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How Much Does Renters Insurance Cost in New York?

Augustine Reyes Chan

Augustine Reyes Chan

Find out how much renters insurance can cost on average for New Yorkers. Learn how insurance companies determine your premiums and what you can do to keep your costs down but still keep good coverage.
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A renters insurance pays to repair or reconstruct your apartment if it has been damaged or destroyed by natural disasters covered in your policy.

These include residential fires, hurricane and burst pipers.

Now that New York has been Disney-fied and crime rates are lower doesn’t mean you don’t renters insurance.

What is the Average Cost of Renters Insurance in NYC?

Average Yearly Cost$180
Average Monthly Cost$15
Average Weekly Cost$3.46

New York City is roughly around $180 annually for minimum limits.

Some sources may argue that the average is as high as $200, while others would say it's closer to $125.

In comparison to other similar cities, Los Angeles, at $178 a year, is slightly cheaper while Miami has a very high annual cost of $510 due to flooding and possible exposure to more natural disasters.

Should You Get Renters Insurance?

If you think you don’t have enough personal property to justify the cost of renters insurance, you aren’t calculating the value of how much you own correctly.

According to Allstate, the value of the average renter’s personal property who lives in a standard two-bedroom apartment, is approximately $30,000.

There are the basics such as your laptop, your smart TV, your stereo, your furniture, and your clothing.

Designer clothing and sofas are the most expensive things you probably own.

If you don’t buy insurance, an attempt to replace your personal property if there’s a fire or theft can be financially crippling.

It’s thus important for you to create a home inventory and make sense of the value of what you own.

Here is the typical claim limit for the most common personal property.

Common Categories Eligible for Coverage
Covered ItemsAverage Claim Limit
Jewelry and furs$1,000-$2,000
Personal computer$1,000-$5,000
Other Electronics (Tablets, Smartphones)$1,000
Collectibles (coins, baseball cards, comic books, rare books)$1,000
Silverware and goldware$2,500
Sports equipment$500-$2,000
Musical instruments$500-$2,000

The Top Renters Insurance Companies

Our ranking is based on price, coverage, and affordability:

  • Lemonade
  • Allstate
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Jetty
  • State Farm
  • Nationwide
  • Progressive

Lemonade

Even though Lemonade is relatively new, it is extremely popular and was ranked #1 in 2020 by J.D. Power’s U.S. Home Insurance Study in the renters insurance segment. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) gave Lemonade a B+.

The use of Artificial intelligence (AI) means you can get insured in 90 seconds.

Lemonade’s app is intuitive and easy to use, unlike other insurers. You can submit a claim on the app and get reimbursed for a covered loss in under five minutes.

That alone makes Lemonade attractive; rental insurance companies are notorious for processing claims in a few weeks or longer.

Cost of Lemonade Renters Insurance

Lemonade is known for having rates as low as $5.00 and is recommended for cheapskates. But while researching the company, the basic policy turned out to be$10.17 a month.

Buying additional coverage to raise your policy limit is possible, but it will raise your monthly rate, and often that figure will hit up to $20 a month.

ProsCons
File an insurance claim on the appMore customer complaints than average
Easy to use and fast mobile app
Perfect for basic coverage
Very low premium

Allstate

Allstate is one of the best-known insurance companies in the world due to their car insurance. But the company also offers favorable rental policies.

That’s because Allstate is known for giving policyholders discounts based on many factors.

If your apartment has security features like alarm systems, smoke detectors, deadbolt locks, and other safety features, this will result in lower policy quotes because they reduce the likelihood of theft or damage.

If you live near a fire station or hydrant, your rental insurance quote will be lower than for someone who lives in a remote area.

And even when you set up auto-pay, you’ll get a discount too.

Cost of Allstate Renters Insurance

The basic policy is $21.42 a month.

ProsCons
Many discounts availableMore complaints than average
Extensive coverage

Liberty Mutual

Like Allstate, Liberty Mutual is known for its auto insurance, but it also sells rental insurance.

Liberty Mutual isn’t cheap, but you can get your quote down by its many discounts.

You can save by bundling, going paperless, being claim-free, shopping in advance and enrolling in autopay, to name a few.

And you can file a claim online rather than calling them where you will hear a lot of Muzak.

You can easily get an add-on like “personal property replacement,” which will pay the full cost and not just the cash value of your stolen or damaged personal effect. Signing up for jewelry coverage and even earthquake coverage is simple and easy.

However, Liberty Mutual received an average score of 825 in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Home Insurance Study. This is not the best overall rating.

Cost of Liberty Mutual Renters Insurance

The basic policy is $15.30 a month.

ProsCons
More discounts than other insurance companies
Comprehensive add-ons

Jetty Insurance

Jetty Insurance started in 2015 and while reviews online are mostly positive, its ratings are not. It’s not ranked in J.D. Power’s 2020 study and received an alarmingly low C rating from the BBB.

If you rent your home using Airbnb, Jetty gives you protection against theft.

Jetty Deposit is a service where the insurance acts as a lease co-signer and guarantees security deposits.

In addition, its Unlock Deposit program refunds a renter’s original security deposit in cash. However, both services have a cost. Their monthly fee is paid throughout your lease term.

Jetty also gives you discounts on moving companies, furniture rental and food delivery.

To receive a quote you must make it on the company’s website. Even though Jetty is all about technology, you can’t file a claim online. You have to do it over the phone.

Cost of Jetty Renters Insurance

The basic policy costs $9.64 a month.

ProsCons
Easy to use interface.Only available through participating properties.
Add-on extras available.No discounts.

State Farm

State Farm is known for its affordable prices and its customer satisfaction for renters in New York City.

This A.M. Best top-rated company received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

State Farm has a strong local presence that makes filing claims easier.

But their app is renowned for being able to produce a quote for you in the fastest manner possible, and you can submit a claim in a quick manner as well. The app received a 5-star rating in both Apple and Google’s app stores.

Like Allstate, you can get discounts if your rental has security features.

So invest in a burglar alarm, a smoke detector or an extra lock on your door, to name a few.

The majority of the 2,219 reviews on WalletHub and across the Internet gave State Farm a 3.8 score out of 4.0, or four out of five stars.

In addition, in the J.D. Power study, State Farm earned five out of five stars, ranking second among 14 renters insurance providers.

In short, going with State Farm is definitely worth it.

Cost of State Farm Renters Insurance

The basic policy is $14.63 a month.

ProsCons
Has the best prices in New York CityFewer complaints than average
A plethora of discounts
Good customer reviews

Nationwide

Nationwide’s standard renters insurance has great coverage that makes it stand out from other policies.

Unlike the bulk of other policies, the company covers more than your apartment. If you have valuables stolen from your car or boat, you’re covered.

Even more impressive is Nationwide’s fraud protection, which is rarely covered in standard policies. Nationwide pays up to a limit you select if someone uses your credit or debit card or forges your checks, for example.

You also get coverage for additions or alterations you make to your rental home.

In addition, if you have a personal property loss, Nationwide will pay you the depreciated value of the item. If replacing the item costs more than the claim payment, the company will cover the difference,

This is rare for rental insurance companies who only offer replacement cost coverage as an add-on.

However, Nationwide’s 831 score in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Home Insurance Study is lackluster, although its A+ rating from the BBB is impressive.

Cost of Nationwide Renters Insurance

The basic policy costs $24.08 a month.

Progressive

Progressive is an insurance provider known for its car insurance. But the company also has a renters insurance policy that has an AM Best rating of A+, an SAP rating of AA, a score of 835 in J.D. Power’s 2020 study, and a B- rating from the BBB. Along with 24/7 customer support, Progressive’s renters insurance offers a large range of discounts.

If you bundle your renters with an auto policy, you can get a 5% discount.

Opting out of paper documents and getting them by email also allows you for a discount.

If you start your insurance at least 3 days after receiving your quote, you will get a discount

Security features in your apartment will also give you a discount.

The majority of reviews for Progressive are positive, but the one issue that customers felt uneasy about was the fact that the insurance company requires you to share your most intimate personal information—your social security number and your birthdate—in step 1in the application process.

Cost of Progressive Renters Insurance

The basic policy costs $34.48

FYI: Even with discounts, Progressive is one of the most expensive renters insurance on this list.

What is Renters Insurance?

Renters insurance covers losses and damages to a homeowner’s apartment and the items in it. It covers unexpected personal property

damage, theft and legal liability.

Renters insurance is an affordable way to protect your personal belongings in your rental home.

Any tenant who rents an apartment, condo, home or other dwelling can buy renters insurance.

What’s the Difference Between Renters and Homeowners Insurance?

Renters insurance is similar to homeowners insurance but differs in two ways.

Renters Insurance Doesn’t Cover the Home in Which You Live

If the structure of your home is damaged, it’s the landlord’s responsibility who will pay for the defects using their own landlord insurance plan.

This brings us to the second point.

Renters Insurance is Much Cheaper Than Homeowners Insurance

Because you don't need to cover as much liability, naturally the premiums are much lower.

Renters Insurance is Necessary Coverage

By law, you aren't required to carry renters insurance if you rent your home.

However, in New York state, it’s legal for landlords to require you to have renters insurance so that you have coverage in case there is a fire or water damage in your unit, for example.

And it will protect you because your landlord—in most cases—may not be liable for damages.

If you really want to opt out of renters insurance, find an apartment that doesn’t require one.

However, it's highly recommended that you do, because life happens.

So, before you move into your loft in Tribeca, make sure you are covered.

Without renters insurance, you’ll be on the hook for all these repairs and replacements.

Doesn't the Landlord's Insurance Cover You?

Many renters who don’t have insurance have the mistaken belief that the policy of their landlord will cover any damages to their personal possessions if someone breaks into your apartment.

But the rule is that the landlord must be found to have personal liability for the break-in in order to have to cover the damages.

If that’s the case, your stolen jewelry won’t be covered by your landlord’s insurance.

The truth is, there are a lot of claims from tenants that landlords do not pay.

There are only two occasions when a landlord shells out money.

The Landlord Fails to Provide You With Habitable Conditions

When a landlord has been aware or notified of an ongoing or prior problem that can be hazardous to you but still fails to make the necessary changes to fix the situation in a reasonable time frame, as a direct result, your unit may have become unlivable.

For example, if your toilet is broken or if it doesn’t flush, this is unsanitary and forces you to live in an uninhabitable living situation.

Or if your radiator fails to work, and you have to live without heat.

These and more are a landlords’ responsibility to fix without you having to pay a thing.

The Landlord Doesn't Provide You With Working Appliances

When appliances fail to work or any items that get damaged and are included in the lease agreement.

The example here would be a busted dishwasher, refrigerator or ovens, and washing machines.

The fact is you pay to live in an apartment as described in the lease agreement.

If that’s not the case, it’s up to the landlord to fix any problems.

And one of the perks of renting is that it’s your landlord’s responsibility, not yours, to insure the building and make repairs if a hazardous situation happens and ruins areas of the building.

What Does Renters Insurance Cover?

A standard renters insurance protects you, your home, and your personal belongings from monetary loss.

It covers your personal items, pays your expenses if you need to relocate temporarily during covered repairs and includes liability in case you are sued for negligence.

Three Primary Types of Coverage for Renters

Renters insurance covers liability, personal property coverage, and additional living expenses.

Renters Insurance Covers Personal Liability

Liability protection covers you and your family members if there is bodily injury or property damage caused to other people.

If a dog bites your visitor, and the visitor has to have surgery or needs to go to a rehabilitation center every week, your insurance will cover liability costs.

If that visitor sues you, your liability portion will pay for the cost of defending you in court and even pay for any monetary awards.

However, some insurers exclude dog bites or certain breeds from renters' policies, so if you have a dog, check with your agent on whether you’re covered or not.

You are also covered for the cost of damage you do to someone else’s property.

For example, if your son accidentally throws a ball into your neighbor’s window causing it to shatter, liability coverage will repair or replace those windows, but only up to your policy limits.

A standard policy features up to $100,000 in liability coverage.

The good thing is that unlike the other types of coverage in your policy, liability insurance doesn't have a deductible that you must pay for out-of-pocket before your insurance company begins paying for the losses.

Personal Property Damage

If you have valuables such as expensive jewelry, musical instruments and artwork and they get damaged or stolen in a “covered peril,” generally renters insurance will cover these items up to your policy’s limit.

A covered peril is a damaging event that is covered in your policy such as fire, wind or theft.

Renters insurance reimburses your loss or destruction for the following reasons.

Additional Living Expenses

Additional living expenses (ALE) kick in if you have to go to a hotel because your apartment is unhabitable due to severe damage from insured disasters.

Your policy will reimburse you above and beyond your normal living expenses. For example, things like your restaurant meals or other essential living expenses are covered until your apartment is safe to enter after a rebuilt.

What Renters Insurance Doesn’t Cover

Most renters insurance won’t cover damage from two things:

earthquakes or floods.

In this instance, you may have to pay for repairs yourself if you experience these disasters.

But there is a way to get coverage.

Earthquakes

Earthquake insurance can be bought separately or as a rider to your renters policy.

Floods

Flood insurance protects your apartment and helps you recover from damages caused by flooding from excessive rainfall, tidal flooding, or wind-driven storm surge, as the NYC Housing Recovery put it.

Let’s say a torrential rain happens outdoors before coming into your apartment. That’s considered a flood and is not covered under your insurance.

The most common flood claim is water damage or overflow from your bathroom or kitchen that damages the apartment below you. For example, if the water in your bathtub overflows.

Water damages happen a lot in apartment units so you should seriously consider to get added coverage.

One thing to keep in mind is that basic policies never cover flood damage.

You can get flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

However, your personal belongings or content in your apartment aren’t covered. This means you need to take a second flood insurance policy from the NFIP. Typically. you should get coverage solely to cover items with $100K limits, which again is the “normal” consensus rate.

Riders

Adding water damage coverage is an example of a rider.

What is a rider?

A rider, also called a “floater.” adds more coverage to a standard rental insurance policy. The rider kicks in when the standard policy coverage ends.

Riders are often a standalone policy meant to specifically insure your most prized and expensive possessions.

Some common riders include identity theft coverage and extended valuables coverage. You’ll pay a lot more to add riders to your policy, but you’ll be getting a higher amount of coverage.

If you have expensive jewelry, for example, you should take out a rider to protect each and every piece of valuable jewelry you own in case your valuables get stolen or get damaged by fire.

That way, your insurance will pay for the full value of your pearl necklace.

For example, if you are burglarized and your pearl necklace worth $2,000 gets stolen, you won’t get back the full value if you don’t take out a rider.

Renters insurance will cover you up to a limit. If your limit is $1,000, say, for jewelry. you will only get that amount.

In general, keep in mind that you should not be relying on renters insurance to cover valuables.

Liability limits generally start at about $100,000, which is the common coverage that a standard renters insurance allows.

That can get easily eaten up with just one damaged necklace, so it’s always a good idea to take out a rider or purchase a higher level of protection to increase your liability coverage limit beyond the standard amount.

As for your deductible, choose a figure that you can afford. $500 to $1,000 is the going rate for the most common deductibles.

What is a Deductible?

A deductible is basically the amount of money you’ll need to pay when making a claim.

If your possessions are damaged or destroyed, your deductible is the amount of money you would have to pay to replace them before insurance coverage takes over. 

For renters insurance, deductibles usually range between $500 to $1,000.

If you choose a $1,000 deductible, you can potentially save about 10% on monthly fees. And if you choose a $2,500 deductible, you can also save another 10%.

Just note that the deductible applies only to property claims, not liability claims.

An example is if you have an $1,000 deductible and make a claim for $10,000 worth of damage to your property.

Your renters insurance will cover $9,000 and you’ll have to pay $1,000 out of your own pocket.

You can choose to take a high or low deductible, depending on how much you want to pay for the policy.

But don’t try to save money to by getting the lowest possible deductible.

Because if you choose to select a higher one, the price of your premium will be lower.

How Renters Insurance Companies Determine Your Estimate

Have you ever wondered what factors determine the cost of renters insurance in New York City? Well, here they are:

  1. Value of Property
  2. Security Measures
  3. Credit Score
  4. Pets
  5. Natural Disasters
  6. Neighborhood Crime Rates
  7. Value of Property
  8. Security Measures
  9. Credit Score
  10. Pets
  11. Natural Disasters

Value of Property

The greater the value of your belongings, the more expensive your personal property will be to insure. If you live in Billionaires’ Row and collect important artwork, you will pay more for your insurance than if you live in a studio on Bruckner Boulevard next to a KFC and the most expensive thing you own is your mattress on the floor.

Security Measures

Renters who have security features like alarm systems, smoke detectors, deadbolt locks and other safety features in their apartment will pay less for their insurance, due to a lower likelihood of vandalism or theft.

Credit Score

Renters insurance is often more expensive for those with a low credit score.

Note that renter insurance companies check your credit score when giving you a quote.

But it is a “soft pull,” meaning it’s an inquiry that won’t affect your credit score. In contrast, a “hard pull” will impact your FICO score.

Pets

If your dog Cate Blanchett bites someone inside or outside your unit, your liability portion of your insurance will cover any medical bills.

However, if you have a breed of dog that’s aggressive like a wolf hybrid, pitbull or a rottweiler, this will raise your renters insurance rate since your company may have to pay for the costs if that person sues you, for example.

You should always check the fine print. Some policies will not cover an “aggressive” dog.

Natural Disasters

If you live in areas prone to hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires and other natural risks, your rates will be higher.

Neighborhood Crime Rates

If you live in an area known for its crime rates or an area where there’s a long history of burglaries, your quote will be very high.

Here is the monthly cost of a $500 deductible and a $1,000 deductible by insurance companies serving New York City.

Fire or lightningWindstorm or hailExplosionRiot or civil commotionDamage caused by aircraftDamage caused by vehiclesSmokeVandalism or malicious mischiefTheftVolcanic eruptionA falling objectThe weight of ice, snow or sleetAccidental discharge of water or steam from within certain household systems or appliancesSudden and accidental tearing apart, cracking, burning or bulging of certain household systemsFreezing of certain household systems or appliances.Certain sudden, accidental damage from artificially generated electric currents

Common Damage-Resulting Incidents That are Covered Under Renters Insurance
Fire or lightning
Windstorm or hail
Explosion
Riot or civil commotion
Damage caused by aircraft
Damage caused by vehicles
Smoke
Vandalism or malicious mischief
Theft
Volcanic eruption
A falling object
The weight of ice, snow or sleet
Accidental discharge of water or steam from within certain household systems or appliances
Sudden and accidental tearing apart, cracking, burning or bulging of certain household systems
Freezing of certain household systems or appliances.
Certain sudden, accidental damage from artificially generated electric currents

Methodology

We opted to choose the most popular renters insurance companies rather than the best.

To start we looked at the 4+ star ratings by customers on the BBB website and the complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

To create the bulk of the qualities for each renters insurance company, and to come up with a monthly price, we took into account coverage, available add-ons, discounts and, above all, customer ratings.

Customer ratings were defined by the ease of use when processing or filing a claim. We honed in on the complaints a company received, as it’s an indicator of the overall customer experience. We based this measure on the NAIC National Complaint Index and utilized the J.D. Power U.S. Home Insurance Study 2020 in the renters insurance segment.

Finally, we took to the J.D. Power Home Insurance Satisfaction Study to see how customers rated their experience with each insurance provider.

We found a recurring and overwhelming complaint among customers based on how easy you can manage your policy and claims online or using each company’s app. Apparently, more and more policyholders or potential customers are looking to sidestep talking to a live agent and prefer going online to register or submit a claim.

Costs

We pulled rental insurance costs online from five of the most popular insurance companies in New York City, State Farm, Allstate, Travelers, Stillwater, and Lemonade. Quotes were for policies with $500 and $1,000 deductibles for a thirty-year-old male apartment renter.

Insurance Company Monthly Cost Monthly Cost
Company$500 Deductible$1,000 Deductible
Lemonade$6.34$5.42
Stillwater$9.25$7.92
State Farm$10.42$10.42
Travelers$12.00$11.00
Allstate$22.00$21.00

As you can see, each company is very affordable. If you think you can’t afford these quotes, then you aren’t budgeting.

The consensus among renters insurance professionals is that if you cease buying a latte or espresso from Starbucks each day of the workweek, then you can easily afford any of the quotes.

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