The 5 Best Renters Insurance Companies for Pet Owners of 2023

It’s important for renters with pets to have the right insurance to protect themselves financially in the event their pet hurts another person or damages a third party’s property.

By Karon Warren and Jeff Keleher | Published Nov 28, 2023 1:30 PM

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Three people talk over documents while one woman holds a dog.

Photo: istockphoto.com

Pets are a beloved addition to any family or home, but even the most well-behaved pet could hurt someone or cause damage to a third party’s property, putting the owner at financial risk. Therefore, when living with a pet, renters insurance policyholders will want to be sure they have the right insurance coverage to pay for both damages or injuries to a third party caused by a pet. Under renters insurance, pet damage claims typically fall under the policy’s personal liability coverage, so pet owners may want to purchase policies with high liability coverage limits. It’s also important to find out if those policy limits apply to injuries or damages caused by pets, since some insurance companies put a lower limit on those specific types of claims. By doing so, policyholders can get the best renters insurance for pet owners.

  1. BEST OVERALL: State Farm
  2. RUNNER-UP: Allstate
  3. BEST EXTENDED COVERAGE: Farmers Insurance
  4. BEST CLAIMS PROCESS: Lemonade
  5. ALSO CONSIDER: American Family Insurance
A person pets their dog while one a computer, sitting on the floor surrounded by cardboard boxes.

Photo: istockphoto.com

What to Consider When Choosing One of the Best Renters Insurance Companies for Pet Owners

There are many considerations that determine which renters insurance company offers the best options for pet owners. These factors include each company’s coverage area, deductible options, available discounts, and much more. Each consideration should be reviewed when researching the best renters insurance companies to see if they offer what the pet owner needs.

Coverage Area

When shopping for renters insurance with pet coverage, renters will first want to look for insurance companies that provide coverage where they live. While many large insurance companies offer nationwide coverage, there could still be some areas where certain companies don’t cover renters. It’s even possible for availability to change from one ZIP code to another in certain states. Therefore, it’s important to verify an insurance company’s coverage area right away to avoid wasting time reviewing coverage options or trying to get a rate quote only to find out coverage is unavailable in the renter’s location.

Coverage Amount

For renters with pets, insurance companies may set specific limits for claims resulting from pet-related injuries or damage to another person. While renters insurance includes personal liability coverage, those limits may not always apply to claims involving pets. For example, liability insurance for renters may cap pet-related claims to $25,000 instead of the policy’s standard liability limit of $500,000. It’s important for a policyholder to discuss coverage limits with regard to claims involving pets to make sure there is sufficient protection if a claim is filed. If the insurance company does not offer adequate animal liability insurance coverage, renters may need to look into other providers.

Andrew Latham, certified financial planner and the director of content at SuperMoney, suggests that pet owners keep their options open when looking for the right coverage: “If a renters insurance policy doesn’t include pet liability, renters can opt for an additional or separate pet liability policy from another provider.” He goes on to say, “It might be worthwhile to consider an umbrella policy that provides broader liability protection, including potential damages caused by pets. Renters can also shop around and switch to an insurance provider that offers comprehensive renters insurance, which includes pet coverage.”

With that in mind, it may be a good idea for shoppers to already have an idea of how much renters insurance a tenant needs before speaking to an agent or getting a quote.

Policy Options

With regard to insurance coverage for a pet, renters insurance typically includes personal liability coverage for pet-related damage to a third party’s personal property or injuries to a third party. However, renters insurance policies will not cover claims for pet-related damage to the policyholder’s property or injuries to the policyholder, nor will it cover pet-related injuries or damages to others living in the household. In addition to looking at what’s included with renters insurance, it’s crucial for shoppers to discuss exactly what a company’s renters insurance policy doesn’t cover with regard to pets to avoid unexpected claim denials.

It’s also possible that insurance companies will exclude certain breeds from liability coverage, particularly dog breeds considered to be at a higher risk of causing damage or hurting another person. This means that the policyholder may not receive any coverage at all for their pet, depending on their renters insurance’s dog breed restrictions. Likewise, if the renter is a dog owner, liability insurance will likely be more expensive if the animal has a history of aggressive behavior—if coverage is offered at all. Many companies will deny pet liability coverage for dogs that have bitten someone in the past. Although there isn’t such a thing as a specific “dog liability policy,” renters will want to discuss the specifics of their pets with insurance companies to ensure their renters insurance policies provides adequate protection.

Insurance Premiums

As with all types of insurance, renters insurance requires policyholders to pay premiums—typically on a monthly or annual basis—to keep their policy active. The cost of the renters insurance depends on a number of factors. These include the location of the rental property, the amount and type of coverage purchased, the deductible amount, and the renter’s previous claims history. Purchasing additional endorsements to expand coverage will also impact a renter’s insurance premiums. Adjusting the amount and type of coverage purchased as well as the deductible amount could increase or decrease the amount of insurance premiums. However, these are usually the only factors a policyholder can adjust to make the premiums more affordable.

Quote Process

In the search for pet liability insurance for renters, cost is typically a primary consideration when a renter is choosing a policy. To find the best rates available, renters are often advised to get rate quotes from at least three different insurance companies. Many insurance companies have online rate tools wherein potential policyholders can supply some basic personal information as well as choose options for coverage. The tools use this information to generate a rate quote for the policy.

There are some insurance companies that require potential policyholders to call for a rate quote. While this may be inconvenient, talking with an agent may provide renters with a more accurate quote than one generated by an online rate tool because the agent can ask for more specific information than a rate tool can. Agents can also explain coverage options in more detail and help renters find the right amount of coverage for their circumstances.

Claims Process

In the event that a claim must be filed, policyholders want the process to be quick and easy. They also want their claim resolved as soon as possible without any hassle. Therefore, it’s important for renters to research insurance companies’ claims processes when weighing renters insurance options. Insurance providers may offer different platforms for submitting a claim, such as online portals and dedicated mobile apps, while others may require policyholders to speak directly with a claims representative.

While each company can provide some insight on the process, policyholders may want to talk with former or current customers who have filed a claim to hear about their experience. Checking with the Better Business Bureau also could be a good source of insight for renters to find out how an insurance company handles claims.

Deductibles

A deductible is the amount the insurance company will withhold from an approved claim payout before disbursing funds to the policyholder. For example, if the total claim amount is $10,000 and the policy deductible is $500, the insurance company will deduct $500 from the payout, leaving $9,500 for the policyholder. Renters will often have the option to choose from different deductible amounts, but choosing a lower deductible will often lead to higher insurance premiums. The opposite holds true too, though, so policyholders looking to lower their insurance rates may want to consider a higher deductible. It’s also possible that insurance companies will set separate deductibles for add-on coverage such as portable electronics endorsements.

Additional Policies

Shoppers looking for renters insurance that covers pet-related damage and injuries to third parties may have to purchase additional liability insurance or umbrella coverage in order to get the full coverage they need. In fact, renters may want to find an insurance company that offers a wide variety of insurance policies so they can work with one provider. These policies may include car, motorcycle, or pet insurance. Having one insurance agent and one account for all their needs could make it easier for policyholders to streamline their coverage, manage claims, and keep track of their insurance.

Discounts

With renters insurance and pet-related coverage such as dog-bite liability insurance, cost remains a top priority for many policyholders. One way to reduce insurance premiums is to work with an insurance company that offers a wide range of discounts. Many insurance companies offer a multipolicy discount to customers who have more than one type of insurance with the company or those who bundle renters and car insurance policies together. However, insurance companies can have many discounts available, so it’s a good idea to ask an agent for a full list of discounts to maximize savings. Some discounts include signing up for paperless billing, enrolling in automatic payments, and installing security devices on the premises.

AM Best Rating

When purchasing insurance, policyholders want to know they are doing business with a company that’s trustworthy and will be there to help when called upon. One indicator of an insurance company’s reliability is its financial strength. Policyholders can get an idea of an insurance company’s financial strength by looking at its AM Best rating. AM Best reviews a provider’s financial information to determine its creditworthiness, then it issues a rating based on that assessment. These ratings range from A++ (Superior) to D (Poor). Ideally, policyholders will want to look for insurance companies with a B+ (Good) or higher rating. That being said, not all companies will have an AM Best rating, and this could be because they haven’t requested an assessment from the credit-rating agency. As such, having no rating is not the same as having a low rating, and companies that have yet to be rated by AM Best may still be financially stable and reliable.

Our Top Picks

When researching the best renters insurance for pet owners, tenants may want to look for companies with an expansive coverage area, high AM Best ratings, and high personal liability coverage limits, among other considerations.

Best Overall

The words 'State Farm' are written in red and appear with the company's red logo against a white background.
Photo: statefarm.com

Why It Made the Cut: State Farm has a very large service area, high personal liability coverage limits, relatively low insurance premiums, and a high AM Best rating.

State Farm’s maximum liability amount is $1 million, which is quite high and may be appealing to renters who are concerned about the financial and legal fallout if their dog were to bite another person or injure them in another way, resulting in extensive financial damages. While the online rate tool doesn’t provide an estimated quote in all locations and the company only offers a couple of discounts, State Farm can offer relatively low insurance rates on renters insurance. As such, pet owners may get a good deal on their renters insurance by working with State Farm

Also, given the company’s A++ AM Best rating—the highest grade available—pet owners may find State Farm to be a dependable insurance provider capable of providing robust coverage for years to come. State Farm also has an expansive service area covering most parts of the country, so it could be the right choice for many pet owners shopping for renters insurance. In addition, State Farm doesn’t ask what kind of dog breed a renter owns, which is somewhat unusual for renters insurance, as many companies restrict coverage for breeds that pose a greater liability risk. This could mean that policyholders with certain dog breeds are able to avoid paying higher premiums or having a pet-related liability claim denied.

 

Specs

  • Coverage area: 49 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Personal liability coverage amount: Up to $1 million
  • Quote process: Online, phone, agent
  • Claims process: App, online, phone, agent
  • Deductibles: $500 to $2,000
  • AM Best rating: A++

Pros

  • Large service area covering 49 states and Washington, D.C.
  • High $1 million personal liability coverage amount available
  • Relatively low insurance premiums
  • A++ AM Best rating

Cons

  • Online quote not available in all locations
  • Limited discount opportunities

Runner-Up

The words 'Allstate You're in good hands' appear in blue with the company's blue hands logo against a white background.
Photo: allstate.com

Why It Made the Cut: Allstate boasts a very large service area, low deductible options, and various online resources tailored to the needs of renters, which may make it a good choice.

Covering most of the country, Allstate can offer renters insurance to pet owners living in 49 states and Washington, D.C. The company also gives policyholders the option to select a deductible as low as $250 on their renters insurance. With a lower deductible, policyholders could receive a larger payout on any claim they might file in the future since the insurance company deducts less money from the approved claim amount before disbursing funds.

It’s worth noting that, in some situations, policyholders may be required to pay for 2 months of coverage up front when buying a new policy. Allstate also doesn’t include loss of use as part of its quote process, making it difficult to say what coverage options are available. However, the company does provide numerous educational resources on its website that may benefit renters, particularly those who may be first-time renters and purchasing property insurance for the first time. These resources include tips for figuring out what kind of coverage to get, how to make a rental property more secure, understanding tenants’ rights, and even a guide for renting with pets.

 

Specs

  • Coverage area: 49 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Personal liability coverage amount: Up to $500,000
  • Quote process: Online, phone, agent
  • Claims process: App, online, phone, agent
  • Deductibles: $250 to $1,000
  • AM Best rating: A+

Pros

  • Large service area covering 49 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Low $250 deductible option available
  • Many free online informational resources specifically designed for renters

Cons

  • Limited loss of use coverage information
  • 2 months of payment due up front in some cases

Best Extended Coverage

The words 'Farmers insurance' appear in blue and red with the company's blue and red logo against a white background.
Photo: farmers.com

Why It Made the Cut: Farmers Insurance offers high coverage limits on personal liability coverage, lengthy loss of use coverage terms, and a personal property calculator built into the online quote process.

Farmers Insurance stands out among the best renters insurance for pet owners due to the high personal liability coverage limits it offers. Coverage amounts top out at $1 million, which is a high amount for liability coverage on a renters insurance policy. This may be appealing to pet owners who want to insulate themselves from liability risks in the event their dog attacks someone or otherwise causes significant injuries or damages to another person. Such incidents could lead to large liability claims and other related expenses that the policyholder will need to pay, and having more liability coverage could save the policyholder from potentially thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses in those situations.

While Farmers Insurance doesn’t offer online rate quotes in all locations and the mobile app doesn’t support renters insurance policies, the company’s quote platform includes a very helpful personal property calculator so pet owners can figure out how much coverage they need when buying a renters insurance policy. The company also offers extensive loss of use coverage terms on its renters insurance, giving policyholders the option to purchase a policy that covers up to 24 months of living expenses in the event their rental property is uninhabitable after a covered loss.

 

Specs

  • Coverage area: 41 states
  • Personal liability coverage amount: Up to $1 million
  • Quote process: Online, phone, agent
  • Claims process: Online, phone, agent
  • Deductibles: $500 to $2,500
  • AM Best rating: A

Pros

  • High $1 million personal liability coverage available
  • Lengthy 24-month loss of use coverage available
  • Helpful personal property calculator

Cons

  • Online quote not available in all locations
  • No mobile app support

Best Claims Process

The word 'lemonade' is written in black cursive script on a white background.
Photo: lemonade.com

Why It Made the Cut: Lemonade offers the possibility of instant claim approval and high personal property coverage limits, plus the company also provides pet insurance directly, rather than through another carrier.

Lemonade has a sophisticated claim-processing platform that uses AI technology to run anti-fraud checks and instantly approve claims that do not require more extensive review from an actual claims adjuster. According to the company, around 40 percent of all claims are instantly handled, and those that are approved can be paid out in seconds. This prompt payment could attract many renters despite the company’s lack of an AM Best rating. However, the company does hold an “A” grade from Demotech, another financial analysis firm, reflecting “exceptional” financial stability.

Although Lemonade doesn’t offer too many discounts for policyholders to take advantage of, the possibility of prompt claims payments and the availability of up to $250,000 in personal property coverage could be a worthy trade-off. That is a high maximum coverage amount on renters insurance, and it may be appealing to tenants who have numerous possessions they would like to insure. In addition to renters insurance, Lemonade also offers pet insurance, which provides medical coverage for pets. While many other companies also offer pet insurance, it’s often through a third-party insurance provider; Lemonade underwrites its own pet insurance policies. Pet owners may prefer to have all of their insurance underwritten by the same company for the sake of convenience, especially when filing a claim.

 

Specs

  • Coverage area: 28 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Personal liability coverage amount: Up to $500,000
  • Quote process: Online
  • Claims process: App
  • Deductibles: $500 to $2,500
  • AM Best rating: Not rated

Pros

  • High $250,000 personal property coverage amount available
  • Instant claim approval possible
  • Pet insurance available directly through Lemonade

Cons

  • Limited discount opportunities
  • Not rated by AM Best

Also Consider

The words 'American family insurance' appear in blue script with a red line symbolizing a roof against a white background.
Photo: amfam.com

Why It Made the Cut: American Family Insurance has many endorsements and discounts available for renters to consider, as well as the option to add a diminishing deductible to their policy.

Although American Family Insurance is only available in 19 states, the company’s expansive selection of available endorsements could be the right choice for some renters. These endorsements include additional protection for issues related to fungi and bacteria, pollutant cleanup and removal, water backup, identity fraud, electrical appliance, and personal injury coverage (which protects against certain types of claims such as libel or slander that are outside the scope of standard liability coverage). These add-ons can help renters customize their policy to better meet their needs.

While our research showed that American Family Insurance may have relatively high insurance premiums, that won’t always be the case depending on a renter’s coverage selections, location, coverage amounts, and other factors. American Family Insurance gives renters insurance policyholders a number of ways to reduce their premiums, including standard discounts for loyalty, bundling, and for policyholders who have smart homes, as well as a generational loyalty discount for renters whose parents are also AmFam customers. In addition, policyholders have the option to add a diminishing deductible to their renters insurance policy, which could lead to larger payouts down the road the longer they go without filing a claim. American Family Insurance also offers an endorsement that can help pay for a pet’s final expenses if they were to perish as a result of a covered loss such as a fire.

 

Specs

  • Coverage area: 19 states
  • Personal liability coverage amount: Up to $500,000
  • Quote process: Online, phone, agent
  • Claims process: App, online, phone, agent
  • Deductibles: $500 to $2,500
  • AM Best rating: A

Pros

  • Wide range of endorsements available
  • Wide range of discounts available
  • Diminishing deductible available

Cons

  • Small service area covering 19 states
  • Relatively high insurance premiums

Our Verdict

We named State Farm Best Overall thanks to its low rates and high personal liability coverage limits, as well as the fact that the company will not ask dog owners to list the breed when signing up for renters insurance. The Runner-Up award goes to Allstate because of its low deductible options, large coverage area, and the many online resources for renters, including tips for pet owners.

How We Chose the Best Renters Insurance Companies for Pet Owners

When ranking the best renters insurance companies for pet owners, we weighed a variety of factors that might influence a renter’s decision. Service area, for instance, was a top consideration as it directly affects availability for prospective customers. When weighing renters insurance coverage options, we looked closely at coverage options that might appeal more to pet owners—for example, higher personal liability coverage limits since those limits will determine the maximum amount a renter is covered for should their pet injure or cause damage to a third party. Other considerations include the quote and claims processes, deductible options, available discounts, and the insurance company’s AM Best rating if applicable.

Before You Choose One of the Best Renters Insurance Companies for Pet Owners

The research compiled here is a starting point for pet owners searching for the best renters insurance companies for their needs. However, it’s not an exhaustive look at all renters insurance companies and their offerings for pet owners. That’s why pet owners who rent may want to conduct their own research to compare renters insurance in order to find the best insurance company for their individual needs.

A good starting point for renters is to talk with their current insurance company if they have another type of insurance policy with that provider—for instance, auto or pet insurance. Renters may be able to get the coverage they need from their existing insurance company. This could result in discounted insurance premiums thanks to multiline or bundling discounts.

Cost of Opting for One of the Best Renters Insurance Companies for Pet Owners

While the companies featured here may offer some of the best coverage for renters who are also pet owners, it’s important for customers to shop around and get quotes from at least three different companies in order to find the most affordable rates for the amount of coverage that best suits their needs. Because rates can fluctuate based on the information provided and when a quote is given, customers will want to use the same information when asking for rate quotes and ask for quotes from multiple companies on the same day. This ensures the comparison is accurate, allowing shoppers to see which company offers the best rate.

It’s a good idea to ask each insurance company for a full list of available discounts as well. By doing so, customers can take advantage of every possible discount to maximize savings. Adjusting policy terms—such as lowering coverage limits, removing unnecessary endorsements, and increasing deductibles—can also reduce insurance rates for renters with pets.

The Advantages of Opting for One of the Best Renters Insurance Companies for Pet Owners

Renters insurance covers a tenant’s personal property so renters can enjoy peace of mind knowing that their belongings are protected in the event they are damaged by a covered peril or stolen (either from the rental unit itself or taken directly off the policyholder while they are away from home). Pet owners may find particular comfort in the availability of liability insurance to help pay any damages they are found responsible for in the event their pet causes damage or harm to a third party. The best renters insurance providers can offer even more benefits that may appeal to pet owners.

  • High limits for personal liability coverage, personal property coverage, and loss of use coverage are available to renters who want to further protect themselves against potential risk.
  • Helpful online resources, including calculators, insurance guides, and tips for renters, can aid tenants as they navigate their insurance options and find the right policy and coverage.
  • Various deductible options, including low and diminishing deductibles, can help policyholders maximize their payout if they need to file a claim.

FAQs

Finding the best renters insurance companies for pet owners can take a lot of time and research, but it’s worth it to get the best coverage available. When researching those insurance companies, pet owners may have additional questions regarding insurance offerings and the level of protection available. By reviewing some of the most frequently asked questions pet owners have regarding renters insurance, tenants can figure out exactly what coverage they need and where to get it.

Q. Is renters insurance required for pet owners who rent?

While renters insurance is not required by law, either for pet owners or tenants without pets, it’s possible the property landlord or management company may require renters insurance.

Q. What’s the difference between renters insurance for pet owners and pet insurance?

Renters insurance for dog or cat owners is no different than a standard renters insurance policy, although the liability coverage included will likely be the most relevant consideration as it will protect the policyholder against pet-related damages or injuries to another person. Pet insurance is medical insurance for pets that covers vet visits and certain services. With that in mind, pet owners looking to insulate themselves from legal fees, medical bills, and other expenses related to a dog bite or other damages or injuries to third parties caused by their pet will want to be sure they understand the difference between pet insurance and dog liability insurance for renters.

Q. Does renters insurance cover pet damage?

Renters insurance may cover pet damage to another person’s property under the policy’s personal liability coverage. However, it is unlikely to cover damage to the policyholder’s own property.