Is Renters Insurance Worth It?

Should you spare the monthly expense on insurance or take the risk without it? The Zebra experts weigh the pros and cons.

Why you can trust The Zebra

The Zebra partners with some of the companies we write about. However, our content is written and reviewed by an independent team of editors and licensed agents. Reference our data methodology and learn more about how we make money.

Author profile picture

Renata Balasco

Senior Content Strategist

  • Licensed Insurance Agent — Property and Casualty

Renata joined The Zebra in 2020 as a Customer Experience Agent. Since 2021, she has worked as licensed insurance professional and content strategist.…

Author profile picture

Ross Martin

Insurance Writer

  • 4+ years in the Insurance Industry

Ross joined The Zebra as a writer and researcher in 2019. He specializes in writing insurance content to help shoppers make informed decisions.

Ross h…

Renters insurance: Is it worth it? 

In short: yes, renters insurance is worth it. Many tenants may not consider an insurance plan on a rental property necessary; perhaps they assume that they don’t have anything worth insuring, or feel that they don’t want to add another monthly expense alongside pricy rent payments. In truth, renters insurance offers protection for your belongings at a very minimal cost. Let’s explore renters insurance policies and why you should consider enrolling. 

Reasons to get renters insurance: 

  1. It covers losses to personal property
  2. It covers hotel stays, meals, and transportation if you can’t stay in your home. 
  3. It’s affordable (and cheaper than buying all new stuff!)
  4. It covers your belongings, even when you travel.

What's covered by renters insurance? 

If you’re in the camp of believing you don’t have anything worth insuring, we can say that you really do. Owning anything at all is cause enough for insurance protection — clothes, electronics, furniture, and even food are eligible for coverage under a renters policy. 

In the event of a covered emergency, renters insurance covers personal property, liability, medical payments and additional living expenses. For example, if your apartment is damaged in a fire, you can be reimbursed up to your policy limits for the clothes and furniture that were ruined, as well as a hotel stay as you wait for your space to be safe to inhabit again.

Like any form of insurance, though, a renters policy won’t cover everything. Common exclusions like damage due to flooding, earthquakes, or neglect still apply in a renters policy. For more detailed information on renters insurance coverages, see our handy guide. 

Renters coverages are defined as:

  • Personal property: Covers clothing, furniture, art, electronics or almost anything else owned in a rental house or apartment up to your policy's limit.
  • Liability: Property damage and bodily injury to another person and their medical expenses
  • Medical payments: Medical expenses of an injured party
  • Additional living expenses: Hotel bills, transportation, meals

How much does renters insurance cost?

Renters insurance is one of the most affordable forms of personal lines insurance available. Policies typically range from $20-$30 per month, depending on the coverage types and limits you choose. Check out the table below for average renters insurance rates from popular insurance companies.

Insurance Provider Average Yearly Renters Rates Monthly Rate
Allstate $372 $31
American Family $289 $24
Farmers $246 $20
Liberty Mutual $285 $24
MetLife $283 $24
Nationwide $253 $21
Progressive $305 $25
State Farm $179 $15
Travelers $217 $18
USAA $186 $15

The Zebra’s renters insurance data methodology

The renters insurance rates published in this guide are based on The Zebra’s annual analysis of average renters insurance premiums in every U.S. ZIP code. This data comes to us from Quadrant Information Services, which sources the latest approved rate filings across carriers in each state from S&P Global. Quadrant then uses an internal QA process to validate the information and build reports before the data is queried and analyzed by The Zebra.

These rates are based on a sample user profile: a single 30-year-old renter with an HO-4 renters policy living in a 1,000-square-foot apartment and carrying these coverage limits:

  • $50,000 for personal property
  • $100,000 for personal liability
  • $5,000 for loss of use
  • $1,000 for medical payments
  • $500 deductible

To provide insight to renters on how specific personal factors (like age, location and coverage level) can affect your premium, this base profile is then adjusted for different factors commonly used by insurance companies. For more information, see our full data methodology.

How to compare rental insurance quotes

When comparing renters insurance quotes, it's crucial to ensure you're making an informed decision that balances cost with the coverage you need. Here are key steps to follow:

  1. Assess Your Needs: Know the value of your belongings and the coverage you need (e.g., personal property, liability).

  2. Get Multiple Quotes: The Zebra recommends that you compare quotes from various insurers for a broad perspective. Our insurance agency can do this on your behalf.

  3. Examine Coverage and Deductibles: Check the limits of coverage and the deductibles. Lower premiums might mean less coverage or higher out-of-pocket costs.

  4. Look for Extra Features: Some policies offer additional protections like identity theft or living expense coverage.

  5. Understand Exclusions: Be clear about what's not covered, such as flood or earthquake damage.

  6. Research the Insurer: Consider the company's customer service reputation and financial stability.

  7. Inquire About Discounts: Discounts might be available for security systems, non-smokers, or bundled policies.

Zebra Tip: Renters insurance bundling

Along with protecting your belongings, renters insurance can lead to discounts on other lines of insurance — namely, auto insurance. Consider bundling your renters and car insurance insurance policies to obtain a multi-policy discount. Bundling renters and auto policies can save you an average of $79 per year!

If you're looking for an online option, try our trusted partner Lemonade. Lemonade is a relatively new insurance provider in the US. They offer customized coverage with a great online experience. Get a quick Lemonade quote for free!

Need a Renters Insurance Quote?

Is renters insurance required? 

Today, it’s typical for large apartment complexes to require renters insurance from each tenant. It’s not required by law, but your landlord or apartment complex may require coverage as outlined within the terms of your lease agreement. Even without a requirement, renters insurance is still a good idea to hold. 

zebra shield
Agent insight from The Zebra

"Did you know that renters insurance covers more than just your personal property at home? When you purchase renters insurance, it also covers personal property inside your vehicle from theft. Not just parked in you're driveway but also while traveling! If you ever find yourself in a situation where belongings are lost to theft, renters insurance kicks in to cover that loss up to the personal property coverage limits, minus your deductible."

Rachel Alexander — Licensed insurance advisor at The Zebra

See our in-depth guide to personal property insurance here.

Is renters insurance worth it? The verdict

Between the low monthly cost and coverage it provides, renters insurance is a worthwhile investment for tenants. Landlords carry their own insurance, but their policy will likely not extend to protect you or your belongings. To properly protect yourself and your hard-earned belongings against damage or theft, purchase a renters policy that suits your needs.

agent icon
Connect with a friendly licensed agent at 1-888-255-4364

Zebra agents are just a phone call away! They can help find the right renters insurance policy for your needs, select coverage and deductible options that fit within your budget, and answer any questions you may have. Call 1-888-255-4364 to chat with an agent, or learn more about The Zebra's independent agency.

Frequently asked questions — Is renters insurance worthwhile?

Without a renters insurance policy in place, the responsibility of a loss incurred in a rental property would fall to the landlord. So, landlords are really protecting themselves against lawsuits by requesting (or requiring) tenants to carry renters insurance.

Deductible options vary by insurance company — usually ranging from $500 to up to $2,000 — but the right deductible amount for you depends on your needs and preferences. The higher the deductible, the lower monthly premium you'll pay; however, if you do have to file a claim, you will pay more out of pocket to cover the deductible amount you chose.

Renters insurance is one of the most affordable forms of insurance available — but if you find your rates are high, it may be due to your location posing a higher risk, your personal claims history, or the coverages and deductibles you chose.

To save money on renters insurance, shop around with multiple companies, consider bundling with your auto insurance, or adjust your deductibles and coverages on your policy.

Related Questions

Other people are also asking...

Does renters insurance cover hotel stay if my air conditioning system goes out?

Typically, your renter's policy will not cover your hotel due to your air conditioner being out. A broken AC is not considered the loss of use of the dwelling (home) — they typically only pay for other accommodations when the entire dwelling is uninhabitable. I recommend you check out our guid…
Jul 29, 2019 Cincinnati, OH

Do I need to change my policy when I rent out my home?

Great question! This is an important consideration if you're planning to turn your primary home into a rental. The short answer is yes, you'll need to change your homeowners policy to a landlord policy. An insurance company would likely deny a claim if the proper coverage isn't in pl…

If I'm in between apartments, when do I need to change the address on my renters insurance?

For the purpose of complying with your new apartment's landlord, it's best to change the address on your policy before you move in. This will satisfy the insurance requirement for your new place. That does not me that your old apartment is completely uncovered. Since a renters insurance p…

Will my renters policy cover additional living expenses?

Unfortunately, renters insurance only covers your personal property and personal liability - not the property itself or displacement due to an issue with the dwelling. Since it is an issue with the dwelling, your landlord should have coverage for this type of issue on their policy. I would check wi…
Dec 14, 2018 Bronxville, NY

About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
  • The Zebra’s insurance editorial content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.