The Best Cheap Renters Insurance in New York

by Ann deBruyn

If your New York City apartment catches fire or someone steals your bike off a Buffalo street, renters insurance can help. A renters policy can cover your belongings for a price that’s likely cheaper than your monthly cell phone bill. Below you’ll find the average cost of renters insurance in New York and see which companies have the best rates.

How much is renters insurance in New York?

The average cost of renters insurance in New York is $142 a year, or about $12 a month. That’s less expensive than the national average of $168 a year.

Renters in New York City pay a bit more than the national average at $174 a year.

Below are average renters insurance rates for the 25 largest cities in New York state.

City

Average annual cost

Average monthly cost

New York City

$174

$14

Rochester

$133

$11

Buffalo

$135

$11

Yonkers

$146

$12

Syracuse

$135

$11

Albany

$135

$11

Schenectady

$134

$11

Poughkeepsie

$133

$11

New Rochelle

$147

$12

Binghamton

$130

$11

White Plains

$144

$12

Utica

$134

$11

Mount Vernon

$146

$12

Ithaca

$129

$11

Troy

$134

$11

Huntington Station

$174

$15

Niagara Falls

$133

$11

Tonawanda

$132

$11

Bay Shore

$178

$15

Valley Stream

$170

$14

Spring Valley

$148

$12

Brentwood

$177

$15

Hempstead

$168

$14

Cheektowaga

$132

$11

Newburgh

$136

$11

Cheap renters insurance companies in New York state

We compared renters insurance rates from 20 companies in ZIP codes across the state to see which were cheapest. These are the ones with rates below the state average.

Company

Average annual cost

Average monthly cost

NYCM

$61

$5

Utica National

$94

$8

Merchants Group

$105

$9

Preferred Mutual

$107

$9

Encompass

$108

$9

Ocean Harbor

$110

$9

Allstate

$110

$9

Main Street America

$110

$9

Ontario Insurance

$119

$10

MetLife

$120

$10

State Farm

$125

$10

Travelers

$127

$11

Cheap renters insurance companies in New York City

Because such a large proportion of New York state’s population lives in the Big Apple, we looked specifically at renters insurance rates there. Below are the companies with cheaper-than-average renters insurance in New York City.

Company

Average annual cost

Average monthly cost

NYCM

$79

$7

Merchants Group

$115

$10

Ocean Harbor

$122

$10

Utica National

$123

$10

State Farm

$125

$10

Travelers

$136

$11

Narragansett Bay

$151

$13

MetLife

$152

$13

Ontario Insurance

$155

$13

Nationwide

$159

$13

Allstate

$159

$13

Preferred Mutual

$170

$14

About the cheapest companies

NYCM: Based in central New York state, NYCM offers a 2.5% discount for renters who haven’t filed a claim in the past five years. You can also save money if your home has smoke alarms, deadbolts or other protective devices, or if you bundle your auto and renters insurance with NYCM.

Utica National: Utica National sells policies through a network of independent agents. It receives a smaller number of consumer complaints to state regulators than expected based on a company of its size.

Merchants Group: Founded in Buffalo, Merchants Group sells renters insurance and other policies through a network of independent agents. The company receives far fewer consumer complaints to state regulators than expected for an insurer of its size.

Preferred Mutual: Extra options on a Preferred Mutual renters policy include identity fraud coverage and additional coverage for valuable items. Policies are sold through independent agents.

Encompass: A subsidiary of Allstate, Encompass sells policies via independent agents. The company’s water backup coverage, which pays out if a sewer or drain line backs up into your home, is included with its Elite insurance and can be added to other renters policies. You can also add coverage for computers and data recovery.

Ocean Harbor: You can customize an Ocean Harbor renters policy with coverage for identity theft recovery or damage from water and sewer backups. Discounts are available if you have smoke detectors or alarms in your home.

Allstate: With an Allstate renters insurance policy, you can add extra coverage for identity theft recovery, valuable items and flood damage. Bundling your auto and renters policy with Allstate can snag you a discount, and retirees who are at least 55 years old can save up to 25%.

Main Street America: Renters may qualify for any of several discounts, including savings for being 55 or older, having protective devices, combining multiple policies and living in a gated community. Like many of the other companies on this list, Main Street America offers policies through independent agents.

Ontario Insurance: Ontario offers discounts if you’re a nonsmoker, you’re retired or your home has a smoke detector. You can add coverage to your policy for identity theft expenses or to pay for the loss of food in your refrigerator during a covered disaster. Policies are sold by independent agents.

MetLife: MetLife renters policies include identity theft coverage. Discounts are available for bundling renters with other policies, having protective devices in your home and having no recent claims on your record. MetLife is a subsidiary of Farmers Insurance.

State Farm: Unlike policies from some other companies, State Farm renters insurance includes replacement cost coverage for your personal belongings. Say you have a 10-year-old mattress that’s destroyed in a fire. State Farm would pay out enough for you to buy a brand-new replacement, rather than giving you only enough for a used mattress.

Travelers: Does your home have smart home technology, a burglar alarm or an interior sprinkler system? If so, you might be able to save on Travelers renters insurance . You may also be eligible for a bundle or claims-free discount.

Narragansett Bay: This Rhode Island-based insurance company offers the basics, including renters liability and coverage for your personal belongings, but you can also add other options. These include identity theft coverage and replacement cost coverage, which means the company will pay enough for you to buy brand-new versions of your belongings if they’re stolen or destroyed.

Nationwide: Nationwide renters insurance includes coverage for unauthorized credit and bank card transactions. You can pay extra for additional coverage for things like valuable jewelry or damage from backed up sewers or drains.

New York renters insurance from the best companies

If you’re looking for renters insurance from a highly rated national brand, consider one of these carriers from NerdWallet’s list of the best renters insurance companies . The table below includes each company’s average annual renters insurance rate in New York state.

Company

NerdWallet rating

Average annual cost

Allstate

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

$110

MetLife

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

$120

State Farm

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

$125

Travelers

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

$127

Nationwide

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

$143

USAA*

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

$166

*USAA is available only to active military, veterans and their families.

What to know about New York renters insurance

Renters insurance isn’t mandated by law in New York, but many landlords require it when you sign a lease. Either way, it may be worth buying to protect your finances in case disaster strikes.

Standard renters insurance covers your belongings for theft, one of the most common crimes in New York City. Your belongings are generally covered even when you’re not at home. So if someone steals your laptop from a coffee shop, it’ll probably be covered (minus your deductible ). Renters insurance also covers damage due to fires.

New York state is prone to a variety of natural disasters, including thunderstorms, snowstorms, floods and tropical storms. Note that not all of these are covered by a standard renters policy. For example, flooding is typically not covered, but damage from a snowstorm might be.

Say you live on the top floor of an apartment building, and a heavy blizzard causes part of the roof to cave in. Any resulting damage to your belongings would likely be paid for because “the weight of ice, snow and sleet” is one of the standard perils that most renters insurance policies cover.

But if a tropical storm causes a flash flood, ruining the furniture in your basement apartment, you probably wouldn’t be covered unless you had separate flood insurance .

Wind damage from storms or tornadoes is covered by most renters policies. However, if you live in a high-risk coastal area, your policy might have a specific hurricane deductible. If that’s the case, you might have to pay more out of pocket for hurricane damage than you would for another type of claim.

What determines New York renters insurance rates?

Each company calculates renters insurance premiums a little differently. Below are a few factors that could influence what you pay for renters insurance in New York.

Where you live

Your location may impact your renters insurance premium, particularly if you live in a neighborhood with high crime rates.

Your credit

Many companies use your credit-based insurance score as a rating factor. Your insurance score is similar to but not identical to a traditional credit score. In general, those with better credit history will pay less for insurance.

The following five companies offer the best rates for New Yorkers with poor credit, according to NerdWallet’s rate analysis.

Company

Average annual cost

Average monthly cost

Utica National

$94

$8

Ontario Insurance

$119

$10

State Farm

$125

$10

Allstate

$140

$12

Encompass

$140

$12

Your coverage

If you’re renting a three-bedroom house, you’ll likely have more stuff — and need more coverage — than someone in a studio apartment. Expect to pay more for higher coverage limits.

Your deductible

A deductible is the part of an insurance claim you’re willing to pay yourself. You can usually lower your premium by choosing a higher deductible, as long as you’d feel comfortable paying that amount in a pinch.

Your claims history

If you’ve filed a renters insurance claim in the past, insurers may see you as a greater risk to file one in the future — which could lead to higher rates. Below are the five cheapest companies in New York for renters with a previous theft claim.

Company

Average annual cost

Average monthly cost

Utica National

$94

$8

NYCM

$106

$9

Merchants Group

$111

$9

Preferred Mutual

$113

$9

Allstate

$118

$10

Your home

Certain features of your home could qualify you for discounts, including smoke detectors, deadbolt locks, sprinkler systems and other protective devices.

Your other policies

Bundling your renters insurance with another policy from the same company, such as car insurance, could net you a discount.

Your dog

Because dog bites can lead to liability claims, insurance companies sometimes charge more for breeds they consider more aggressive.

New York Department of Financial Services

This department oversees insurance companies and agents across New York state. You can find information about renters insurance or file a complaint against your carrier on the department’s website . You can also call 800-342-3736 for assistance in 10 languages.