7 Best Renters Insurance Companies in NYC
- State Farm
- Liberty Mutual
- Assurant Renters Insurance
- Amica Mutual
The best renters insurance in NYC is offered by Lemonade, a major groundbreaker in the startup world. Lemonade has quickly become a go-to among Millennials who want to have insurance access through their phones. As one of the hotter startups, Lemonade is known for being reasonably quick with claims and ideal for people who want basic coverage.
It’s important to note that Lemonade doesn’t really make it easy to get live help, so it may take a while to find phone help if you have an issue. They also offer pet insurance and homeowner’s insurance with a bundling perk. Flood insurance, though, is not available.
They also donate a portion of profits to the charity of your choice, making them the ethical choice.
Best For: People who want convenience, affordability, and straightforward claims.
Allstate offers some of the best NYC renter's insurance and is great for people who want flexibility with reporting claims, especially when it comes to mobile and phone assistance. Their customer service is excellent, and they tend to make it easy to pay your bill.
Allstate has been a reliable insurer for decades, especially when it comes to car insurance and renters insurance. Their claim to fame is their excellent policies and wide range of coverages. While Allstate doesn’t offer flood insurance, they do make it easier to buy a separate policy.
Best For: People who want flood insurance as a separate policy and who want reliable insurance.
3. State Farm
State Farm has a superb renters insurance department that comes with the support you would expect from a company that prides itself on excellent customer service.
State Farm has great claims as well as riders that make it possible to expand your coverage to a wider range of items. They do everything from reimbursed living expenses to valuable item riders. If you want to cover EVERYTHING, this company is worth the price tag.
Best For: People who are unwilling to cut corners on insurance and want every little thing covered.
4. Liberty Mutual
If you want to save money on your renter's insurance in NYC, Liberty Mutual is an affordable option that allows buyers to pay for exactly the coverage they want—no bloat necessary. This makes them great for frugal people who seek out a traditional insurance company with real-life customer service. If you’re a fan of customization, this is a good pick.
The bigger drawback with Liberty Mutual is that they tend to have a hard-to-navigate website and that their claims can be tricky to deal with. However, they seem to be working on this issue at the time of this writing.
Best For: Budget-friendly people who want a highly customized policy that fits their lifestyle.
USAA is a name that most people outside the military world don’t recognize, primarily because this bank only works for military members and their families. So if you are a civilian who isn’t a military spouse or child, this will not be the one for you.
USAA’s strength is that they offer amazingly low rates compared to other national companies, and they have a streamlined claims program. You can get a policy with USAA for as little as $10 per month, and yes, they have earthquake insurance too.
Best For: Military members who want convenience, coverage, and awesome rates.
6. Assurant Renters Insurance
Assurant may not be as well known as USAA or State Farm, but they have their fair share of buyers in New York City. Much like Liberty Mutual, Assurant has a free roommate coverage perk and also has no issue delivering proof to your landlord instantly. Convenience is a major reason why they are popular.
Easy claim filing, simple terms, and affordability have made Assurant popular. They also are good for people who need to learn the ropes of insurance, so new renters are encouraged to try this out.
Best For: New renters who want a bargain alongside knowledgeable service.
7. Amica Mutual
Rounding out our list of insurance companies for renters in New York is Amica Mutual. For over 100 years, Amica has been insuring peoples’ belongings. They offer Amica Essentials, which covers your main expensive items, and also boast a very plush loss of use policy for renters.
Whether it’s simple liability insurance or insurance for a total loss on your apartment, Amica has a reasonable rate for you. The claims process is easy, and if you are looking for basic insurance, it will be hard to find better.
Best For: People who want something affordable, simple, and easy.
What is Renters Insurance?
Anyone who rents a room, an apartment, or a home can purchase renters’ insurance. This type of insurance covers an individual’s personal property, as opposed to a landlord’s insurance, which covers real property, like buildings or land. This is where a lot of renters get confused, thinking that their landlord’s insurance will cover them in case anything happens to their personal items. In reality, the landlord is only responsible for their property. Anything else is the responsibility of the renter.
Do You Need Renters Insurance in NYC?
While there are no city or state laws that mandate it, most NYC landlords will require you to get a renters insurance policy. And even if your landlord doesn't require you to have renters insurance, it's a good idea to get it.
The situations in which renters insurance can come in handy are endless, and many of them are quite common. If someone breaks into your place and steals valuable items if a water pipe bursts and you end up flooding your downstairs neighbor if a fire breaks out or there’s wind damage - these are just some of the situations that a renters’ insurance can cover. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay for repairs and replace items from your own pocket.
What Does Renters Insurance Cover?
Renters insurance covers most of your personal belongings, such as clothing, furniture, appliances, decor objects, or electronics. It usually includes computers and other gadgets, but if you work from home and use company-owned equipment, that might not get covered by renters insurance, and you’ll have to clarify this with your employer. What’s important to note is that items like silverware, jewelry, and other pricier items aren’t usually included in the policy. Still, if you want, you can add them to the list by paying extra.
Your insurance will cover situations related to break-ins, theft, fires, gas leaks, water damage, explosions, lightning episodes, or wind damage. Accidental or unintentional damage done to other apartments as a result of these situations will also be covered. However, renters’ insurance policies don’t usually cover flooding or earthquake situations. If you live on the ground level and your home gets flooded after heavy rains or storms, you might not be able to turn to your insurance to make repairs. You’ll want to consult with the insurance provider to clarify precisely which situations are excluded and what’s at risk.
Who Benefits From Renters Insurance Policies?
Your renters’ insurance policy can include spouses or family members, as well as pets. However, if you’re renting a place with roommates, keep in mind that you can’t have more than two unrelated beneficiaries on the same policy. That means you can add one roommate to your renters’ insurance policy, but this is not a decision to make lightly. Living with roommates can be tricky, especially if there are more people in the house, and you’re not very close to one another. If you add your roommate to your policy, insurance won’t usually cover a situation where your roommate steals or damages your belongings. The best thing to do would be for each of the renters in the household to get their own renters’ insurance policy. Oh, and also get a roommate agreement while you’re at it.
Dog owners can also benefit from getting a renters’ insurance policy in New York City. In case your dog scares, scratches, or bites a neighbor or a roommate, your insurance policy will probably cover any legal fees or liability expenses. Some policies will even cover you when you are off the premises, so you don't have to worry about personal liability or paying for medical bills resulting from any biting/scratching even if it doesn’t happen inside the home. However, some dog breeds, because they are more aggressive or considered more dangerous, like pit bulls or rottweilers, aren’t covered by such policies.
How Much Does Renters Insurance Cost in NYC?
Many people will say that they don’t have enough money to purchase renters’ insurance. However, the average cost of renters insurance in the U.S. is around $16 per month or $187 per year, so it won’t create too much of a dent in your pocket. In New York City, standard coverage limits for property damage ranges from $25,000 to $50,000, or even higher, depending on your situation and the value of your belongings. Most insurance policies catering to renters come with a $500 minimum deductible, but with higher deductibles, you can end up saving on monthly payments. This deductible only applies to property claims, not liability claims, so that’s worth remembering. If you already have car insurance or life insurance, you can likely get a discount on your renter's insurance policy by purchasing it from the same company.
Before you make any decision about fees and deductibles, you absolutely must make an inventory of all your belongings. You might think, "well, I don’t have a lot of stuff, and none of it is that expensive, so what’s the point?" However, when you start adding up the value of each and every item you own, you might be shocked to see just how high the final amount can go. Electronics like TVs, computers, gadgets, speakers, or appliances can round up quite a high tally. Clothing is also a category that many people tend to undervalue, so be sure to include those items in your count.
If you have trouble figuring the value of each item, take pictures or videos of each room, in detail, and photograph serial numbers on electronics and devices. This information can come in handy in case your things get damaged, and your insurance company will be able to run an estimate of the replacement cost.
In some cases, you might get a discount on your policy if your home is equipped with fire and smoke alarms, gas detectors, and other protections. You might want to consider installing these safety measures, not only as a means of getting a discount but for your own wellbeing. Roger J. Muller of Muller Insurance insists that you "Make sure you are protecting assets from fire of liability suits brought against you; you need to remember that you’ve worked too hard to lose everything you own just for not having the proper coverage."
What Type of Renters Insurance Should You Get?
Speaking of replacing items, you should know that there are two types of renters’ insurance coverage: actual cash value, in which the insurer will pay to replace your items at their depreciated value, and replacement cost, which means you’ll get the actual cost of your items. The replacement cost coverage can be slightly more expensive, but it’s the best option to go for, especially if you have valuable items that you paid a lot of money for.
Lewis Hassell, assistant VP of sales & client services at Amica, has some tips for this process: "Customers sometimes look at the age of their belongings or mention that their furniture didn’t cost much because it was passed onto them. In the event of a loss, we explain they should consider a coverage limit based on what it would cost to purchase items new in today’s market. They should also consider the replacement cost endorsement, which can be added to a standard renters policy. Otherwise, depreciation will be factored in."
NYC Renters Insurance Bottom Line
There are various renters insurance providers in New York City, so it can be overwhelming trying to figure out which is the right company and the right policy for you. Your best bet is to go with a reputable company with a long history and a wealth of experience in the business rather than to go with the cheapest renters insurance available. Your finances and valuables need to be in good hands, and you’ll rest easier knowing that you’re covered in case of an unfortunate event.