There are many reasons to buy renters insurance. Your landlord might require it, or you might just want protection so you’re not on the hook for personally replacing all of your belongings in the event of water damage.
Luckily, renters insurance is a relatively inexpensive form of protection. If you want to know how much it’ll cost you to cover all of your property, use our renters insurance calculator to crunch the numbers, and see what goes into a renters insurance quote.
Using a renters insurance calculator
Determining how much renters insurance will cost is a matter of entering some details on your residence, your possessions, and any additional coverage you want.
Click the button to get started, or read on for more information on calculating your own coverage needs and cost.
How to calculate your renters insurance needs
How much renters insurance should you have? That depends on the total value of your personal belongings, how much you’re able and willing to pay out of pocket to replace or repair them, and what you can afford to regularly pay as a premium.
The different protections included in a renters insurance policy, and the things you’ll need to take into account while calculating the cost, include:
The value of your possessions. Add up how much it would cost to repair or replace all of your personal property; that will give you an idea of how much coverage you’ll want. Be sure to include big or expensive items like electronics and jewelry along with your myriad other belongings, like clothing. An easy way to keep track of everything and add up the costs is with a home inventory that you can manage right from your phone. Note: Don’t include your car, as your auto insurance will cover damages to it. Also, if you rent, your landlord’s insurance will protect the building itself. You only need to worry about your belongings.
Medical and liability coverage. If someone hurts themselves — on or off your property — you could be on the hook for their medical bills, or they may sue you for other damages. Renters insurance can protect you from liability, which can quickly add up.(Though it won’t protect you against damages from car accidents — that’s what car insurance is for.)
Loss-of-use coverage. If you have to relocate due to damage to your residence and, say, stay in a hotel for some time, your renters policy will cover the cost.
Learn more about figuring how much renters coverage you need in each category.
You’ll also need to consider your deductible. The deductible is how much you need to pay before your insurance kicks in. For renters insurance, deductibles typically range from $250 to $1,000. A higher deductible results in slightly lower monthly premiums, and vice versa.
How is renters insurance cost calculated?
Aside from the above considerations, there are a few other factors that determine the cost of a renters insurance policy.
The first is any riders, floaters, or endorsements you include on your policy. These allow you to customize the policy, usually to increase coverage limits on certain categories for items. For example, your policy might only cover $2,500 worth of electronics, so if both your television and computer are damaged, you’d be paying more than you expected for both of them. You also might have to schedule individual high-value items like an engagement ring to cover them. Buying additional coverage will add to the cost of the policy.
You also need to know what kind of policy you have. Replacement cost coverage will pay however much it takes to replace or repair an item based on its original value; an actual cash value policy will pay out based on the current value of an item, taking depreciation into account (so if you paid $1,000 for your TV five years ago, you might only get $500 today). Replacement cost policies are typically more expensive than comparable actual cash value, but also provide more protection.
Finally, look for savings in the form of discounts. Your carrier may provide discounts if you have safety features like burglary alarms, or have a multi-policy discount if you bundle your auto and renters with them. Policygenius can use the information you provide when applying for renters insurance to automatically detect and apply discounts.
No matter how much coverage you need or the discounts you get, renters insurance is still relatively affordable. The national average premium is around $16, meaning you can get several hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of coverage for under $200 annually.
Other types of renters coverage
One last thing to consider is any coverage you need for your belongings for incidents that don’t fall under your renters policy. For instance, flood damage won’t be covered, and earthquake insurance will be an additional cost. Make sure you closely read your policy to see what your insurance covers and what it doesn’t and decide on what additional policies you’ll need.
How to choose a renters insurance company
Which is the best renters insurance carrier for you? That depends on your individual scenario and needs. While everyone will have their own criteria, some things to consider are:
You might choose a popular, well-known brand like State Farm, Geico, Liberty Mutual, or Progressive.
You can decide to go with a company where you already have an existing policy.
You can choose the company based on the cost of coverage.
You might choose one based on the type of policy they provide or how competitive renters insurance rates are where you live.