Money & Finance Budget Conscious

12.04.2018 | Updated on 12.05.2018 | 2 Minute Read | By Lesly Gregory

The first question renters may find themselves asking when the issue of insurance comes up is, “Do I even need it?”

Yes.

While your landlord may have insurance to cover the structure of the apartment, all the stuff inside is your responsibility, and you need to protect it from the things in life that are easily out of your control.

How much does renter’s insurance cost?

On average, you should expect to pay around $190 a year for renter’s insurance or around $17 per month for basic coverage. This is typically about $40,000 of coverage in personal property and $100,000 in liability protection, all with about a $1,000 deductible.

While this is the average, finding the best deal with the right coverage is important. There are so many insurance companies out there, so you don’t have to settle. Shop around, and use these tips to potentially help lower your costs.

Figure out your coverage

While the quickest way to find cheap renter’s insurance is to opt into paying a higher deductible, the overall price may also be affected by what type of insurance you decide to get. There are two types of renters insurance:

  • Actual Value Coverage is usually the cheaper option. It covers the depreciated value of what you lost, so the value of your stuff at the time you file the claim, not what you paid when you bought it. This basically means you may not get enough money back to replace an item.
  • Replacement Value Coverage often costs about 25 percent more per year but gets you enough money to replace a destroyed, damaged or stolen item with something similar.

Check your credit score

It’s relevant in so many areas of life these days, but insurance companies will most likely run a credit check before finalizing your estimate for insurance. The better your score, the greater the potential for a lower renter’s insurance premium.

You might want to check your score yourself before looking into renter’s insurance, just to know in advance where you stand.

Evaluate your risk

Not that you’d move just to get a lower renters insurance, but it’s worth noting that the less crime in your area, the cheaper insurance rates often are. Additionally, the less likely of a chance for a natural disaster, such as an earthquake or a hurricane, to hit your area, the less you’re going to pay for renter’s insurance.

That being said, states with the cheapest renters insurance on average include North and South Dakota, Wisconsin and Montana, while the most expensive states are Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Texas.

Do your homework

The best way to get a good deal on renters insurance is to decide on the coverage you need and then shop around. Gather quotes online or speak to local agents from many different insurance companies to compare options before picking a policy. Definitely get a quote from the company where you already have another insurance policy, like for your car, since bundling the two could lead to additional savings.

Regardless of who you select as your insurance provider, make sure you read each policy carefully before picking the best-priced one to ensure it has all the coverage you want.

Additional discount opportunities

There are a few other ways you can help reduce the cost of your renter’s insurance.

  • Be a member of a credit union or an organization like AAA
  • Don’t smoke
  • Utilize safety and security devices like smoke detectors or an alarm system in your apartment

These additional elements could offer up significant discounts in your renter’s insurance costs, especially the latter two, which ensure your apartment is just that much safer.

Save money, but get renter’s insurance

Whether looking or a low monthly cost or a cheap deductible, the takeaway here is renters insurance is important. Make sure you’re getting coverage for your belongings, so you don’t end up without any of your stuff should the unexpected happen.

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