Renters insurance is financial protection for renters. A typical renters insurance policy contains three types of coverage: personal property coverage in case your belongings are stolen or damaged; personal liability coverage in case you cause damage to someone else’s property or if someone is injured on your property; and loss-of-use coverage, which covers additional living expenses and the cost of staying elsewhere if your home becomes uninhabitable.
Some landlords require tenants to purchase a renters policy, but even if your landlord doesn’t require it you should still consider getting coverage — renters insurance could save you thousands of dollars and it only costs about $15 a month.
If you already have a renters insurance policy in force, there could be a few reasons why you’d need to transfer it. For example, if you move to a new place, you will need to transfer your policy to your new address, which is a relatively easy process. If someone new is replacing you in your rental, you can’t just transfer your existing policy to them, but they can easily sign up for their own coverage.
How to transfer your renters insurance policy when you move
If you move apartments and already have a renters insurance policy, you do not need to cancel your current policy, unless you move to a state where your insurer doesn’t offer coverage. You should contact your insurance company once you know where you’ll be living next. Some things you should have on hand when contacting your insurance company:
Your new address
The date your new lease starts and ends
New landlord information (in case they want to be added as an additional insured or additional interested party)
Any additional coverage you’ll need or new expensive belongings you recently purchased
One factor to keep in mind: Your renters insurance premiums may change when you move. When calculating the price of your renters insurance premiums, your insurance company will factor in which city and ZIP code you live in.
For example, if you move to an area of the country that experiences more extreme weather than your previous city of residence, your rates will likely increase because you’re in a higher-risk area. That’s one reason why you might want to shop around for a new policy if you’re moving — the company with the lowest rates in your current city might not be the best choice for your new rental unit.
Most insurance companies will allow you to transfer your renters policy to a new address either over the phone or through their website or mobile app.
Can you transfer your renters insurance policy to someone else?
If you are the policyholder, you cannot transfer your renters policy to someone else. That said, you can add your roommate to your policy. However, filing a claim with multiple people on your renters policy can make things complicated. Since renters insurance is so cheap, it’s usually easier to take out separate renters policies for each roommate.
If you’re subletting your apartment, you still cannot sign your policy over to someone else (even if you sign your lease over to them). Your subletter should get their own policy.
How to transfer renters insurance companies
In order to transfer renters insurance carriers, you will need to cancel your current policy. There are a few ways to do this:
Online through your insurance company’s website or mobile app
Through an email with your signature
Over the phone
In a formal letter mailed to your insurance company
If you’re switching renters insurance companies, you should shop around and compare quotes options from different carriers. When soliciting new quotes, you should make sure your home inventory is updated so you know how much coverage you’ll need.
Next, you need to consider if you need any additional coverage. If you move, you may want to add endorsements to your policy. For example, if you move to California, you might want to consider adding an earthquake endorsement to your policy.
You can also increase your liability coverage. Below are the typical coverage amounts for a standard renters insurance policy.
Type of coverage
Coverage amounts and ranges
$15,000 - $500,000
Liability and medical expenses
$100,000 or $300,000 or $500,000
Loss-of-use and additional living expenses
$3,000 - $5,000 or 40% of your personal property limit
Once you figure out how much coverage you need, there are a few other factors you should consider when transferring your insurance from one company to another.
What perils are covered? Your new insurance company might not cover the same perils as your previous insurer.
What are the coverage limits? Most insurance companies have the same sublimits on expensive items, that said, you should still check before purchasing your policy.
**Is the new policy an actual cash value policy or a replacement cost policy?** A replacement cost policy will cost you more, but it will also pay you out more.
What discounts does this insurance company offer? If you install safety features, like fire alarms, most insurance companies will offer discounts on your premiums.
Most insurance companies make the shopping and purchasing process quick and easy. You can get quotes from multiple carriers and then choose the one with the best rates and coverage options. Depending on the insurance company, you may be able to complete the whole process online.
You can also compare quotes by:
Calling insurance companies over the phone
Meeting in person with local insurance agents
Working with an independent broker