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Best Renters Insurance in New York 2020

Renee Cherez

Renee Cherez

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New York City 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 renter's insurance to save additional money, however, the monthly cost of renter's insurance could be worth it in the event of a natural disaster or damage to your belongings.

And let’s be honest, New York is the city where every and anything is possible.

Similar to other insurance companies, renter's insurance is for your protection and the protection of your belongings in your apartment.

Renter's insurance 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 can give you the peace of mind you need that you will always be protected which is important as a tenant.

Best Renter's Insurance in New York

  • Lemonade: Best for Seamless Policy Purchase and Filing Claims

  • State Farm: Best for Affordability and Customer Service

  • Allstate: Best for Bundling Services and Discounts

  • Travelers: Best Standard Coverage

  • Nationwide: Best Personal Property Coverage

What Are New York Renter's Insurance Coverage Options

Renters insurance policies typically have four standard coverage options.

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 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)

This 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

This will protect 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.

What Do New York Renter's Insurance Policies Typically Cover?

Renters insurance policies typically cover the loss or damage as a result of:

  • 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)

Is Renter's Insurance Required to Rent an Apartment in New York City?

No, renters insurance is, generally, not required for tenants in New York City, however, it is 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.

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.

Best Renter's Insurance for Seamless Policy Purchase and Filing Claims: Lemonade

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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.

ProsCons
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.

Coverage

  • 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.

Discounts

  • When choosing your coverage type, be sure to include any alarm systems, smoke alarms, and home monitoring systems to claim discounts on your policy.

Best Renter's Insurance for Affordability and Customer Service: State Farm

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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.

ProsCons
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.

Coverage

  • 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.

Discounts

  • 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.

Best Renter's Insurance for Bundling Services and Discounts: Allstate

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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.

ProsCons
Multi-policy discounts.Customer service is sub-par.
Clean and easy to use website.
Customizable coverage options.
Educational resources on website.
Affordable premiums.

Coverage

  • Reimbursed living expenses.
  • Personal property coverage.
  • Liability coverage.
  • Guest medical coverage.
  • Identity restoration coverage option.

Discounts

  • 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 renter’s insurance payment automatically withdrawn from your checking or saving account and save up to 5%.
  • Stay claim-free and receive discounts.

Best Renter’s Insurance for Best Standard Coverage: Nationwide

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Nationwide is rated ninth out of the top rental insurers and has some of the best premiums for renters’ in New York City.

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.

ProsCons
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.

Coverage

  • Content like furniture, clothing, and other items.
  • Loss of use.
  • Personal liability.
  • Medical payments for others.
  • Credit card coverage.
  • Building additions and alterations.

Discounts

  • Multi-policy discounts.
  • Protective device discounts.
  • Claims-free discount

Best Renter’s Insurance for Personal Property Coverage: Travelers

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Travelers’ basic renter’s 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.

ProsCons
Affordable renters insuranceNo 24/7 customer service
Multiple discounts
File a claim online
Home improvement coverage
Tools and resources on website

Coverage

  • 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.

Discounts

  • Bundle renters and auto insurance.
  • Protective devices

What Is the Average Cost of Renters Insurance in New York City?

The average monthly cost of 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.

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.

Our Methodology

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 City.

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.

How We Ranked and Picked the Best Renters Insurance 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.

Financial Strength

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.

Affordability

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.

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