As recently as 2019, CNBC ranked New Jersey as one of the most expensive states to live in the U.S., with the average home costing around $578,000. Given the cost of purchasing a home, it makes sense why many residents would opt to live in an apartment or rental property instead. However, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III), 46% of New Jersey residents pay more than 30% of their income on rent and utilities.
Renters insurance, although contributing significantly to the overall percentage of income for residents in this state, provides critical protection for your personal property. Averaging just $26 a month on average (or $309 a year), New Jersey renters receive coverage for the valued items stored in the rental as well as additional living expenses in case of loss of use.
While finding appropriate coverage may seem as daunting as finding affordable housing, there are several popular and trusted providers offering policies that may be ideally suited to your budget. As part of our Bankrate mission, we conducted current market research to find the best renters insurance companies New Jersey has to offer, based on credible third-party ratings and coverage offerings. This may help provide context as you compare your renters insurance options.
The top New Jersey renters insurance companies
Renters insurance is typically inexpensive compared to homeowners insurance, but includes multiple beneficial coverages. Many top providers even offer add-ons to extend your policy’s limits. And luckily for New Jersey renters, insurance in the state is offered by some of the most well-known and trusted national homeowners insurance companies. We reviewed each company for its renters insurance coverage, 2020 J.D. Power Home Insurance Study customer satisfaction score and AM Best financial strength rating. The four companies below stood out as offering the best renters insurance policies in New Jersey for 2021, although that may differ for you based on your circumstances, insurance needs and exact quotes.
|Company||J.D. Power score||AM Best rating|
|American Family||840 / 1,000||A (Excellent)|
|Lemonade||866 / 1,000||Not rated|
|State Farm||836 / 1,000||A (Excellent)|
|*USAA||*888 / 1,000||A++ (Superior)|
*Due to membership eligibility restrictions, USAA is considered rank-ineligible by J.D. Power.
American Family provides insurance for many different types of renters and includes all the standard coverages you would expect from a provider. AmFam, as it is popularly known, may be particularly appealing to New Jersey residents on-the-go, as there are options for travel protection and home office set-ups. Ranked fourth overall in customer satisfaction, AmFam has customer service agents on call 24/7 for claims, as well a mobile app to make access and policy management even easier. Renters looking to save may choose to bundle home and auto with American Family for 15% off renters insurance.
Lemonade is a newcomer in the homeowners and renters insurance industry, but it has quickly become known for offering some of the cheapest insurance policies. The company advertises itself as being built for the 21st century — making it a viable option for New Jersey renters looking for a modernized experience — and has rates starting as low as $5 per month. Even with its cheap renters insurance, Lemonade is gaining high ratings from consumers — apparent in its J.D. Power customer satisfaction score. Its claim to fame is an easy-to-use app, through which you can purchase renters insurance in approximately 90 seconds. Lemonade is a peer-to-peer insurance provider, meaning premiums go into a collective pool and Lemonade uses money from that pool to pay claims for policyholders who suffer covered losses. Lemonade also donates its profits to charities and causes of your choice in their Giveback program.
State Farm has been in the insurance business for over 100 years and its expertise extends to renters in the Garden State. Coverage options extend to common personal items such as bikes, furniture and electronics, as well as other named perils. You can easily receive a quote and purchase your policy online, but New Jersey has a plethora of local representative offices for those who prefer to obtain a quote or manage their policy directly with an agent. Additionally, claims can be easily filed and managed directly from its app.
USAA is the only renters insurance provider besides Lemonade to score the highest possible customer satisfaction ratings in the 2020 J.D. Power study. However, due to membership only being available to military members and veterans, only qualifying applicants are able to make use of its policies, and with J.D. Power, USAA is technically ineligible for an official rank.
USAA is known for affordability across several of its product lines. In terms of financial strength, it receives an A++ (Superior) rating from AM Best, making it one of the best options for military families in New Jersey. For example, claims can be made for items damaged or destroyed while on deployment, including official uniforms, and flood damage is pre-included. There are also flexible payment plans available to account for military schedules. USAA’s long history of high customer satisfaction with all elements of its service recommends this provider to any qualifying renter in New Jersey.
Average price of New Jersey renters insurance
Insurance premiums for renters insurance are personalized based on your circumstances and how much coverage you need. If you have pets, multiple family members, use additional safety features in your home like a burglar alarm service, these factors could affect your premium.
On average, New Jersey residents pay $26 per year for renters insurance and $309 annually, according to quoted annual premiums. This is less than the average annual renters insurance premium of $509 in the U.S. And compared to the national average cost of home insurance, at $1,312 per year, New Jersey renters are able to add many similar financial backings of homeowners insurance at a fraction of the price.
Demographics are also a factor. New Jersey ranks ninth among US states in terms of the percentage of its renters spending 30% or more of their income on rent. However, New Jersey also has a higher percentage of renters overall compared to more than half the states in the US. As a state, New Jersey also ranks high in median income, far above the national average and its neighbors in New Year and Pennsylvania. This may contribute in part to keeping renters insurance premiums in New Jersey lower than the national average.
Here is New Jersey’s average renters insurance premium compared to premiums in nearby states.
|Location||Average annual renters insurance cost|
Renters insurance coverage options in New Jersey
Similar to homeowners insurance, renters insurance includes three key types of standard coverage plus custom add-ons. Unlike homeowner’s insurance, renters insurance does not cover the structure or dwelling. Renters insurance is thus protection for your person and your belongings.
Standard coverage typically includes:
- Personal liability: This refers to bodily injury or property damage to other people (or their stuff) as a result of your actions, at your home and anywhere else.
- Personal property: This coverage insures your belongings in the case of damage. It even covers the belongings of your guests in the event their things are damaged while visiting.
- Additional living expenses (ALE): This coverage provides coverage if your home is destroyed by an insured disaster and you need to live elsewhere for a time.
Frequently asked questions
What is the best renters insurance in New Jersey?
What is the best renters insurance in New Jersey?
The best New Jersey renters insurance company for you depends on individual factors and the priorities you care about the most. For example, if you have a pet, you will likely prioritize finding companies that either offer or include pet liability coverage. Consider getting several quotes and ask about coverage options to decide which one will be the best for your needs.
How do I get renters insurance in New Jersey?
A quick online search will yield multiple providers ready to give you a quote online. All the providers mentioned here have websites where you can apply for an online quote and buy renters insurance. After you get quotes and decide which company you want to purchase your insurance from, most companies will usually designate an agent to guide you through the process to finalize your coverage.
Is renters insurance required in New Jersey?
Renters insurance is not required by law. However, check with your landlord because many are beginning to include a renters insurance requirement with leasing agreements.
How much New Jersey renters insurance should I buy?
Creating a detailed list of your belongings and an estimate of their value is typically the best way to determine how much coverage you require in the instance of a covered disaster. Basic coverage plans typically start with $20,000 in personal property coverage.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on 40-year-old male and female renters with a clean claim history, good credit and the following coverage limits:
- Coverage C, Personal Property: $25,000
- Coverage D, Loss of Use: $5,000
- Coverage E, Liability: $100,000
- Coverage F, Medical Payments: $1,000
The renters also have a $500 deductible.
These are sample rates and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your quotes will differ.