How to Find the Cheapest Renters Insurance Rate
It may seem silly to try really hard for a cheap enters insurance rate when renters insurance is so cheap to begin with, but you may have lots of personal property to protect, like expensive jewelry or furniture that’s been passed down. Or, like many, you are just starting out and have very little to protect. If you’re the typical millennial with few earthly attachments and possessions, you really don’t need renters insurance very much at all. However, there are those pesky apartment building managers who require renters coverage.
We’re here to help you find the renters insurance you need or are forced to buy at the cheapest prices available.
How Much Does Renters Insurance Cost, Anyway?
Renters insurance should run you anywhere between $11 and $40 a month, and much of that depends on the size of your place. You may be renting a small studio or a big house with several bathrooms and bathrooms. If you add riders, floaters and/or endorsements (see below for what these are), it will cost you a little more too.
What Can I Do to Lower My Renters Insurance Rate?
There are several measures you can take to lower your monthly premiums. Some of these changes may make you safer or at least keep you more protected if your valuables go missing. The more vulnerable you are to a break in, the more you should expect to pay for renters insurance, so we suggest ways that you can secure your possession. But don’t worry: Not all of these options will cost you more money!
Safety Systems and Alarms
Like homeowners and auto insurance, renters insurance decreases the more safety features you add on. Basically, you want to turn your home into an impenetrable fortress. For example, you can install a home alarm system if you have valuables in the home. Most home security systems run between $15 and $60 a month. If that is out of your budget, you can replace old door hinges, a very inexpensive move which can score you a renters insurance discount. Deadbolts are also very inexpensive but successful in keeping out intruders. You can also buy window alarms for under $20. The top two entry points for burglars are the front door and a first-floor window. Anything you can do to secure these two entryway will likely result in a small drop in your renters insurance rate.
Bundle Renters with Car Insurance
Homeowners and auto insurance aren’t the only two types of insurance that are bundled for a discount. You can also save a good amount of money by bundling your renters insurance with your car insurance. Not all but most carriers do offer discounts for placing both insurance products in their care, so don’t hesitate to call your car insurance agent if your company carries renters insurance too.
Compare Renters Insurance Rates
Shopping around can be time-consuming and downright hideous. Instead of spending hours and days getting as many rates as you can, you’re best off using an insurance technology company like SmartFinancial. Just fill out their information form, and they’ll send you a list of companies with the rates they are willing to offer you. You don’t have to worry about your contact information being given out to every agent and their mother, either. You choose which offer you want and SmartFinancial gives your information only to that agent. Comparison shopping usually results in a savings of several hundred dollars a month!
Find a Garage or Move
While moving may sound like crazy talk, your address is one of the most important determining factors that affect your rate. If moving is out of the question, you may opt to rent a garage or, if you only have street parking, you can pay a monthly fee and park your car in a garage. These little changes may bring down your rate, but you may end up paying more in garaging your car. Even though you probably weren’t looking to spend more money, there is usually good reason behind why some areas are flagged as risky (usually more thefts in the area), so it may actually pay off in the long run if you play it safe now.
Raise Your Deductible
If you have a lower deductible, you are paying more monthly. Call your agent and see if you can raise the deductible and pay less every month. We only suggest doing this if your finances are extremely tight. It’s not a good idea to set your deductible so high that you can’t afford to pay it in order to have a claim paid out. For example, let’s say you raise your deductible to $1500 and your apartment building goes on fire and all your belongings are destroyed. You will be responsible for $1500 of the cost of replacing your things before insurance will pay you out.This is why it’s not a great idea to set your deductible amount too high.
Replacement Cost vs Actual Cash Value
You’ll have the option of choosing between a replacement cost renters insurance policy and an actual cash value renters insurance policy. As you can probably guess, with the first, you’ll be reimbursed for replacing items (clothes, television, laptop, etc) of the same or similar quality as those destroyed in your home. With the actual cash value policy, your insurer pays out what the items were worth at the time they were stolen or destroyed.
Endorsements, Riders and Floaters: What a Renters Insurance Policy Doesn’t Cover
Let’s say that you have all the antiques your grandmother passed down or family heirlooms. You may have expensive jewelry that you don’t deposit in a bank or a rare collection that is worth thousands of dollars. Are they covered? No, a renters insurance plan only covers about $2,500 for electronics and $1,500 for jewelry. If your possessions are more expensive, you’ll need to get a rider, floater or endorsement. These are separate from a renters insurance policy but well worth buying if you keep expensive items in your home.
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Renters insurance is one of the most underrated types of insurance out there. It’s also one that many people regret not having invested in until it’s too late. A renters insurance policy can protect you and your belongings in situations that you may not have ever anticipated.
Imagine the ceiling caving in; a major leak upstairs or a fire! If something were ever to go wrong you may not only have to replace some valuables in your apartment, but your place may become uninhabitable for a length of time too. What would you do if you had to stay in a hotel for a couple of weeks?
You may not remember everything that got destroyed and you won’t be compensated for it either. Think about what kind of damage a really bad water leak or fire will do. Your things may become unrecognizable and you may not list everything properly when you start the claims process. Or worse yet, what if the insurance company requires proof of ownership?
Really, the best way to determine which policy is right for you is to see how often you think you may need to file a claim. Because an expensive deductible is more difficult to pay, you should not choose the highest deductible if you know you’re prone to break-ins or if the apartment complex you live in is poorly maintained (a faucet leak upstairs from you may destroy all your property).
Here is what you should keep in mind If you rent an apartment, condo, townhome or single-family home.