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California is an appealing place to live, with its variety of landscapes, sprawling coastline and sunny skies. But with a median property of almost $550,000, California is one of the most expensive states to buy a home. Renting a house, condo or apartment may be a good choice for some who call the Golden State home.
If you rent your home, you may want to consider purchasing a renters insurance policy. Renters insurance covers the cost to repair or replace your personal belongings as well as provides liability coverage to protect your finances from lawsuits. However, California residents should know that basic policies do not cover losses from earthquakes, which are a threat to many homes in the state. Renters insurance in California costs, on average, $178 per year, according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I).
Best renters insurance companies in California
To help you find the best renters insurance companies in California, Bankrate’s editorial team reviewed the major insurance providers in the area. We analyzed the companies using J.D. Power customer satisfaction scores, coverage offerings and available discounts. If you are searching for renters insurance in California, these are the best companies, based on our research:
|J.D. Power score||AM Best|
|American Family||840 / 1,000||A|
|State Farm||836 / 1,000||A++|
|Allstate||841 / 1,000||A+|
|Nationwide||831 / 1,000||A+|
Allstate sells insurance through a network of agents, which may be appealing to you if you prefer to handle your insurance in person. The company’s renters insurance policy offers a few options for customization, including flood insurance. If you live in a flood-prone area, you may want to consider a quote from Allstate. Flood coverage is a separate policy, but having both policies with one company could be convenient.
American Family offers renters insurance with some distinctive endorsement options. If you have a pet, American Family might be a good option. The company offers an additional pet insurance endorsement, which provides up to $1,000 in coverage for your pet if they are injured due to a covered loss. American Family also offers a travel insurance option, which provides you with coverage for trip cancellation and global medical insurance.
If you appreciate flexibility when it comes to your renters insurance, Nationwide could be a good fit. The company offers the ability to get a quote online, by phone or through an agent. If you are insured with Nationwide, your agent can help you review your policy to confirm your coverage is up-to-date with your needs. This could be helpful if you are not sure how much renters insurance you need, especially considering that needs often change during your lifetime. Taking advantage of this service and discussing your needs with a licensed agent could be helpful while preparing for the unexpected.
State Farm is a big name in the insurance industry, offering numerous products in addition to renters insurance, such as auto, home and life insurance, as well as banking services. State Farm has live agents across the country. If you are looking for a company that can handle your insurance as well as your banking needs in one place, State Farm might be a good option.
Average renters insurance cost in California
The average cost of a renters insurance policy in California is $178.
Your premium is determined by several factors, including your deductible and coverage limits. Even things like your age and marital status might impact how much you pay. Your credit score, ZIP code and gender will not affect your renters insurance rates in California, though.
Renters in California pay about the same for renters insurance compared to the surrounding states:
Many factors contribute to the cost of renters insurance, and California comes in close to the national average of $179 per year.
Renters insurance coverage options in California
Renters insurance policies typically provide a few basic coverages, including:
- Personal property: Personal property coverage covers your personal items in the event that they are damaged or destroyed by a covered peril. This includes furniture, clothing, certain electronics and appliances.
- Personal liability: Personal liability coverage helps you pay to repair or replace someone else’s belongings if you accidentally damage them. If a guest is injured in your home, your personal liability coverage would also pay for their medical bills, if you are found responsible.
- Additional living expenses: Additional living expenses coverage will pay for the various bills you might incur if your home gets damaged or destroyed and you are unable to live there while it is repaired. Some renters insurance plans will also help you cover the cost of moving if the building becomes uninhabitable.
Before purchasing a policy, you may want to understand what is covered under your plan. For example, luxury or high-value items like fine jewelry, art and expensive electronics may have predetermined limits. Unless you elect to add additional coverage, you could be underinsured for those items.
Also keep in mind that renters insurance usually does not cover your belongings if they get damaged in an earthquake or flood. For example, if a bookshelf falls on your laptop during an earthquake, you would likely be responsible for paying to repair the laptop. To avoid that, California residents may be able to purchase separate earthquake insurance.
Frequently asked questions
Is renters insurance required in California?
Renters insurance is not required by law in California. However, your landlord may require you to show proof of liability coverage before you can sign your lease or move in. Since you cannot purchase liability coverage separately, you would likely need to buy a renters insurance policy to satisfy your landlord’s requirements in this situation.
What is the cheapest renters insurance in California?
The amount you will pay for renters insurance depends on several factors, including your ZIP code, the company you choose, the coverages you need and the discounts you are eligible for. While the average cost of renters insurance in California is $178 per year, or $15 per month, your premium will vary based on your specific rating factors.
How do I get renters insurance in California?
Many insurance companies offer quotes online, but you can likely also call the company directly or reach out to a local agent for a quote. You will need to provide your name, date of birth, address and discuss what coverages and limits you want a quote for. Every company is different, but getting a renters insurance quote is typically an easy process.
How can I save money on my renters insurance?
Although renters insurance is typically less expensive than homeowners insurance, there are still ways you might be able to lower your premium. Taking advantage of any discounts you qualify for could save you money. If you own a car, you may want to consider insuring your auto with the same company as your renters insurance; multi-policy discounts are often one of the largest discounts available. Increasing your deductible, which is the amount you will pay out of pocket if you file a claim, also generally lowers your premium. Just be sure to choose an amount that you can afford to pay if you file a claim.