Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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renters insurance cost

Renter’s insurance is relatively inexpensive coverage, since the policyholder is looking to insure the contents of the home and not the structure itself. Depending on the company, this type of coverage can often be put in place for $20 per month or less.

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As with all types of insurance purchases, considering your needs carefully and shopping around for coverage will help you get the right policy at an affordable price.

How Renters Insurance Works

Renters insurance coverage can be purchased by people renting apartments, condominiums and houses. It protects the tenant against damage caused to their possessions by fire and theft. The policy also provides liability coverage if someone is injured while visiting the rental unit.

Renters insurance coverage to pay out for a loss due to hurricane or flood damage is also available, but a tenant will need to pay more for this increased level of protection.

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Do I Need Renters Insurance Coverage?

renters insurance needs

All people who are renting a home or apartment should consider having renters insurance coverage in place. The landlord’s insurance coverage only extends to the structure of the building itself, not its contents. A renters insurance policy must be put in place to adequately protect your:

  • Clothing
  • Furniture
  • Household items
  • Kitchen utensils
  • Jewelry
  • Electronics

Without this coverage, you will be faced with having to replace all of these items personally if a loss occurs. Having to re-outfit your home will be a daunting task, and one that is quite an expensive proposition. Paying the premiums on a renters insurance policy is a relatively inexpensive way to protect the contents of your home.

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Cash Value and Replacement Value

When you are considering what type of renters insurance to buy, look at your options carefully. You may purchase a cash value or replacement value policy.

The most economical type of plan is one that pays out a cash value for the items that have been damaged or destroyed.

The cash value represents the amount the items in your home were worth at the time the loss occurred.

  • Cash Value Policies- Over time, the value of your possessions will depreciate. For example, if you have been using the same living room furniture for several years, it won’t be worth the same amount as when you first brought it home. Choosing a cash value renters insurance policy means that you will only be compensated what the furniture is worth today, which may only be a nominal amount and not enough to replace the item.
  • Replacement Value Policies- The other option you have available in renters insurance coverage is to buy a policy that will cover you for the replacement value of your possessions. This is the more expensive option for consumers. When you make a claim on this type of policy, the insurance company will pay out based on the cost of buying a new one of a comparable type. After a loss, a person who has renters insurance coverage that pays out the replacement value will have a much easier time getting back on track, since they will be able to purchase items that are similar to what they already had in their home.

Before making a decision about what kind of renters insurance coverage to buy, it’s important to shop around. Different insurance companies have their own criteria for evaluating the level of risk that an applicant presents, and pricing will vary depending on the company and the level of coverage chosen.

how much does renters insurance cost

You should first consider how much it would cost to replace all the items in your home before asking for quotes from different insurance companies. It may be helpful to go through each room and make note of all their contents.

Then you can do some leg work, either online or going to visit different stores, to get an idea of how much it would cost to buy new items for your home. These numbers will help determine what level of coverage is needed.

Once you know how much coverage you want to buy, you can ask for quotes from different insurance providers.

You may want to start with the company that sold you your car insurance policy (if you have one), since you would likely get a discount on both policies by doing so. Compare rates from a few different providers before making your decision.

You may also qualify for a discount if you have a smoke detector in your home, so be sure to ask about any discounts offered. Renters insurance is available at a relatively low price. This protection is worth the money, since it will pay out if your possessions are damaged or destroyed in a number of circumstances.

Type your ZIP code into the box provided and compare renters insurance quotes today!