How to Save on Renters Insurance

Are you among the 60% of renters going without renters insurance? If so, you're putting everything you own at risk. Your landlord's insurance policy won't cover your loses, should your rental home suffer a fire, water damage or theft. You need renters insurance for that. It's already cheap, but if you use these tips, you can save even more on a renters insurance policy:

Work Your Connections

For Rent Sign
For Rent Sign. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Are you a police officer, a firefighter, a teacher, a nurse, a doctor, a credit union member or a retiree? If so, you may be eligible for a discount on your insurance. Check with your agent to find out which groups and professions they offer discounts to.

Pick Your Location Carefully

They say location is everything, and it's true. Rent an apartment or home that's near a fire station, in a low-crime area or in a newer building, and you'll pay less for your insurance because you're less risky to insure.

Raise Your Deductible

Have a low deductible? Bump it up, and watch your premiums go down. According to the Insurance Information Institute, a $1,000 deductible can cut your premiums by as much as 25%. If you don't have enough savings to cover a higher deductible, work to get there. Start with a $250 deductible (or whatever you can afford). Then, keep bumping it up as your savings grows.

Work on Your Credit Score

Did you know insurance companies use your credit score to help them determine what to charge you for your renters insurance? Yep, they sure do. So, if you needed another reason to clean up your credit, now you have it.

Go After Safety Discounts

It pays to be a safety nut. Rent a home with a security alarm, deadbolts, smoke detectors, fire sprinklers and fire extinguishers, and you could be rewarded with a pretty sweet discount on your renters insurance. Is your rental lacking some of these features? Then, talk to your landlord about adding them. Mention that it'll help them save on their insurance, too, and they may just agree to a few improvements.

Set Up Auto-Pay

Allow your insurance company to pull your premium payments from your checking account when they're due, and you're likely to score another discount. It's their way of making sure you'll pay on time.

Want to save even more? Offer to pay for six-month's or a year's worth of premiums all at once. 

Bundle

Purchase your auto insurance and your renters insurance from the same company, and you'll score a multi-policy discount. Simpler and cheaper? Yep, that's a definite winner.

Before You Pick a Policy:

  • Look closely at what is and is not covered. If you live in an area prone to earthquakes or flooding, you may need to add a separate policy to cover those things
  • If your rental apartment or home includes a separate storage area, make sure it's included in your policy
  • Discuss whether you need to purchase additional liability coverage or a rider for your valuables
  • Tell your insurance agent that you want replacement value coverage for your belongings. This means the insurance company will give you enough money to replace your belongings at today's replacement costs, should you ever suffer a property loss

After You Buy Your Renter's Insurance:

homeinventorylist.jpg
Printable Home Inventory List. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Put together a home inventory list to document what you own, so you'll have all the information you need, if you ever have to file a claim. You can use this free printable to do it.