Table of Contents
- How much does renters insurance cost in California?
- Average price of renters insurance in California
- The cheapest renters insurance in California: Lemonade
- The best renters insurance in California: State Farm
- Other California renters insurance providers you should consider
- What else do you need to know about renters insurance in California?
- How we gathered our data on California renters insurance prices
How much does renters insurance cost in California?
The average price of renters insurance in California is $16.44 per month, which is a bit cheaper than the national average (approximately $20 per month). The highest renters insurance price we found was offered by Nationwide in Los Angeles ($30.26), and the lowest was offered by Lemonade in Chula Vista ($7.00).
Prices tend to skew higher in California’s major cities, particularly Los Angeles and Oakland, where the average monthly prices are $19.94 and $21.02, respectively. This makes sense, as both cities have fairly high crime rates, and crime is one of the main factors that affect the price of renters insurance.
The other major factors that affect pricing include:
- Weather: If you live in an area that’s prone to extreme weather, that will usually raise the price of renters insurance. For example, because droughts are very common in parts of California, most insurers will charge more because of the increased risk of fire.
- Your coverage: Unsurprisingly, the more insurance you buy, the more you’ll have to pay each month.
- Your deductible: Similarly, if you pick a lower renters insurance deductible (the amount you have to pay on your own when you file a claim) your provider will charge you more because they’re assuming more risk.
Note that in many states, your credit score also affects the price of renters insurance. However, in California, it’s illegal for insurers to run your credit, which means you can get renters insurance with no credit check.
Below, we’ve broken down the average price of renters insurance in California by city and by insurer. We briefly explain how we collected this data at the bottom of this article.
Average price of renters insurance in California
The table below shows the average price of renters insurance in California’s major cities, both per month and per year.
|City||Price (monthly)||Price (yearly)|
The next table shows the average price that each renters insurance company offers in California. It also shows how their prices differ from the statewide average (i.e. from their competitors).
|Insurer||Price||Difference from average|
The cheapest renters insurance in California: Lemonade
Lemonade is by far the cheapest renters insurance provider in California, offering policies for just $12.08 per month on average.
They’re the most affordable option in virtually every city. The only exception is Sacramento, where Liberty Mutual sells policies for slightly less ($15.83, as compared with Lemonade’s $16.75).
The difference between Lemonade and their competitors is especially striking in Los Angeles, where you can get Lemonade’s renters insurance for about $11.84, which is more than 40% cheaper than the average.
Should you get Lemonade’s renters insurance in California?
Lemonade’s renters insurance is cheap, but is it any good? It depends on what you’re looking for.
Because Lemonade’s strategy is to reduce its overhead by relying on AI, it has a much smaller staff than its competitors, and it doesn’t operate any physical agencies at all. While that cuts down on costs, it means that if you need help with your insurance, it can be pretty hard to reach anyone.
Before signing up, take a look at Lemonade’s other pros and cons:
Benefits of Lemonade renters insurance in California
- Earthquake coverage: Lemonade offers an earthquake endorsement in California for about $10 per month. Although it will significantly increase your premiums, we recommend getting it — everyone knows that California is prone to earthquakes, which are some of the only disasters that can completely destroy all of your possessions in one go.
- Lemonade’s app: You can file all your claims with Lemonade through their well-designed mobile app, which is great for people who want no-hassle renters insurance that they can handle online.
Disadvantages of Lemonade renters insurance in California
- Poor customer service: Lemonade’s reputation for customer service and claims handling isn’t very good, which makes sense because they’re still a small company. Although other insurers are a bit more expensive, you do get something for your money (insurance agents and adjusters that you can actually get in touch with).
Overall, if you’re looking for the cheapest renters insurance in California, we recommend Lemonade, but if your budget will let you spend a few more dollars per month, we suggest looking at your other options.
The best renters insurance in California: State Farm
State Farm’s renters insurance prices in California are slightly cheaper than the average, at $15.70 per month.
State Farm has a large network of competent agents and a lot of locations, so if you need help with your insurance, you’ll be able to get in touch with someone quickly. State Farm also offers several renters insurance riders that few (if any) of their competitors offer.
Benefits of State Farm renters insurance in California
- Earthquake coverage: Unlike Lemonade, State Farm doesn’t offer earthquake endorsements, but it does offer separate earthquake insurance for renters through the California Earthquake Authority (CEA). You can buy CEA earthquake insurance along with your renters insurance for an affordable price ($5–$10 per month).
- Cyber event coverage: State Farm is one of the only major renters insurance companies that offers a rider that covers cybercrime, including malware and data theft. In 2020, California was the state with the highest number of cybercrime victims, so we recommend spending the money on personal cyber insurance.
- Personalized service: Although nobody looks forward to dealing with insurance agents, sometimes you really need to get in touch with someone, and State Farm’s massive network makes that very easy.
Disadvantages of State Farm renters insurance in California
- Price: As mentioned, State Farm isn’t your cheapest option in California. If you’re not that interested in your actual coverage and you just want the most affordable option — if, for example, you’re only getting a policy because your landlord requires renters insurance — we recommend exploring cheaper options, like Liberty Mutual and Lemonade.
Overall we found that State Farm offered the best coverage for the price in California.
Other California renters insurance providers you should consider
It’s possible that another insurer offers coverage that’s more suited to your circumstances. We’ve also looked at the best renters insurance companies in California for:
- Military service members and veterans
- Dog owners
- Car owners / people with auto insurance
- College students and first-time renters
Best California renters insurance for military service members and veterans: USAA
If you’re eligible for USAA’s renters insurance, we recommend choosing them regardless of where you live. They have a reputation for providing excellent customer service and for handling insurance claims quickly and competently.
USAA is particularly attractive in California because their policies always include earthquake coverage — unlike their competitors, who only offer it via a separate insurance policy or a rider. USAA also covers floods, which is a big deal in California’s low-lying regions, which are surprisingly prone to flooding.
The catch is that not everyone is eligible for USAA’s insurance. It’s only available to military service members, veterans, and family members of USAA members. They don’t make exceptions, so if you’re not eligible for their renters insurance, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
Best California renters insurance for dog owners: State Farm (again)
This policy of breed blacklisting is illegal in a few states, but it’s legal in California. Several of California’s largest insurers, including Allstate, will not write you a renters insurance policy if you own one of their blacklisted breeds.
Fortunately, State Farm has a firm policy of never asking about your dog’s breed when you buy renters insurance. According to their website, “It’s not the breed, it’s the bite.”
They’re the only major insurer that has committed to never implement a breed blacklist, which makes them the most dog-friendly renters insurance company in California (and arguably in the rest of the country, too).
Best California renters insurance for college students and first-time renters: Lemonade
A lot of young renters are fans of Lemonade’s insurance. It’s easy to see why — if you prefer handling things online, like many young people, their tech-focused approach will really suit you.
Lemonade’s unproven business model and small staff prevent us from recommending them to everyone. However, the problems with their insurance are mostly relevant to people who are planning on sticking with them for several years (at which point their shaky finances might start affecting you) or who have a large inventory of things to insure (because their team doesn’t always cope well with large insurance claims).
If you’re a college student or recent grad and you’re moving into your first apartment, you might not have that much stuff to insure. You also might not be concerned about getting insurance from a company that you’re sure will be around for years.
If that’s the case, there’s really no downside to getting Lemonade’s renters insurance. As mentioned, they’re by far the cheapest provider in California, and their polished website and mobile app make them arguably the lowest-stress option as well.
Best California renters insurance if you already have auto insurance: your current insurer
Most providers offer discounts when you buy more than one type of insurance from them. If you already have auto insurance and your current insurer also offers renters insurance, you’ll probably be able to get around a 10% bundling discount on one or both policies if you buy them together.
Because car insurance is a lot more expensive than renters insurance, costing around $1,500–$1,600 per year on average, getting a 10% discount on it often means you’re basically getting renters insurance for free. This means that bundling is almost always your cheapest option.
If you have auto insurance, call up your provider and see if they offer renters insurance before shopping around for a policy from another company.
How to learn more about renters insurance providers in California
If you’re still not sure who to choose, check out our renters insurance reviews for a breakdown of each company and the metrics that different organizations use to rate them, such as their J.D. Power and AM Best ratings.
Read our reviews of:
What else do you need to know about renters insurance in California?
Insurance varies substantially by state. There are a few things you should be aware of about renters insurance in California:
Wildfires are covered by all renters insurance policies (and so are volcanoes)
Although you might have read that renters insurance doesn’t cover natural disasters, that’s not quite true. For instance, renters insurance covers all types of fires, including wildfires. That’s a big deal in California, which gets hit by drought-induced brush fires every few years.
Moreover, renters insurance also covers volcanic eruptions. We hope that never becomes relevant to you, but if you happen to live in the shadow of one of California’s active volcanoes, you might be really glad for that coverage someday.
You can get earthquake insurance through the California Earthquake Authority (CEA)
If you live in California, you should get earthquake insurance. Renters insurance doesn’t normally cover earthquakes, but some providers offer earthquake endorsements. If yours doesn’t, ask your provider if they offer a separate earthquake insurance policy.
Although you can buy an earthquake insurance policy from your usual insurer, it will technically be written by the California Earthquake Authority, a nonprofit organization that provides earthquake insurance to California residents. Earthquake insurance is quite affordable if you’re a tenant because the CEA doesn’t have to insure the actual building you live in (that’s your landlord’s responsibility).
You can use the CEA’s earthquake insurance premium calculator to find out how much your earthquake policy will cost. Unless you’re insuring an unusually large amount of personal property, i.e. more than $50,000, you probably won’t have to pay more than $5–$10 per month.
Does renters insurance require a credit check in California?
No, renters insurance doesn’t require a credit check in California. As mentioned above, California has banned insurance companies from using your credit-based insurance score to decide how much to charge you for your policy, which means it’s one of the few states where your credit doesn’t affect how much you have to pay for renters insurance.
Can landlords require renters insurance in California?
Yes, landlords can require renters insurance in California. The only state where landlords are banned from making renters insurance mandatory is Oklahoma.
How we gathered our data on California renters insurance prices
To find out the average price of California renters insurance, we obtained quotes from every major insurance provider for the 15 most populous cities in the state.
The renters insurance quotes assume the following:
- Insured party: 30-year old male, employed, unmarried, with no pets
- Personal property coverage: $30,000
- Personal liability coverage: $100,000
- Guest medical coverage: $1,000
- Loss-of-use coverage: Insurer’s default (usually based off personal property coverage)
- Deductible: $500
Insurers take demographics into account when they determine pricing, so you’ll receive slightly different quotes (unless you also happen to also be a 30-year-old unmarried male). However, renters insurance is cheap enough that the difference probably won’t be very large in absolute terms.
Our monthly rates don’t include down payments or installation fees. To learn how to avoid these charges, read our guide on how to get renters insurance with no down payment.
The average price of renters insurance by city and insurer
The following table shows the average price offered by each insurer in each city in California. We used this data to create the tables higher up in the article.
There are 10 insurers listed on this table; scroll to the right to view quotes for all of them.
|City||Allstate||Geico||Progressive||State Farm||Liberty Mutual||Nationwide||Lemonade||Midvale||Farmers||Wawanesa||Average|
In this table, “N/A” means we were unable to get a quote, although you might still be able to get renters insurance from that provider by contacting a local insurance agent.
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