Like most people in this economy, you are probably budget-conscious. These days you can find discounts on nearly everything you buy, and renters insurance is no exception. Though it is typically inexpensive to begin with, renters insurance can be even more affordable when you comparison shop and are aware of the various ways to get discounts.
Risk Factors that May Affect Your Renters Insurance Costs
As you search for renters insurance discounts, keep in mind some of the different variables that can affect your premium. Here are some statistics and facts to help you get a good idea of what coverage you need:
- 33% of all burglars enter through the front door; 23% enter through windows
- Deadbolts on doors and secure window-locks can prevent most burglaries
- The risk of serious injury or death in a residential fire is cut in half for those who have working smoke alarms
Improve Your Apartment Security
When it comes to personal property, renters are most at risk of loss due to burglary. Burglars can steal your most valuable possessions, and may also damage your other personal belongings, such as furniture, in the process. These risks mean more insurance claims and higher costs to insurance companies. For this reason, your renters insurance company may give you a discount for improving your security.
If your landlord has good security measures in place, be sure to let your insurance company know. You can also consider increasing your unit’s security by installing a burglar alarm or other security system. Even living in a rental unit in a gated community or one that has a secure entry may entitle you to renters insurance policy discounts.
The most common point of entry used by burglars is, surprisingly, the front door. Windows are second followed by use of other doors to the home. For this reason, many renters insurance companies will offer discounts to policyholders who have dead-bolts on all external doors.
If you live in an area with a very high crime rate, you may find that your quotes for renters insurance are high. In this case, check to see whether your state offers high-risk property insurance. These policies were specifically designed to help residents of high-crime neighborhoods to get affordable insurance coverage.
Reduce Your Risk of Fire Damage
In 2011, fire departments responded to more than 350,000 home fires that resulted in more than $11.5 billion in property damages. Because a major fire in an apartment complex can result in extensive damage to multiple units, insurance companies encourage safe practices that minimize risks. They are also often willing to give discounts to those who reduce the likelihood of a fire.
Smoking indoors is one of the leading causes of residential fires, so many insurers offer discounts to non-smokers. Additionally, early warnings from smoke alarms may allow you ample time to extinguish flames or minimize damage by getting first responders to the fire quickly. You may qualify for discounts by making sure you have installed, working smoke alarms. You may also qualify for lower cost renters insurance if your rental has in-home sprinkler system or a fire alarm system that automatically notifies the local fire department of smoke or fire.
Ask About Discounts for Organizational Affiliations
This is a little-known way to receive a discount on your policy. Some companies offer reduced rates to members of certain professional organizations or interest groups. You may be a part one of these organizations without even realizing it.
Simply being a member of a certain credit union, being in a local alumni organization, or having a particular credit card may be enough to save you money. It never hurts to ask for a list of affiliated organizations.
Maintain a Good Credit Rating
Your insurance company may request your social security number in order to provide a renters insurance quote. This is often because the company factors your credit score into your premium costs. Insurance actuaries have found that credit score is linked to risk tolerance; therefore a good credit score signifies that you are less likely to have risky behaviors.
Your credit rating is important in many ways, so regardless of whether or not your insurance company offers lower rates to customers with high credit scores, it is a good idea to check your credit report frequently and take measures to improve your score.
Opt for Automatic Payments
Automatic payments, also known as EFT payments, are a great way to save money on your renters insurance policy and prevent the risk of late payments. You can sometimes save as much as $5 a month by electing to have your payment automatically deducted from your bank account.
If you have a tendency to overdraw on your account, however, this may not be the best choice for you. If you do not have the funds to cover your automatic payment on the due date, your bank and the insurance company may charge you penalty fees.
Ask About Multi-Policy Discounts
If you own a car, you may be able to combine your renters and automobile insurance policies under one insurance company, and receive discounts on both. An independent agent in the Trusted Choice network can provide all the information you need on multi-policy discounts. You may qualify for discounts on other items you need to insure as well, including your boat, personal watercraft or motorcycle.
The Take Home Message
In the end, there are a lot of common sense measures you can take to get savings and discounts on your renters insurance. Each company is different, however, and not all of them will recognize each of the discounts in this article. As you're searching for low cost renters insurance, it might be a good idea to get a few quotes before you buy. Even if you already have a policy, it might be wise to shop around to a few highly rated companies to see if you can get lower rates and better coverage.
It's important to make the right choice for your budget and your home. With the right insurance coverage in place, you can get peace of mind that your bottom line is secure, no matter what comes your way.