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Comparison Shopping Can Help You Find the Lowest Renters Insurance Rates

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Many landlords require their tenants to maintain renters insurance as part of their leasing contracts. While renters insurance is relatively cheaper than homeowners insurance, you will want to buy additional coverage if you own a lot of high-value things. However, the cost of coverage can vary considerably based on factors like the carrier, the type of belongings you carry and your location.

To ensure you’re getting the cheapest price for renters insurance, you’ll need to comparison shop.

Comparing Renters Insurance Rates the Traditional Way

Shopping the SmartFinancial way is great for saving money and time but for comparison’s sake, let’s look at what it’s like shopping for renters insurance the traditional way. Heads up: It takes up much more of your time.

Step 1: Decide How Much Coverage You Need

Start by taking inventory of your possessions, like your furniture, electronics and clothes, and estimating their total value. It’s always helpful to have a home inventory that you update every year or any time you make a major purchase.

Additionally, think about potential liabilities you may face as a renter, such as accidental damage to other people’s property and personal injury claims. For example, some insurance companies exclude coverage for certain dog breeds and you may need to buy special pet liability coverage in case your dog bites one of your guests.

Keep in mind that while renters insurance will insure your belongings, certain valuables may receive limited coverage. For example, your jewelry may be insured only up to $1,500 despite you having $100,000 in personal property coverage. This is called a sublimit. You may want to consider buying additional coverage to fully insure your valuables.

Step 2: Make Sure You Have the Right Information and Documentation

Getting the most accurate quote will require you providing as much information as you can upfront. Be sure you have the below details ready before you proceed to the next step where you start contacting insurance companies.

  • Personal information (e.g., name, date of birth, marital status)
  • Number of people who live with you
  • Rental address
  • Date of coverage start date
  • Insurance claims history
  • Safety features inside your home (e.g., door deadbolts, burglar alarms, sprinkler systems)
  • Proximity to fire service
  • Special items you want to insure such as jewelry

Step 3: Research and Contact Insurance Companies

Start by exploring different insurance companies and their offerings. We recommend gathering quotes from at least three to five carriers to get a ballpark of how much it costs to get the coverage you’re seeking. While you’re on the phone speaking to insurance agents, it’s also a good idea to ask questions about additional coverage options that may be useful to you.

Just remember that price is only one consideration among others when it comes to choosing a renters insurance company. You should also take advantage of online resources, such as comparison websites and customer reviews, to gain insights into each insurer's reputation, customer service and coverage options.

Once you decide on the right carrier, you can contact them to buy the policy.

The SmartFinancial Way To Compare Renters Insurance

Shopping for renters insurance the traditional way is straightforward and it works, but… It can take a lot of time. Remember: you have to provide your information each time you contact an insurance company for a quote.

Here’s an easier way: Use SmartFinancial to make shopping for renters insurance fast and simple.

With SmartFinancial, you don’t have to spend time listening to sales pitches from five or more insurance agents. Instead, all you have to do is complete a short survey about your coverage needs and we’ll take care of the shopping for you.

How SmartFinancial Works

Complete a Quick Questionnaire

This form will include questions about your age, address and how much coverage you need.

Compare Rates

We receive offers from our top-rated renters insurance company partners and using your answers as a filter, we’ll find the policy that best suits your unique coverage needs.

Find Coverage

If you’re thrilled with the policy we match you with, all you have to do is accept and buy the policy. Using SmartFinancial is quick, easy and 100% free.


Factors That Affect How Much You Pay for Renters Insurance

Understanding the factors that influence the cost of renters insurance can help you make informed decisions when selecting a policy. Here's a breakdown of common factors that insurance companies use when calculating your rate:

  • Location: Local factors can affect the cost of insurance. For example, since theft is a covered loss under renters insurance, you might have to pay a higher premium if you live in an area with a high number of break-ins.
  • Deductible: Increasing your renters insurance deductible, or the amount you must pay before your insurance coverage kicks in, will lower your monthly premium. Conversely, lowering your deductible will increase your monthly premium.
  • Coverage limits: Increasing your coverage limits can result in a larger payout for a covered claim but your premium will also increase.
  • Type of coverage: By default, your belongings are insured for their actual cash value, or their depreciated value. It is possible to insure your items at what it would cost to replace them today, or their replacement cost value, but it will cost extra.

The Basics of Renters Insurance

Featured Guide

What Does Renters Insurance Cover? Learn How It All Works

Renters insurance covers your personal belongings if they’re stolen or damaged and you if you’re sued for liability. Find out more how renters insurance works.

Key Terms To Know

Key Term


Even when it’s not required, it’s important to insure your belongings for when the unimaginable occurs, because it does! A renters policy can be tailored to cover everything you own in your rented home.

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You file a claim when you need assistance from your insurer if your belongings are damaged, destroyed or stolen.

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You’re responsible to pay a deductible when you are paid out a claim. You choose the deductible amount when you buy the renters insurance policy.

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Key Term

Policy Limit

You are only insured up to policy limits so make sure to consider how much your belongings are worth by creating an inventory before you buy a policy.

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Key Term

Personal Property

Your personal property includes everything from a bicycle to the dining room table. Consider how expensive it would be to replace all of your belongings without renters insurance.

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You may be liable for injuries to people who visit your home. Renters insurance covers your liability in these situations.

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Additional Living Expenses

If your home becomes uninhabitable due to a covered peril, like a fire, renters insurance will pay for you to live elsewhere and may even pick up the tab for other everyday expenses due to displacement.

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Key Term

Actual Cash Policy

The actual cash value of your personal belongings is the price of your belongings minus depreciation due to everyday wear-and-tear. Most Americans have an actual cash policy, which is cheaper than a replacement cost policy.

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Key Term

Replacement Cost Policy

If you want the ability to replace your belongings with new items, you’ll want to buy a replacement cost renters insurance policy, but it will cost more.

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Key Term

Covered Peril

Not every type of loss is covered by renters insurance, so make sure to read over the list of covered perils in your renters insurance policy.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can security systems, fire alarms and sprinklers earn me a discount?

Yes, some insurance companies may apply a discount to your renters insurance premium if you have installed security systems, fire alarms, sprinklers and other safety features.

Can I add roommates to my renters insurance policy?

Insurance companies will generally only allow spouses and related household members to be on the same renters insurance policy. Roommates who are unrelated will typically maintain separate coverage plans.

Does renters insurance cover collectibles/collections or expensive jewelry?

Renters insurance can cover collectibles and expensive jewelry but usually at only a fraction of their value. You can buy additional coverage if you want to insure these valuables at their full value.

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