The Cost of Renters Insurance by Location
According to sample premiums provided by Quadrant Information Services, the national average cost of renters insurance is $15 per month, or $180 per year. This data assumes $30,000 of personal property coverage and a $1,000 deductible.
However, renters insurance premiums depend on where you live, including your state, city and ZIP code. Insurers look closely at the property crime rate in your area, which affects your likelihood of filing a claim for stolen property. Your risk of natural disasters, such as tornadoes or hurricanes, also affects your cost of coverage. However, according to Progressive, insurers don’t value disaster zones as highly for renters insurance as they do for homeowners insurance.
Getting more granular, insurance companies want to know how close your property is to a fire station. The farther it is from one, the more property damage you’re likely to sustain before help arrives.
What else is taken into consideration? Here’s what Insurance Brokers Group owner John Espenschied said typically goes through an agent’s mind when determining cost: “The carriers look at it by address… This house, is it OK? Is it in a fire zone or not? Is it in a brush fire area? Can we write [the policy] or not?”
Mouse over the map below to find out how much renters insurance costs on average in your location.
The Cost of Homeowners Insurance by Provider
Renters insurance rates will likely differ based on the carrier you choose. Providers employ their own underwriting processes and offer varying coverage options, and both affect premiums. Because companies charge different amounts for similar policies, it’s important to do your due diligence when shopping for renters insurance. Gather quotes from at least three providers.
Below are some of our top recommendations for renters insurance providers and their national average premiums for various personal property coverage amounts.
Factors That Impact Renters Insurance Rates
Your location, provider and coverage amount are the most prominent factors that determine your cost of coverage, but they aren’t the only ones. We’ve listed below the other important aspects that feed into your perceived risk and, therefore, the cost of renters insurance.
A standard renters insurance policy covers your personal property and includes additional living expenses and liability protection. But the type of coverage you choose impacts your premium.
Replacement cost coverage is more expensive but offers more protection. It pays for lost or damaged personal belongings at the current market value of a new item without factoring in depreciation.
Actual cash value coverage does calculate depreciation, meaning your claim payout might not be enough to cover the cost of a replacement item. Its premiums are generally less expensive, though, so it could be an option for those who prioritize cheap renters insurance.
Additional coverage, such as an identity theft protection add-on or extra liability insurance, will increase your monthly premium payments.
Renters insurance exists to lessen your financial pain for damages when you experience a covered loss. However, once you file a renters insurance claim, your premiums are likely to increase. If you file subsequent claims during a short time period, your provider may not renew your policy.
Even if you switch carriers, most companies review the last several years of your insurance history and consider any recent claims in their underwriting processes. Here are the national average rates for renters who have filed one of three common claim types.
Renters insurance providers don’t check your credit score specifically. However, they do check a credit-based insurance score and adjust your premiums accordingly. This amounts to a soft credit check, which helps insurers calculate your relative risk. According to Progressive, data supports a correlation between credit history and insurance risk. See how a poor credit score can inflate your premiums in the table below.
Your deductible is the amount of money you must pay before your coverage kicks in after a covered loss. It resets annually and has an inverse relationship with your premiums. The lower your deductible, the more your insurer charges in premiums. Conversely, if you have a higher deductible, your insurer will relax your premiums — but you’ll be responsible for a higher portion of potential claims. Check out how changing your deductible affects policy premiums in the chart below.
If you pose a high enough risk for insurance companies, they may not only raise your premiums, but they also may refuse to cover you. You could have trouble finding renters insurance if you have multiple risks for yourself or the property you want to rent.
- Residence type: You may pay more to rent a single-family home than a unit in an apartment complex, all else being equal. This is because insurers see houses as a more likely target for burglary and theft.
- Property age: The age and condition of your residence affect its likelihood of sustaining damage during a disaster. Older buildings present a higher risk of claims from perils like burst pipes and fire and command higher rates from insurance providers.
- Security features: Many insurers want to know if your property is equipped with deadbolt locks, sprinklers, smoke detectors and other safety devices. If you have these, especially monitored systems that can alert authorities, you’re likely to receive a discount.
- Aggressive pets: Under the liability portion of your coverage, your insurer pays for damages if injuries occur on your property. Because of this, it may be difficult to find coverage if you live with an aggressive pet or a dog with a history of biting.
- Home-based businesses: If you run a business out of your rental property, you likely have expensive computers or other equipment on the premises. The high value of your business assets presents an extra risk to insurers, and you may need a separate policy or endorsement to insure these items.
How To Save Money on Renters Insurance
Renters insurance is already one of the most affordable types of insurance you can buy. “The cost of renter’s insurance is so minimal, let’s say $150 to $200 a year,” Espenschied said. “I think of that as adding $10 to $15 to the cost of your rent.”
But if you’re shopping on a tight budget or simply want to satisfy your landlord’s requirements, here are tips to get the best possible price.
- Increase your deductible: If you’re comfortable with higher out-of-pocket expenses in the event of a covered loss, increasing your deductible is an effective way to lower the price of your policy. Because you’re essentially taking risk away from the provider, it will reduce the price of coverage.
- Bundle your policies: If you take out multiple insurance policies from the same provider, such as a renters policy and an auto policy, you’ll likely receive a significant reduction in policy premiums.
- Check for discounts: Most renters insurance providers offer a variety of other discounts that can shave a few more dollars off your premium. You could save money for installing safety devices, remaining claims-free or agreeing to certain terms of payment. Periodically check with your provider to inquire about current discounts. You may be eligible for something now that you weren’t before.
- Switch providers: No two providers charge the same price for their standard policies, whether that’s because of differences in coverage, underwriting practices, or something else. If none of the above tips reduce your premiums to your desired range, switching providers can be a great way to cut insurance costs. Just make sure you understand the trade-offs you’re making when it comes to the coverage and limitations of your new policy.
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We at the MarketWatch Guides Team gathered renters insurance quotes for the providers in this article using data from Quadrant Information Services. Quadrant is a leading source of property and casualty insurance solutions and data.
Our sample homeowners are 30-year-old single males with good credit and no prior claims history. Our sample policies featured a $1,000 deductible and the following coverage and limits:
- Personal property: $30,000
- Loss of use: $9,000
- Liability: $100,000
- Medical payments: $1,000
For each provider, we gathered a quote for 50% of the ZIP codes in every state the provider is licensed in. We used the most populous ZIP codes for our study. We took the average of these individual quotes to calculate a national average premium per provider. Our sample rates are for informational purposes only. Actual premiums will vary.
Mike Miller is a writer with a decade of experience in various editorial roles. Before joining our team, he wrote for several high-profile clients producing content in the digital space. He has extensive experience producing product and service content to help consumers make informed purchasing decisions. Mike has a bachelor’s degree in creative advertising. In his spare time, Mike enjoys riding and fixing motorcycles, reading a good book and spending time with his wife and two cats.
Alice J. Roden started working for Trending Insurance News at the end of 2021. Alice grew up in Salt Lake City, UT. A writer with a vast insurance industry background Alice has help with several of the biggest insurance companies. Before joining Trending Insurance News, Alice briefly worked as a freelance journalist for several radio stations. She covers home, renters and other property insurance stories.