Renters insurance protects you from financial loss if you live in a rental. When shopping for renters insurance, look for providers that offer discounts for bundling policies, easy policy management and a range of coverage levels. ConsumerAffairs researched the best renters insurance in San Diego to help you find the right coverage.
Landlords usually have insurance that covers any damage to the structure they own but not renters’ personal property. In cases of theft, vandalism, water damage or fire, replacing your possessions can be expensive. However, San Diego tenants can purchase renters insurance to protect themselves. Renters insurance typically covers:
Personal property: clothing, furniture, televisions, computers, musical equipment, sporting equipment, jewelry, books and even items in storage units
Liability: accidental injury to another person at your home or damage to their belongings
Additional living expenses: hotel rooms and increased food costs as a result of being displaced
Why get renters insurance in San Diego?
In San Diego, 45 percent of residents are renters. Many neighborhoods are mostly renter-occupied, especially areas in the central part of the county such as Golden Hill, Downtown, North Park, South Park, City Heights, Bankers Hill and Hillcrest.
Recent wildfires have shown that urban areas in San Diego can be vulnerable to fire damage, but renters insurance in San Diego covers fire and smoke damage and might even help with additional living expenses incurred due to evacuation or damage to your home.
San Diego senior citizens who have downsized to smaller apartments or rent homes with other roommates might consider renters insurance to cover their lifetime of belongings.
With several college campuses, San Diego is also home to many students. Off-campus student housing, such as in the College Area or UTC, is prone to theft and vandalism. Students might consider renters insurance to protect themselves but should check to make sure they don’t have coverage under their parents’ homeowners insurance.
How much does renters insurance cost in San Diego?
Renters insurance costs an average of about $17 per month in California. The premium you pay depends on your:
Amount of property coverage
Type of property coverage
Amount of liability coverage
Most renters insurance providers offer online tools that help you determine the value of your possessions and how much coverage you should get. More coverage will cost more month-to-month but may be worth it in the long run. A higher deductible will lower monthly payments but might make it harder to claim certain losses.
Personal property coverage can provide either the actual cash value or replacement cost of covered items. While choosing replacement cost might raise premiums, this option is usually preferable as it will pay to replace damaged items, rather than compensating you for the current cash value of your belongings, which would probably be less than what you paid for the items when they were new.
Tenants can usually get discounts on renters insurance by bundling their policy with the same provider as their auto insurance. If the landlord installs security features like deadbolts or surveillance cameras, that can also lower premiums. Fire safety devices, such as smoke alarms, sprinkler systems and fire extinguishers, also usually earn discounts on renters insurance.
What isn’t covered by renters insurance in San Diego?
It’s worth knowing what renters insurance doesn’t cover. Renters insurance does not cover damage to your automobile, but it does cover belongings in your vehicle in cases of theft or vandalism. Damage from pests like bedbugs is also not covered.
Renters insurance does not pay for anything beyond your coverage limit, so expensive items like jewelry, electronics, art, antiques and collectibles might not be fully covered. However, you can purchase extended coverage, called a rider policy, for these things.
While San Diego has a moderate climate, flash floods periodically cause damage to residences, and renters insurance does not cover floods. If you live in a low-lying area, like Ocean Beach or Mission Valley, consider separate flood insurance.
San Diego residents should also know that earthquakes are not covered events. However, the California Earthquake Authority offers earthquake insurance, and many providers offer separate coverage.
Policygenius is an online independent insurance broker that allows you to compare providers in one place. You can enter information on the website to get quotes and use the online calculator to determine how much coverage you need. Reviewers liked the convenient process, low rates and not dealing directly with insurance companies.
EverQuote is a site where you can provide your information and receive offers from insurance companies. However, some customers who used the service report excessive calls and emails after signing up.