What to do when you don’t want to be covered anymore.
Your renters insurance policy protects your stuff and your peace of mind, but there are some legit reasons for wanting to cancel it. Maybe you’ve found a better rate, or maybe you’re moving in with your partner and getting added to their insurance. Or maybe you’re moving back in with mom and dad. There are lots of reasons you may want to cancel your renters insurance, and lots of things to think about before you do.
Read on to find out:
Canceling your renters insurance varies by insurance company, but it’s generally pretty easy. Some companies will let you cancel your policy online through their website or by sending an email; some companies will do it over the phone; and some companies will want you to write a letter in order to cancel.
Cancellation terms will be written out in your renters insurance policy. You can also call your insurance provider or visit their website to find out what you need to do in order to cancel your policy.
Before you cancel your renters insurance, there are several considerations to take into account, based on why you want to cancel:
If you want to cancel your renters insurance because you can’t afford your current premiums or want to save money, it’s important that you have another renters insurance policy in force before your cancel your old policy. (You can get new renters insurance quotes here.)
If you’re moving, you may be tempted to cancel your renters insurance policy — after all, you purchased it to cover that specific apartment, right?
Yes and no.
Most insurance companies will cover your belongings in your new apartment up to 30 days following the start of move-in. Before those 30 days are over, contact your renters insurance company to transfer the policy to your new address. The premiums can change based on your new neighborhood and building type — whatever you do, don’t cancel your policy without first having another one in force.
If you’re living in a rental apartment and buy a house, there may be a gap of several months between when you purchase the home and homeowners insurance and when you move in. In the interim, it may be tempting to cancel your renters insurance policy, but that would be a bad move. Your homeowners insurance policy does cover personal property off premises, but only up to a point — it could be just 10% of your personal property coverage. Your best bet? Wait to cancel your renters insurance policy until after you’ve left your old home.
Many landlords and management companies require that tenants have renters insurance — some even write the requirement into their leases. If you’re planning on canceling a required policy, know that you could be breaking the terms of your lease, which can lead to fees and even eviction.
If you’re moving in with a roommate, their renters insurance doesn’t automatically cover you. You can technically share a renters insurance policy with a roommate but we suggest having your own policy. Instead of canceling, you should keep your policy and simply contact your insurance company to change the address within 30 days of starting the move to your new address.
If you’re moving in with your significant other, it may make sense to get a new policy together or, if you’re moving into their apartment, share their renters insurance policy. Make sure your name gets added to their policy (or is on the new policy you buy together), and don’t cancel your old policy until the new one is in force.
If you’re considering canceling your renters insurance policy, and you’ll still be living in a rental, the best advice we have for you is to not cancel! You bought the policy for protection and peace of mind, and canceling will eliminate both.
If you really don’t like your policy, or you think it’s too expensive, there are three good alternatives:
1. Adjust your coverage. Talk to your current insurance company about the possibility of changing your coverage — you may be able to increase your deductible or lower some of your coverage amounts, both of which can lower your premiums.
2. Adjust payment terms. It may be possible to choose to pay premiums annually instead of monthly for a discount (or alternatively, pay monthly instead of annually to avoid a large yearly payment). Talk to your insurance company.
3. Get a quote for a new renters insurance policy. Shop for a new renters insurance policy. By changing providers, you may be able to get significant savings.
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.