Table of Contents
How long does it take to apply for renters insurance?
Most of the time, applying for renters insurance takes just 10 to 30 minutes. However, that depends on the method you use to apply and on whether you have any special coverage needs (e.g. whether you want to add an unusual type of coverage to your policy by purchasing a renters insurance rider).
Most major insurers have online application processes that you can use to get renters insurance. These usually require very little effort to complete. You usually just have to answer a few questions about where you live, what your building is like, and what kind of coverage you’re looking for.
When you apply for State Farm renters insurance, for instance, they give you a quote as soon as you complete the form on their website, and you can finalize your purchase right away.
Applying over the phone
However, several insurers, including MetLife, don’t offer online applications, which means you have to call them over the phone.
While this is bad news for the phone-shy, it still doesn’t usually take very long — you can usually complete the call in 10 to 30 minutes. Also, when you call, your insurance rep can help you buy the exact level of coverage you want and point out any discounts that you’re eligible for.
How to speed up your renters insurance application process
Regardless of how you apply, you can speed up your insurance application by making sure you have the following details on hand:
Your personal details
- Your marital and employment status
- Your phone number
- Your social security number, which your insurer may use to look up your credit and insurance history
Home and neighborhood information
- Your address
- A list of your building’s safety features, e.g., burglar alarms or sprinklers
- Whether your building has any pre-existing damage
Your desired coverage
- The approximate value of your home inventory, i.e. the property you want to insure
- How much liability coverage you want
- Personal details for any other people you wish to add to your policy, such as your roommate
Your insurer might not ask for all of that information, but if they do, having it readily available will allow you to proceed as quickly as possible.
What can delay your renters insurance application process?
Your renters insurance application might be held up for the following reasons:
You provided inaccurate information
Double-check everything before you submit it to your insurer. If you provide inaccurate information, they’ll have to pause your application while they sort it out, and if they suspect that you deliberately misrepresented yourself or your circumstances, they’ll probably deny you coverage outright.
You customized your policy with riders or floaters
If you contacted your insurer and asked them to add a rider to your policy to protect you from perils that renters insurance doesn’t normally cover, such as floods or earthquakes, your application might take longer to process. The more unusual the rider, the longer you can expect it to take.
The same applies if you requested an unusually large amount of coverage (e.g. if you own a very expensive diamond necklace and you requested an addition to your policy called a floater to fully cover it). Your insurer might ask you for additional documentation as well, such as proof of ownership and an appraisal.
You have a poor credit score
Insurance companies partially base their risk calculations on your credit history, so a poor credit score can delay the process.
Fortunately, because an insurance credit score review is a “soft” inquiry, it won’t affect your credit score like a “hard” credit inquiry would. You don’t have to worry about your renters insurance application damaging your credit even further.
Note that there are a small number of states where you can get renters insurance with no credit check.
How long does it take for renters insurance coverage to take effect?
When you buy renters insurance, you decide when you want your coverage to take effect. Your renters insurance can kick in the same day you purchase your policy, but you can also schedule it to start months after you purchase it.
When should I schedule my renters insurance coverage to start?
That’s your decision, but in general, you should only delay if you’re currently covered by a different type of insurance and you don’t actually need renters insurance yet.
For instance, if you’re living with your parents for a few months and you’re covered by their home insurance policy until you move out, you can schedule your policy to kick in the day that you move into your new apartment.
If you’re currently uninsured, you should schedule your policy to take effect immediately.
How long does it take to get proof of renters insurance?
- Providing a copy of your declarations page, which includes your name, address, coverage amount, and other policy details. Your insurer will send this to you shortly after you buy your policy.
- Providing digital proof of insurance, which your insurer will either email to you or offer through their website. You can either forward this to your landlord, upload it to their website, or print it and send it by regular mail.
- Having an insurance company representative contact your landlord and confirm that you’re covered.
- Adding your landlord to your policy as an additional interested party, which means they’ll be notified about your policy details but won’t receive any coverage.
When do you need to provide proof of renters insurance?
Sometimes landlords require renters insurance as one of the conditions in the lease, which they’re legally entitled to do in every state but Oklahoma. If your landlord has made renters insurance mandatory, they might also require you to provide proof that you’ve gotten it.