California Renters Insurance

Get your stuff covered in the Golden State.

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california renters insurance

Whether you live in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, or anywhere in between, you’re going to want to make sure you have renters insurance coverage in California. It covers you for a whole range of bad things that could happen—from getting your phone swiped at Coachella to having your valuables damaged by wildfires.

Let’s dig into the finer points of getting renters coverage in Cali.

Here’s what we’ll discuss:

What does Lemonade renters insurance cover in California?

Renters insurance in California can cover your stuff in a number of unfortunate scenarios, plus cover you if you unintentionally harm another person or their property. Here’s what exactly California renters insurance coverage includes:

Personal Property

‘Personal property’ coverage protects your stuff, no matter where you are in the world. So if your kitchen table is ruined due to that burst pipe, or your laptop is stolen while you’re traveling abroad, renters insurance has your back.

Loss of Use

If your place becomes unlivable due to covered losses (like a fire or windstorm), your ‘loss of use’ coverage can help pay for a temporary place to stay and basic living expenses such as food, laundry, a hotel parking, etc.

Liability protection

If your friend slips and falls while you’re hosting a party at your apartment, you could be liable. Fortunately, if someone is injured on your property, or if anyone on your policy causes damage to someone else’s property or stuff, your renters insurance could have you covered.

Medical Protection

If your friend needs to go to the hospital because of that slip and fall, your medical protection could kick in. Renters insurance covers you if a guest gets injured at your place, or if you accidentally injure someone outside of your home as well. Note that your renters insurance does not cover medical costs if you or someone residing with you is injured—it only covers non-residents and guests.

Keep in mind: Different people will require different coverage amounts, so you should consider your own lifestyle and situation when selecting your coverage.

What damages to my property does renters insurance protect against in California?

Renters insurance protects your stuff against several potential damages (or ‘perils’ in insurance speak), including theft, fire, vandalism, and water damage from things like burst pipes.

Here’s a complete list of covered perils included in your standard renters insurance policy in California:

  • Fire or lightning
  • Windstorm or hail
  • Explosion
  • Riots
  • Aircraft
  • Vehicles
  • Smoke
  • Vandalism
  • Theft
  • Falling objects
  • Weight of ice, snow, or sleet
  • Accidental discharge or overflow of water or steam
  • Sudden and accidental tearing, cracking, burning, or bulging
  • Freezing
  • Volcanic eruption

Take note that there are extras that you can tack onto your renters insurance policy to protect against additional dangers, like pet damage, water damage, and earthquake damage.

How much is renters insurance in California?

The average monthly cost of renters insurance in California tends to be between $14 and $22 in major cities. But how much you pay on renters insurance will ultimately depend on how much coverage you need.

This is what renters spend on premiums, on average, in several major California cities:

CityAverage monthly costAverage annual cost
Los Angeles$22$266
San Diego$16$194
San Jose$15$185
San Francisco$19$224
Fresno$19$232
Source: California renters insurance rates by city for 2024 via Value Penguin

BTW: Did you know that the cost of Lemonade renters insurance across the U.S. is around $14 a month, with policies starting as low as $5/month? It’s important to keep in mind that your policy price depends on a lot of factors—like where you live, your deductible, and the actual amount of coverage you need.

Is renters insurance required in California?

That depends on your landlord. While there is no federal or state law requiring that you get renters insurance, it is required by law that you comply with your lease. So, if those terms include having renters insurance, you need to make sure you’re covered.

Most landlords and property managers require you to provide proof of your renters insurance policy before you sign your lease. Sometimes, they’ll also ask for proof of insurance each time you renew your lease.

Why? Usually, landlords want to make sure you have enough personal liability coverage within your renters policy. They might also check to make sure you have enough personal property coverage for your stuff.

Your landlord may even require you to list them on your policy as an interested party so that they’ll be notified if you cancel your policy. That way, they can make sure you don’t cancel your policy right after you provide proof that you have one.

Why do I need renters insurance in California?

As you’ve probably heard, natural disasters aren’t exactly getting less frequent in the Golden State. Between the ongoing threat of earthquakes and the more recent crop of wildfires, living in California means that your stuff is vulnerable to a lot of natural threats.

Fortunately, with a standard Lemonade renters policy, your personal belongings could be covered for damages from fire and smoke. Plus, you could get reimbursed for additional living expenses should a wildfire render your rental property temporarily uninhabitable.

And, while earthquakes generally aren’t covered by your regular policy, in California you have the option of purchasing additional earthquake coverage for just a few extra bucks a month. 

Renters insurance probably can’t ease the worst of your climate anxieties, but knowing that your stuff is covered for damages from several disaster scenarios can still offer some serious peace of mind.

Have more questions about Lemonade? Check out our FAQs.

How much renters insurance do I need?

In order to determine how much renters insurance you need, you should weigh how much you think you need in terms of your belongings and lifestyle against how much you would feel comfortable paying each month. Purchasing more coverage will raise your monthly premium, but you also want to make sure that you’re not left without coverage if the worst were to happen. 

As we previously mentioned, your policy has a few main categories:

  • Personal property
  • Temporary living expenses
  • Personal liability & medical bills

You’ll need to choose coverage amounts for each category, and your decision process will be different for each coverage type. For example, you might have $20,000 worth of personal belongings, which means you’d want to get $20k worth of personal property coverage (rather than the $10,000 minimum) to make sure you’re adequately covered.

On the other hand, when selecting your loss of use coverage, you should consider all of the expenses you could rack up beyond your normal daily budget (such as a place to stay, food, laundry, your commute, etc) if your home were to become uninhabitable for an extended period of time. 

Keep in mind: Before setting coverage limits, you should also consult with your landlord who may require you to have a certain amount of personal liability coverage.

Still not sure how much coverage to get? Check out our guide to how much renters insurance you need.

How can I lower my renters insurance rate?

Renters insurance is generally quite affordable, but there are still some ways you can cut down on costs. Here are a few:

Look for discounts

Many insurers offer certain discounts that can help reduce your renters insurance premium. At Lemonade we offer discounts for the following:

  • Security devices: Check to see if your rental property has a fire alarm or burglar alarm—you could qualify for a discount. 
  • Paying in full: Paying your annual premium in full rather than month-to-month will earn you a discount with many insurance providers, including Lemonade.
  • Bundling: One of the easiest ways to save money on your renters insurance is to bundle multiple policies. You can get a discount by bundling renters insurance with car insurance, for instance. Or, if you’re a pet owner, you can bundle renters with pet insurance by clicking the button below.
GET RENTERS + PET INSURANCE

Adjust your deductible and coverage amounts

Raising your deductible (aka the amount you’d have to pay out of pocket if you need to file a claim) will automatically lower your premium. Lowering your total coverage amount will also save you some money. 

Just make sure that your stuff is still adequately covered should disaster strike, and that you have enough liability coverage in the event that you accidentally injure another person or their property. 

Why California renters should go with Lemonade insurance

Truth is, getting renters insurance can be confusing, time-consuming, and flat-out boring. But with Lemonade, it doesn’t need to be. You can get a policy from start-to-finish in just 90 seconds, all thanks to artificial intelligence.

Just head to the Lemonade app, answer a few questions, and AI Maya will crunch some numbers and give you a renters insurance quote instantly. Zero paperwork or phone calls required.

If you ever need to adjust your coverage because your landlord asks you to, or realize your stuff is worth way more than you thought, you can do it on the app instantly using Lemonade’s Live Policy feature.

And the Lemonade’s claims experience is instant, too. If anything bad happens, simply chat with AI Jim, our claims handling bot, and quickly tell him what happened. 30% of our claims are approved in just 3 seconds.

Best part? All unclaimed premiums go to a charity you choose at the end of the year.

Rather than making money by denying insurance claims, we take a fixed fee out of your monthly payments, pay reinsurance (and some unavoidable expenses), and use the rest for paying out claims. Then, we return unclaimed remainders in our annual ‘Giveback.’

This way, our Lemonaders enjoy amazing renters insurance, and society gets a little push for the better. It also means that, unlike traditional insurance companies, we’re not in conflict with our customers, so we’re happy to pay claims quickly and with no hassle.

You can get started by clicking the button below.

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Please note: Lemonade articles and other editorial content are meant for educational purposes only, and should not be relied upon instead of professional legal, insurance or financial advice. The content of these educational articles does not alter the terms, conditions, exclusions, or limitations of policies issued by Lemonade, which differ according to your state of residence. While we regularly review previously published content to ensure it is accurate and up-to-date, there may be instances in which legal conditions or policy details have changed since publication. Any hypothetical examples used in Lemonade editorial content are purely expositional. Hypothetical examples do not alter or bind Lemonade to any application of your insurance policy to the particular facts and circumstances of any actual claim.