The Best Cheap Renters Insurance in North Carolina

We compared rates from a dozen companies to find North Carolina’s cheapest renters insurance.
Sarah SchlichterOct 4, 2021

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North Carolina sees its share of natural disasters, especially hurricanes and tropical storms. That’s why you might want to buy renters insurance to cover your belongings.

NerdWallet compared rates from a dozen companies to find the cheapest renters insurance in North Carolina.

How much is renters insurance in North Carolina?

The average cost of renters insurance in North Carolina is $148 a year, or about $12 a month, according to NerdWallet’s rate analysis. That’s a little cheaper than the national average of $168.

On average, renters in Charlotte pay about $147 a year, while those in Raleigh pay about $139. See the table below for average rates in North Carolina’s 25 biggest cities.

City

Average annual cost

Average monthly cost

Charlotte

$147

$12

Raleigh

$139

$12

Greensboro

$142

$12

Durham

$138

$12

Winston-Salem

$142

$12

Fayetteville

$209

$17

Wilmington

$259

$22

Cary

$139

$12

Asheville

$115

$10

Jacksonville

$207

$17

Concord

$134

$11

High Point

$141

$12

Greenville

$173

$14

Gastonia

$135

$11

Chapel Hill

$127

$11

Monroe

$146

$12

Burlington

$142

$12

Hickory

$117

$10

Lexington

$135

$11

Salisbury

$134

$11

Mooresville

$141

$12

Statesville

$142

$12

Goldsboro

$173

$14

Sanford

$147

$12

Hendersonville

$115

$10

Cheap renters insurance companies in North Carolina

We analyzed rates from a dozen insurers to find the cheapest renters insurance companies in North Carolina.

Company

Average annual cost

Average monthly cost

North Carolina Farm Bureau

$93

$8

Heritage

$108

$9

Auto-Owners

$118

$10

State Farm

$141

$12

Nationwide

$143

$12

USAA*

$108

$9

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

About the cheapest companies

North Carolina Farm Bureau: Membership, at an annual cost of $25, is required to buy Farm Bureau renters insurance. It includes other benefits such as hotel and rental car discounts. Learn more about Farm Bureau insurance.

Heritage: This Florida-based company sells insurance through independent agents. It receives significantly more consumer complaints to state regulators than expected for a company of its size.

Auto-Owners: You may be able to save on your Auto-Owners renters policy if you haven’t filed any recent claims, buy more than one type of insurance through the company or pay your premium in full each year. Auto-Owners sells policies through independent agents.

State Farm: State Farm renters insurance stands out for including replacement cost coverage for personal belongings, which means you’ll get enough to buy brand-new items if your stuff is stolen or destroyed. Many companies cover your things on an “actual cash value” basis, paying only what your belongings are worth at the time of your claim.

Nationwide: You can get a quote for Nationwide renters insurance online, over the phone or working directly with an agent. You might get a discount if you bundle your renters and auto policies, haven’t filed any recent claims or have smoke detectors in your home.

USAA: Only active-duty military, veterans and their families can buy USAA renters insurance, but it’s worth considering if you’re eligible. Unlike most insurance companies, USAA includes flood and earthquake coverage in its standard renters insurance policies.

North Carolina renters insurance from the best companies

If you’re looking for a highly rated national carrier, consider one of these insurers from NerdWallet’s list of The Best Renters Insurance Companies.

Company

NerdWallet rating

Average annual cost

Auto-Owners

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

$118

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

$141

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

$143

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

$157

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

$199

USAA*

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

$108

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

What to know about North Carolina renters insurance

Due to its coastal location, North Carolina often finds itself in the path of hurricanes and tropical storms. If such a storm destroys your belongings, renters insurance may be able to help.

A standard renters policy generally covers damage from wind but not flooding. For example, say hurricane winds blew part of the roof off your apartment building and rain got in through the gap, ruining your furniture. In most cases, your renters insurance policy would cover the cost of replacing your lost items.

But if the same hurricane caused a flash flood on your street, sending water into your unit, any damage likely wouldn’t be covered unless you had flood insurance.

There are exceptions to the above. For example, your insurance company may expressly exclude wind damage from coverage or charge you a separate, higher deductible for windstorm damage if you live along the coast.

If your carrier doesn’t offer wind coverage for your home, you can buy a North Carolina Insurance Underwriting Association policy, the state’s last-resort insurer.

Other disasters

Here’s how renters insurance might help when dealing with other potential disasters in North Carolina.

Fires. Most standard renters insurance policies cover damage due to fire or smoke.

Tornadoes. As noted above, your renters policy will likely cover wind damage unless you live in a coastal area at risk for hurricanes and tropical storms.

Earthquakes. Most renters insurance will not cover earthquake damage, though you may be able to add it to your policy for an extra cost.

Ice storms. Burst pipes could cause water damage to your belongings, which would likely be covered by renters insurance.

Some policies may also offer coverage for food lost in your refrigerator during a power outage due to a covered disaster.

What determines North Carolina renters insurance rates?

Your rates may differ from the averages listed above based on the following factors:

Where you live

Insurers may charge more for renters insurance if they think your location makes you more likely to file a claim. So if you live in a neighborhood with a high crime rate or in a hurricane-prone area along the coast, prepare to pay a little more.

Your credit history

Many companies use a credit-based insurance score to help set renters insurance rates. While this isn’t identical to your traditional credit score, the two are typically similar. So the worse your credit, the more you may pay for renters insurance.

Below are the companies offering the cheapest North Carolina renters insurance for people with poor credit.

Company

Average annual cost

Average monthly cost

North Carolina Farm Bureau

$93

$8

State Farm

$142

$12

Heritage

$147

$12

Allstate

$157

$13

Lititz Mutual

$163

$14

The coverage you need

The higher your coverage limits, the more you’ll pay for a policy. So if you’ve got lots of stuff to cover, expect a higher premium.

Your deductible

Raising your deductible — the amount of a claim you pay out of pocket — can lower your renters insurance premium. Just be sure it’s an amount you’d feel comfortable covering in a pinch.

Your claims history

If you’ve filed a renters claim in the past few years, insurance companies may consider you a higher risk for filing another one. Below are the North Carolina carriers with the cheapest rates for renters who’ve previously filed a theft claim.

Company

Average annual cost

Average monthly cost

North Carolina Farm Bureau

$93

$8

Auto-Owners

$118

$10

Heritage

$129

$11

State Farm

$141

$12

USAA*

$149

$12

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

Your other policies

Bundling your renters insurance with another policy from the same insurer is an easy way to get a discount from many companies.

Your home’s features

Insurers often offer discounts if your home has a burglar alarm, smoke detectors, deadbolt locks or other protective devices.

Your dog

Some companies will charge you more for renters insurance if you have a dog they consider an aggressive breed, such as a pit bull or Rottweiler. That’s because dog bites are a common source of renters liability claims.

North Carolina Department of Insurance

On this state agency’s website, you can learn about insurance coverage, request help or file a complaint about your carrier. There’s also a toll-free customer assistance line at 855-408-1212.

Methodology

NerdWallet averaged rates for 30-year-old men and women from insurance companies in every ZIP code across North Carolina. Sample tenants were nonsmokers with good credit 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 used the same assumptions for all other renter profiles, with the following exceptions:

  • We changed the credit tier from “good” to “poor” as reported to the insurer to see rates for renters with poor credit.

  • For renters with a history of claims, we added a single theft claim to their record.

These are sample rates generated through Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.

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

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