If you rent a house or apartment, having a renters insurance policy is important. Renters insurance pays to replace your personal items if they get damaged or destroyed in a covered peril, such as a fire or hurricane. It also includes liability insurance and loss of use coverage.
Unlike other types of property insurance, renters insurance is pretty inexpensive. In fact, it’s among the cheapest insurance policies you can buy. However, renters insurance premiums vary by location. We’re going to explain the average cost of renters insurance, and how much the average policy costs in all 50 states.
The average cost of renters insurance
The average American pays $179 per year or 14.9 per month for renters insurance in the United States, according to the NAIC. One of the reasons why renters insurance is so cheap is because it does not include any coverage for the building itself. Renters insurance only provides coverage for personal property, liability, and additional living expenses.
Although renters insurance is affordable, every renter pays a different rate for their coverage. Factors like age and credit score will impact the cost of your policy. Another major factor that affects renters insurance premiums is your state and even your ZIP code.
Average renters insurance rates by state
The table below includes the average renters insurance premiums in all 50 states and Washington D.C., using data from the Insurance Information Institute. Remember that these rates are averages, and the exact amount you will pay depends on a number of personalized factors, which we’ll talk about later.
States with the most expensive renters insurance
Some states have higher average premiums for renters insurance than others. The table below includes the top 10 most expensive states for renters insurance in the country:
|Rank||State||Average Annual Premium|
|10||West Virginia (tie)||$189|
|10||New York (tie)||$189|
States with the cheapest renters insurance
The table below highlights the top 10 cheapest states for renters insurance per 2018 according to the NAIC report:
|Rank||State||Average Annual Premium|
What determines the cost of renters insurance?
As you can see, renters insurance premiums vary significantly by state. However, there are a number of other factors that will impact the cost of your renters insurance premium. Here are some of the criteria that insurance companies use when calculating your rate:
The state you live in, and more specifically, your ZIPcode, are factored into your renters insurance premium. For example, neighborhoods with a high crime rate typically have higher insurance rates than areas with a low crime rate. Similarly, insurance is more expensive in ZIP codes that are located near the coastline, in flood zones, or near earthquake fault lines.
Your age is another factor that will impact your renters insurance cost. Young renters usually pay higher rates than older renters, although the difference is not significant. Some insurance companies even offer discounts for retired renters who are at least 55-years-old. As you get older, the cost of your renters insurance policy will start to slowly decrease.
One of the biggest factors that affects your renters insurance premium is your credit score. The higher your credit score is, the lower your premium will be. Conversely, renters with a bad credit score (anything below 670) can expect to pay the highest rates. Insurance companies view individuals with a poor credit score as high-risk, and therefore, more likely to file claims.
Insurance companies pay close attention to your claims history when calculating your renters insurance premium. Renters with multiple claims on their record are considered high-risk and will pay a more expensive premium. If you have no prior claims on your record within the last few years, you will pay a lower rate, and you may also qualify for an additional discount.
The last factor that impacts your renters insurance premium is your coverage. Raising your coverage limits offers more protection, but it also means that you will pay a higher premium. Additionally, if you customize your renters insurance policy with endorsements, like flood insurance or scheduled personal property coverage, your premium will increase even more.
Five ways to get cheaper renters insurance
Renters insurance is usually cheap to begin with, but there are ways to get an even lower rate. Here are five ways to get cheaper renters insurance in any state:
- Shop around: First, make sure to shop around and look into several providers before choosing one. Get a few different quotes and compare them to see which insurance company can give you the lowest rate for the type of coverage and the amount of coverage you need.
- Look for discounts: Most renters insurance companies offer discounts that can help you get a lower premium. Choose an insurance company that offers multiple discounts you can take advantage of for maximum savings.
- Raise your deductible: Raising your deductible can lower your monthly premium. But before increasing your deductible, make sure you can afford the higher out-of-pocket cost in the event that you need to file a claim.
- Improve your credit score: Improving your credit score is one of the most effective ways to get a cheaper renters insurance premium. If you currently have bad credit, work on getting your credit score into the ‘good’ category (between 670-739) to lower your premium.
- Pay your premium in full: Most insurance companies will lower your premium if you choose to pay your annual premium upfront and in full, rather than in 12 separate monthly installments.
Renters insurance probably won’t break your budget, so if you rent your home or apartment, it’s a good idea to invest in a renters insurance policy. Renters insurance offers valuable protection for your personal belongings and your liabilities. Before you buy a policy, find out how much you can expect to pay in your state, then shop around, and get multiple quotes. Use the tips listed above to get the cheapest rate possible for the amount of coverage you need.