Apartment renters insurance is a misnomer because renters insurance does not cover damages to the apartment itself. Generally, renters insurance for an apartment costs an average of $15 per month, covering your personal property, personal liability and additional living expenses — but not the apartment itself. Whether you’re renting an apartment or a home, the cost of your renters insurance is driven more by the coverages you select and where you live than the type of building you live in.
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The average cost of a policy with $20,000 in personal property coverage, $100,000 in liability coverage and a $500 deductible is $177 per year or $15 per month.
The same policy with $50,000 in personal property coverage costs $298 per year or $25 per month.
If you increase personal property limits to $100,000, the same policy will cost $490 per year or $41 per month.
Average Cost of Renters Insurance for an Apartment
For renters purchasing $20,000 in property coverage with a $500 deductible, the average cost of renters insurance in an apartment is $15 per month. However, this can change depending on your coverage amount, location and more.
Coverage, in particular, plays a significant role in renters insurance costs. If you buy $20,000 in personal property coverage, you’d pay an average of $15 per month, but if you purchase $100,000 in coverage, it would cost $26 more per month. While keeping low limits may be tempting to save monthly, the personal property limits you get should be high enough to cover the value of your belongings.
Factors Affecting Your Apartment Renters Insurance Costs
The type of building you live in — whether it’s an apartment or house — does not have a significant effect on the price of your policy. Instead, the cost of your renters insurance policy will depend on a variety of other factors, including:
- The amount of coverage you buy. Buying more personal property coverage will result in a more expensive policy.
- The company you buy a policy from. Different insurers can charge different prices for similar policies.
- The deductible you select. A lower deductible will increase the cost of your policy.
- Where you live. Renters who live in places with more dangerous weather or higher crime rates may pay more.
- What discounts you’re eligible for. Some renters may be eligible for discounts due to safety devices like smoke detectors.
- Whether the policy covers you for the actual cash or replacement cost value of your items. Actual cash value policies are cheaper because they account for the fact that your property has worn down over time and is therefore worth less.
Cheapest Apartment Renters Insurance Companies
MoneyGeek’s analysis found that among national providers, State Farm and Allstate are the top two cheapest renters insurance providers for apartments, while Travelers is the most expensive. This analysis assumed a policy with $20,000 in personal property coverage and a $500 deductible.
Generally, renters insurance rates can vary greatly between insurance companies. This is why comparing renters insurance quotes is key to finding the best and most affordable policy available to you.
Available in all states across the country, State Farm is the cheapest renters insurance company for apartments on average. The company also offers discounts to make your policy even cheaper, including discounts for bundling auto and renters insurance and for having a home monitoring system installed. However, availability of discounts can vary by state.
Renters with a State Farm policy can also get additional coverage, such as additional liability coverage, identity restoration and earthquake coverage. These optional add-ons allow you to supplement your policy and get even more protection.
Offering policies in 39 states, Allstate is the second-cheapest option for apartment renters insurance. Renters can get even cheaper policies by taking advantage of discounts — for instance, being claims-free, setting up automatic payments or being over 55 and retired can get you a discount.
Allstate also offers apartment renters optional add-ons, such as identity theft and flood insurance. If you live in a flood-prone area, taking advantage of such coverage can ensure your belongings are protected in case the worst happens.
What Renters Insurance Covers in an Apartment
Renters insurance covers damage to your personal property, including items such as laptops, electronic equipment, furniture, sporting goods and more. Damage to the apartment itself falls under a homeowners insurance policy and is the landlord’s responsibility. There are four aspects that renters insurance covers:
Personal Property Coverage
You may not think your personal property is worth a lot, but if you total up the cost of your computers, electronics, furniture, sporting goods and clothing, you may find it’s worth more than you think. Your personal items are not the landlord’s responsibility, even if something gets stolen out of your apartment. Expensive items such as art or jewelry are generally not covered by basic renters insurance, so you might want to purchase additional coverage for those items.
Personal Liability Coverage
Personal liability coverage in renters insurance covers you against medical or legal fees if you’re found at fault for a guest being injured at your apartment or for property damage to others.
If your dog bites someone or if someone trips and falls in your apartment, for example, this coverage will pay for their medical expenses up to the policy limit.
Additional Living Expenses
Otherwise known as loss of use in renters insurance, this pays for temporary housing and other expenses incurred if your rented apartment becomes uninhabitable due to a covered peril.
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Covered Perils in Apartment Renters Insurance
Renters insurance policies cover certain perils up to your limit, including fire, theft and more. There are, however, limitations to the covered perils, depending on your policy type.
There are two types of policies: named and open. A named peril policy means that your insurer will only cover you for a certain number of defined perils, while an open peril policy will cover you for all events except those specifically stated on your policy.
Both named and open peril policies typically cover the following events:
- Smoke damage
- Damage from the weight of snow or ice
- Pipes freezing
Non-Covered Perils in Apartment Renters Insurance
While they can vary from insurer to insurer, the following is a list of common occurrences that renters insurance providers won’t cover.
What Isn't Covered
Floods, Earthquakes and Natural Disasters
To cover damage to your personal belongings from a flood and earthquake, you’ll have to buy separate policies tailored to those events. You’ll sometimes be able to buy those policies from the same insurer as your renters insurance policy.
If you intentionally damage your belongings, your insurer won’t pay to replace them as it doesn’t typically count as a covered peril. This also applies to instances where a family member or a friend intentionally damages your belongings.
Insect or Rodents
Insects and rodents are tricky. When you sign a rental agreement, you commit to maintaining a clean property. Landlords might pay to exterminate these pests, but they aren’t responsible for pest damage to your property.
How Much Renters Insurance to Get for an Apartment
While landlords can require renters insurance before you lease your apartment, it’s not mandated by law. Even so, getting renters insurance for your apartment is a smart financial investment. After all, replacing your belongings out of pocket can quickly get expensive — think of your appliances, clothing and furniture and whether you’ll be able to pay to replace all of them from scratch. However, this begs the question: how much renters insurance should you get?
- Personal Property Coverage: MoneyGeek recommends buying enough personal property coverage to protect all of your belongings. To properly determine this amount, create a home inventory by listing all your belongings and assigning a rough estimate of their replacement cost.
- Personal Liability Coverage: In terms of liability, a good place to start is at least $100,000. However, if you often have groups of friends or family over or have one or more pets, you might want to consider increasing your coverage to ensure that if the worst happens, you won’t have to pay out of pocket.
- Additional Living Expenses (ALE): This is typically a percentage of your coverage and is determined by your insurer.
Increasing your limits for personal property or personal liability coverage will increase your premiums, but often only by a few dollars. For instance, a renters insurance policy with $20,000 in personal property coverage and $100,000 in personal liability coverage costs an average of $15 per month, while a policy with $50,000 in personal property and the same liability limits costs only $10 more per month.
While lower limits may seem tempting, it’s best to get a high enough limit to cover your belongings. The best renters insurance policies typically balance affordability and strong customer service.
Frequently Asked Questions About Renters Insurance in Apartments
Renters insurance is fairly easy and straightforward, but common questions still arise when it comes to the details. Here are the most common questions people have about renters insurance.
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About Gail Kellner
- Insurance Information Institute. "Facts + Statistics: Renters Insurance." Accessed November 7, 2020.