Strategies For Lowering Your Renters Insurance Premium

By: Yara Zakharia, Esq.

Whether you are a tenant occupying a house, town home, apartment or duplex, renters insurance has got your back: It covers loss of or damage to your belongings and protects you against accidents caused by third parties, namely other tenants.

Because renter’s insurance rates can vary widely from one insurance broker to the next, it is only by shopping around that one can expect to obtain the best value. A tenant may consider consulting an insurance agent, who will quickly provide a ballpark figure of the renters insurance cost based on the tenant's individual needs. A consumer can also obtain an online insurance quote at his own time and convenience.

The amount of the renter’s insurance premium depends on the following key factors:

1. Location of rental unit: The geographic location of the property has a major impact on the renter’s home insurance rate due to the fact that some areas are more prone to certain natural disasters. Tenants in regions that are prone to hailstorms, damaging winds, and hurricanes usually pay more in renter’s insurance. The same holds true for those residing in high-crime areas since their properties are deemed high-risk.

2. Size or number of units in the building: For tenants in apartment buildings, the cost of their renters insurance will be directly proportional to the size of their unit and the number of apartments in their building.

3. Coverage amount: In assessing the cost of renters insurance, an insurance agent will take into account the tenant's level of coverage and liability limits.

4. Security systems: Since burglar alarms and dead-bolt locks reduce an apartment's insurance risk, tenants who install them benefit from a discount on their renters insurance. An insurance agent will extend a lower renters insurance premium to consumers who have installed any kind of security system, particularly the type that directly contacts the local fire department or police.

5. Smoke detectors: Since fire loss claims are costly, renter’s insurance companies offer tenants who install a smoke detector a discount on their premium.

6. Sprinkler system: The installation of a sprinkler system will also result in a lower renter’s insurance premium.

7. Non-smokers: Tenants who are non-smokers pay a lower amount in renters insurance

8. Membership in certain organizations: Many companies reduce the cost of renters insurance for tenants who are affiliated with organizations such as college sororities and credit unions or who carry a certain credit card.

9. Construction: The building's construction style (masonry or frame) can influence the cost of renters insurance.

10. Public fire protection proximity: The greater the proximity of a tenant's residence to a fire hydrant or fire station, the more advantageous it is from the standpoint of the renters insurance premium.

11. Credit history: Consumers with good credit are usually entitled to a lower renter’s insurance premium.

12. Multi-line discount: A tenant who purchases more than one insurance policy (auto, apartment, health and/or life) from the same insurance company is eligible for a multiple policy reduction in the range of 5-15% on their renter’s insurance premium.

13. Deductible: An increase in the policy's deductible will yield a reduction in the renter’s insurance premium. Therefore, to save on renter’s insurance costs, tenants should inform their insurance agent that they would like to raise their deductible.

In sum, consumers should not hesitate to get an estimate of the renter’s insurance premium, either by consulting an insurance agent or by obtaining online insurance quotes. To get the best deal for their money, tenants should keep in mind the factors impacting the cost of renters insurance and implement them to the extent possible.

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