Do you have renters insurance?
According to a recent survey carried out by an Insurancequotes.com, only 34 percent of renters in American have invested in renters insurance. This represents a third of all renters in the country. These renters can rest assured that their personal property is covered in case of loss through perils such as theft or fire damage.
The most common excuse for not getting renters insurance is that it is too expensive. A staggering 88 percent of renters believe that renters insurance is expensive. A recent survey found that these renters overestimated the monthly costs of a renters insurance policy by over $50.
The good news for renters who want to protect their personal belongings is that renters insurance is actually quite affordable. A study by the National Association for Insurance Commissioners put the national annual average for renters insurance at $188. This means that renters insurance could cost you about $12 per month.
Approach with caution
As you begin to compare renters insurance quotes with sites like CoverHound, you may notice a few things. One being that renters insurance rates vary from one region to the next. If you’re researching renters insurance before signing a lease with a landlord, you can easily control the cost of insurance by choosing the right location (read: zip code) to rent in.
Renters insurance can vary from one region to another, one neighborhood to another as well as from street to street. Understanding how location affects your renters insurance can help you make an informed choice when choosing a property to rent as well as an insurance provider.
How location affects your renters’ insurance premiums
Risk is one of the most important factors insurance companies consider when calculating insurance premium rates. The greater the risk associated with the area you live in, the higher your insurance premium. Risks for different perils vary from one street or region to the next. If your home is located near a fire hazard, for example, a large forest in California, you may be charged higher premiums as the probability of your home being lost or damaged due to fire is high.
You should consider the proximity of various risks to the rental property you’re interested in. Are the crime rates in the neighborhood high? Is the area prone to flooding?
If you’re renting in a high-risk area, you can always reduce the cost of your renters insurance premiums by relocating to a neighborhood with lower risks. Less drastic measures to lower your premiums would be lowering your risks. A good start would be having your landlord upgrade your security locks or invest in better smoke detectors.
The costliest regions for renters insurance
The following are the most expensive states for renters insurance according to figures released by the National Association for Insurance Commissioners.
Mississippi was the most expensive state for renters insurance in 2013 with an average annual premium of $250. This is well above the national average of $188. Mississippi may not have the highest crime rate in the country but no one can forget the devastation that Hurricane Katrina wrought on the state in 2005. Many of the hardest-hit areas are still recovering.
The average annual expenditure for renters insurance in Texas was $247 in 2013. Texas not only has a high crime rate but is also prone to various disasters including flooding, tornadoes, and wildfires.
Louisiana residents pay a high premium of $246 annually for renters insurance. This can be blamed on the high crime rates as well as the high risk of storms and flooding in the area, as evidenced by the latest natural disaster the state is reeling from. Most unsettling of all, this latest incident wasn’t even caused by a hurricane, which made it nearly impossible to predict.
Oklahoma has a high average of $245, thanks to relatively high crime rates as well as high risk for disasters such as tornadoes, storms and wildfires.
While it’s probably not sensible to move for the sheer sake of securing a cheaper renters insurance premium, the places we live are one of the biggest contributing factors to the premiums we pay. At the least, be aware each zip code you’re thinking of living in and its associated crime rate. The difference may seem small, but it’s a detail you can easily control.