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What is the average cost of renters insurance?
Renters insurance costs $15–$20 per month on average. However, this can vary by $5 to $10 in either direction. Anything under $10 or over $20 is either very cheap or very expensive.
Renters insurance rates are determined by several factors. One of the most significant is where you live, although there are several other important factors that we cover below.
What factors affect the cost of renters insurance?
There are seven major factors that affect the price of renters insurance:
- The amount of coverage you need
- Where you live
- The type of building you live in
- Your home’s safety features
- Your pets
- Your credit score
- The payment schedule you choose
1. Your total coverage
Unsurprisingly, your monthly premiums depend on how much coverage you buy.
Standard renters insurance policies offer about:
- $30,000 personal property insurance
- $100,000 personal liability insurance
- $1,000 to $2,000 guest medical insurance
- $9,000 to $10,000 loss-of-use insurance
That level of coverage is enough for most people (and might even be overkill for some). However, if you own a lot of valuable things, you might want to add more.
Adding $10,000 of property coverage or $100,000 of liability coverage will raise your premiums by a few dollars each month.
Other coverage factors
- Endorsements: If you want to add a new type of coverage (e.g. earthquake coverage), you can purchase an addition to your policy, which is called an endorsement or rider. This will raise your premiums.
- Your deductible: Conversely, you can lower your monthly premiums by agreeing to pay a higher deductible, which is the amount that you pay out-of-pocket when you file a claim.
2. Your location
Where you live has a significant impact on how expensive renters insurance is.
If your city has a high crime rate, your premiums will be correspondingly higher. For example, in Irvine, California, which is a relatively safe city, the average cost of renters insurance is about $15.86 per month. On the other hand, in Los Angeles, which has a higher crime rate, renters insurance typically costs about $22.07 per month.
You’ll have to pay more if you live in a state that frequently sees extreme weather, such as tornadoes, hailstorms, or blizzards. You also might have to pay more if you live in a drought-prone area, which can increase the risk of a fire.
3. Your building
If you live in a house, you may have to pay higher premiums than if you live in a large apartment building with many units. This is because single-family homes are usually larger, with more to insure: a yard, a patio, and sometimes a garage, as well as more furniture overall. Large apartment buildings and complexes also usually have apartment managers to look after them, which makes them more secure.
You’ll also have to pay higher premiums if you live in an older building that might present a fire risk.
4. Your home’s safety features
On the other hand, you can lower your premiums by outfitting your home with safety features, such as a smoke detector, a burglar alarm, and a secure deadbolt on your door. If your home is safer, your insurance company will charge you less, because you’re less likely to file a claim.
5. Your pets
Renters insurance covers dog bites, but if you own a large dog that might bite people, you’ll have to pay a higher premium.
Many insurance providers have blanket policies against selling to people who own certain breeds of dogs, such as pit bulls or rottweilers. If you own one of those breeds, you might have trouble getting renters insurance at all.
6. Your credit score
If you have a good credit score, your renters insurance premiums will be lower, and vice versa.
This is because statistically, people with high credit scores are less likely to file claims. They’re also less likely to go bankrupt and default on their premiums.
7. Your payment schedule
When you buy renters insurance, your provider will offer you a choice: you can pay a small amount each month (usually between $12 and $20), or pay upfront for an entire year’s worth of insurance. There may also be a few options in the middle, like paying every three months.
Most insurers will give you a small discount if you pay upfront, because it means there’s no chance you’ll forget or be unable to pay at any point.