The Renters Insurance Guide 2020

Looking for renter’s insurance? The average renter's insurance premium in the US is around $174 per year. Renters insurance is a valuable financial tool to help you cover your personal property for a very affordable price.

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There are dozens of insurance companies that provide renters insurance and tens of options in the renter policy you can customize. Why do you need renters insurance? How much coverage should you choose? What is the average premium in your area? What risks are not covered by renters insurance? We want to answer all the questions for you in this article.

Why do YOU need Renters Insurance?

When you rent an apartment or a house, your landlord usually buys landlord insurance for the property which covers the building. However, when unexpected happens, you need the renters insurance to cover your personal belongings, such as your laptop, furniture, and clothing, etc.,

In addition to your personal belongings, renters insurance commonly covers your liability if someone is injured on your property. Sometimes, landlords will have a minimum requirement on the liability amount.

💡Takeaway: Renters insurance covers your personal belongings and liability for others' injuries on your property.

What are the types of coverage for renters insurance?

The most standard types of coverage are described below. The coverage may vary from state to state and company to company. You should always check your own renters policy to review the limits of your coverage

  • Personal Property
    This is the total value of your personal stuff. It commonly includes furniture, clothing, and electronics. One thing you should be aware of is that most carriers exclude expensive items such as jewelry, art, cameras, or high-end bicycles in this coverage.
  • Liability
    This covers your bills when you're responsible for some injuries that happened on your property. According to our quote data, this coverage won't impact as significant as personal property to your final premium.
  • Loss of use
    When your property becomes unlivable under a covered reason. This is the max living expense you can reimburse.
  • Medical payment
    If your guest or neighbor is injured on your property, this is the max amount of the medical expense.
  • Deductible
    For each approved claim, this is the amount you need to pay. This impacts your premium significantly.
💡Replacement cost vs. Actual cash value
If you read replacement cost or actual cash value from your policy, these are two types of methods to measure the value of your lost stuff. The replacement cost means the full value of the item, while the ACV is the value reduced by the amount the item has depreciated.

What are the steps for purchasing a renters insurance policy?

So you’ve decided that renter’s insurance is a good investment and want to protect your belongings. (Smart decision!) Now what?

  • Calculate the total value of your belongings.
    Evaluate the value of your furniture, clothing, and electronics. The majority of policies have a limit on particularly expensive items, so consult with your provider. For example, Lemonade requires that items such as expensive bicycles and jewelry are listed separately. According to our quote history, customers usually choose a personal property policy starting at $5,000. They may then go up to limits from $10,000- $30,000.
  • Check your lease agreement to determine your liability.
    If your landlord has a requirement for tenants to purchase renter’s insurance, they usually have a minimum liability requirement listed directly in the lease agreement. As a general idea, some high-end apartments require liability policies in the range of $300K.
  • Choose your deductible wisely.
    In the event that you need to make a claim, this is the amount that you will be required to pay out of pocket if your claim is approved. Higher deductibles mean lower premiums. However, be certain that you have chosen a deductible that best fits your particular financial situation. While a lower premium seems nice, that higher deductible can be a strain in the event of a loss.
  • Consider other parties that may need to be covered under your policy.
    You can add your landlord as an “interested party” to your policy, and this will allow them to be notified if your policy is canceled. Most companies cover your spouse by default, but some may ask you to list your spouse’s name or other details. Be sure that you verify that your spouse is covered.

    In the event that you have roommates, you may need to do further research. Some policies cover roommates, and some do not. While Lemonade does not cover roommates under their policies and they will need to purchase their own individual insurance, Liberty Mutual will allow coverage of up to 3 roommates on a single policy.
💡Note: Read your policy carefully about the limit of your personal item. If your expensive items are higher than the limit, you need to talk to your agent or call the customer service line to endorse those items.

How much is renters insurance?

The national average for renter's insurance is around $174 per year. The premium is determined by factors such as your location, your age, and your coverage, etc., In some states, your credit report is also used to determine your premium. Below is a report of the average renters insurance price in the US. You can click any state to learn more details.

State Average Annual Premium
Alabama $235
Alaska $166
Arizona $178
Arkansas $212
California $182
Colorado $159
Connecticut $192
Delaware $159
District of Columbia $158
Florida $188
Georgia $219
Hawaii $185
Idaho $153
Illinois $167
Indiana $174
Iowa $144
Kansas $172
Kentucky $168
Louisiana $235
Maine $149
Maryland $161
Massachusetts $194
Michigan $182
Minnesota $140
Mississippi $258
Missouri $173
Montana $146
Nebraska $143
Nevada $178
New Hampshire $149
New Jersey $165
New Mexico $187
New York $194
North Carolina $157
North Dakota $120
Ohio $175
Oklahoma $236
Oregon $163
Pennsylvania $158
Rhode Island $182
South Carolina $188
South Dakota $123
Tennessee $199
Texas $232
Utah $151
Vermont $155
Virginia $152
Washington $163
West Virginia $188
Wisconsin $134
Wyoming $147
💡Note: Click the state to view more details.

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What companies offer renters insurance?

Most insurance companies like Liberty Mutual, Farmers, GEICO who sell auto insurance also offer renters insurance. In addition, there are companies such as Lemonade, Assurant who primarily provide Renters insurance. Below is a comparison between those two options.

Standalone Bundle with auto insurance
Lemonade, Assurant, etc., Liberty Mutual, Allstate, GEICO, etc.,
• More brands and price options
• The company may have a partnership with your landlords
• Save money for your auto insurance
• Manage multi-policies at the same place

You can also shop around to see what is the best option for you. Click here to start a free quote to compare multiple companies for your renters insurance.


What are not covered by renters insurance?

Renters insurance does not cover all the risks. If you live in an area where there are higher risks for such perils as flood or earthquake, you may need to purchase specific insurance for those perils separately.

If you have a pet and would like to buy health insurance for your loved pets, you may consider buying pet insurance.

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References

Disclaimer
Our articles are intended for informational purposes and should not be considered legal or financial advice. Our articles are not written or reviewed by insurance agents. Consult your policies with your agent or a professional for details regarding terms, conditions, coverage, exclusions, products, services, and programs.

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