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Wisconsin-based American Family offers many ways to customize your renters policy, including coverage for valuables, identity fraud and the breakdown of electronic devices. The company draws fewer complaints than expected for a company of its size, and its rates are slightly cheaper than the national average. But American Family renters insurance isn’t available in all states.
Best for: Those who want plenty of ways to customize and save on their renters policy.
American Family renters insurance pros and cons
Fewer consumer complaints than expected for a company of its size.
Not available in all states.
Many coverage options and discounts.
How American Family renters insurance rates
American Family renters insurance earned 4.5 out of 5 stars for overall performance. NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The renters insurance scoring formula takes into account policy coverage options and discounts, ease of filing a claim, website transparency, the financial strength of the company, complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and more.
Based on these ratings, American Family is among NerdWallet’s Best Renters Insurance Companies for 2022.
American Family sells insurance in 19 states.
» MORE: The best cheap renters insurance
American Family renters insurance coverage
Landlords sometimes require tenants to purchase a policy with a minimum amount of renters liability insurance, but otherwise, the coverage you choose is generally up to you. Below are the four types of coverage included in most standard renters policies:
Type of coverage
What it does
Covers your clothing, furniture, electronics and other belongings.
Pays for hotel stays, restaurant meals or other expenses if you have to live elsewhere while your home undergoes covered repairs.
Pays out if you're responsible for injuries to other people or damage to their property.
Covers injuries to other people in your home, regardless of fault.
For more details, see What Does Renters Insurance Cover?
You may be able to add the following types of coverage to your American Family renters policy, depending on where you live:
Jewelry, gemstones, watches and furs coverage. Because coverage for jewelry and other valuable items is limited in a standard policy, you can add this endorsement to make sure your belongings are covered for their full value.
Identity fraud expense coverage. If someone steals your identity, this coverage can help you replace documents, pay legal fees and work through the process of recovery.
Personal injury coverage. This endorsement can pay legal damages if you’re sued for issues such as libel, slander or wrongful entry.
Equipment breakdown coverage. If a computer, TV or other electrical appliance suddenly fails, this insurance would pay to repair or replace it, minus a $500 deductible.
Diminishing deductible. When you add this coverage to your policy, you’ll immediately see your deductible reduced by $100. It will continue to drop by $100 each year you go without filing a claim, up to a total of $500.
Pet coverage. If your pet is injured or killed in a disaster covered by your policy, this add-on will pay up to $1,000 of vet or final expenses. (Note that this endorsement is not the same as pet insurance, which generally covers illness or injury from a broader range of causes.)
American Family renters insurance rates
American Family renters insurance costs $156 a year on average, or $13 a month, according to NerdWallet’s rate analysis. That’s cheaper than the national average of $179 a year.
American Family may offer you a discount for:
Bundling multiple policies.
Having a smart home device.
Signing up for paperless billing or autopay.
Paying your premium in full, upfront.
Having your American Family renters policy for at least a year.
Being between ages 18 and 30 and having parents who are American Family customers.
Discount availability may vary by state.
American Family received fewer than the expected number of home insurance complaints to state regulators relative to its size, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. (NAIC home insurance complaints also cover other home policy types, including mobile home, renters and condo insurance.)
Website: American Family’s comprehensive website features general insurance advice plus plenty of specifics about the company’s policies. You can use the site to get a quote, report and track claims, pay your bill, chat with a live representative or find an agent.
App: The My AmFam app is similarly useful, allowing you to see policy details, schedule payments, file and track claims, and contact your agent.
Renters insurance buying guide
Before you compare renters insurance companies, gather key information such as the address of the rental and any safety and security features the unit has.
You should also figure out how much coverage you need. Take a quick inventory of your belongings: How much would it cost you to replace them? Include all furniture, electronic devices, clothing, jewelry and household items. This total is the minimum amount of personal property insurance you should have.
Your liability limit should be high enough to cover your net worth, while your deductible should be an amount you’d feel comfortable paying in an emergency.
When evaluating renters insurance quotes, make sure each rate estimate includes the same coverage limits and deductibles so you know you’re getting a fair comparison. While it’s tempting to buy the cheapest policy, you may also want to read reviews of your preferred company to make sure it offers good customer service.
How to file a renters insurance claim
File as soon as it’s safe. The sooner you report a theft or damage to your home, the sooner your insurer can assign an adjuster and start working on paying out your claim. Some companies let you file claims online or through their app, while in other cases you may have to call your agent or insurer instead. Have your policy number handy.
Document the damage. Bolster your claim by taking photos or video of all damage. If something was stolen, report it to the police before you contact your insurance company. Your insurer may ask for a copy of their report.
Prevent further damage. After you’ve taken pictures of everything broken or destroyed, take steps to prevent additional damage, such as putting a tarp over a broken window to protect your belongings inside. Keep receipts for any supplies you buy, as your insurer may reimburse you later.
Other renters insurance companies to consider
Not ready to make a decision? You may be interested in these other renters insurance companies:
Renters insurance ratings methodology
NerdWallet’s renters insurance ratings reward companies for customer-first features and practices. Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including financial strength, consumer complaints, coverage options, discounts and online experience. These ratings are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several insurance quotes to find the best rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our full renters insurance rating methodology.
Insurer complaints methodology
NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2018-2020. To assess how insurers compare to one another, the NAIC calculates a complaint index each year for each subsidiary, measuring its share of total complaints relative to its size, or share of total premiums in the industry. To evaluate a company’s complaint history, NerdWallet calculated a similar index for each insurer, weighted by market shares of each subsidiary, over the three-year period. NerdWallet conducts its data analysis and reaches conclusions independently and without the endorsement of the NAIC. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.
To find the national cost of renters insurance, NerdWallet averaged rates for 30-year-old men and women for multiple insurance companies in every ZIP code across all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Sample tenants were nonsmokers with good credit and no recent claims, living in a two-bedroom apartment. They had a $500 deductible and the following coverage limits:
$30,000 in personal property coverage.
$100,000 in liability coverage.
$10,000 in additional living expenses coverage.
$1,000 in medical payments coverage.
We then compared the insurer's rates to the average rate for all companies in states where it offers policies and where its rates were available from Quadrant Information Services.
These are sample rates generated through Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.