The Best Renters Insurance in California

Renters insurance is not always required, but it’s so affordable, everyone should have it. Renters insurance, depending on the plan you choose, will protect your belongings if they are damaged due to a covered loss like a fire or theft. It can also help you with hotel expenses while you look for a new rental if your rented space becomes unlivable. Compare your options and you can find the best cheap renters insurance in California. At Simple Dollar, we use SimpleScore to make recommendations. 

Find the Best Renters Insurance in California

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    In this article

      The best renters insurance companies in California 

      Best for guest coverage – Allstate

      If you’re shopping for renters insurance, it’s smart to give Allstate another look. Not only does it  offer renters insurance policies that provide a certain level of base coverage, but you can also pay for add-ons to protect the valuables you cherish the most.

      J.D. Power Rating
      2/5
      AM Best Rating
      A+
      Standard & Poor’s
      AA-
      SimpleScore
      4.2 / 5.0
      close
      SimpleScore Allstate 4.2
      Discounts 5
      Coverage Options 5
      Customer Satisfaction 2
      Support 4
      Customer Satisfaction 5

      Like all renters insurance policies, Allstate renters insurance may also be less expensive than you think. Get a free quote today and take the time to check out rates and coverage options from at least three other companies. These days, Allstate is a popular American brand that offers auto insurance, life insurance and homeowners insurance policies. Not only is it known for offering low prices on a variety of products, it’s known for the many customer discounts it offers as well as its famous slogan, “You’re in good hands.”

      Best for eco-friendly options – Farmers

      Farmers claims to offer superior customer support and a simple claims process, giving you the option to file a claim by calling the company, through your insurance agent or online.

      J.D. Power Rating
      2/5
      AM Best Rating
      A
      Standard & Poor’s
      N/A
      SimpleScore
      3.4 / 5.0
      close
      SimpleScore Farmers 3.4
      Discounts 4
      Coverage Options 3
      Customer Satisfaction 2
      Support 4
      Accessibility 4

      Farmers offers great rates for renters insurance, but its standard renters policies provide rather average coverage. While Farmers allows you to increase your coverage levels, standard renters policies with some other companies have better features for a similar price.

      Best for inflation coverage – Liberty Mutual

      Liberty Mutual sells a wide range of insurance products, including renters insurance. You can also find a wide array of add-ons to ensure that your property is adequately insured.

      J.D. Power Rating
      3/5
      AM Best Rating
      A
      Standard & Poor’s
      A
      SimpleScore
      4 / 5.0
      close
      SimpleScore Liberty Mutual 4
      Discounts 5
      Coverage Options 4
      Customer Satisfaction 2
      Support 4
      Accessibility 5

      While Liberty Mutual’s standard renters insurance policies offer basic coverages, the discount programs exceed most other insurance companies. If a standard policy doesn’t fit your needs, Liberty Mutual has a few options such as earthquake, jewelry and replacement cost coverages to provide more comprehensive protection.

      Best for extended coverage – Nationwide

      While Nationwide renters insurance policies are very affordable overall, keep in mind that some of the choices you make can help you reduce the cost of your policy. For example, you can tailor your policy to include lower coverage limits for personal property or liability, and you can steer clear of buying any add-on coverage.

      J.D. Power Rating
      2/5
      AM Best Rating
      A+
      Standard & Poor’s
      AA+
      SimpleScore
      3.8 / 5.0
      close
      SimpleScore Nationwide 3.8
      Discounts 4
      Coverage Options 5
      Customer Satisfaction 2
      Support 4
      Accessibility 4

      Nationwide’s renters policies cover the contents of your rented home or apartment and they can even provide coverage for loss of use — or the out-of-pocket expenses you’ll encounter as you find another place to live. You can also get coverage for personal liability, medical payments to others, building additions and alterations and credit card coverage that pays for unauthorized charges made to your card.

      Best for customer service – State Farm

      State Farm offers customizable policies to fit your needs. In addition to offering a wide array of coverage options, State Farm is also known for providing excellent customer service.

      J.D. Power Rating
      5/5
      AM Best Rating
      A++
      Standard & Poor’s
      AA
      SimpleScore
      4.2 / 5.0
      close
      SimpleScore State Farm 4.2
      Discounts 3
      Coverage Options 5
      Customer Satisfaction 5
      Support 4
      Accessibility 4

      Founded in 1922, State Farm is a household name for its popular auto insurance, homeowners insurance and life insurance policies. However, the company also offers quality renters insurance for consumers who want to protect their personal property but don’t own their home. Its renters policies offer comprehensive loss protection caused by aircraft, falling objects, fire, freezing, hailstorms, ice, lightning, snow, theft, vandalism and riots.

      Best for basic coverage – Geico

      Geico is well known for offering a wide range of insurance options at an affordable price. But compared to other providers, Geico’s renters insurance policies are average.

      J.D. Power Rating
      N/A
      AM Best Rating
      A++
      Standard & Poor’s
      AA+
      SimpleScore
      3.3 / 5.0
      close
      SimpleScore Geico 3.3
      Discounts 3
      Coverage Options 2
      Customer Satisfaction N/A
      Support 4
      Accessibility 4

      Geico renters insurance can be a good option if you want bare bones coverage for a fair price or already have another type of insurance with Geico. However, if you value reliable customer service, discount options and more flexible policy options, you’re better off taking your business elsewhere.

      Find the Best Renters Insurance in California

      Save money on renters insurance with our simple comparison tool.

      Matching you with providers.
      We found results in
      Click at least 2-3 companies to find the very best rate.

        Powered by HomeInsurance.com (NPN: 8781838)

        America’s top-rated renters insurance

        • Policies starting at just $5/month
        • Sign up in seconds, claims paid in minutes
        • Zero hassle, zero paperwork

        How much does renters insurance cost in California? 

        With 41 million residents, California has a large renter population. Stockton, Sacramento, San Diego, Fresno, Anaheim and Santa Ana are cities where there are less homeowners than there are renters. Rental insurance rates for people who live in California is the third highest in the country. The average cost of renters insurance in California is $182 a year, compared to the national average of $180. You could pay more or less depending on what you add on and which discounts you qualify for.

        [ Read: How Much is Renters Insurance? ]

        California average full coverage renters insurance cost per carrier  

        Insurance Company Full avg. cost Full monthly avg. cost Full weekly average.
        Allstate$180$15$3.75
        Farmers$181$15.08$3.77
        Liberty Mutual$285$23.75$5.94
        Nationwide$240$20$5
        State Farm$144$12$3
        Geico$144$12$3

        The cheapest renters insurance in California  

        State Farm and Geico tie for the cheapest renters insurance in California. Allstate and Farmers come close in third and fourth place — just a one dollar difference between the two. Nationwide comes in fourth place, and Liberty Mutual is the most expensive on this list.

        RankCompany name Avg. annual premium 
        1State Farm$144
        1Geico$144
        2Allstate180
        3Farmers$181
        4Nationwide$240
        5Liberty Mutual$285

        The cheapest renters insurance in California, by city 

        The cheapest renters insurance in California cities includes Sunnyvale, Santa Rosa, and Santa Ana. The cheapest city in California for renters insurance is Sunnyvale.

        CityAvg. annual premium 
        Sunnyvale$157
        Santa Rosa$161
        Santa Ana$165

        Choosing your provider 

        Compare local and national rental insurance carriers when choosing insurance in your state. Determine which company is the best fit for your budget and your needs. You might find a local carrier fits your needs better than a nationwide carrier.

        Local carrier

        Pros 

        • Understands your area better and knows which options you’re going to need covered.
        • Better rates than national providers.
        • Customizable plans according to your location.

        Cons 

        • Might be more likely to close business than a national carrier.
        • Probably not rated with J.D. Power, S&P or AM Best.
        • Doesn’t have as many customer service contact options.

        National carrier

        Pros

        • Is usually rated by AM Best, S&P and J.D. Power.
        • Is usually open 24/7 with customer service available via phone, text, website and live chat.

        Cons 

        • Doesn’t have the personal touch a local carrier might.
        • Policies may be too generic.

        Things to know about renters insurance in California 

        There are some non-cost factors you might want to keep an eye out for when comparing renters insurance in California. Find out which disasters are covered and which are not. Add on coverage to the ones that aren’t included. If one company includes coverage for something you want and another does not, that might be a deciding factor for you. Check the discounts and see what you might qualify for.

        [ Next: The Best Renters Insurance Companies ]

        California’s minimum renters insurance requirements 

        Unlike California car insurance, there are no state requirements for California renters insurance. It’s not required by law, but it might be required by your landlord. It’s best to have more than just the minimum coverage offered by most insurance companies, because California tends to have wildfires and earthquakes. Make sure you are covered in those areas since some insurance companies only provide it as an add on. Check if you’re in a flood area so you can add flood coverage as well. You may want it no matter what, because you just never know.

        [ See: Best Flood Insurance Companies ]

        California renters insurance FAQs

        Renters insurance is not required in California, but some landlords will include a clause within the lease that requires coverage. Regardless of the requirements for your property, renters insurance is still highly recommended to protect you against unexpected damages and loss.

        California is known for its wildfires and earthquakes, so that’s an integral part of coverage. That’s not all that can happen to your home. Things like theft, fire, smoke, lightning and flooding can all wreak havoc on your home and turn your life upside down. When interviewing different renters insurance companies, make sure that there is the right coverage for your property and all of your belongings.

        Most companies offer additional discounts for qualifying parties. Multi-policy discounts are common, as are extra savings for homes with home or fire alarm systems. There are also exclusive discounts that could apply to your renters insurance policy, like Allstate’s claims-free discount for renters without a history of claims. Every discount can save you money when you’re living on a budget.

        We welcome your feedback on this article and would love to hear about your experience with the insurers we recommend. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.

        Methodology

        SimpleScore

        The SimpleScore is a proprietary scoring metric we use to objectively compare products and services at The Simple Dollar.
        For every review, our editorial team:

        • Identifies five measurable aspects to compare across each brand
        • Determines the rating criteria for each aspect score
        • Averages the five aspect scores to produce a single SimpleScore™

        Here’s a breakdown of the five aspect scores and their rating criteria for our renters insurance reviews.

        Why do some brands have different SimpleScores on different pages?

        To ensure the SimpleScore is as helpful and accurate as possible, we developed unique criteria for every category we compare at The Simple Dollar. Since most brands offer a variety of financial solutions, their products and services will score differently depending on what we’re scoring on a given page.

        However, it’s also possible for the same product from the same brand to have multiple SimpleScores. For instance, if we compare State Farm’s home insurance according to our criteria for the best home insurance, it scores a 3.8 out of 5. But when we compare State Farm according to the criteria for the best auto insurance, it scores higher, since the features the company offers can vary by the type of insurance.

        Discounts

        We awarded higher scores to insurance providers with more discounts available on their website.

        Coverage Options

        We gave providers with more renter insurance coverage options a higher score because they’re more likely to have a policy that best meets your needs.

        Support

        We awarded higher scores to renters insurance providers with the most channels for customer support.

        Customer Satisfaction

        We leveraged the J.D. Power Home Insurance Satisfaction Study℠ to see how customers rated their experience with each insurance provider. (If a provider wasn’t included in J.D. Power’s study, we skipped this aspect and averaged the four remaining aspect scores.)

        Accessibility

        We awarded higher scores to insurance providers that have more online and mobile features to easily manage your policy and claims.

        Nicky LeMarco

        Contributing Writer

        Nicky LaMarco is a business and finance writer who has written for Interest, Bizfluent and Houston Chronicles.

        Reviewed by

        • Nashalie Addarich
          Nashalie Addarich
          Insurance Editor

          Nasha Addarich is an editor at The Simple Dollar and a former attorney who specializes in home insurance, auto insurance, life insurance, and savings. She is a former contributing editor to Reviews.com.