Owning property can be a status symbol. You know it will be there in hard times, and it's a great source of passive income if you choose to rent it out. However, you might be wondering how to safeguard your investment. Typically, you'll buy landlord insurance coverage, which includes liability insurance and protects the buildings from damage.

However, landlord's insurance coverage might not be enough. If a tenant's personal property gets damaged or people get injured in their unit, your insurance won't cover them. They need renters insurance to do that.

Overall, most people won't get renters insurance in Pennsylvania unless they have to. It's just an added expense to them. Learning more about it will help you understand why they need it and explain it when they ask.

It might be helpful to direct tenants to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department because it explains renters insurance very well.

However, reading this article will also help you learn what it covers, how it works, and the options for the cheapest renters insurance in Pennsylvania. Let's get started!

What Is Pennsylvania Renters Insurance?

It doesn't matter if it's a college student who lives off-campus, a person in their first apartment away from home, or a family with a few kids and a dog. Many choose to rent for various reasons, and they want to protect their personal belongings. The easiest way to do that is through cheap renters insurance in Pennsylvania.

Overall, renters insurance is there to cover unexpected events, such as fires, accidents, and more. Most tenants focus on the personal property coverage, which pays out after theft or damage. However, it also comes with liability coverage and much more.

Tenants should definitely think of buying renters insurance because of its many benefits. Plus, you can help them in their search with this article. You'll learn more about the top companies below.

Average Cost of Renters Insurance in Pennsylvania Per Year

Usually, renters insurance costs about $124 per year, which is right at $10 per month. For comparison, the national average is $148 per year, so that's lower by 16 percent.

Usually, Pennsylvania renters insurance rates are determined by the tenant's insurance score. It's similar to a traditional credit score, though there are differences. Therefore, people with poor credit might pay higher rates than those with good scores.

Likewise, the cost of renters insurance depends on what the tenant owns, where they live, and the type of coverage options they choose. For example, replacement cost coverage is more comprehensive, but it's also more expensive.

How Much Does Pennsylvania Renters Insurance Cost (Based on Popular Cities)?

Renters insurance rates can be higher depending on where the tenant lives. For example, the cheapest renters insurance options are for those in Pittsburgh and smaller towns. Those in Philadelphia will pay much more.

Here are the numbers for the most popular cities, according to NerdWallet:

  • Scranton - $130/year
  • Pittsburgh - $142/year
  • Philadelphia - $191/year
  • Norristown - $137/year
  • Lansdale - $136/year
  • Lancaster - $124/year
  • Harrisburg - $125/year
  • Erie - $133/year
  • Allentown - $133/year

Is Renters Insurance Required in Pennsylvania?

People often wonder: Is renters insurance required by law in Pennsylvania? The answer is no. State and federal laws don't mandate it, but landlords can.

It might be wise for you to require tenants to have a renters insurance policy in place before moving in. If you add a clause about renters insurance in the lease agreement, tenants have to oblige. Likewise, it's best to get proof. Tenants can add you as an interested party. This notifies you of any changes or cancellations.

What Does Renters Insurance Cover in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania can be prone to natural disasters, and usually, renters insurance won't cover damage from them all. Here are a few to be aware of:

  • Flooding - Floods are the most common natural disaster in Pennsylvania. Most renters insurance policies won't cover this type of damage. Tenants might have to purchase separate flood insurance if they're on the ground floor.
  • Tornadoes and Tropical Storms - These storms often happen in warm months. Renters insurance typically covers traditional storm damage, but high winds might be excluded from the policy. Therefore, tenants should read the terms carefully to know what's covered and when.

Here are the things that most policies cover:

Personal Property Coverage

Tenants focus mostly on personal property coverage because it covers the value of their personal belongings, such as furniture, clothing, electronics, and more. However, firearms and jewelry might need to be separated, which is called scheduled personal property.

Usually, there are specified events listed in the policy. These often include:

  • Vandalism
  • Wind damage
  • Falling objects
  • Theft/burglary
  • Mold
  • Water damage
  • Smoke damage
  • Lightning
  • Fire

Medical Payments Coverage

The insurance provider will likely cover medical payments to others if they're injured in the tenant's unit or if the tenant causes injuries to another outside the home.

Loss of Use Coverage

This covers additional living expenses, including hotel rooms and meals. Usually, cheap renters insurance companies offer a very low amount, but it might be possible for tenants to extend coverage.

Personal Liability Coverage

Renters insurance in Pennsylvania will usually offer liability coverage of $100,000. This is the base amount, and it protects tenants from legal fees if someone gets hurt and files a lawsuit.

What Does Renters Insurance in Pennsylvania NOT Cover?

Most renters insurance policies offer coverage for the things listed above, but the amounts can vary significantly.

Tenants should understand that renters insurance in Pennsylvania might not cover every situation. Here are the things that could be excluded:

  • Valuable items can include electronics, jewelry, art, and collectibles. They aren't often covered under a traditional renters policy and should be scheduled separately.
  • Some events will never be covered, such as floods. Though thunderstorm damage might be included, flash flooding from the storm is excluded. Tenants can buy a separate policy to protect themselves.
  • Policies contain coverage limits or caps, which is how much the policy pays out for a covered loss. If tenants don't get enough coverage, they'll spend their own money to replace some things.

How to Choose the Right Policy

The best renters insurance policies have ways for tenants to customize coverage options to meet their needs. Usually, they should focus on more liability protection and personal property coverage. Here are some tips you can offer to help them select the right company:

  • Technology - Most people use online services whenever possible. They probably want to shop for a policy online, file a renters insurance claim online, and all the rest. Therefore, companies should have a user-friendly mobile app and resources available on the website.
  • Customer Service - If a tenant must file a claim, they'll likely be frustrated. They should focus on companies that have good customer service reviews. Likewise, it should be easy to get in touch with someone for questions and claims.
  • Coverage Options - Basic renters insurance is often what people need, but some tenants might require additional coverage. Therefore, the company they choose should have many policy limits, deductibles, and add-ons, such as replacement cost coverage and identity theft protection.
  • Cost of Renters Insurance - Typically, prices are pretty low for renters insurance in Pennsylvania. However, tenants shouldn't sacrifice having enough coverage to protect them for lower monthly payments.
  • Amount of Coverage Needed - Tenants should take inventory of all their items, making a list. Then, they should go back through receipts, if possible, adding the prices they paid for those things. If they didn't keep their receipts, they could look them up online to get average costs. They would add it all up; that number is the minimum amount of coverage they require.
  • Compare Quotes - Tenants should always get at least three quotes from reputable companies. Though they might think the first option is ideal because of the price, it might not offer the coverage they need. Likewise, super expensive policies might not be any better than the lower-cost choice.
  • Discounts - Though the average cost of renters insurance is quite low, discounts can help tenants save money. Each company offers them, but they could be different. For example, Lemonade doesn't have many discounts, but Liberty Mutual does. If they qualify, they could lower their rates.
  • Know What Isn't Covered - Renters insurance is designed to cover many situations, but it doesn't protect tenants from everything. Therefore, they need to know what's excluded from the policy before they sign. Sometimes, they can customize their coverage to meet their needs, which is ultimately the best solution.

Available Discounts in Pennsylvania

Choosing the best renters insurance in Pennsylvania can be difficult, and tenants should ultimately focus on the coverage options available. However, the budget is important, as well. Though the average cost of renters insurance is low, discounts can help them save money.

Each company offers its own discount options, but here are the most common:

  • Multiple policies (bundling renters and auto insurance can save money)
  • Protective device discounts (having smoke alarms, burglar alarms, fire alarms, and more)
  • Claims-free discount (not putting in a claim for a set period of time)
  • Autopay discount
  • Retired seniors discount
  • Diminishing deductible

How Does a Renters Insurance Policy Protect the Landlord or Property Manager?

Requiring tenants to get the best renters insurance in Pennsylvania can protect them in many ways. However, you might wonder how it can benefit you.

Here are the ways:

  • Relocation - If a tenant can't live in the unit after a covered loss, their renters insurance will help with temporary housing. You could be held liable if they don't have such coverage.
  • Less Lawsuit Risk - Usually, you will have liability insurance for accidents happening on your property. However, if tenants have their own liability coverage through renters insurance, it will kick in and pay out for injuries and personal property damage.
  • Property Damage Concerns - If the tenant's things are damaged through no fault of their own, they might try and sue you to get them replaced or repaired. Your insurance might not cover this, but renters insurance would.
  • Be Pet-Friendly - Many tenants have pets, which makes it harder to find a landlord willing to work with them. If they have renters insurance with an extension for pets, it mitigates the risk of renting to them. For example, if their dog bites a neighbor, the renters insurance covers lawsuits and medical payments.
  • No Higher Premiums - Making claims against your landlord insurance is a possibility, but it will often lead to higher premiums the next year. Suppose a tornado comes through the apartment complex. You will put in claims for building damage, but tenants might sue you for their property damage. Multiple claims could cause the insurer to cancel your policy altogether!

Top 5 Best Renters Insurance Companies in Pennsylvania

In most cases, tenants will go with the cheapest renters insurance companies. They want to keep costs low and might only get coverage because you require it in the leasing agreement.

Knowing about the best renters insurance companies will ensure that you choose tenants who care about their personal property and want to protect it. Here are the top choices to consider:

1. Lemonade Renters Insurance

Lemonade Renters Insurance

Lemonade is the cheapest renters insurance company on the list, and it's a great choice for most tenants. In fact, they can buy coverage for about $12 per month, and this is 28 percent cheaper than the state average.

However, there aren't many discounts available from Lemonade. Still, tenants can save money by bundling multiple policies together, such as renters and auto insurance. There is also a discount for having security devices like burglar and fire alarms.

One of the best parts of Lemonade is that everything is done online. Tenants get quotes in minutes, and the company often pays out insurance claims instantly. However, it does use artificial intelligence to do this. Ultimately, there are no offices, and it's hard to talk to someone over the phone if there's an issue.

2. Travelers Renters Insurance

Travelers Renters Insurance

Travelers might be the best cheap renters insurance provider out there because it offers many coverage options. There are many extra endorsements, and the base rate is pretty reasonable.

In fact, the average rate for Travelers renters insurance is $187 per year. This is $7 less than the state's average, though it is higher than Lemonade.

Overall, customer service is the biggest drawback of Travelers. The company was last in the JD Power claims satisfaction survey. However, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners claims that it gets fewer complaints of similar-sized companies, though it sees more issues than the top competitors.

Though there aren't a ton of discount options available, tenants can bundle renters and auto insurance together.

Tenants often choose Travelers renters insurance because of its many extra coverage options. These include:

  • Valuable items coverage
  • Decreasing deductible ($100 per year)
  • Identity theft coverage
  • Malfunctioning electronic equipment coverage
  • Water backup protection
  • Replacement cost coverage

3. Amica Renters Insurance

Amica Renters Insurance

If tenants want the best cheap renters insurance provider out there, Amica isn't it. The brand is one of the most expensive options on the list, but it does offer strong customer service. People who crave peace of mind might like it.

Amica has seen fewer complaints than other brands, which indicates that customers are highly satisfied with the service. In fact, the NAIC says that it only gets 12 percent of the complaints a typical company of that size would see.

Customer service is crucial! When tenants must file claims, they want a responsive company on their side to make things less stressful. Dependable insurers will help them get back on track quickly.

Though Amica costs about $207 per year, there are many discounts available, such as:

  • Online documents discount
  • Loyalty discount
  • Automatic payment discount
  • Bundling discount
  • Claims-free discount

However, Amica doesn't have many local offices. Therefore, tenants can't talk to a local agent if they need help or have questions.

4. Liberty Mutual Renters Insurance

Liberty Mutual Renters Insurance

Liberty Mutual could offer the best renters insurance because it has more than 100 years of experience within the insurance industry. In fact, it's a national provider for all types of coverage, including renters insurance.

Overall, people will pay higher prices for Liberty Mutual renters insurance. However, there are various discounts available, which will help them save money. Here are the top choices:

  • Online purchase discount
  • Multipolicy bundling
  • Online autopay enrollment
  • Early shopper
  • Claims-free discount

Likewise, Liberty Mutual offers many coverage options, and tenants can customize their policies to meet their needs. If they have valuable or unique items, this might be worthwhile.

There are also many add-ons available. These include:

  • Identity theft protection
  • Personal property replacement cost coverage
  • Earthquake coverage
  • Blanket jewelry policy (a separate policy just for jewelry)

5. State Farm Renters Insurance

State Farm Renters Insurance

State Farm is the largest insurance provider in the US. In fact, it could be one of the best renters insurance companies because it keeps prices low for basic coverage. Likewise, if tenants bundle their car insurance with the renters insurance, they can save a lot of money.

State Farm also offers other discounts, such as:

  • Home alert protection (fire alarms, burglar alarms, smoke detectors, home monitoring systems)
  • Higher deductible (which lowers the monthly premium)

Though there aren't as many discounts here as other companies offer, the quotes can still be quite low.

Likewise, tenants will like the additional coverage options available to them. Though the basic policy will cover vandalism, theft, vehicle/aircraft damage, accidents, weather impacts, and loss of use, it also offers:

  • Personal liability umbrella policy (offers additional liability coverage for libel, slander, and defamation of character)
  • Identity restoration
  • Earthquake damage
  • Pet medical insurance

What Is DoorLoop?

Having tenants get the cheapest renters insurance in Pennsylvania possible can benefit you in so many ways. You learned all about it, which will help you decide if it's right for your situation and that of your tenants. However, that's not all you have to worry about.

Keeping your documents and data organized can be tricky, and you might need assistance. DoorLoop is an all-inclusive property management software suitable for all landlords. Whether they have mixed-use, commercial, or residential portfolios, they can use it to tackle many tasks.

With DoorLoop, you can:

  • Manage your accounting tasks.
  • Market vacancies online with Zillow and Trulia (with your free, custom website).
  • Allow tenants to apply online and pay rent automatically through the online tenant portal.
  • Manage maintenance requests online (tenants don't have to text and call all the time).
  • Collect rent on autopilot.
  • Manage your rental portfolios with ease.

DoorLoop can help you do many more things, as well. If you're interested in this property management software, you can learn more and schedule your demo today!

Why Work with DoorLoop

Though DoorLoop is great for helping you keep track of things, it also allows you to require tenants to get a renters insurance policy with ease. They can submit companies after doing their own research. Plus, DoorLoop lets them apply directly for renters insurance through the tenant portal or application. It's powered by Lemonade or SURE, depending on the state. Learn more about it now.

David is the co-founder & CMO of DoorLoop, a best-selling author, legal CLE speaker, and real estate investor. When he's not hanging with his three children, he's writing articles here!

Legal Disclaimer

The information on this website is from public sources, for informational purposes only and not intended for legal or accounting advice. DoorLoop does not guarantee its accuracy and is not liable for any damages or inaccuracies.