UPDATED: JULY 06, 2023 | 3 MIN READ
Natural disasters are rising, and North Carolina residents are at a higher risk for property damage. There’s also the growing risk of theft and vandalism, especially for people living in an apartment or renting their home. So how can tenants (who are ineligible for homeowners insurance) protect themselves and their personal belongings?
Renters insurance is the most accessible and affordable solution to these problems. Several major insurance companies are now offering policies in North Carolina at highly affordable rates. But there are some important caveats that renters need to know before making a final decision about their insurance policy.
What Does North Carolina Renters Insurance Cover?
Renters insurance offers financial protection against fires, burglaries, vandalism, damages for which the tenant may be held liable, and more. The three cornerstones of renters insurance coverage are:
- Liability coverage – pays out claims if someone gets injured or their property is damaged/stolen, and the renter is found at fault in court
- Loss of use coverage – if the rented space is rendered uninhabitable due to a covered event, this coverage reimburses the policyholder for food, rent, and some additional living expenses
- Personal property coverage – this is likely the most essential coverage which will help the renter replace or repair personal property if they are subject to a covered peril
North Carolina renters need to understand that renters insurance does not cover damage or property loss from floods. Thankfully, renters can purchase special flood insurance for added protection. But a renters policy will pay out claims for named perils on North Carolina renters insurance policies, including:
- Common weather perils (like hail, lightning, wind, and fire)
- Human causes (vandalism and theft)
- Fire or explosions
- Falling objects (including ice and snow)
Does the state require renters insurance?
North Carolina state law does not require tenants to purchase a renters insurance policy. But landlords and property managers can make renters insurance a lease requirement. And the trend is catching on, making this type of coverage essential.
How to find affordable renters insurance in North Carolina
Tenants should take stock of their personal property before blindly accepting the cheapest renters insurance rates they can find. They will need to purchase enough coverage to replace what they need most if they file a claim. Furthermore, some types of personal property (such as electronics or jewelry) will require additional coverage or may not be covered.
There are also location-specific threats to consider before purchasing renters insurance. Some policies may limit payouts on theft claims in high-crime areas or for weather-related perils in vulnerable zip codes. It’s also important to look at a company’s customer service record because not all providers are created equal.
North Carolina Renters Insurance Prices
Tenants have a lot of factors to consider before they purchase renters insurance coverage. On the one hand, everyone wants value at the lowest possible premium. But the cheapest renters insurance may not (and often won’t) offer the coverage limits or the customer service that some customers need.
The section below looks at three critical variables: location, cost, and the quality of the best renters insurance companies in North Carolina. It should help point tenants toward the coverage that’s right for them.
Cities where renters insurance is the cheapest
Crime rates, the annual number of claims filed, and the frequency of severe weather will all affect the average cost of renters insurance premiums. And those are only some of the variables. Insurance companies adjust their rates primarily based on the policyholder’s zip code, which is why tenants in Asheville are paying a notably cheaper rate than renters in Kannapolis.
Affordable renters insurance companies in North Carolina
Insurance rates won’t just vary from one zip code to the next. They will also vary by company. USAA is only available to service members and their families, but it’s the cheapest option in North Carolina for those who can get it. On the other hand, Allstate charges higher-end prices than the national average.
Cheapest renters insurance in North Carolina
It looks like Nationwide offers North Carolina the most bang for the buck. Most policyholders can get a decent amount of personal property coverage for around $8-$15 per month.
It’s worth noting that in many states, USAA offers an even better deal for the price. Unfortunately, the policyholder must be either active duty military, a member of their immediate family, or a veteran to qualify.
Renters insurance that’s the best for most people
Nationwide may offer the lowest prices, but State Farm seems to be the most well-rounded provider in the state. It’s still highly affordable despite not being the cheapest, and its customer service shines above the rest. It also offers attractive options like replacement cost coverage.
Best renters insurance in North Carolina for the fastest claims process
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners rates Amica as the strongest performer in the state. Their customer complaint ratio is the lowest for their size in North Carolina, and they also offer highly affordable policies. Unfortunately, their policies are pretty cookie-cutter, with few add-on coverage options.
Renters insurance with the best optional coverages
Nationwide renters insurance is the most affordable in the state and offers renters the greatest number of coverage options. There are ten add-ons, ranging from “brand new belongings” coverage to identity theft protection and water backup coverage, among others.
North Carolina renters insurance with the best bundling discounts
State Farm also scores high marks for bundling discounts in North Carolina. Depending on certain variables, renters could save over 25% off the cost of bundling with their car insurance policy instead of purchasing them separately.
Renters insurance with the best for home business owners
Home business owners face higher financial risks than most renters. And the extra protection that Nationwide offers could make or break that business after a disaster.
Nationwide’s variety of extra coverage options protects home business owners more than any other provider in the state. Between actual cash value coverage, theft-extension coverage (for property stolen from the policyholder’s personal vehicle), identity theft protection, and extra coverage to replace valuable items essential to the business.
How much is renters insurance in North Carolina?
The average tenant can find a good quality renters insurance policy for as little as $10 per month. But insuring valuable personal property or purchasing extra liability coverage will make the policy cost more.
Does North Carolina require renters insurance?
No, the state of North Carolina does not mandate that tenants purchase renters insurance. But many landlords make renters insurance a mandatory requirement in the lease.
What does renters insurance cover in NC?
Personal property, liability, and certain named natural disasters. For example, if a policyholder’s clothes are burned in a fire, if a tenant walks their dog off the leash and it bites someone, or if heavy snow on a sagging roof causes water damage to a tenant’s furniture, their renters’ insurance can help cover the costs.
But there are exceptions. Flooding is not covered, and flood insurance must be purchased separately. Valuables like jewelry or fine art will require add-on coverage. And the policy will only pay out claims based on the amount of property damage coverage the policyholder purchases.
Is renters insurance in North Carolina expensive?
That depends on where the policyholder lives, the likelihood of filing a claim, and the amount of coverage needed. But most policyholders can purchase a reasonable amount of coverage for less than $200 per year.
Finding cheap renters insurance in North Carolina
Most people who rent their homes are doing so on a shoestring budget. If a disaster struck tomorrow, many wouldn’t be able to replace their property out of pocket. Purchasing affordable renters insurance in North Carolina is a great way for tenants to protect themselves and their property for a minimal monthly expense.