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What is the average cost of renters insurance?

Fact-checked with HomeInsurance.com

If you rent your home or apartment, having renters insurance is crucial. It protects your personal items if they get damaged or destroyed by certain events like fire, theft or extreme weather. Without renters insurance, you have to pay out-of-pocket to replace your items.

Renters insurance and home insurance are different types of policies. However, there is some overlap between the two. Both renters and homeowners insurance cover the belongings inside your residence, such as clothing, furniture and electronics.

One of the big differences between home and renters insurance is the price. The cost of renters insurance is significantly less than home insurance. Most people can get renters insurance for less than $20 per month. 

How much is renters insurance?

As of 2017, the average cost of renters insurance in the U.S. is $180 per year, according to data from the Insurance Information Institute (III). However, the price of renters insurance varies by state. You might pay more or less than the annual average depending on where you live. 

The states with the highest average annual renters insurance costs are:

  1. Mississippi: $258
  2. Oklahoma: $236
  3. Louisiana: $235
  4. Alabama: $235
  5. Texas: $232

The states with the lowest average annual renters insurance costs are:

  1. South Dakota: $123
  2. Wisconsin: $134
  3. Minnesota: $140
  4. Nebraska: $143
  5. Iowa: $144

Below is a list of the average annual cost of renters insurance in all 50 states:

  1. Alabama: $235
  2. Alaska: $166
  3. Arizona: $178
  4. Arkansas: $212
  5. California: $182
  6. Colorado: $159
  7. Connecticut: $192
  8. Delaware: $159
  9. Florida: $188
  10. Georgia: $219
  11. Hawaii: $185
  12. Idaho: $153
  13. Illinois: $167
  14. Indiana: $174
  15. Iowa: $144
  16. Kansas: $172
  17. Kentucky: $168
  18. Louisiana: $235
  19. Maine: $149
  20. Maryland: $161
  21. Massachusetts: $194
  22. Michigan: $182
  23. Minnesota: $140
  24. Mississippi: $258
  25. Missouri: $173
  26. Montana: $146
  27. Nebraska: $143
  28. Nevada: $178
  29. New Hampshire: $149
  30. New Jersey: $165
  31. New Mexico: $187
  32. New York: $194
  33. North Carolina: $157
  34. North Dakota: $120
  35. Ohio: $175
  36. Oklahoma: $236
  37. Oregon: $163
  38. Pennsylvania: $158
  39. Rhode Island: $182
  40. South Carolina: $188
  41. South Dakota: $123
  42. Tennessee: $199
  43. Texas: $232
  44. Utah: $151
  45. Vermont: $155
  46. Virginia : $152
  47. Washington: $163
  48. West Virginia: $188
  49. Wisconsin: $134
  50. Wyoming: $147

If you’re wondering what renters insurance costs per month, take the average annual premium for your state and divide it by 12. Even residents in Mississippi, who pay the highest annual rate of $258, will only pay slightly over $20 per month on average for insurance.

What affects my renters insurance cost? 

Renters insurance cost is determined by personalized factors. When the insurance company calculates your rate, it looks at a variety of criteria that influence the price. These factors are personal to you and the belongings you need to cover. Here are some of the most common factors that influence your renters insurance premium:

  • Location (city and state)
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Marital Status
  • Credit score
  • Value of what is being ensured
  • Pets in your home
  • Roommates
  • Your deductible
  • Your coverage limits
  • Type of reimbursement

What factors influencing my renters insurance cost can I control? 

Many of the factors that determine your renters insurance premium are out of your control. For instance, you can’t change your age or where you live. Other factors, like your credit score, take much longer to change. However, there are certain things that you can easily change to better control your rate. 

The amount of coverage

The amount of insurance coverage you need depends on the amount of belongings you own and their value. Someone who owns $2,000 worth of items will pay much less for their insurance than someone with $10,000 worth of items. You will also pay more if you want to insure expensive things like electronics or jewelry.

The type of reimbursement chosen for your policy

When you buy a renters insurance policy, you can choose what type of reimbursement you get from your insurance provider. The main types of reimbursements are Actual Cash Value (ACV) and Replacement Cost Value (RCV). If your belongings are damaged or destroyed under an ACV policy, you’ll get reimbursed for those items with depreciation factored in. With an RCV policy, you’ll get reimbursed for the full amount you originally paid for the item. 

For example, if you bought a couch for $500 five years ago, you might get reimbursed $250 under an ACV policy. On the other hand, an RCV policy would reimburse you the full $500 because that’s what you originally paid for it. Most renters insurance policies default to ACV because they’re cheaper than RCV policies. Getting an RCV policy will save you money after a covered loss, but you’ll pay more for it upfront.

Endorsements

Endorsements are add-on coverages that the insurance company sells to give you added protection against covered losses. Common endorsements for renters insurance policies include flood insurance, electronics coverage, identity theft coverage and jewelry coverage.

Endorsements will raise your premium, but it will increase your payout from the insurance company. For example, say your renters insurance policy only covers electronics for up to $500. If you have $5,000 worth of electronics, you’ll want to get an add-on policy to increase your coverage level and reimbursement.

Your deductible

Your deductible is the amount of money you’ll pay out-of-pocket for a covered loss before the insurance company steps in. The higher your deductible, the lower your annual premium will be. That’s because you’re agreeing to pay more before getting reimbursed by insurance. A lower deductible means the insurance company has to pay a higher amount to reimburse you, and therefore increases your rate. The III recommends a deductible of at least $500, although up to $1,000 is ideal if you’re looking for savings.

The takeaway

Having renters insurance is a smart investment for anyone who rents their home or apartment. It’s a minimal cost to cover your belongings and avoid paying out-of-pocket for losses. However, it’s important to make sure you get the right amount of renters insurance coverage. If you own valuables, electronics, or anything else pricey, consider getting an endorsement. You should also decide what type of reimbursement policy you want, and what you can afford to pay for your deductible.

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