Auto-Owners Renters Insurance Review 2022

Auto-Owners sells renters insurance through independent agents, at rates below the national average.
Apr 27, 2022

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You don’t actually have to own a car to get insurance from Auto-Owners. The Michigan-based company offers a variety of policy types through independent agents in 26 U.S. states. Auto-Owners renters insurance is worth considering for its cheaper-than-average rates and variety of discounts.

You can’t get a quote or buy your policy online. Instead, you’ll have to reach out to a local agent who can talk you through your options.

Best for: Renters who feel comfortable working with an independent agent to customize their coverage.

How we rate renters insurance companies

Our star ratings are based on consumer complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners; financial strength grades from AM Best; coverage and discounts available; and the overall consumer experience. See our criteria for evaluating renters insurance companies.

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Auto-Owners renters insurance pros and cons

Pros

Cons

Many discounts available.

No option to get quotes or file claims online.

Fewer consumer complaints than expected for a company of its size.

Average rates are lower than the national average.

How Auto-Owners renters insurance rates

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

Auto-Owners 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, Auto-Owners is among NerdWallet’s Best Renters Insurance Companies for 2022.

State availability

Auto-Owners offers insurance in 26 states.

Auto-Owners 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.

Medical payments

Covers injuries to other people in your home, regardless of fault.

In addition to the standard types of coverage above, you can add a Renters Plus package that covers the following:

  • Refrigerated food that spoils during a power outage.

  • Water damage due to backed-up drains or sewer lines.

  • Waterbed liability.

  • A waived or reduced glass deductible if your belongings are damaged by broken windows or storm doors.

You can also add replacement cost coverage for your personal belongings. Without it, Auto-Owners would pay for destroyed items on an “actual cost value” basis, which means you’d get only what the items were worth at the time of the claim. Having replacement cost coverage ensures you’ll be paid out enough to buy brand-new items.

Got a valuable engagement ring or a pricey musical instrument? You may want to buy additional coverage for such items in the form of a property and valuables policy. An appraisal may be required.

Auto-Owners renters insurance rates

Auto-Owners renters insurance costs $136 a year, on average, according to NerdWallet’s rate analysis. That’s cheaper than the national average of $168 per year. See how Auto-Owners stacks up against other major insurers below.

Discounts

You may be able to save on your renters insurance premium by:

  • Bundling multiple policies with Auto-Owners.

  • Paying your premiums on time for at least three years.

  • Paying your annual premium in full, upfront.

  • Signing up for paperless billing and paying online.

  • Having smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, deadbolt locks or other protective devices in your home.

  • Getting a quote for your renters policy in advance.

  • Having no recent renters claims.

Consumer complaints

Auto-Owners 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.)

Consumer experience

Website: Although you can’t get a quote on the Auto-Owners website, existing policyholders can log in to pay bills, set up automatic payments, read policy documents and track claims.

App: The app offers similar features to those on the website, including bill pay, claim status and policy documents.

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:

Frequently asked questions
What other types of insurance does Auto-Owners offer?

Auto-Owners sells auto, homeowners, condo, motorcycle and life insurance, among other policies. Learn more about Auto-Owners car insurance.

How do I file an Auto-Owners renters claim?

You must call your independent agent to report your claim. If you’re calling outside of business hours, you can call the company directly at 888-252-4626. An adjuster will be assigned to your case.

Does Auto-Owners renters insurance cover dog bites?

If you’re sued after your dog bites someone outside your household, the liability portion of your Auto-Owners renters policy may cover your expenses. Coverage depends on where you live and what kind of dog you have.

Methodology

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, online experience and more. Our “ease of use” category looks at factors such as website transparency and how easy it is to file a claim. 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 editorial guidelines.

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. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.

Rates methodology

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.

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