Pros / State Farm's premiums in most of the locations we checked were well below average for the companies we reviewed.
Cons / Sewer backup and water damage coverage costs extra and cannot be obtained online.
Verdict / State Farm is the best renters insurance company, because it's available across the United States and offers excellent coverage at highly competitive rates.
State Farm earns our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award for renters insurance. It offered insurance in each geographic area we tested, which not every company did. Its rates were almost consistently below average for similar coverage as far as property amount, liability and medical payouts, while its loss of use and electronics policies were above those of most property insurance companies.
While the online quote process was thorough, it did not let you purchase every endorsement you may need, and the agents, as with most large companies, can vary by quality. Therefore, while State Farm is the best rental insurance agency we reviewed, it's nonetheless wise to talk to a few local agents to find the best one for you.
State Farm has over 18,000 agents and covered every location we checked. Several companies we reviewed did not directly provide coverage for high-risk areas such as Detroit, parts of Texas, and Florida. You can find a local agent through the agent finder online feature or use the online quote system to get an estimate of the cost of a renters insurance policy.
We received price quotes for typical apartments in several locations across the United States, using a standard amount of coverage for property, liability and medical payout. In nearly every case, State Farm's prices were below the average premium for the insurance companies we reviewed. Even its highest premiums were still within the average for the area. Therefore, where price is a factor, State Farm is an excellent choice for renters insurance.
State Farm offers only a few discounts. You can get a cheaper premium if you have more than one policy with them or if you have burglar or smoke alarms. You can get a discount on home monitoring systems through this insurance agency as well.
Like most property insurances, this company sets limits on how much it reimburses you for high-value items. However, its limits are comparable or better than most agencies. Electronics are covered up to $5,000, which is one of the highest limits. In addition, this company covers up to $1,500 in business property in your home. Only a few agencies supply any coverage for business items without requiring a separate policy.
State Farm has some unique coverages as well. For example, if you're still enjoying sleeping 70s style, you can get waterbed coverage. That way, if you spring a leak and the flood ruins something in your downstairs neighbor's apartment, State Farm has you covered.
We found the online quote process one of the most thorough, with the ability to customize much of your policy. However, it fell short in allowing certain additions – most notably, sewer backup and water damage coverage. For those, you need to contact a local agent.
Most of the State Farm agents we spoke to were competent, knowledgeable and helpful. They responded quickly to our questions, answered them thoroughly and sent us PDF brochures to explain the policies. However, we did have experience with local agents that did not seem to be fully versed in rental policies and who did not provide prompt service. Therefore, take some time to find a local agent that gives you excellent service.
While most insurance companies set a monetary limit for their loss-of-use coverage, State Farm sets its limit at 24 months. Therefore, if your rental home becomes unlivable, it compensates you for additional living expenses incurred while staying elsewhere until your home is repaired or replaced. Two years is a very generous limit – most leases don't last that long.
Of course, State Farm determines what is considered fair "loss of use." As one agent told us, "You can't go from an apartment to a mansion." However, if your rent was lower because of a program or agreement you had with the landlord and you cannot get a similar place for that amount, loss of use allows you to maintain your same standard of living. It can also cover laundry and dry cleaning or restaurant meals in some cases.
As with every insurance agency we reviewed, State Farm has 24/7 claims service. It also offers a mobile app from which you can manage your account, find an agent, or make and track a claim.
As with all types of insurances we reviewed, we recommend picking a couple of companies and getting quotes to suit your specific situations. For renters insurance, State Farm is a great choice to include on your short list. Its premiums are often well below average while the coverage is excellent. You can find agents across the United States, often more than one in an area, so be sure to talk to a couple and find one that works best for you.