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Choosing to add a renters insurance policy makes smart financial sense if you’re a renter. After all, it provides coverage in case your personal belongings are damaged or if someone is hurt or injured while visiting you. There are even extensions of this coverage available to your belongings that you leave inside your vehicle or storage units, plus additional benefits. But not all renters insurance policies are the same and neither are the companies writing the policies, which is why it is beneficial for you to shop around and compare.
Bankrate has reviewed several renters insurance options available in the Garden State to find the best renters insurance companies in New Jersey and make this process of comparison as straightforward as possible.
Best renters insurance companies in New Jersey
When selecting the best insurance providers for renters in New Jersey, we compared pricing, customer satisfaction scores and financial ratings. 2021 J.D. Power study ratings for renters insurance customer satisfaction and AM Best financial strength ratings, which help indicate a company’s ability to pay claims, were also considered. These companies are some of the top companies offering a renters insurance policy for New Jersey residents.
|Insurance company||Best for||J.D. Power score||AM Best score|
|Allstate||Budget-friendly options||833/1,000||A+ (Superior)|
|Lemonade||Digital experience||870/1,000||Not scored|
|Nationwide||Policy options||834/1,000||A+ (Superior)|
|State Farm||Flexible customer service choices||866/1,000||A++ (Superior)|
|USAA*||Military families||893/1,000||A++ (Superior)|
*Not officially ranked with J.D. Power due to eligibility restrictions
Best for: Budget-friendly options
Allstate offers a renters policy covering both damage to your personal property due to covered events and injury if you have a guest visiting your property. Additionally, if your home becomes inhabitable due to a covered loss, the policy offers additional living expenses to help you during your temporary relocation. The policy can be managed either through speaking with customer service or a local agent, online or through the app, making policy management as convenient as possible.
|Highly-rated mobile app||Few discounts offered|
|Select deductibles and payments to fit your budget||Few policy add-ons available|
- Discount for bundling with your auto policy.
- Renters insurance starts with rates as low as $4 per month.
Learn more: Allstate Insurance review
Best for: Digital experience
Lemonade is newer in the renters insurance industry and it’s one of the cheapest. While its newer status means it doesn’t have AM Best scoring available yet, the company advertises rates starting as low as $5 per month and received the highest customer satisfaction rating in the 2021 J.D. Power Home Insurance Study. Lemonade features an easy-to-use app, through which you can purchase renters insurance in 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.
|Quick quote and purchase process||No in-person customer service|
|Fast claim filing and processing||Not as many third-party ratings compared to more established insurance companies|
- All-digital experience, making it easy for those who prefer to manage a policy on their own.
- Money from unused premiums is donated to charities. Lemonade has given back over six million dollars through this program.
Learn more: Lemonade Insurance review
Best for: Policy options
At Nationwide, you can personalize your renters insurance with options to include coverage for water damage, earthquake and theft extension to items stored in your car or watercraft. Nationwide offers Brand New Belongings coverage, which initially pays you the depreciated value for claimed items, but will reimburse the difference once you buy replacement items. Nationwide also offers coverage for building additions and alterations, which can provide coverage for improvements or alterations you make to your rental property. Policyholders rank Nationwide below average in customer satisfaction for renters insurance, which may indicate some challenges with service or coverage.
|Multiple add-ons and personalization options||Slightly lower rankings through J.D. Power|
|Discounts offered||Policies start at $20 a month, which is higher than some other insurers|
- Nationwide offers add-ons to renters policies such as earthquake insurance and flood insurance, which are not always offered with other insurance companies.
- Credit card coverage is standard in a renters insurance policy, which covers any unauthorized transactions with cards or checks forged in your name.
Learn more: Nationwide Insurance review
Best for: Flexible customer service options
State Farm has been in the business of insurance for over 100 years. With State Farm, you can include inflation protection on your renters insurance policy, which increases your coverage limits to match higher costs of living and inflation. You can easily receive a quote and purchase online, but New Jersey has a plethora of local agents if you prefer to handle your insurance in person. If you combine your auto insurance with State Farm renters insurance, you could save on both policies.
|Customer service available through agents, local reps, online or the mobile app||Limited number of discounts available|
|Easy online quote and purchase process||Ranks below average for digital service by J.D. Power|
- Inflation coverage is included, which automatically increases coverage amounts each year based on rising cost of living expenses.
- You could bundle your renters insurance with other policies to earn a bundling discount.
Learn more: State Farm Insurance review
Best for: Military families
If USAA were to meet J.D. Power study award criteria, this renters insurance company would be top-ranked for renters insurance. USAA works with former and current military members and their immediate families to offer a long list of banking and insurance products. USAA renters insurance includes earthquake and flood coverage, which is rare for a renters insurance company. You can also purchase replacement cost coverage on your belongings to further build out your policy. If you live on base, in military dorms or in barracks, you can save up to 28% on the cost of renters insurance with USAA.
|Highly-rated customer service||Only available to those who meet membership qualifications|
|Discounts and add-on features available||Limited number of physical locations|
- A standard renters insurance policy through USAA includes flood coverage and earthquake coverage.
- Your personal property is covered through overseas coverage if you are deployed or move abroad.
Learn more: USAA Insurance review
Average price of New Jersey renters insurance
As of 2019, the average cost for renters insurance is $174 per year. This is far cheaper than the average cost of homeowners insurance nationally, which is $1,383 per year for $250K in dwelling coverage. That is to be expected, since homeowners insurance covers the entire building plus contents, whereas renters insurance generally only covers contents. According to the Insurance Information Institute (Tripe-I), the average renters insurance quote in New Jersey is $156 annually, which is also lower than the national average.
New Jersey ranks ninth among U.S. 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 U.S.
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 coverage. This includes bodily injury or property damage to anyone visiting the property you are responsible for. Personal property coverage insures your belongings if there is damage due to covered events. This coverage typically extends to guests visiting your home too. Additional living expenses are another important component of a renters insurance policy, which provides coverage if you have to move out of your dwelling temporarily due to a covered event.
Add-ons are another way to personalize your renters insurance policy even further and provide added coverage for a reasonable cost. Examples of add-ons might be identity theft coverage, which provides reimbursement for any expenses associated with a stolen identity. Another option to consider is high-value items coverage, which provides added protection for valuables such as jewelry, art or antiques.
Frequently asked questions
The best New Jersey renters insurance for you depends on individual factors and the priorities you care about the most. Get several quotes and ask about coverage options to decide which one will be the best for your needs.
A quick online search will yield multiple providers ready to give you a quote online. All the providers mentioned in this article provide fast methods for getting an online quote and buying renters insurance. After you get quotes and decide which renters insurance company you want to go with, the company will guide you through the process to purchase your coverage.
Renters insurance is not required by law. However, check with your landlord or leasing office because many include a renters insurance requirement with leasing agreements.
Creating a detailed list of your belongings and an estimate of their value is 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.