How Much Is Renters Insurance?

Renters insurance cost, broken down by state

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How Much Is Renters Insurance?

If the thought of another $100-plus monthly expense is keeping you from buying renters insurance, well, then, you should know a policy isn’t likely to cost nearly that much. In fact, the average cost of renters insurance in the U.S. is $190 a year, or just under $16 a month, per 2014 data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

What Determines the Cost of Renters Insurance?

Renters insurance is essentially protection for your possessions, plus some liability coverage for good measure. For instance, a policy will pay to replace (at least part of) a laptop that gets fried via a burst pipe. Or it’ll provide some coverage for medical and court expenses if a friend gets hurt making a smoothie in your kitchen and decides to sue you. (That’s the gist, but if you’re looking for a deep dive on what renters insurance does and doesn’t cover you can go right here.)

While renters insurance is generally affordable — at least in terms of insurance policies — across the board, rates will vary. Here are the big factors that determine the cost of your renters insurance:

  • The building: The condition, size and age of a building affects premiums, as does its security features (or lack thereof). Think about it: An old decrepit building with a busted gate is much more likely to take damage or get broken into than a new building with round-the-clock surveillance.
  • The neighborhood: Living in an area prone to crime or natural disasters generally leads to higher premiums, since, again, there’s a higher likelihood of you (and your neighbors) filing a claim.
  • Your credit: It’s common practice for insurers to look at a version of your credit score when setting rates. A good credit score is considered a sign of financial wellness and can lead to lower premiums.
  • How much stuff you have, because that’ll dictate how much coverage you’ll want or need. Generally, the more value your home inventory has, the more it’ll cost to insure. We’re saying value because, while having a lot to insure generally costs more, the total price of your possessions is the real driver here. Renters insurance has a total coverage cap, but there are also usually individual limits on pricey items or categories of stuff. Like jewelry or electronics. So if you don’t have a ton of stuff, but own a $10,000 family heirloom, you might need a rider (or even a separate policy) for that item and you’ll wind up paying more. You can go here to learn about determining how much renters insurance you need.
  • How you would like your claims paid out: Actual cash value renters insurance covers the value of your stuff right now, not what it costs when you got it. Replacement cost renters insurance covers the cost of repairing or replacing the item, sans depreciation. It, unsurprisingly, costs more than an actual cash value policy. Luckily most renters insurance — including the kind you’ll find at Policygenius — is replacement cost.
  • Your deductible: That’s the amount of money you pay out of pocket before your coverage kicks in. The higher your deductible, the lower your premium. Bonus tip: People commonly opt for a $250 to $500 deductible.

How Much Does Renters Insurance Cost in Each State?

Given your neighborhood and building (read: infrastructure) influence your premiums, it stands to reason the cost of renters insurance varies dramatically across state lines. Keep in mind, though, pricing get more granular than that. Some states with coastal cities, for instance, have non-coastal cities, too. And its zip codes by the sea are going to be more prone to weather damage than the more water-isolated counterparts. That’s a long-winded way of saying the cost of renters insurance can also vary dramatically across any given state. With that caveat in mind, here are the average annual renters insurance premiums in each one as of 2014, per NAIC:

  • Alabama: $245
  • Alaska: $168
  • Arizona: $195
  • Arkansas: $213
  • California: $203
  • Colorado: $174
  • Connecticut: $205
  • Delaware: $154
  • District of Columbia: $160
  • Florida: $202
  • Georgia: $226
  • Hawaii: $210
  • Idaho: $156
  • Illinois: $177
  • Indiana: $187
  • Iowa: $146
  • Kansas: $179
  • Kentucky: $169
  • Louisiana: $255
  • Maine: $147
  • Maryland: $161
  • Massachusetts: $198
  • Michigan: $203
  • Minnesota: $144
  • Mississippi: $262
  • Missouri: $181
  • Montana: $142
  • Nebraska: $150
  • Nevada: $190
  • New Hampshire: $145
  • New Jersey: $168
  • New Mexico: $191
  • New York: $205
  • North Carolina: $155
  • North Dakota: $114
  • Ohio: $188
  • Oklahoma: $248
  • Oregon: $164
  • Pennsylvania: $158
  • Rhode Island: $179
  • South Carolina: $194
  • South Dakota: $120
  • Tennessee: $215
  • Texas: $259
  • Utah: $145
  • Vermont: $152
  • Virginia: $157
  • Washington: $169
  • West Virginia: $180
  • Wisconsin: $132
  • Wyoming: $154
  • United States: $190

The Most Expensive States for Renters Insurance

The unifying theme here: Extreme weather. Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana and Alabama are coastal and susceptible to hurricanes, while Oklahoma has a tornado problem.

  1. Mississippi: $262
  2. Texas: $259
  3. Louisiana: $255
  4. Oklahoma: $248
  5. Alabama: $245

The Cheapest States for Renters Insurance

Conversely, the states with the cheapest renters insurance are much more insulated from extreme weather and natural disasters.

  1. North Dakota: $114
  2. Wisconsin: $132
  3. Montana: $142
  4. Minnesota: $144
  5. New Hampshire & Utah (tie): $145

How Much Is Cheap Renters Insurance?

Well, if you’re opting for minimal coverage with an actual cash payout and your zip code, credit score, choice of building, etc. aligns, you can conceivably get renters insurance for as little as $5 to $8 a month. You can learn more about how to buy cheap renters insurance online here.

Last updated on Nov 3rd 2017