Cheapest Renters Insurance in California
College students need renters insurance to protect their property against damage and theft. Everyday things that damage your property include water, fire, or storm damage.
No one ever thinks they will be burglarized until they are. The Public Policy Institute of California reports that California is ranked #18 in total property crime. That means California has higher than average property crime rates, and that higher rate potentially puts your property at risk.
If the worst happens, you will want to be protected by renters insurance. Keep reading to learn more about the best and cheapest insurance in California.
To help you find the best options for your specific situation, College-Educated scored a sample of insurance providers across California. College Educated ranking examines and scores the following:
- Customer service
How Much Does Renters Insurance Cost?
On average, for a 20-year-old male student, it is about $217 a year. That breaks down to about $18 a month. Your specific situation and required insurance levels affect how much you will pay. Still, the $18 figure is an excellent benchmark to start.
You will find sample quotes for Lemonade for California’s six largest college towns in the chart below.
Lemonade Quotes: College Town Zip Codes
|Premium Cost Per Month
Best and Cheapest Renters Insurance in California: Coverages
The following are typical coverages you will see from all carriers:
- Personal property coverage: The renter’s personal property is covered from loss by fire or theft. Companies typically replace your property in one of two ways. The first way is replacement cost which means the company will replace lost or damaged items with new ones. The second way is called actual cash value. The company will replace the item based on its depreciated value.
- Medical payments: If a visitor is injured on your (the renter) property, the visitor may be eligible for payments on their medical bills related to the injury.
- Personal Liability: If a visitor injures themself while on your rental property, the insurance will pay for their injuries and your legal representation if needed.
- Additional living expenses: If your rental property becomes uninhabitable because of damage to the property, your insurance policy will cover the cost of housing you.
Comparison of Renters Insurance in California
With an average rate of $9 per month, Lemonade is California’s best and cheapest renters insurance.
Lemonade offers a convenient and efficient process from quote to claim. It does this using the magic of artificial intelligence. To file a claim, you head to the Lemonade app on your phone and sign in with your email. Once you sign in, you will:
- Interact with AI Jim to verify your identity
- Upload a short video explaining your claim
- Tell AI Jim everything that was stolen or damaged
The issue with Lemonade’s customer service is that it relies on AI. At times, the company received complaints about communication with claims and policy changes. However, if you are a digital native, the familiarity and navigability of its website will be second nature to you.
Lemonade is a popular company because of its Giveback program, which allows you to direct excess premium to a charity of your choice. In addition, the ease of getting a quote, signing up for a policy, and filing a claim make the company an attractive option. The National Association of Insurance Commission (NAIC) is 0.81, which means it has fewer complaints than average.
Depending on your specific situation, coverage starts as low as $10 per month. The value of USAA comes from the fact that they include flood and earthquake coverage in its policies.
You log in to your account online through USAA’s website or mobile app or call their primary phone line to file a claim. You will need to provide:
- Policy number
- Date of claim
- Relevant information
- Narrative of why you’re making a claim
- Documents, photos, and videos
USAA was created to serve military members and their families. Their policies are specially designed for that specific customer in mind. That means that members enjoy their property coverage when deployed by overseas insurance. This insurance applies to property in storage units as well.
USAA is a highly rated company because of its attention to its members. They provide discounts for the following:
- Active-duty military service
- Bundled coverage
- Safety equipment includes smoke detectors, alarms, and deadbolts
- Location of your property
The National Association of Insurance Commission (NAIC) is 2.35, which means it has more complaints than average.
On average, Safeco’s insurance coverage costs $16 per month in California. This price is mainly based on your zip code and the property’s location.
You can file a claim online with Safeco. The process is somewhat simple; you will need:
- Username and password
- Date of insurance claim
- General details of what happened to constitute the claim
Customer service is a sore spot for Safeco. Although the policy and claims process is robust for the company, people complain because of communication issues and unexpected price hikes in the premium.
Safeco has solid ratings for its discounts and coverage options, but customer service makes people balk at the company. The National Association of Insurance Commission (NAIC) is 1.25, which means it has more complaints than average.
Allstate’s renters’ insurance policy costs $16 per month on average in California.
You will need to log in to your account or use the app to make a claim with Allstate. Allstate will then investigate your claim, make a damage assessment, and review the estimate before wrapping up your claim.
In general, Allstate has good customer service. Most of the complaints originate in the cost compared to their competitors.
The National Association of Insurance Commission (NAIC) score for Allstate is 2.73, which means it has slightly more complaints than average.
Acuity’s insurance coverage costs $16 per month in California. This price is mainly based on your zip code and the property’s location.
To make a claim with Acuity, you can make it online or give Acuity’s main phone number a call.
The company generally has positive reviews and touts an excellent rating on Trustpilot.
The National Association of Insurance Commission (NAIC) for Acuity is .66, which means it has fewer complaints than average.
Nationwide insurance coverage costs, on average, $16.25 per month in California. This price is mainly based on your zip code and the property’s location.
To make a claim with Nationwide, you will need to log in to your account. Then you should call the Nationwide Claims phone number and contact your agent.
You will need to provide the following information:
- Name and address
- General loss
- Nationwide policy
The company generally has negative reviews, and it’s not Brad Paisley’s nor Peyton Manning’s fault! Those commercials are gold! The issue comes from unexpected rate increases with no communication and difficulty during the claims process.
GradGuard’s insurance coverage costs, on average, $20 per month in California. This price is mainly based on your zip code and the property’s location.
To make a claim with GradGuard, you must contact the underwriter, Markel, at 800-236-3113. After that, a claims adjuster will be in contact with you in 48-72 hours.
GradGuard specializes in renters insurance for students. Focusing on students, tuition insurance, and college benefits makes it a generally positively reviewed company. The issue that people have is the limited availability and the confusion about the renters’ insurance underwriter.
The National Association of Insurance Commission (NAIC) is 1.11, which is about average in the number of complaints it receives.
On average, AmFam’s insurance coverage costs $20 per month in California. This price is mainly based on your zip code and the property’s location.
To make a claim with AmFam, you will need to log in to your account or on the app. Then you should call the AmFam claims phone number and contact your agent.
You need the following information:
- Date and time of the event
- Brief description
- Photos of damage
The level of service to customers leaves much to be desired with AmFam. Part of the reason the company struggles with its customers is the claim process.
The National Association of Insurance Commission (NAIC) is 1.18, which means slightly more complaints than average.
Renters insurance California – What You Need to Know
According to the California Department of Insurance, renters insurance must cover:
- Personal property
- Loss of use
- Personal liability
- Medical payments to others
What Does Renters Insurance in California NOT Cover?
Renters insurance does not cover earthquakes, floods, or tidal waves. Another thing that renters insurance does not cover is water damage caused by seepage or leakage from sewage.
You may need to find additional coverage if you think that earthquakes, floods, tidal waves, or seepage may be an issue for you.
Tragic stories happen. It’s a real tragedy when it happens to you. For the price of a pizza, you can safeguard your property with renters insurance.
You should consider your specific coverage needs and decide to check out the best and cheapest renters insurance in California for you.
Annie Johnson is a licensed insurance broker, specializing in auto, home and renters insurance products. She reviews insurance content on College Educated for accuracy and has a particular passion for making sure that college students and recent graduates have proper insurance coverage. Her latest passion includes researching all forms of business insurance, to ensure that recent college grads who look to entrepreneurship can have the right protection.