ByMichael Evans Contributing Writer

Michael Evans is a freelance finance writer. His work has been published by Bankrate, Fox Business, The Guardian and Yahoo Finance.

MetLife Renters Insurance Review

MetLife has been in the insurance business for more than 150 years. Its portfolio of insurance products includes auto, health, home, and life policies. The provider also offers less common products such as legal plans, cancer insurance, and TakeAlong Dental coverage, which features a network of participating dentists who offer reduced rates for MetLife members.

Based in New York City, MetLife sells insurance throughout the United States, as well as over 39 foreign countries. MetLife has occupied a spot on the Fortune 500 List for 25 years, ranking 43rd in 2019.

MetLife’s renters insurance offers many of the standard protections, including property and liability coverage, and you can buy MetLife policies from coast to coast. A standard MetLife policy hits a home run with some types of coverages, but falls short with others. Is a MetLife renters policy right for you?

Pros
Cons
Replacement cost coverage included in all policies
Specialty coverage packages are available for electronics, luxury items, musical instruments, and sports equipment
Coverage available in all states
Online quotes not available
Standard renters policies do not include loss of use coverage
Low standard liability coverage

The Renters Insurance Factors We Analyzed

Customer experience

In J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Property Claims Satisfaction Survey, MetLife ranked 14th out of 22 companies, scoring three out of five stars in overall customer satisfaction. A review of complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau revealed that MetLife answers and tries to resolve customer grievances quickly, oftentimes within a few days.

To file a renters insurance claim, you can call MetLife’s toll-free hotline 24/7/365, or file by fax or email. While many insurance companies offer an initial renters insurance quote through an online app on their websites, MetLife doesn’t. Instead, you can call the toll-free quote hotline or fill out a quote request form on the MetLife website to receive a call back from an agent. You can complete the form in one minute or less, but we prefer instant online quotes, which don’t include a sales pitch.

Coverage information

MetLife standard rental insurance policies include:

  • Personal property coverage to pay for damaged or stolen items such as clothing, electronics, and furniture
  • Replacement cost coverage, which pays to replace your damaged or stolen property at current market prices. Most standard renters insurance policies do not include replacement cost coverage. It’s a big plus, because depreciation of an item can lead to substantial out-of-pocket expenses if you need to file a claim and don’t have it. Big-ticket items such as computers and electronics need replacement cost coverage.
  • $100,000 in personal liability coverage, which pays your legal expenses if someone sustains an injury or property damage in your home. However, you can increase your liability coverage if necessary. You can also add specialty coverage packages for your most valuable expenses, such as artwork, high-end electronics, musical instruments, and sporting equipment. MetLife offers specialty coverage packages in $5,000 increments, up to $15,000. While it's a nice touch, we prefer higher limits for specialty coverage, because items such as a diamond necklace or grand piano can often cost more than $15,000 to replace.

Deals, discounts, and add-ons

Typically, renters insurance is relatively inexpensive. Nonetheless, MetLife offers a few discount programs to help you lower your rate:

  • Multi-policy discounts for customers who purchase car and renters insurance from MetLife
  • Claims-free discounts for policyholders who consistently do not file claims
  • Protective device discounts for homes equipped with fire alarms and security systems
  • Association discounts for policyholders who work for certain employers or are members of certain associations

MetLife Overview: Financial Strength, Availability, and History

The Better Business Bureau gives MetLife an A- rating, though customer ratings are less glowing. Most BBB complaints involve issues with products or services, as well as billing. YouGov, a private international research company, ranks MetLife 17th out of 50 insurance companies, with 33% of consumer respondents expressing a positive opinion and 8% a negative one. In Newsweek’s 2020 America’s Most Responsible Companies survey, MetLife ranked 19th out of 300 companies, with a score of 83.2% out of 100, beating all its insurance competitors.

  • In business since: 1868
  • S&P Global financial strength rating: AA-
  • Moody’s financial strength rating: A3
  • A.M. Best financial strength rating: A+
  • States served: 50 plus Washington, D.C., as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

The Competition

A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating
J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Renters Insurance Study Score
NAIC Customer Complaints

MetLife
A+
N/A
Fewer complaints than average

USAA
A++
5/5
Fewer complaints than average
State Farm
A++
5/5
Fewer complaints than average
American Family
A
5/5
Fewer complaints than average
Allstate
A+
2/5
Fewer complaints than average
Nationwide
A+
2/5
Fewer complaints than average

Farmers
A
2/5
Fewer complaints than average

All information accurate as of January 9, 2020.

The Bottom Line

MetLife renters insurance offers good basic coverage. We’d like to see higher standard liability coverage, along with separate medical payments coverage. And we’d certainly like to see loss of use coverage, a standard coverage with many renters policies, which pays your living expenses if you need to move out of your home after a disaster. The most appealing aspect of MetLife’s renters insurance is the inclusion of replacement cost coverage in standard policies. Overall, MetLife offers reasonable renters coverage, but if you don’t already have other policies with MetLife, you can find more inclusive coverage with other companies.

MetLife Renters Insurance FAQ

How much does renters insurance cost from MetLife?

Based on a study by The Zebra, a company that researches the insurance industry, MetLife offers moderately priced renters insurance at around $188 per year. However, renters insurance rates are based on many factors, including your location, coverage levels, and the age and condition of your rental property, so it’s important to get a few quotes for yourself to see what it’ll cost you.

What is typically covered under MetLife renters insurance?

MetLife’s standard renters insurance policies pay to replace items such as clothing, electronics, and furniture damaged by fire or vandalism or when stolen. MetLife also includes liability coverage, which can help pay legal expenses or medical bills if someone sustains an injury in your home. You can purchase additional insurance to cover your most expensive property, like jewelry and artwork.

Can you cancel MetLife renters insurance?

If you decide to cancel your MetLife renters insurance, it’s best to do so at the end of the policy term. State insurance codes vary, so you may incur a fee if you cancel your policy before the end of the term. Contact a local MetLife representative to inquire about cancellation policies in your state.

How long does it usually take to buy MetLife renters insurance?

MetLife does not offer online quotes or an online purchasing option. You must call MetLife for a quote or request a consultation through the MetLife website. The amount of time necessary to receive a quote and purchase a policy can depend on how long it takes to reach an agent. Many other insurance companies offer online quotes and policy purchasing.

Does MetLife offer renters insurance in my area?

MetLife sells insurance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The MetLife website features a directory of agents, making it easy to find one near you.

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