6 Best Renters Insurance Companies in New York of 2021
New York is one of the most expensive real estate markets in the world not only for buying but also for renting.
Because of this, you may think it's a good idea to skip renters insurance to save additional money, however, the monthly cost of renters insurance could be worth it in the event of a natural disaster or damage to your belongings.
And let’s be honest, NYC is where every and anything is possible.
Similar to other insurance companies, renters insurance is for your protection and the protection of your belongings in your apartment.
Renters insurance in NYC can be tailored to your needs and is not a one size fits all package.
Regardless of where you live in the five boroughs, renters insurance companies can give you the peace of mind you need that you will always be protected which is important as a tenant.
Compare the coverage and cost of the best renters insurance providers in New York picked by our editors:
Best Renters Insurance Companies in New York for 2021
Lemonade: Best for Seamless Policy Purchase and Filing Claims
Liberty Mutual: Best for Low-Priced Premiums
Allstate: Best for Bundling Services and Discounts
State Farm: Best for Customer Service
Nationwide: Best Personal Property Coverage
Travelers: Best Standard Coverage
Lemonade: Best Renters Insurance For Seamless Policy Purchase & Filing Claims
Lemonade is a millennials dream insurance company with its exceptional user experience in its mobile application.
This insurance company has made the complexity of insurance easy to understand and complete within a matter of minutes.
Lemonades’ financial strength or their ability to deliver claims to policyholders in a swift manner also makes this company a wonderful option for renters in a city like New York where every penny saved is a lucky day.
Unlike other insurance companies, you don’t have to get on the phone with a claims agent and instead communicate directly through the app using AI and saving time.
The app also allows you to quickly add-on services such as coverage for earthquakes, flooding, groundwater, and landslides which are not included in standard coverage.
|Innovative user experience on both the mobile application and computer.||Limited discount options.|
|Fast claims payout.||No auto insurance policy.|
|Strong customer service.|
|Pet insurance options for renters with pets.|
|Customizable coverage amounts.|
|Social good company.|
- Medical protection of guests who are injured on your property. It can help to cover the necessary medical expenses in an accident, regardless of who's at fault.
- Personal property coverage which protects all valuables in your home including your furniture.
- Living expenses that occur outside of your home in the event of fire or water damage to your home that make it unlivable for a period of time.
- When choosing your coverage type, be sure to include any alarm systems, smoke alarms, and home monitoring systems to claim discounts on your policy.
Liberty Mutual: Best For Low-Priced Premiums
Liberty Mutual stands out as a company because of its sheer affordability. Their national average on premiums is noticeably lower than most other major big-name companies.
However, just because you're saving on your premiums it doesn't mean that you're compromising on your coverage albeit their standard coverage is a no-frills policy.
Liberty Mutual does over add-ons so you can expand coverage to meet your needs.
|Low rates||Mixed reviews on customer service|
|Many discount opportunities||Not great for those with a lot of valuable possessions|
|Offered nationwide||Not a lot of policy customization opportunities|
|Claims can be filed by phone, online, or mobile app|
- Standard fare for renters insurance with coverage for personal property, liability, and living expenses if your abode is temporarily uninhabitable.
- Add-ons include extra coverage for high-value possessions such as jewelry, earthquake insurance, and extra replacement cost coverage.
- Bundling or multi-policy discounts, particularly with auto insurance.
- Installing protective devices like home security systems, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and sprinkler systems.
- Active-duty or retired members serving in the military
- If you haven't filed a claim in the last few years, you can get a discount.
- Going paper-free, purchasing your policy online, and signing up for autopay.
Allstate: Best Renters Insurance for Bundling Services & Discounts
Allstate offers the best multi-policy services on the market. Their website is clean and easy to use and offers a host of educational resources for long-time and novice renters.
Allstate offers discounts for individuals who are 55 and retired where they can save up to 25% off their premium.
They also offer identity theft restoration coverage as an add-on service to your policy in the event you are a victim of fraud.
|Multi-policy discounts||Customer service is sub-par|
|Clean and easy to use website and tools|
|Customizable coverage options|
|Educational resources on website|
- Reimbursed living expenses.
- Personal property coverage.
- Liability coverage.
- Guest medical coverage.
- Identity restoration coverage option.
- Bundle your auto and renters’ insurance.
- Save up to 15% if your rental is equipped with qualifying safety devices and services, like a security system or fire alarms.
- Sign up to have your renters insurance payment automatically withdrawn from your checking or saving account and save up to 5%.
- Stay claim-free and receive discounts.
State Farm: Best Renters Insurance For Customer Service
|Great ratings with top rating agencies S&P and Moody's as well as an industry-best A++ rating with A.M. Best||Limited discounts|
|Application and quotes are available online and easy to navigate|
|Digital resources are available on their website|
|Customizable coverage limits|
|Pet insurance options|
State Farm is the largest insurance insurer in the country.
They have over 18,000 agents working and offer reliability and affordability as what sets them apart from other insurers.
- Medical payments to others if someone is injured in your home.
- Personal property coverage.
- Loss of use in case you are unable to stay in your home due to damage or burglary.
- Include any alarm systems, smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, and home monitoring systems to receive lower prices on your policy.
- Bundle your car insurance with your renters’ insurance.
- Purchase and install a home monitory system and fire alarm.
Nationwide: Best Home Renters Insurance for Best Standard Coverage
Nationwide renters insurance is rated fifth out of the top rental insurers and has some of the best premiums for renters in NYC.
Nationwide’s standard policies also include Brand New Belongings coverage, which is like replacement cost coverage.
If you file a personal property claim, Nationwide will pay you the depreciated value of your belongings.
If replacing the items costs more than the claim reimbursement, Nationwide will issue another payment to cover the difference.
Most insurance companies only offer replacement cost coverage as an add-on so this coverage option sets Nationwide out from the pact.
|File a claim online.||Customer service is not 24/7.|
|More coverage options in basic coverage than other insurers.||Average customer satisfaction.|
|Simple user interface.|
|Unique coverage for renters making additions or alterations to their rental home.|
|Strong financial strength rating.|
- Content like furniture, clothing, and other items.
- Loss of use.
- Personal liability.
- Medical payments for others.
- Credit card coverage.
- Building additions and alterations.
- Multi-policy discounts.
- Protective device discounts.
- Claims-free discount
Travelers: Best Renters Insurance for Personal Property Coverage
Travelers’ basic renters insurance policies include personal property, personal liability, medical payments, and additional living expenses coverages.
Travelers is different because they offer a limited number of home renovation coverage.
If a fire destroys your rental, your renter’s policy will not cover structural losses.
However, if you made improvements to the property such as fresh paint or new carpeting, you can apply up to 10% of your personal property coverage to cover the cost of restoring your dwelling enhancements following a covered disaster.
Travelers also offers renters’ the option to purchase replacement cost coverage and valuable items plus coverage to add additional protection for expensive belongings such as fine art and jewelry.
|Affordable renters insurance||No 24/7 customer service|
|File a claim online|
|Home improvement coverage|
|Tools and resources on website|
- Umbrella coverage, an extra layer of liability coverage to pay costs like attorney fees if someone sues you following an accident in your home.
- Personal property coverage.
- Personal liability coverage.
- Additional living expenses.
- Medical payments coverage.
- Bundle renters and auto insurance.
- Protective devices
Why Trust Us When Shopping for Renters Insurance?
We thoroughly researched 13 of the top renters’ insurance companies in the state and narrowed the list down to those that operated in New York.
We rated them on criteria that included ease of use, ratings, financial strength, customer, and affordability.
The list of renters' insurance companies we surveyed includes MetLife, Chubb, Liberty Mutual, State Farm, USAA, Allstate, Travelers, Farmers, Progressive, Nationwide, Geico, and Lemonade.
We surveyed insurance coverage prices in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Bronx, and Staten Island.
How We Ranked and Picked the Best Apartment Renters Insurance Companies in New York
The needs of New Yorkers vary greatly on preference, where you live, and if you are renting an apartment in a building or house. Someone who lives by the water near the Rockaways may have different needs than someone who lives in Harlem in an apartment building.
With this in mind, we gathered information from multiple trusted sites in insurance and the websites of insurance companies and narrowed our search down with the needs of New Yorkers prioritizing the following:
Ease of Use/Usability
Insurance is a complex topic so insurers who prioritize easy navigation of both their mobile applications and websites were high on our list. It was also important that we selected insurers that have mobile apps to make it possible to file claims quickly.
The purpose of renters’ insurance is to protect your property in case of damage or loss and if these situations occur, you can have peace of mind that you will be reimbursed for your loss. Financial strength represents an insurer’s ability to pay out claims from its funds so policyholders never have to worry if an insurer has run out of money to pay claims.
We chose renters insurance that was affordable for every kind of renter. Whether you have high valued items that you’d like to protect or basic coverage, you will find an insurer on this list that will fit your needs. We also thought it was important to include insurers that make it easy to bundle other types of policies, like auto, to increase your savings on your policy.
What is Renters Insurance?
Renters insurance covers liability and damage that happens in the homes of people who rent their homes or apartments.
You can think of it as sort of a junior homeowners insurance--it will generally cost less but usually, coverage doesn't go as far as homeowners insurance.
How Does Renters Insurance Work?
If you have purchased renters insurance and there is an incident in your home that causes damage, destruction, loss of one or more items, you can file a claim with your insurance provider.
Once you have filed a claim, your insurance company will review and investigate the claim.
This can take anywhere from a few hours to weeks depending on the nature of the claim, the item(s) in question, and the details of the incident.
In some instances, an inspector may be required to come onsite to make in-person observations before any final decision is made.
Once everything has been approved the company should issue you a check to cover the damages according to the stipulations of your policy.
What Does Renters Insurance Cover?
Renters insurance typically covers and reimburses customers for loss or damage to your possessions due to fire, theft, vandalism, water damage, short-circuits, etc. which so far don't sound too different from home insurance.
But let's look at the three major types of coverage under renters insurance.
Reimbursement for Loss or Damage to Your Personal Property
Renters insurance is going to cover your personal property and possessions within your home or on the property from most of the occurrences you can't predict such as theft, vandalism, water damage, fires, etc.
However, you may want to pay extra to get those valuables insured to their cash value.
These can include jewelry or artwork, or any other precious item or equipment because general coverage will probably not give you a good return.
Liability Protection for Injury to Others or Their Belongings
Renters insurance will make sure that any compensation or medical bills are paid in the case of accidental harm to others who visit your home or premises, including accidental damage to their possessions.
This actually includes even injuries sustained from your dog, if your dog bites or attacks someone.
Important to note is that certain breeds may not be covered so it's important to check with the insurance provider.
Loss-of-Use Coverage Gives You a Place to Stay
In case your rented house or apartment becomes uninhabitable, such as building fire or some other freak incident, loss-of-use will give you the cash you need to find temporary accommodations.
|Coverage||What it's for|
|Personal Liability Coverage||If someone is injured in your apartment, this will cover any legal expenses you might incur. Your insurance company usually sets a limit to your liability protection, however, you can expand your liability by paying higher premiums.|
|Medical Payments Coverage||Medical payments insurance cover medical bills in the event someone gets injured in your rented apartment. There are usually caps for how much it will cover.|
|Additional Living Expenses Coverage (ALE)||Additional living expenses coverage is also called loss of use coverage with some insurance companies. It will cover your accommodation costs if you cannot stay in your apartment due to a water leak or fire until you can safely return home.|
|Personal Property Coverage||Personal property coverage protects your personal belongings in case of damage or theft. Most insurance companies would not reimburse you if the damage was caused by flooding, but most do cover water damage from leaks or fire suppression.|
Incidents of Damage or Loss Renters Insurance Typically Cover?
Renters insurance policies typically cover the loss or damage as a result of:
- Falling objects
- Electrical surges
- 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 is Actual Cash Value Vs. Replacement Cost?
These two terms are critical for you to understand when purchasing renters insurance or homeowners insurance.
When purchasing a policy the insurance provider will give you an option between replacement cost and actual cash value.
The cost to replace your items usually means what it would cost to replace your damaged or stolen item today.
For example, if your laptop was stolen, and it was 5 years old, you would get the money from your insurance carrier to go and purchase a brand new one today.
This is what is known as Replacement Cost Value (RCV).
The Actual Cash Value (ACV) would look at the value of the replacement cost (meaning the cost of replacing it today), and depreciate it by the number of years you've had it.
So, basically, the reimbursement from your claim is for the "life" remaining in your item.
Why Would You Opt for Actual Cash Value Over the Replacement Cost?
The simple answer is because you would save money upfront.
The replacement cost is going to get you better reimbursements every time, so you are expected to pay more out of pocket for your premiums.
However, getting actual cash value may not be a bad option for those looking to save. If nothing happens to your possessions, you're in the clear.
How Do You File a Renters Insurance Claim?
First off, before you go and file a claim or even purchased insurance, you should have made a careful inventory of your possessions and the value of each item and submitted that to your insurance provider.
Taking inventory puts you and your insurance provider 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.
Document the Damage or Incident
Whether there's damage due to an accident, natural occurrence, or a break-in, you should carefully document the particulars before you clean everything up.
You can write a description along with taking photos. Photographic or video evidence is especially helpful.
Think of the way police detectives and forensic teams behave at crime scenes.
While you won't be dusting for fingerprints, you do want to take the same level of care in recording the state you found your possessions in.
Get your landlord involved if it includes damage or break-in to the apartment in any way. It also makes your landlord privy to the incident.
Most importantly, if it involves a crime, you should most definitely file a police report, which will corroborate your claim.
Make sure you also review your policy to make sure you're covered for this incident.
File a Claim Through Your Renters Insurance Provider
Many insurance companies have dedicated phone lines for filing claims 24 hours a day. You'll usually speak to an insurance agent at the time who'll take the details.
Better yet, you might be able to file the claim directly online on the company's website, which is becoming more widespread, which allows you to easily upload photos and other evidence.
How Do You File a Claim for Medical Liability?
Under your renters insurance policy you should have coverage for personal liability and medical liability. Both may come into play in the same scenario.
For example, someone who was injured in your house or apartment decides to sue you.
The personal liability would cover the lawsuit and the medical liability would cover the injured person's medical bills.
You do not file a claim for medical liability. The claimant here is the injured person who has incurred medical expenses.
The injured party should be given your insurance policy number and instructions on how to file a claim.
You should document the incident in detail, and gather as many witnesses as possible.
What is the Average Cost of Renters Insurance in New York?
According to PropertyNest research, renters insurance in New York City varies depending on your coverage needs but you can expect to pay anywhere between $6-$25 per month or $72-$300 per year.
The price of renters insurance varies significantly, depending on the deductibles, location of your rental, condition of your building, the amount of coverage you need.
Because the city varies so differently, your monthly cost will depend on your zip code and the following:
- Eligibility for any discounts.
- If you have storm shutters and/or hurricane-resistant laminated glass doors or windows.
- How much coverage you have, and whether you need additional insurance for floods, hurricanes, or earthquakes.
- If you have protective devices in your home like home monitoring systems, a doorman, and a smoke detector.
- The age of the home or apartment building.
- If you've filed a renters insurance claim within the last 5 years.
Below you can find the average prices from our top picks in New York City compared with the average in New York State. Some companies like Lemonade offer a discount for purchasing the full 12 months of coverage upfront.
*Note that some insurers do not offer the option of paying monthly and other may not offer the option of paying 12 months upfront.
Is Renters Insurance Cheap?
It can be. Generally, in comparison to homeowners insurance, renters insurance is significantly less.
Many homeowners can be on the hook for thousands a year to insure their homes.
As mentioned above, depending on the type of home or apartment, the area and few other factors, you could pay as little as $6 a month.
That's less than the cost of buying coffee every day by a lot!
However, if you've been quoted something quite a bit higher, here are a few tips to get your premiums down.
Can You Lower Rental Insurance Premiums?
If you received a quote you're not fond of, our number one advice is to ask the insurance rep who will be more knowledgeable on what can lower your rate for that particular insurance provider.
However, there are some general and easy ways you can get a lower rate.
Increase Your Home's Security
Lowering your rental insurance can be as simple as getting a home security system or alarm installed in your apartment if no other security measures have been put in place in your rental building such as security cameras or a doorman.
Be sure to speak to your landlord about the possibility first.
New York City requires all apartments and houses to be outfitted with smoke detectors, so this is an automatic plus.
However, you can do one better by keeping a fire extinguisher in your unit.
Get a Deal By Bundling
Another easy way to save if is you bundle your insurances together.
The typical types of policies people tend to bundle are renters or homeowners insurance, auto insurance, and boat insurance.
However, did you know you can even bundle other common types of insurance like health and life insurance into one?
Not all renters insurance providers offer this combination, so be sure to shop around to get the best deal on the coverage you need.
Shop Around for the Best Rates
Speaking of shopping around, it's not just good for finding savings through bundling but also to find the cheapest premiums balanced with good coverage.
Shopping around will also help you find insurance providers with discounts.
Adjust Your Coverage to Match Your Budget
If you are on a fixed budget for insurance premiums, you can always speak to a customer representative about adjusting your policy.
For example, you can opt for higher deductibles to lower your premiums.
You can also choose a policy that only pays you the replacement cost of items rather than the actual cash value.
In the end, if your possessions are damaged or stolen, you might end up with less than the actual value of those items. However, you will need to assess the risk, how precious those items are, and if saving on your premium are worth it.
Who Needs Renters Insurance?
The short answer is renters, and not just clumsy renters or those living in areas with lots of storms or tornadoes.
All people who rent their living spaces, whether it's a house or an apartment, should get renters insurance. Insurance is for all those unexpected situations in your life.
Insuring your possessions can give you the peace of mind you need to move forward with every step in your life, because as they say, "life happens".
Can You Share Renters Insurance with Roommates?
Yes. You can list a number of people under the same policy and it's a good idea to get everyone sharing the house or apartment on the same page.
Reasons You Should Share Renters Insurance with Roommates
If you normally share all the household bills between you and your roommate(s) this might work for you.
Also, it conveniently lists everyone in the household under one coverage. If you go to file a claim, it will work to your advantage because all the parties are already listed under your policy.
If you hold individual policies, it may become expensive with overlapping coverages. If you decide just to list yourself, and your roommate or their pet damages something of yours, it may not be covered.
Reasons You Should Not Share Insurance with Roommates
However, the process of getting insurance may become very complicated, especially when taking everyone's personal property into account.
Just adding up values will take time. Secondly, it may put higher premium burdens on certain parties.
For example, if you have a lot of expensive musical equipment but your roommates barely has anything but clothing, covering your items may up your premiums, unfairly to your roommate.
Lastly, if there's an incident in your apartment and everyone's possessions get damaged, filing claims can also be confusing because multiple parties are involved.
What Happens to Your Renters Insurance When You Move?
If you were already planning on switching insurance companies or moving into a purchased home instead, you should notify your current insurance provider that you will be moving and discontinuing your coverage.
Otherwise, expect to continue making payments for an apartment you no longer live in.
If you want to keep your insurance carrier, you just need to contact your company to change the information and you may update your coverage at this time.
Depending on the update, you can expect changes in your premium.
Do You Need an Inspection for Renters Insurance?
No. Getting renters insurance is really simple.
You can get a quote online in most cases from either directly from an insurance company or a comparison site.
However, if you file a claim for damage, you might find yourself being visited by a claims adjustor who will inspect the damage, depending on the type of claim.
This is unlike homeowners insurance, where the insurance company may send someone to confirm or inspect the premises to make sure they are accurately insuring and quoting.
What's Renters Insurance Vs. Condo Insurance
Renters insurance and condo insurance are actually quite similar, with condo insurance being a bit more extensive than renters.
Condo or co-op insurance (which are the same thing essentially) is actually a form of homeowners insurance.
Regular homeowners insurance covers the entire structure of your home, however, condo/co-op insurance only covers what's within the unit owner's home.
A condo owner or a co-op shareholder do not need to purchase insurance for the common areas of the building or property since the condo association or co-op are required to hold insurance for these areas.
As a matter of fact, a part of your HOA fees are going towards this.
In that sense, condo insurance is very similar to renters insurance.
The main exception is that condo insurance, as a form of homeowners insurance, will cover damage to the actual physical unit, whereas renters does not.
Do You Need Renters Insurance to Rent an Apartment in New York?
No, renters insurance is, generally, not required or mandatory like auto insurance for tenants in New York, however, it's strongly advisable.
It's a way to protect all your property in your apartment, including your electronics.
If your apartment is burglarized, for example, and you don’t have renters insurance, you will have to pay out of pocket to replace all the items that were stolen or damaged and are entitled to nothing.
With renters insurance, your policy will cover your losses potentially saving you thousands of dollars.
In addition, there are individual landlords or management companies that may make purchasing renters insurance and providing proof of purchase compulsory in order to sign a lease.
Can Your Renters Insurance Claim Be Denied?
Yes, unfortunately, your claim can definitely be denied. However, it's not a simple matter of the insurance company not wanting to reimburse you.
Let's look at some of the reasons you can be denied.
The Offending Party is Not Listed Under Your Household
If a family member, roommate, or significant other is living with you and they are not listed under your policy, if they create any of accidental damage, chances are it will not be covered.
Insurance companies need accurate information, and that includes anyone else residing with you. You do need to be aware that adding additional people will raise your rates.
This includes pets like cats or dogs who are likely to damage possessions or harm others.
You Waited Too Long to File a Claim
Each insurance company has a specific time frame that they expect claims to filed after an incident. Once that window closes it can become virtually impossible to get any kind of reimbursement for your troubles.
This can land you in a lot of hot water leaving you on the hook for replacing expensive items or paying someone's medical bills.
Not Reporting Theft or Vandalism to the Police
If you experience damage or loss due to criminal activity you must file a police report. Insurance companies take this step extremely seriously as this adds mountains of credibility to your claim.
Imagine the insurance company receiving your claim that your laptop and tablet are missing from your home due to a robbery with no evidence but your word.
They would be crazy to give you a penny.
Not Providing Accurate Information
This does not just apply to any incident claim but also something as simple as your address and an accurate account of when you moved in (or moved out), and as mentioned earlier, reporting any additional people who live in your home.
If you moved and you never told your insurance company and you filed a claim at your new address, you may be denied any compensation.
Your Policy Doesn't Cover the Claim Made
There are certain natural disasters and events that renters insurance does not cover like floods. If you live in a flood-prone area you may have to look into an additional flood policy.
So, it's important to find out exactly what your policy does cover before you file your claim.
So, is Renters Insurance Worth It?
Renters insurance and home insurance, for that matter, are worth it. It's there to cover all the unexpected.
Renters have a lot less to worry about than the average homeowner.
They don't have to worry about the cost of damage from water leaks, short circuits, fires, weather or natural-disaster related damage to the place their living in.
However, they still have to worry about the things the own--and not just the expensive they have for fun but some times essential work-related items.
Say if you're a freelance photographer or you work from home if your neighbor's apartment floods and you have a bad leak in your apartment which damages your cameras or desktop, where will you get the money to replace those items?
Your landlord and your neighbor are not legally required to give you any compensation.
These kinds of incidents happen to renters every day and if this happened to you, you'd say renters insurance is definitely worth it.