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Christopher O’Rourke
Christopher O’RourkeVP of Property Claims at Mercury Insurance
Earl L Jones
Earl L JonesInsurance Agent and Agency Owner at Farmers Insurance
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Cheap Renters Insurance Companies in California

Many customers select their renters insurance provider based on overall cost. In California, the two most affordable carriers are Lemonade and Allstate. Lemonade’s coverage costs $7 per month, or $87 a year on average. For an Allstate policy, you’ll spend an average of $11 per month or $129 per year.

MoneyGeek’s data on providers’ monthly and annual premiums are for a policy with personal property coverage of $20,000, liability coverage of $100,000 and a deductible of $500. The costs are based on quotes in several ZIP codes across the state of California.

Personal Property Coverage:

$20,000

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Company
Amountper year
1. Lemonade
In 2021, Lemonade ranked #1 for the cheapest renters insurance with $20,000 in personal property coverage in California.
$87
2. Allstate
In 2021, Allstate ranked #2 for the cheapest renters insurance with $20,000 in personal property coverage in California.
$129
3. State Farm
In 2021, State Farm ranked #3 for the cheapest renters insurance with $20,000 in personal property coverage in California.
$130
4. Farmers
In 2021, Farmers ranked #4 for the cheapest renters insurance with $20,000 in personal property coverage in California.
$147
5. Travelers
In 2021, Travelers ranked #5 for the cheapest renters insurance with $20,000 in personal property coverage in California.
$158
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Best Renters Insurance Companies in California

Besides price, there are many other important factors customers may consider when choosing a renters insurance company. To pick the best renters insurance carriers in California, MoneyGeek ranked companies based on three factors: policy rates, customer service scores from J.D. Power and financial stability ratings from AM Best. The findings show that USAA is the best renters insurance company in California, with a score of 98 out of 100. However, keep in mind that its services are available only to former and current military members and their families. The next best carrier is State Farm, with a score of 94.


1

USAAScore: 98

4.8/5

Affordability

5/5

User Satisfaction

5/5

Financial Stability


USAA's is affordable and its policies all offer replacement cost coverage, making it exceptionally good value for those who are eligible.

2

State FarmScore: 94

4.9/5

Affordability

4.1/5

User Satisfaction

5/5

Financial Stability


Apart from basic coverage, State Farm offers optional features such as roommate/additional insured individuals, identity theft restoration. State Farm also makes it easy to schedule coverage, meaning you can increase the coverage limits for specific valuable items.

3

AllstateScore: 93

4.9/5

Affordability

4.2/5

User Satisfaction

4.5/5

Financial Stability


Apart from basic coverage, Allstate offers add-ons such as flood insurance, personal umbrella insurance, scheduled personal property and identity restoration coverage. This provider stands out for its wide range of discounts. Other notable aspects include useful online tools and resources, good financial strength and excellent claims satisfaction.

4

FarmersScore: 93

4.8/5

Affordability

4.6/5

User Satisfaction

4/5

Financial Stability


Farmers offers standard coverage as well as optional add-ons such as identity theft restoration, electronics policies and replacement cost coverage. Farmers' coverage is widely available with a range of features. Their agents are easy to contact and you can get prompt and efficient customer support.

5

TravelersScore: 92

4.8/5

Affordability

3.9/5

User Satisfaction

5/5

Financial Stability


Travelers offers standard coverage, as well as bonuses like contents replacement cost and valuable items plus. Additional features include flood coverage (you’ll need to buy a separate policy) and umbrella policies. Travelers' unique services include coverage for travel, events and boats. Travelers offers a mobile app that you can use to report a claim, check the claim’s status, view coverage options, assess existing coverage and more.

Largest Renters Insurance Companies in California

The leading insurance companies in California based on market share are State Farm (18%), Farmers (15%), Liberty Mutual (6%), CSAA (6%) and Allstate (6%). That means these five companies cover nearly 52% of the renters insurance market in the state. While the ideal solution is different for everyone, many renters feel confident by choosing a larger carrier, as larger carriers typically have the financial stability to pay out claims without hassle.

Company
Market Share
1. State Farm
In 2021, State Farm ranked #1 in California for renters insurance market share.
17.6%
2. Farmers
In 2021, Farmers ranked #2 in California for renters insurance market share.
15.4%
3. Liberty Mutual
In 2021, Liberty Mutual ranked #3 in California for renters insurance market share.
6.4%
4. CSAA
In 2021, CSAA ranked #4 in California for renters insurance market share.
6.3%
5. Allstate
In 2021, Allstate ranked #5 in California for renters insurance market share.
5.9%

Average Cost of Renters Insurance in California

$0
$0

renters insurance is 0.0% more than the average.

In California, renters insurance can be expensive compared to other states. The average annual rate is $238, which is $79 more than the national average. These prices are for a policy that offers personal property coverage of $20,000, liability coverage of $100,000 and a deductible of $500.

When you compare renters insurance prices from several providers, you have a better chance of finding the most affordable rate. For instance, in California, you can save about hundreds of dollars per year by picking the cheapest company, Lemonade, over the costliest carrier, Nationwide.

What Factors Impact Renters Insurance Cost in California

Several factors can impact renters insurance cost in California, including:

  • Location: ZIP code is important because areas with a higher risk of crime, wildfire damage and adverse weather conditions typically have higher rates.
  • Coverage Amount: The more coverage you purchase, the higher your premium.
  • Deductible: You have to pay a deductible to get your claim processed. A policy with a higher deductible will have a lower premium because you are required to pay more. In contrast, a plan with a lower deductible costs more because the carrier needs to pay more to cover your items.
  • Actual Cash Value (ACV) vs. Replacement Cost Value (RCV): An ACV policy considers the loss of value of your items over time, so it’ll pay less for old possessions. An RCV policy will reimburse you for a new item of the same type and quality. ACV plans cost less because they pay less for each claim. RCV packages are more expensive, but they mean you’ll get higher payout for your claim.
  • Credit Score: Providers in other states may consider your credit score while determining your premium, but California does not allow credit score to affect the cost of renters insurance rates.
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Renters Insurance in California: What You Need to Know

Spending on renters insurance is a smart investment because you can get protection for your valuable personal items at a low cost.

While renters insurance isn’t required in California, the cost of it is relatively low compared to the average monthly price of rent. In the state, about 44% of people are renters, and the average monthly rental rate is $1,614. The average monthly premium is $20 for a basic policy with $20,000 in personal property coverage, $100,000 in liability coverage and a $500 deductible. This rate is 1.23% of the average monthly price of rent.

What Renters Insurance Typically Covers in California

Check what exactly your policy covers before you buy renters insurance in California. A standard renters insurance package will cover personal property, additional living expenses, liability insurance and medical payments.

In California, personal property coverage will typically pay for damages caused by natural disasters like tornadoes, wildfires and others.

What Renters Insurance Typically Does Not Cover in California

Renters insurance in California does not cover all situations. For instance, the following common problems may not be covered by your policy:

  • Flooding: Coverage typically includes water damage from broken pipes, but flooding due to extreme weather events is generally excluded. In California, flooding due to natural disasters is quite common, so it’s recommended to get flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
  • Earthquake Damage: A standard policy does not cover earthquake damage. California is at risk of earthquakes as it is situated on a fault line, therefore it’s advisable to buy additional earthquake coverage.
  • Structural Damage: Landlords have to buy extra coverage for their property’s frame and structure as they are not covered.
  • Roommate Property: Your roommate’s possessions are not covered, so they’ll need to buy their own policy.
  • Expensive Items: You need to get add-on coverage for costly items and valuables as they are excluded from standard renters insurance policies.

Before buying a renters insurance package, get clarifications on what it does and does not cover. This information can help you report accurate and approved claims.

FAQs About Renters Insurance in California


Is renters insurance required in California?This is an icon

California law does not stipulate renters insurance as mandatory for tenants.

Do you need renters insurance in California?This is an icon

It’s smart to get renters insurance in California as it can protect your valuable belongings at an affordable cost.

Can your landlord in California require renters insurance?This is an icon

Yes, landlords in California can include renters insurance as a condition for leasing their property.

How much is renters insurance in California?This is an icon

As per MoneyGeek’s reports, the average cost of a renters insurance policy in California for $20,000 in personal property coverage and $100,000 of liability coverage is $20 per month.

Who has the cheapest renters insurance in California?This is an icon

Lemonade is the most affordable renters insurance provider in California, with an average cost of $7 per month or $87 per year.

Insurance Rates

Compare Renters Insurance Rates

Ensure you're getting the best rate for your renters insurance. Compare quotes from the top insurance companies.

Expert Insight on Renters Insurance in California

  1. What advice would you give for tenants looking to buy a renters insurance policy in California?

    In California, renters insurance isn't required by law, though many landlords require it to live in their building. In a state where nearly 7 million people rent their homes, having renters insurance is an inexpensive and easy way to protect your belongings and add liability protection, even if it isn’t required. The peace of mind you’ll get from knowing you are covered is worth the price.

    If you are buying renters insurance in California, make sure you have enough personal property coverage to start over from scratch. Make sure you have enough loss of use and additional living expenses coverage to give you at least one year of rent for the area. Given our area, select at least $300,000 for liability coverage. Renters are still responsible for their actions, and $300,000 in liability coverage is a nice place to start. If they are high-income earners, then they will need to look at getting additional coverage for liability called an umbrella policy.

  2. What considerations should tenants in California take when determining the best renters insurance company for them?

    Regional insurers are often more attuned to their policyholders’ needs and can offer better rates for the same types and amounts of coverage as national insurers.

    In California, due to the fires, they have to first find a company that is writing renters insurance in their ZIP code. Make sure the renters insurance policy matches their full needs and lifestyle. Make sure the renters policy has real replacement coverage for their personal property. Due to the fires, make sure the insurance company’s loss of use and additional living benefits include coverage for mandatory evacuations.

  3. Are there any environmental factors renters should consider when deciding whether or not to buy a renters insurance policy in California?

    Consider the terrain in which you live and what events you would likely need coverage for. For example, Californians can be subject to flooding or earthquakes, neither of which is covered by a typical renters insurance policy. Do your research and talk to an insurance agent to determine the types and amount of coverage you’ll need based on where you live.

    In California, we are subject to earthquakes, mudslides and flooding. No renters insurance policy covers those items. Therefore, renters must take this into account and get the appropriate coverage. Yes, these are additional insurance policies and costs. However, they are much cheaper than the alternative, depending on FEMA.


Christopher O’Rourke
Christopher O’RourkeVP of Property Claims at Mercury Insurance
Earl L Jones
Earl L JonesInsurance Agent and Agency Owner at Farmers Insurance

Renters Insurance in California Analysis: Methodology

MoneyGeek analyzed renters insurance premiums from eight of the top insurance companies in California that were provided in partnership with Quadrant. Our analysis includes quotes from ZIP codes across California. Quotes were gathered for policies with personal property coverage of $20,000, $50,000 and $100,000; liability coverage of $100,000 and a deductible of $500.

About the Authors

The MoneyGeek editorial team has decades of combined experience in writing and publishing information about how people should manage money and credit. Our editors have worked with numerous publications including The Washington Post, The Daily Business Review, HealthDay, and Time, Inc., and have won numerous journalism awards. Our talented team of contributing writers include mortgage experts, veteran financial reporters, and award-winning journalists. Learn more about the MoneyGeek team.