The Best Renters Insurance in Florida of 2023 – Picks by Bob Vila – Bob Vila

By Karon Warren and Jeff Keleher | Published Dec 29, 2022 1:21 PM
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Surprisingly, many renters don’t realize they need renters insurance for apartments and rental homes to protect their own belongings. The property manager or landlord is responsible for providing insurance for the building structure, but that responsibility ends inside the walls of the apartment or home. To protect a renter’s personal items in the event they are damaged or stolen, renters need renting insurance to be able to repair or replace those items. Renters insurance also provides some coverage if someone is injured in the renter’s home (regardless of fault), and the liability portion of the policy protects the renter in the event they are found legally responsible for accidental injuries or property damage to a third party. In addition, if the renter must stay elsewhere during the time their rental home is being repaired after a covered incident, renters insurance helps pay for those increased living expenses. That’s why it’s crucial to find the best renters insurance.
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Similarly to customers looking for the best homeowners insurance in Florida, customers looking for the best renters insurance in Florida will want to look for insurance companies that provide sufficient coverage limits and multiple policy options (including additional policies) to protect their belongings, make it easy to get an insurance quote and file a claim, offer various deductible and premium options, offer discounts to cut the cost of the policy, and have positive AM Best ratings (if they are rated).
Apartment insurance needs to be able to cover the cost to replace all of a renter’s personal belongings, so customers will want to make sure their chosen insurance company has coverage amounts that equal or surpass what it would take to repair damaged items or replace them at today’s prices. To make sure they have the right amount of renters insurance coverage, renters are advised to make a list of all their personal belongings and their values, and then total those amounts to make sure they get the coverage amount needed to adequately cover all their belongings. Having this estimate beforehand helps ensure the customer purchases the right amount of coverage and isn’t left paying out of pocket to replace belongings after a covered event. If an insurance company isn’t able to provide the amount of coverage required to cover a renter’s personal property, the renter can continue searching for one that will.
Basic renters insurance offers coverage for a policyholder’s personal belongings, and it also provides liability coverage, medical payments to others if they are injured in the renter’s home (regardless of fault), and coverage for additional living expenses if a renter must relocate while their home is being repaired after a covered event. However, many renters may need additional coverage for high-value items such as jewelry, musical instruments, or artwork. Therefore, it’s important for renters to find an insurance company that offers options to cover these items. Florida renters will also want to consider whether hurricane damage and flooding is covered by a standard renters insurance policy or whether they will need additional coverage, such as a policy from one of the best flood insurance companies. It’s important for shoppers to look for a renters insurance policy that allows the option to add coverage for these perils, especially if they are living in an area where this type of damage is more likely to occur.
An insurance premium is the amount the policyholder pays for renters insurance. Premiums are usually paid annually, quarterly, or monthly. The insurance premium is dictated by the amount and type of coverage purchased, the deductible selected, and the policyholder’s claims history. Changing coverage amount and type as well as increasing or decreasing the deductible could affect the amount of the premiums, so this is one way for renters to customize the policy to make it more affordable. For example, choosing a higher deductible could result in a lower insurance premium, although this will also result in a lower payout in the event a policyholder needs to make a claim.
Many renters want to find cheap renters insurance, so it’s important to get at least three different renters insurance quotes. Some insurance companies make it easy to get an insurance quote using their online quote tool. Renters simply input some basic information, and the tool comes up with an estimated cost of the policy. Other companies require potential customers to speak to an agent on the phone or at a local office. This could be inconvenient for renters who like handling things online, but it will typically result in a more accurate quote. With an online quote tool, the system usually asks for some basic information that results in an estimated quote. When a renter talks directly to an agent, the specific details the agent requests will usually result in a more accurate quote and will ensure the renter gets the level of coverage they need.
No one likes the hassle of filing an insurance claim, which is why it’s important for policyholders to find a renters insurance company that makes it easy to file and close out a claim. Many insurance companies offer the capability to file a claim using a mobile app or online tool, or by calling an agent. In addition, they may provide claims updates online and through the app, so policyholders can see how the claim is progressing.
Renters will also want to look for insurance companies that process claims in a timely manner and pay them as agreed. Therefore, it’s important for renters to seek reviews from former and current customers to see what their experience was like when filing a claim. Checking customer reviews on sites like the Better Business Bureau also can provide insight into how an insurance company handles its claims and treats its policyholders throughout the process.
When a policyholder files a claim on their renters insurance, they are responsible for a portion of the cost of the claim. This portion is known as the deductible. For instance, if the claim is for $5,000 and the deductible is $1,000, the insurance company will pay the policyholder $4,000, and the policyholder will be responsible for $1,000. Many insurance companies have various deductible options, so policyholders can choose one that fits their financial needs. Essentially, policyholders will need to decide how much they can afford to pay out of pocket in the event they file a claim. If a renter doesn’t feel comfortable with the idea of paying a larger amount out of pocket in the event of a claim, they can choose a lower deductible. However, a policy with a lower deductible will likely result in a higher premium.
Insurance companies that offer renters insurance often offer a variety of other insurance policies as well. These range from car insurance and pet insurance to boat insurance and life insurance. For policyholders who like to manage all their insurance needs in one place, finding a company that offers all the insurance the policyholder needs could offer convenience. Working with just one insurance company also could provide more benefits such as building a long-term trusted relationship with the insurance agent or receiving additional savings on the total cost of all insurance policies, also called “bundling.”
Renters may want to choose additional policies that have more comprehensive coverage for high-value items such as jewelry, musical instruments, and sports equipment.
Florida renters insurance can be pricey, especially if a policyholder is paying for additional coverage such as for flooding or hurricane damage. To keep renters insurance costs in check, customers will want to find out what kinds of discounts each renters insurance company offers. Some companies offer multi-policy discounts, discounts for repeat customers, and discounts for college students who maintain good grades. However, there may be other discounts that are not as common, such as for paperless billing, electronic payments, and automatic renewals. Renters can ask their insurance company for a full list of discounts to see which ones apply to them. These discounts may not result in the cheapest rental insurance, but the savings could add up to a more affordable premium.
Finding a renters insurance company that will take care of its policyholders when they need to file a claim remains a top concern for all renters. As such, renters will want to look for companies that have high AM Best ratings. AM Best is a credit-rating agency that researches insurance companies’ credit ratings, financial standing, and other information to determine each company’s financial strength. AM Best then rates companies using a scale of A++ (Superior) to D (Poor). Ideally, renters will want to look for companies with an AM Best rating of B+ (Good) or higher. These ratings indicate the company is in a good or superior position to pay its claims as agreed. Florida residents may find that some companies do not have a current rating from AM Best, especially when vetting renters insurance providers. While a high rating may be preferable, it’s worth noting that the absence of a rating does not necessarily reflect poorly on the company’s financial status. It simply means that AM Best has yet to assess the organization’s creditworthiness and finances to make a determination one way or the other.
During our research for the best renters insurance in Florida, we looked for companies that offered variable coverage amounts, an easy-to-use quote process, and a streamlined claims process.
Why It Made the Cut: For customers who want more coverage, Lemonade offers high personal liability limits, jewelry coverage, and low deductible options.
Lemonade policyholders have the option to purchase personal liability coverage up to $500,000, which is relatively high for a Florida renters insurance policy. Lemonade renters insurance policies also come with $8,000 in loss of use coverage as part of a standard policy. This is fairly high for a Florida renters insurance policy, and it can help pay for living expenses if a policyholder’s home is uninhabitable following a covered event, such as costs for a hotel room. In addition, policyholders can purchase an extra endorsement to insure jewelry for as much as $50,000, which is quite a high amount for this type of coverage.
While Lemonade only offers discounts for renters who bundle their policy or pay an annual premium rather than paying month to month, the company does offer deductibles as low as $250, which is quite low and could save renters money in the event they need to file a claim.
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Why It Made the Cut: Allstate has high personal property coverage limits available, as well as standard $2,500 jewelry coverage with each policy and the option to bundle multiple policy types with renters insurance.
Allstate offers renters personal property coverage as high as $300,000, which is a relatively high amount for this type of insurance in the state of Florida. Because Allstate has limited endorsement options, renters may have trouble finding the appropriate coverage for high-value items. However, the high $300,000 coverage amount may help overcome this limitation. Additionally, Allstate renters insurance policies come with $2,500 of jewelry coverage as part of their standard terms. This coverage amount applies to all jewelry, and most policies limit coverage on a particular item to a set amount unless the policyholder chooses to schedule their coverage (which means to add coverage for items named specifically in the policy).
Allstate allows policyholders to bundle their renters insurance policy with various other policies, including auto, motorcycle, offroad/ATV, and term life. This gives renters more opportunities to lower their cost of coverage and simplify their insurance needs by working with one provider.
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Why It Made the Cut: Security First Insurance offers high personal liability limits, potentially low insurance rates, and online educational resources to help renters navigate the process of buying and maintaining renters insurance.
Security First’s $500,000 maximum personal liability coverage is fairly high for Florida renters insurance. This higher coverage limit may be appealing to renters who are concerned about having to pay legal fees and damages if they are found liable following a covered event. Additionally, Security First has relatively low rates for renters insurance policies in Florida, which is a benefit for customers since the company doesn’t offer a bundling discount. However, renters will have a relatively low coverage amount in return for those low rates.
Security First has a number of online resources that can help Florida residents get the most out of their renters insurance. These include tips for lowering insurance costs; preparing for hurricanes; caring for pets following a hurricane; and preventing costly fires, thefts, or cyberattacks. These resources are free and can help policyholders navigate difficult situations as well as get the most value from their insurance policy.
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Why It Made the Cut: USAA renters insurance comes with standard flood coverage, the company has a Superior AM Best rating, and active service members can potentially use discounts to lower their cost of coverage.
Offered exclusively to active and former military members and their families, USAA renters insurance policies come with flood coverage as part of their standard coverage. This is very uncommon; most companies would only offer flood coverage as an extra endorsement if they offered it at all. While our research showed USAA has fairly high premiums for renters insurance in Florida, USAA offers a number of discount opportunities that are exclusive to members of the armed forces that can help them lower the cost of their renters insurance.
Plus, USAA boasts an AM Best rating of A++, so policyholders can feel confident their claims will be paid as agreed.
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Why It Made the Cut: American Integrity Insurance offers many endorsement options for additional coverage plus low deductible options that can help save on out-of-pocket costs when filing a claim.
American Integrity offers a number of endorsements for policyholders to add to their renters insurance plan. One notable example is assisted living care coverage, which can insure personal property belonging to relatives living in these types of facilities. One unique extra endorsement is assisted living care coverage, which can insure personal property belonging to relatives living in these types of facilities. However, renters will need to call an agent for a quote because the company doesn’t offer an online quote option.
American Integrity doesn’t offer auto insurance, so there’s not an option for a bundling discount. However, the company does have a minimum deductible option of $250, which can help renters save on out-of-pocket expenses in the event they need to file a claim.
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We gave Lemonade our Best Overall award because it offers high personal liability limits as well as low deductible options. Allstate was named Runner-Up because of its high personal property coverage limits and standard jewelry coverage of $2,500.
When determining the best renters insurance companies in Florida, we looked at a number of factors. These included examining each provider’s coverage options and coverage amounts to make sure policyholders can get the coverage that’s right for them. We also looked at each company’s quote process to see how easy it is for customers to price out renters insurance. In addition, we reviewed the companies’ claims processes to see if they are streamlined and easy to use. Other factors we reviewed included deductible options, extra endorsements, and discounts, among other factors.
Shoppers searching for renters insurance in Florida will want to make sure the company they choose offers the right coverage for their unique situation. The companies featured here could be the best choice for many renters, but they are not the only choice. Renters will want to research a variety of insurance companies, including those not listed here. A good starting point is for renters to check with their existing insurance company to see if it offers renters insurance. They may find the right coverage at the right price without having to seek out a new company. Checking with local insurance companies is also a good option, as they may be able to offer customized coverage specifically for Florida residents.
Getting the cheapest renters insurance in Florida may not always be the main priority when choosing one of the best renters insurance companies, and renters will feel more secure if they do their due diligence when shopping to ensure they are choosing a reliable company. However, renters are advised to shop around and get at least three quotes from different insurance companies to find the best coverage that fits within their budget. Renters will want to make sure they share the same information with each company and get quotes for the same coverage to ensure the quotes are comparable. Because insurance rates fluctuate, renters will also want to get the quotes on the same day so the comparison is fair.
Choosing one of the best renters insurance companies in Florida can give policyholders great peace of mind. Many of the best insurers offer variable coverage limits and deductible options, and they tend to have higher AM Best ratings (if they have been rated), in addition to other benefits. The best renters insurance companies in Florida generally offer the following advantages to customers:
Shopping for renters insurance can be confusing, especially for those who are first-time renters. However, it’s important for renters to understand what renters insurance is and what coverage is offered. The following are some of the most common questions renters have when it comes to renters insurance.
While renters insurance is not required by Florida law, many landlords and property managers require it as part of the rental agreement. Renters can check with their landlords to see whether renters insurance is a requirement.
While the companies listed here sell renters insurance, renters will want to check their ZIP code to see if the company sells renters insurance where they live.
Standard renters insurance covers a renter’s personal belongings, medical payments if someone is hurt on the property, liability coverage if the renter is found liable for causing injury or property damage away from their home, and additional living expenses if the renter has to temporarily relocate due to a covered event.
Renters insurance may cover some perils related to hurricane damage, but renters will want to talk with their insurance company to see what specifically is covered. Renters in Florida may need to purchase additional coverage to be fully protected against hurricanes.
Renters insurance cost can vary from policyholder to policyholder. The average cost of renters insurance in Florida is $321 per year, but rates can vary depending on the amount and type of coverage chosen.
Yes, landlords can require renters insurance in Florida. Renters can ask their landlord whether renters insurance is required as part of their lease agreement.
Source: ValuePengiun
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