Quote Discount - You can get a discount if you get a renters quote with Erie more than seven days before the inception date of your renters policy

Erie Renters Insurance Pros & Cons

  • Erie offers replacement cost coverage as standard in its policy, which most companies charge extra for as an add-on.
  • Hands-on experience talking to an agent to file a claim.
  • Renters insurance is the company’s specialty.
  • Bundling renters insurance with Erie’s auto insurance offers savings.
  • Responsive customer service.
  • Erie covers renters in only 12 states and Washington, DC.
  • No online quotes and claims filing.
  • Getting a quote in some instances did not explain payment options and could not be obtained online.
  • Rates may be more expensive than average in some states.
How is Erie Renters Insurance Rated?
J.D. Power (out of 1,000)851
A.M. Best - Financial Strength RatingA+
NAIC Complaint Index0.63

Amica Mutual: Best Renters for Additional Coverages

Amica Renters Insurance, Washington DC
Editors star rating review
Editor's Rating (4 Stars out of 5)

Amica Mutual has won numerous JD Power awards for customer satisfaction. And the insurer offers one of the most reliable renters insurance policies that can be tailored to your needs.

That’s why Amica offers several additional coverages that you can add to your standard renters policy, including the standout, which is replacement cost coverage.

Here are four of the best coverages:

Sewage and Drain Backup Coverage

This coverage helps you repair water damage from overflowing drains and sewers, broken sump pumps, and damage that results from water moving from the ground up.

Identity Theft Protection

This add-on protects renters in the event of identity fraud and pays for the cost of restoring their identity and for unauthorized credit card usage.

Personal Property Replacement Coverage

This endorsement allows you to increase your policy limits for your personal belongings and ensure that they are covered under replacement cost, which will pay for property damage due to peril without depreciation.

Valuable Items

Valuable personal property coverage protects high-cost items such as vintage watches, jewelry, artwork, electronics, and furniture from theft, loss, or damage.

Read a full Amica renters insurance review.

Amica Mutual Renters Insurance Discounts

  • Loyalty - You qualify for this discount when you’ve been with Amica for at least 2 years. The more time spent with Amica, the more you save.
  • Multi-Policy - Amica also allows you to bundle renters with auto insurance. But Amica gives you one of the best deals overall, 15% off your policy.
  • Claims-Free - Receive a discount when you’ve had no claims in the past three years.
  • Auto-Pay - Receive a discount when you opt to pay your premium using automatic deductions.
  • E-discount - Receive a discount when you sign up to receive policy information and bills electronically.

Amica Renters Insurance Pros & Cons

  • Excellent customer service and claims handling.
  • Offers deductible as low as $100.
  • No limit on personal property coverage.
  • Offers live 24/7 claims processing.
  • Allows renters to save for a house in the future.
  • Provides only five different discounts.
  • Doesn’t go into detail about which events you’re protected from.
  • Not available nationwide.
How is Amica Renters Insurance Rated?
J.D. Power (out of 1,000)854
A.M. Best - Financial Strength RatingA+
NAIC Complaint Index0.32

Nationwide: Best Renters for Coverage That Comes Standard

Nationwide Renters Insurance, Washington DC
Editors star rating review
Editor's Rating (4 Stars out of 5)

Nationwide is known for its many additional coverages that you can buy to make your basic renters insurance policy more expansive and comprehensive.

In addition, it offers three important and useful coverages that come standard and which you don’t have to pay extra for, unlike other insurers.

Water Damage

Nationwide will pay for water damage due to backed-up sewers or drains.

Identity Fraud

You get coverage for unauthorized credit card charges, forged checks, and counterfeit money on your credit or debit cards.

Note that this type of identity theft coverage only pays up to your policy’s limit.

Building Alterations

Say your landlord allows you to make home improvements to your rental like putting up built-in bookcases, installing wallpaper, painting rooms, changing light fixtures, and installing new curtains.

If a covered peril destroys or damages your additions, the insurer will reimburse you for the cost of replacing them.

Nationwide Renters Insurance Discounts

  • Multi-Policy - Save money by combining your renters insurance with your Nationwide auto insurance or other insurance policy.
  • Protective Device - If your home has smoke detectors, fire alarms, burglar alarms, or other qualifying devices, you may be able to lower your premium.
  • Claims-Free - You may qualify for a better rate if you have no claims on your policy.

Note: Nationwide’s website does not mention the number of years you need to be claims-free.

Nationwide Renters Insurance Pros & Cons

  • “On Your Side” allows you to get a personalized review of your insurance to make sure you have the right coverage and are getting all possible discounts.
  • One of the most respected names in the insurance industry.
  • Personalized service due to the availability of local agents.
  • Inflation protection.
  • Below average customer satisfaction.
  • Not the lowest rates.
  • Low JD Power rating.
  • Not best fit for those who don’t want to work with an insurance agent.
  • Content replacement coverage is a bit misleading; Your replacement cost coverage may involve repairing your items rather than replacing them.
How is Nationwide Renters Insurance Rated?
J.D. Power (out of 1,000)859
A.M. Best - Financial Strength RatingA+
NAIC Complaint Index0.04 (Very Low)
Compare Renter Insurance Company Ratings
CompanyPropertyNest RatingJ.D. Power (out of 1,000)A.M Best RatingBBB Rating
Lemonade5.0853Not RatedB+
Liberty Mutual4.5834AA+
State Farm4.5836A++A+
Erie Insurance4.5851*A+A+
Jetty4.0Not RatedAA+

Is Renters Insurance Mandatory to Rent an Apartment in Washington, DC?

Homeowners insurance is usually mandatory as your mortgage lender will require it to protect its investment.

But renters insurance is not required, so Washington, DC residents have to decide if they need it.

However, some landlords in DC or other states will ask their tenants to purchase renters insurance as a condition of their lease.

Even if they do not, renters insurance is the best—and cheapest—way to protect your personal property. A policy even covers your personal liability.

Renters insurance does not cover the structure of your building or your rental home because you don’t own either.

If the rental dwelling is damaged or destroyed due to fire, for example, it will be the homeowner or landlord’s responsibility to make the repairs.

Landlords have their own insurance to protect their properties, but this in no way covers damage to your personal property.

This is a good reason to have renters insurance; without it, you alone have to replace or repair your belongings out-of-pocket.

What is the Average Cost of Renters Insurance in Washington, DC?

Renters insurance is a key coverage for renters living in Washington, DC.

While renters in the area can expect to pay slightly more than renters in other parts of the country, the average cost of basic renters insurance in Washington, DC, is $15.68 per month or $188.15 per year.

That small expense offers renters considerable peace of mind, as it protects them against losses to their personal property caused by theft or damage due to fire and certain other disasters common to the area.

Shopping around is also important as renters may be able to find policies that fit their needs while saving money at the same time.

What Factors Determine Your Premium?

Crime Rate

The crime rate is high in the suburbs of DC.

As such, you will pay more for your policy because you will likely experience vandalism, burglary, or theft.

Making Claims

Since an insurer’s goal is to keep costs down, if you make a claim, the insurer will consider you a risk and believe you are more likely to make additional claims in the future.

The Location of Your Home

Wildfires can spread and damage your rental if you live in a dry area near forests.

And if you live in an area where natural disasters like high winds, hail, and hailstones are prominent, you will pay more for your policy since the risk of covering your rental will be higher.

Since DC has experienced these disasters, residents spend more on their policies.

Credit Score

Insurers perceive that people with good credit are more likely to pay their monthly rates on time than those with bad credit.

Building Construction

If you rent a house, apartment, or condo and it’s made of brick or masonry, insurers will offer you a cheaper rate than they would if your rental was constructed using less solid material.

That’s because sturdier material is less affected by earthquakes, fires, and other covered perils.

Fire Detection and Prevention

If you install fire detection devices, such as fire alarms and fire extinguishers, and if you live near a fire hydrant or a fire department, your rental will be much safer, and your premium will be lowered.

Security Measures

If your apartment or condo has doormen or front-desk security or is in a gated community, your rental will also cost less to insure.

Can You Lower Rental Insurance Premiums?

Discounts can reduce your premium.

The most important and common discount you should take advantage of is the multi-policy discount because it offers the highest percentage off your rate.

The multi-policy discount is when you bundle your renters insurance with your auto insurance using the same insurer.

Increase Your Deductible

A deductible is an amount the insurer makes you pay before your insurance picks up the tab. If you increase your deductible, your premium rates will be lowered.

Say you increase a deductible from $250 to $500. This can create annual savings of up to 15%.


If you never make a claim with your insurer for a set time determined by the company, you’ll get a discount.

How Do You Find Affordable Renters Insurance?

The best way to keep dollars in your pocket is to shop around and compare quotes from different insurance companies.

Sometimes, you’ll find that a policy with the same coverage limits will be much less expensive at a different company.

So, it’s wise to compare; otherwise, you may think you have the most affordable insurer when that’s not the case.

Staying on budget and trying to spend as little as possible on a policy may be a top priority for some people.

However, you also need to compare coverages and customer service reputations.

In addition, if you thrive on convenience, you may want to see if you can get a quote from an insurer and do all your insurance needs online or through a mobile app.

The best renters insurance companies combine the type of coverage you need with affordable rates.

Remember that the amount of coverage you select, rather than the kind of property you rent, determines your policy rate.

Also, be sure to select coverage limits high enough to protect your belongings in full and keep these limits consistent across multiple quotes.

If you don’t know the worth of your property, do a home inventory as we suggested above.

What Does Renters Insurance Cover?

In Washington, DC, the standard renters insurance policy covers liability, theft, medical treatment, and loss of use.

Liability Coverage

Liability protects you against lawsuits from someone who has bodily injuries or property damages that you or your family caused to them.

Liability also covers your legal defense.

For example, if someone visits your rental and gets bitten by your dog, your liability coverage will pay for the injuries.

If that person sues you, liability will cover you. Since lawsuits can cost much money, liability coverage is worth every cent.

A renters policy usually starts at $100,000 for liability coverage, but you can always buy additional coverage to expand your allotted cost.

Loss of Use

This policy covers basic living expenses and temporary housing costs if you can’t live in your rental unit due to damage and destruction from smoke or heavy winds.

For example, if your apartment has a fire and you need to live in a hotel for a few weeks until your place is repaired or is once again habitable, loss of use will cover you.

Medical Payments

This policy pays for medical care if there is bodily injury to a person that occurs in your rental unit, regardless of fault.

Personal Property Coverage

This pays to repair or replace property.

You may not think a loss will happen to you, but if something like a heavy windstorm may cause you to lose all of your personal property all at once, your renters insurance will kick in to cover your personal belongings.

Most Common Items Stolen in Home Burglaries
Cash or Other Forms of CurrencyBank 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 EquipmentPhones (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.
ClothingDesigner purse/handbags, shoes, jewelry, designer watchesStandard renters policies cover your personal clothing or designer handbags etc.
Power ToolsDrills & drivers, saws.Covered under the personal property coverage.
Kitchen appliancesRefrigerators, 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 drugsWill not cover stolen prescription drugs.
Personal informationBank 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.
FirearmsPistols, riflesLegal firearms are covered under personal property coverage.

What Does Personal Property Coverage Cover?

Renters insurance covers almost everything in your rental. Don’t just consider expensive items like jewelry or musical instruments.

Also, consider things like clothes, furniture, home décor, your electronics like your laptop and pricey smart TV, and even your silverware and the dishes you use daily.

Most renters policies will allow you to choose how much personal property coverage you need.

Lower coverage limits might save you a few bucks on your monthly premiums—but they might also leave you with insufficient coverage when you need to make a claim.

So, the rule of thumb is you should get enough coverage close to or greater than the value of your items.

To determine this, you need to list all the things you want to be covered and try to find how much each costs by comparing shopping on the internet, locating receipts, and using roundabout figures.

This is called a home inventory and will allow you to determine how much personal property coverage you actually may need.

Taking inventory puts you and your insurer on the same page.

That way, when it comes time to file a claim, no item will come up as a surprise, and you'll be covered.

Most renters insurers come with $10,000 worth of personal property coverage.

What is a Covered Peril?

Renters insurance protects us from many emergencies that we couldn’t have predicted, such as a covered peril.

A covered peril is when the insurer agrees to reimburse you after you file a claim.

So, if you want your belongings to be replaced or repaired, they must be a result of the following covered perils that come standard in your basic renters policy:

  • Lighting
  • Explosion
  • Falling objects
  • Electrical surges
  • Fire
  • Smoke
  • Theft
  • Civil disruption; vandalism, riots, theft
  • Windstorm or hail
  • Weight of snow, ice, or sleet
  • Water (plumbing failure, appliance failure, fire sprinklers. or other accidental discharges of water)

What If You Have Expensive Property?

If you have expensive belongings like jewelry and artwork, your insurer will usually only pay up to a certain limit.

The standard limit for personal property coverage in a basic renters insurance policy is usually $30,000 per claim.

Any damaged or stolen belongings that exceed your personal property limit will not be covered, leaving you to pay the difference.

For example, if your diamond necklace was lost or stolen and appraised at $35,000, you must pay the remaining $5,000.

If you want to be covered in full, you have an option.

You can schedule your personal property.

Scheduling means you list your valuables separately on your policy and insure them for their actual value.

The benefit to scheduling certain items is that you are covered for anything that could happen to them, although you must make sure in advance if your items have not been excluded from your policy.

What is Actual Cash Value vs. Replacement Cost?

When purchasing a policy, your insurer will choose between replacement cost value (RCV) and actual cash value ACV).

With ACV, insurers pay only for the depreciated value of your items if they are stolen or damaged.

With RCV, insurers pay the full cost of your items.

For example, if your laptop is four years old, you’ll be reimbursed for the full cost using today’s prices.

Most policyholders will choose RCV because, with ACV, you get less back.

But RCV, which often doesn’t come standard in a basic policy, will raise your rate, meaning you are expected to pay more out of pocket for your premiums.

That’s one of the reasons why some choose ACV.

What Natural Disasters Occur in Washington, DC?

DC is susceptible to heavy rain, windstorms, hail, floods, and melting snow.

Luckily, DC’s natural disasters are covered by a standard renters policy. This means policyholders don’t have to purchase additional insurance to protect their personal property.

Should You Buy Flood Insurance if You Live in Washington, DC?

Washington, DC, does have areas that are prone to heavy floods. This causes a problem for tenants as a basic renters policy does not cover water damage resulting from a flood.

The city and surrounding suburbs of DC experience heavy flooding because of D.C.’s location at the confluence of two tidal rivers.

Tidal flooding occurs when a coastal storm surge pushes up from the Chesapeake Bay, making the Potomac and Anacostia rise out of their banks.

The suburb that is more susceptible to frequent flooding is Arlington’s Westover neighborhood.

And in recent years, interior flooding has engulfed Bloomingdale, LeDroit Park, and the Federal Triangle.

Interior flooding (also called flash floods) is caused by heavy rainfall that accumulates too quickly to be absorbed by the ground or drained by a storm sewer system.

As such, DC tenants should consider purchasing a flood insurance policy to protect their belongings.


We thoroughly researched the state's top renters’ insurance companies and narrowed the list down to those that operated in Washington DC. We rated them on criteria that included ease of use, ratings, financial strength, customer, and affordability. Read our full in-depth renters insurance methodology.

How We Ranked and Picked the Best Renters Insurance Companies in Washington, DC

We gathered information from multiple trusted sites in renters insurance in Washington, DC, and the websites of insurance companies and narrowed our search down to the needs of DC residents by prioritizing the following:


If a company had a lot of different discounts that could significantly lower your premium, we put that insurer on our list.


A reputable insurer should have a range of policy coverage options to suit the different needs of different policyholders.

We looked at how many coverages an insurer had to customize a renter’s basic policy.


We looked at insurers that had the most useful websites and mobile apps. In particular, if you could buy a policy, manage your policy, file and track a claim, and do all your insurance needs online, then that’s a company we considered.

Customer Satisfaction

We reviewed published consumer ratings and reviews of renters insurance providers.

In addition, we looked at third-party rating sites like AM Best, the NAIC, the BBB, and JD Power to see how an insurer ranked.

For example, AM Best helped us determine if a company could meet its financial obligations.

And JD Power helped us determine how well-received an insurer is.


Renters insurance is generally cheap. So, we looked at insurers that had lower rates than the state and national average.


We've compared the rental insurance costs in Georgetown, Bloomingdale, Downtown-Penn Quarter-Chinatown, Mount Vernon Square, Adams Morgan, and Foggy Bottom.

Augustine Reyes Chan
About the author

As a real estate professional, Augustine Reyes Chan has helped many buyers and sellers through the process of homeownership. He is an expert in the field of how-to for potential buyers, qualifying for a mortgage, and all that goes into car, homeowners, and renters insurance. Augustine Reyes Chan graduated from Columbia University with a degree in Bachelor's degree in Sociology.