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Best Renters Insurance in California (2021)

Protect your belongings from damage and yourself from liability claims with a California renters insurance policy. To see who offers the best policies in California, keep reading our review.

California house in Santa Barbara. Alamy

If you want to protect the belongings in your rental property or your landlord is requiring you to purchase renters insurance, keep reading this review to learn about the top three renters insurance providers in California and tips to help you find the best renters insurance policy for you and your home.

California’s Top Renters Insurance Companies

  1. Allstate
  2. Nationwide
  3. USAA

Allstate, Nationwide, and USAA are the best renters insurance providers in California based on their coverage options, prices, customer service, discounts, and endorsements.

1. Allstate

Allstate has the best personal property coverage compared to the providers in this review. The company caps coverage at $150,000, which is $50,000 more than what other providers offer. Customers can get more protection by purchasing the scheduled personal property endorsement or the watches, furs, and jewelry endorsement.

Compare the advantages and disadvantages of signing up for an Allstate policy:

Allstate Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Pros Cons
✔ Offers a discount of up to 25% for being retired ✘ Coverage limits vary by state
✔ Provides more personal property coverage through the scheduled personal property and watches/furs/jewelry endorsements ✘ Website doesn’t list covered events
✔ Gives you three quotes when you use the online quote tool -

2. Nationwide

The defining feature of a Nationwide renters insurance policy is its nine endorsements, which allow you to customize your renters insurance coverage. These endorsements include personal injury, limited water backup, and more, allowing you to cover virtually every part of your home.

Here’s an overview of Nationwide renters insurance:

Nationwide Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Pros Cons
✔ Provides more personal liability coverage options than Allstate and USAA ✘ Not available in all 50 states
✔ Has close to 95 years of experience ✘ Doesn’t have 24/7 customer service
✔ Offers more endorsements than Allstate and USAA -

3. USAA

USAA is unique because it covers natural disasters in all of its policies. Most insurance companies, including the other two providers in this review, only offer flood and earthquake coverage as endorsements or separate policies, making USAA a viable option for states like California that are prone to natural disasters.

Compare the benefits and drawbacks of USAA:

USAA Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Pros Cons
✔ All personal property coverage is actual cash value (ACV), which means you’ll get money to replace damaged items with new items ✘ Only available for current or present military members and their immediate family
✔ Premiums start at $10 per month ✘ Lowest Better Business Bureau rating out of the providers in this review with a B+
✔ Offers up to $1 million worth of liability coverage -

Our Conclusion

Allstate, Nationwide, and USAA are all established companies in the insurance industry that offer affordable renters insurance policies with several coverage options in the Golden State. We recommend getting quotes from all three providers so that you can compare prices and find the best policy for you and your home. It’s also a good idea to get free cost information from other providers in your area—you can do so by using the tool below:

California Renters Insurance Coverage

You can expect your renters insurance policy to have four types of coverage:

  • Liability Coverage: This protects you against liability claims if you cause bodily injury to someone else or damage their personal belongings. Liability coverage may even cover your legal fees if you’re sued.
  • Personal Property Coverage: Renters insurance covers the cost of replacing your items when they’re damaged by a covered event. There are two types of this kind of protection: replacement cash value (RCV) and actual cash value (ACV). RCV is more expensive, but it replaces your items with new ones. ACV only replaces your items based on their current, depreciated value.
  • Coverage for Medical Payments to Others: When a guest is injured in your apartment, you can file a claim to have their medical bills paid for by your insurance company.
  • Loss of Use Coverage: If a covered event damages your home enough that you need to temporarily live elsewhere during repairs, your policy will pay for those additional living expenses.

How Much Does a Renters Insurance Policy Cost in California?

According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average renters insurance policy in California typically costs between $180 and $190 per year, or about $15 per month. This makes the cost of renters insurance in this state about the same as the national average of $15 per month.

Factors to Consider Before Buying Renters Insurance

As you look into renters insurance policies, keep these factors in mind:

  • Earthquakes: California is prone to earthquakes because of the large number of fault lines running through the state. Most insurance companies won’t cover natural disasters in their base policies, which is why we recommend USAA for that type of coverage. However, insurance companies often offer an add-in for earthquakes, which is true of Nationwide.
  • Cost Factors: If your rental is old and farther away from a fire station or fire hydrant, your policy may cost more. If you have a lot of renting experience, a high credit score, and a clean claims history, your renters insurance rate will be lower.
  • Pets: Oftentimes, your pet will be covered under the liability portion of your policy. However, if your pet has a history of aggression they may not be covered. Read your policy to understand if your pets will receive coverage. If they aren’t covered under the base plan, consider buying a pet damage endorsement or separate pet insurance.
  • Bundling Policies: Most insurance companies give you a multi-policy discount for bundling your renters insurance with other policies, like auto insurance and life insurance.

If you’re not sure which renters insurance policy is best for you, compare the top-rated California renters insurance providers below.

Compare Renters Insurance Companies

Factor Allstate Nationwide USAA
Factor Allstate Nationwide USAA
Monthly Price About $16 About $20 As low as $10
Discounts Available 5 discounts 3 discounts 3 discounts
BBB Rating A+ A+ B+
Types of Coverage 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, liability, medical payments to others
Personal Property Coverage Limits $25,000–$150,000 No limit $25,000–$750,000
Liability Coverage Limits $100,000, $200,000, $300,000, or $500,000 $100,000, $200,000, $300,000, $400,000, or $500,000 $100,000, $300,000, $500,000, or $1,000,000
ACV or RCV ACV or RCV ACV or RCV RCV
Unique Add-Ons Scheduled personal property, uninsured/underinsured motorist Limited water backup, additional insureds Computer and tablet
Customer Service 24/7 24/7 for claims; limited for sales and service 24/7 for claims; limited for sales and service

Frequently Asked Questions About Renters Insurance in California

What other insurance companies offer renters insurance in California?

Geico, State Farm, Progressive, Farmers, and Liberty Mutual are other big insurance names that provide renters insurance to California renters. Toggle and Lemonade are not as well-known, but they both offer coverage that start at $5 per month.

Is there a cancellation fee for canceling renters insurance in California?

Most companies don’t charge a fee for canceling your renters insurance policy, but check with your specific provider to confirm this is the case.

How much liability coverage should I get in California?

If your landlord requires renters insurance, check with them first to see how much liability coverage they want you to get. Most landlords require a liability coverage limit of $100,000.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.