How long does it take to get renters insurance?

Buying renters insurance is a quick process that can be done in an afternoon.

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Colin LalleyContent Director, Home & Auto InsuranceColin Lalley is the content director for home and auto insurance at Policygenius, where he leads our property & casualty editorial teams. His insights have been featured in Inc. Magazine, Betterment, Chime, Credit Seasame, Zola, and the Council for Disability Awareness.

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Renters insurance isn’t legally mandatory, but many landlords require it as a condition of signing a lease. That means you may have to get covered quickly if you don’t have it and you’re moving to a building that requires it. You also might just want to get a better deal and save a few dollars every month.

Luckily, buying renters insurance is a quick process that can be done in an afternoon. Read on to find out how long it takes to apply for renters insurance, how long it takes to become active, and what you can do to speed up the process.

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How long does it take to apply for renters insurance?

Some types of insurance take a long time to get. Health insurance typically has an enrollment period you have to wait for until you can apply. Life insurance and disability insurance may have underwriting periods that last several weeks.

But getting renters insurance is a relatively quick process. There are only a few steps involved, and most people can get through the process in under 15 minutes.

When you apply for renters insurance, you’ll need to provide the following details:

Information about your residence

  • Location and type (apartment versus house)

  • Existing damage to the structure

  • Business use (personal renters policies may not cover commercial activity)

  • Dogs or other pets (there may be limited coverage or increased costs for some pets)

  • Previous claims filed

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  • Personal property — Covers the cost of replacing your belongings if they’re damaged or stolen.

  • Deductible — The amount you’re responsible for to cover each time you file a claim before your insurance kicks in.

  • Personal liability — Covers legal costs from injury or property damage.

  • Medical payments — Covers medical expenses if someone is injured.

  • Loss of use — Pays for accommodations if you’re forced to leave your residence.

Learn more about the types of coverage included in your renters insurance policy.

Safety features Safety features like smoke detectors and burglary alarms can result in discounts.

Add-ons and endorsements You can customize your policy to increase payout limits for certain items, or add identity theft or earthquake coverage.

When does my renters insurance start?

It only takes a few minutes to apply for renters insurance. But how long does it take before the policy is actually activated and you’re protected?

That really depends on you. Customers get to choose their effective date when they purchase a policy. That means you get to decide when coverage starts. It could be today, or it could be next month when you move to a new apartment.

Note that some carriers won’t let you effectuate a policy with a start date that’s more than two or three months away. That means you may have to wait a little while to buy your policy until you’re closer to the date you’ll need it — but you can do much of the legwork upfront so when the time comes, you’ll be ready.

How to get renters insurance fast

Getting renters insurance is already a quick process, but you can make it even faster by having the proper paperwork and information ready when you start applying.

Follow these tips for getting renters insurance even faster:

  • Know your residence information. Find out the details of your place, like damage and safety features, before you start. You’ll probably know this information if you’re a homeowner, but you may have to do a little digging if you rent an apartment or home.

  • Know how much coverage you need. Many of the decisions you’ll make when applying revolves around the coverage you want. When you apply for renters insurance through Policygenius we’ll suggest recommended amounts based on what most people use. However, you can have a better idea of what you’ll personally need by making a home inventory of all of your belongings beforehand so you know the total cost and how much coverage you’d need to replace or repair them.

  • Have the right personal information ready. You’ll need to verify your identity with your Social Security number or previous address, and you’ll need to decide whether or not you want to add a significant other or family member to your policy. Finally, you’ll need a payment method. Having all of this ready will help expedite the final steps.