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How to get discounts on renters insurance
You can get discounts on your renters insurance when you purchase your policy, whether you’re searching for bargains online or buying through an agent.
You can use the following methods to qualify for discounts:
- Add safety features to your home (like smoke or burglar alarms)
- Buy another insurance policy along with your renters insurance
- Pay in full up-front
- Ask for paperless billing
- Set up autopay
- Switch to a different insurer
We cover the most common renters insurance discounts in more detail below.
Common renters insurance discounts
Most providers offer the following discounts:
Home security and safety device discount
If you’re willing to install home security and safety devices into your home, many insurers will offer you a discount, including:
- State Farm
- American Family
That’s because monitoring devices can prevent accidents from happening in your home, thereby making you a safer investment in your insurance company’s eyes.
There are many different safety devices you can install to qualify:
- Fire extinguisher
- Fire alarm
- Smoke detector
- Sprinkler system
- Deadbolt locks
- Burglar alarm
Each insurer will differ in which safety devices they’ll give you discounts for, but almost all of them will offer some sort of safety-based discount. This is by far the most common renters insurance discount there is.
Non-smoking household discount
Some insurers, such as Farmers, offer special incentives for households that have been smoke-free for at least two years. Insurance companies deem non-smokers a lower risk of causing accidental fires and smoke damage, both of which are perils that renters insurance covers.
Secured building discount
You might be able to get another discount if you live in a secured building in a gated neighborhood or have 24-hour manned security. For instance, both Progressive and GEICO offer this discount. Be sure to mention your security when you fill out your insurance application.
Most insurance companies offer multi-policy discounts, also known as bundling discounts. For instance, many providers offer a discount of around 10% when you buy auto and renters insurance together.
Sometimes you can add more policies to get further discounts on your renters insurance premiums. Depending on your insurer, you may be able to bundle your renters insurance policy with the following types of insurance:
- Auto insurance
- Motorcycle insurance
- RV insurance
- All-terrain vehicle (ATV) insurance
- Boat insurance
Bundling discounts are offered by:
- State Farm
- Liberty Mutual
- American Family
Some insurance companies may offer you a discount if you cancel your current renters insurance policy and switch to them. For instance, Liberty Mutual offers what they call an “early shopper” discount if you cancel your policy with your existing insurer and open a policy with them instead.
Doing this can result in your current insurance provider charging you a cancellation fee. Ask your new insurer if they’ll cover this for you.
Many insurance providers will also offer you a discount if you’ve never filed a renters insurance claim or haven’t filed one in a few years. Some companies that offer this discount include:
- Liberty Mutual
Some insurers, like American Family, will reduce your insurance premium once you’ve had your policy for over a year.
However, it’s worth noting that sometimes, insurers do the opposite — they’ll actually increase your premiums when you stay with them. This often happens automatically when the switch-and-save discounts we mentioned above expire.
It’s frustrating to see your premiums go up when you haven’t filed any claims or changed your living arrangements, so if this happens, we recommend shopping around for a new insurance provider.
Senior (age 55+) or retired discount
If you’re 55 or older, you might qualify for a senior discount. Unsurprisingly, this is because senior citizens are considered to be a lower liability risk than younger tenants or college students, since they tend to behave less recklessly.
Look to insurance companies like California Casualty and Allstate, which both give discounts to senior citizens and retirees. For example, Allstate’s website states that they offer a 25% discount on retirees’ premiums.
Discount offers based on payment method
There are also several discounts available if you pay for your insurance through one of these methods:
Some insurers may offer a discount if you pay in full, meaning you pay the entire annual price upfront for your renters insurance. While it may be tempting to pay in monthly installments, there’s no risk in paying the annual price because most insurance companies will refund your unused premiums if you decide to cancel early, even if you paid the entire amount upfront.
Paying in full is also a great way to get renters insurance with no down payment. Some companies charge an additional fee on top of your first premium which they call a down payment or installation fee. They’ll almost always waive this if you opt for an annual payment schedule.
GEICO, Progressive, Lemonade, and American Family all offer a pay-in-full discount.
Paperless billing discount
Progressive renters insurance, along with American Family, will discount your insurance if you opt to go paperless, receiving your insurance bills via email. This option is likely to become the industry norm as more companies are seeking to “go green.”
Automatic payment discount
Some major renters insurers are also willing to give cheaper insurance premiums to policyholders if they enroll in an automatic payment plan:
- Liberty Mutual
- American Family
Automatic payment or autopay means that money will automatically be taken from your bank account when it’s due. Insurers like it when you use this option because it means there’s no chance of you forgetting to pay and being late with your premiums.
Online purchase discount
Liberty Mutual renters insurance comes with a discount for customers who purchase their policy online (instead of over the phone or in person).
Alternative methods to save on renters insurance
In addition to the discounts listed above, there are many other ways to save on your renters insurance:
Choose an actual cash value policy
While some people choose to insure their personal property with a replacement cost policy (meaning insurers will reimburse you for the full replacement value of a lost item), you can lower your insurance premium by opting for an actual cash value policy (meaning insurers will only reimburse you for the actual value for which the property could be sold, i.e. its eBay price).
While choosing an actual cash value policy will lower your premiums, it also means that any claim payouts you receive will be lower than if you had opted for a replacement cost policy.
Deselect optional add-ons
Some insurers will automatically apply add-ons to your policy that will increase its cost. With a Nationwide rental policy, for instance, you’re automatically given inflation protection and identity theft coverage.
Fortunately, if you decide you don’t want these add-ons, you can just opt out.
Increase your insurance deductible
You can also reduce the amount you pay for your premium if you increase your renters insurance deductible.
In other words, the higher your deductible is, the cheaper your premium becomes. The “standard” deductible is $500, so by increasing yours to $1,000 or even higher, you can lower the cost of your policy — although you’ll end up paying a lot more if you have to file a claim.
Improve your credit score
Most insurers check your credit report when you apply for renters insurance, by way of asking for your social security number. There are a few states where you can get renters insurance with no credit check, but in most states, this isn’t possible.
Having a poor credit score can increase the price of your insurance premiums, so a great way to reduce the price you pay is by improving your overall credit rating. Easier said than done, we know.
How to find out more about renters insurance discounts
To read about the discounts offered by the major renters insurance providers in more detail, read our reviews of: