If you don’t have thousands of dollars in the bank to cover liability claims and replacements to damaged belongings, a renters insurance policy can help. For about $14 per month, you can get personal liability, medical payments to others, personal property, and loss of use coverage.
Since finding the best renters insurance company for your budget and home will require some research, the This Old House Review team is here to help with this guide on New Jersey renters insurance.
3 Best Renters Insurance Companies in New Jersey
We chose and ranked the three best renters insurance companies in New Jersey based on coverage, pricing, customer service, discounts, endorsements, and more.
1. American Family
American Family offers the best customer service out of the insurance providers in this review. If you need to file a liability, personal property, medical payments to others, or loss of use claim, you can talk to a customer service representative at any hour of the day, any day of the week. You also have access to a customer login and mobile app for self-service.
Here are some benefits of choosing an American Family policy:
- Unique travel protection add-on that offers benefits, like trip cancellation and global medical insurance
- Five discounts, including ones for using auto pay and for being related to another American Family customer
- 24/7 customer service for all policy, claims, sales, and general questions
2. Liberty Mutual
Liberty Mutual has the most industry experience out of the providers in this review, with over 100 years in the business, but that isn’t the only notable feature about the company. Liberty Mutual has liability coverage of up to $1 million, 24/7 customer service for claims, and five customer discounts.
Take a look at what makes Liberty Mutual unique:
- Premiums as low as $5 per month
- Actual cash value and replacement cash value personal property policies, which allow you to choose between replacing items based on their current value or based on their new value
- Available in all 50 states
Nationwide offers both comprehensive and customizable coverage. In addition to liability, loss of use, medical payments, and personal property coverage, customers can get ordinance or law coverage, building additions and alterations, and credit card protection with every policy.
Here are some other notable features of a Nationwide policy:
- Endorsements not offered by the other providers, like refrigerated property and limited water backup
- Over 90 years of experience
- A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
New Jersey Renters Insurance Coverage
New Jersey policies have four areas of coverage and optional add-ons called endorsements:
- Liability—If your pipe bursts and damages your neighbor’s belongings or if your dog bites your neighbor, this part of your policy will replace their belongings or pay their medical bills. Most New Jersey property managers will require this type of coverage so that they don’t have to take on the cost themselves.
- Personal property—This protects the personal belongings in your apartment that you own. Take inventory of your items before signing up for a policy so you get enough coverage to protect all of your belongings.
- Loss of use—When a fire or another event damages your rental enough that you have to temporarily live elsewhere during repairs, your insurance will cover those living expenses.
- Medical payments to others—When a guest injures themselves in your home, your policy will cover a certain amount of their medical bills.
- Endorsements—If you want extra protection for items or events that aren’t covered in your policy, you can check with your provider about additional coverage options. Most companies will offer jewelry or scheduled personal property, identity theft, and earthquake coverage.
How Much Does a Renters Insurance Policy Cost in New Jersey?
The average cost of renters insurance policies in New Jersey in 2017 was $165 per year, or $13.75 per month, according to the Insurance Information Institute. This is lower than the national average of $15 per month.
Factors to Consider Before Buying Renters Insurance
As you search for a policy to protect your home, keep these factors in mind:
- Named-peril vs. all-risk policies—Renters insurance policies are either named-peril or all-risk. Named-peril only covers the events listed, while all-risk policies cover all events except the ones mentioned as exclusions. Regardless of which policy you choose, make sure you know what is and isn’t covered before purchasing from a provider.
- Climate—New Jersey can experience cold winters with several feet of snow. This extreme weather can cause frozen pipes and other damage from the weight of snow. Before buying a policy, make sure you have coverage for these events so that you don’t have to pay out of pocket for repairs.
- Auto insurance provider—You may be able to get a discount for buying renters insurance through the same company that provides your auto insurance.
- Valuable items—The personal property portion of your policy likely won’t cover valuable items, like jewelry and antiques. If you own a variety of those items, you may want to look into an endorsement for them.
Compare New Jersey Renters Insurance Options
If you’re not sure which renters insurance policy is best for you, compare the providers below.
Compare Renters Insurance Companies
|Companies||American Family||Liberty Mutual||Nationwide|
|Companies||American Family||Liberty Mutual||Nationwide|
|Types of coverage||Personal property, loss of use, liability, medical payments to others||Personal property, loss of use, liability, medical payments to others||Personal property, loss of use, liability, medical payments to others, ordinance or law, building additions and alterations, credit card|
|Personal property coverage limits||$10,000–$100,000||$15,000, $20,000, or $25,000||No limit|
|Liability coverage limits||$100,000, $300,000, or $500,000||$100,000, $200,000, $300,000, $500,000, or $1,000,000||$100,000, $200,000, $300,000, $400,000, or $500,000|
|ACV or RCV||RCV||ACV or RCV||ACV or RCV|
|Monthly price||Less than $15||As low as $5||About $20|
|Unique add-ons||Travel protection, personal injury||Blanket jewelry||Limited water backup, additional insureds|
|Customer service||24/7||24/7 for claims; limited for sales and service||24/7 for claims; limited for sales and service|
American Family, Liberty Mutual, and Nationwide offer the most comprehensive renters insurance in New Jersey, offering several add-on and discount options. Before picking a provider, get renters insurance quotes from all three so that you can compare coverage and pricing:
Frequently Asked Questions About Renters Insurance in New Jersey
How does New Jersey renters insurance work?
When an event that’s listed as covered on your policy damages your belongings, makes your home inhabitable, causes damage to your neighbor or their belongings, or injures your guest, you can file a claim.
Most companies have a customer portal to file the claim yourself or a phone number to file a claim with a customer service representative. Some companies will also have a mobile app or a chat function on their website.
Your provider will cover the cost of the event as long as it doesn’t exceed the amount of coverage you purchased. If the damage exceeds the amount of coverage in your policy, you’ll have to pay the remaining amount.
Why do I want personal property coverage if I don’t have a lot of belongings?
If you’re a first-time renter, adding coverage to the few belongings you have will protect them if they incur damage. Look into companies that have no or low personal property limitations, like Toggle, State Farm, and American Family, so that you don’t have to pay for extra personal property coverage that you won’t use.
What events does renters insurance typically cover?
Here’s a list of covered losses found in most New Jersey renters insurance policies:
- Fire and lightning
- Windstorm and hail
- Theft and vandalism
- Damage by vehicle
- Smoke damage
- Falling objects
- Weight of snow, ice, and sleet
- Water damage not caused by flooding
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