How to find the cheapest renters insurance for you.
Moving into a new apartment is expensive, no matter where what city you live in. First and last month’s rent, security deposits, key fees, broker’s fees, moving trucks — it all adds up, and it adds up to a lot. Which is why it can be daunting when your landlord tells you that you’re required to have renters insurance! (Or when you realize that renters insurance is so important, you need to buy it even if it’s not required). But can you buy affordable renters insurance? The good news is that yes, you can.
Read on to find out:
The average cost of renters insurance in the U.S. is $188 a year, or just under $16 a month, according to the Insurance Information Institute. But whether your personal renters policy cost will be above or below that average depends on several factors, including:
Your location. Renters insurance rates are based on crime rates and claim rates for your location. Rates vary by state (see below), city, neighborhood, and even block by block.
Your credit score. A good credit score is a sign of financial health, and insurance companies often reward a higher score by offering lower premiums.
How much stuff you have. The more stuff you have and could potentially need replaced, the more expensive your policy is going to be.
Whether you have pets. You’ll have to pay higher premiums if you have an aggressive dog because that dog could hurt someone.
The renters insurance company you choose. Renters insurance costs aren’t regulated, and the same coverage can cost different amounts based on which renters insurance company you go with.
There are a few things you can do to make your renters insurance premiums more affordable:
The deductible is how much you pay out of pocket after a claim before your insurance company’s coverage kicks in. If you raise your deductible — that is, commit to paying more out of pocket in the event of a claim — you can lower your premiums significantly.
There are two ways that renters insurance can pay you for your personal belongings in the event of a claim: they can pay you the replacement cost value — the cost to buy a new item — or they can pay you the actual cost value — the depreciated value of the item. Replacement cost value policies end up paying you a lot more for your belongings in the event of a claim, but that also means they are more expensive. If you really need to keep your renters insurance policy affordable, ask about an actual cost value policy.
More coverage means more money, so make sure you’re not buying more coverage than you need. Conduct a home inventory to calculate the true value of your belongings, and only buy enough coverage to cover them. For liability coverage, your landlord may require that you buy a set amount. But if not, you may be able to lower your coverage.(When you get a renters insurance quote from Policygenius, you can use our slider to see how your premium changes as you adjust your coverage.
Many renters insurance companies offer discounts if you have safety or security features in your home. These features include:
Local fire/smoke alarms (sounds in home)
Central fire/smoke alarms (alerts monitoring system)
Local burglar alarm (sounds in home)
Central burglar alarm (alerts monitoring system)
If you also have an auto insurance policy, you can often get a discount by buying your renters insurance policy from the same company. It’s called policy bundling or multiple-policy discount.
The best way to get affordable renters insurance is to shop around and get multiple quotes from multiple insurers. Policygenius can give you a free renters quote, and our coverage sliders can help you see how your premium changes as you increase and decrease your coverage, so you can find the best and most affordable coverage for you. Get started with a free renters insurance quote.
While getting quotes is the best way to find the best and most affordable renters insurance for your particular situation, we’ve compiled quotes from the top renters insurance companies in cities across the U.S., from New York to San Diego.
Logan Sachon is the co-founder of The Billfold, a groundbreaking personal finance site for millennials that was named one of Time's 25 Best Blogs of 2012. Her work has been published in New York Magazine, Glamour, The Guardian, BuzzFeed and more.