If you're renting, it's likely your lease will require renter's insurance. But where do you start? While your first instinct is to go with whoever gives you the lowest premium, that might not be the best idea for your needs
Unlike shopping for home insurance, you won't need to worry about the construction of your home. Depending on your apartment, you likely won't have to worry about expensive appliances either! But you will need to inventory your things. It can be easy to take the least expensive option, and undercut yourself while you're renting. Think about the cost of replacements for your furniture, your computer, any special items you have, or other things you have in your house: printers, sewing machines, washers and dryers. These things add up, meaning you probably need more coverage than you initially think.
But how do you find the best price? Now that you have an approximate number, you can start looking at different quotes,
The average annual cost of renter's insurance in Texas is $253, which is about $70 more than the national average. Now, that looks like a pretty tall order, but your premium can depend on a lot of things, like your payment history, where you live, and how you pay for it. We'll cover all of those below. Lets break this number down to a monthly number: paying the total average cost would run you about $21 a month, give or take a couple cents. That looks like a much more manageable number!
So how do you find your golden insurance number? Well, you'll need to gather your inventory, budget, address, and have your social security number and a pad and paper handy for making the call, or searching online. Your inventory list should include all major purchases in your home, and things that you couldn't replace easily. Furniture, an approximate value of clothing, instruments, collectables, and tech will all need to go onto that list. This will be the coverage you're looking to compare between companies.
You've got your desired coverage, you know about how much this is going to run you, but how do you start shopping for renter's insurance? There are a couple options. You can bundle your renters and car insurance for instance, and get some of those sweet benefits your insurance company may offer you for bundling or brand loyalty. You can also shop around, and search for a better rate from hundreds of companies, which may give you better incentives than your current insurance company. Some insurance quotes will give you multiple quotes for other companies, but leave off pertinent information like benefits, loyalty, or cash back that some other companies include on their own pages.
While your credit score can affect your insurance rate, your payment history is what will really determine your immediate price. Statistically, subpar credit rates can lead to more claims on an account – not because of fraud, mind you, but because of incidents that can happen. If you don't have the best credit score, the insurance company will couple this with the place you are living at, and determine what level of risk they are willing to take on.
Where you live can have a huge impact on your renters insurance rate. Between your apartment's rent, cost of living, incident rate for your neighborhood, natural disasters and more, your insurance company will be looking to see what risks they will be taking on with insuring your stuff. If you live in a hurricane prone area, for instance, your rates may be higher than someone who does not. If they determine that more risk is probable, your rate will likely be higher than someone else who does not have those risk factors.
If you're shopping for the first time, you may be surprised that there can be a wide variety of differences in the cost for your insurance premium, depending on how you pay for it. Monthly payments may sound easier to handle, but can cost you up to $100 more a year. Most insurance providers offer a full payment upfront, or a monthly payment, but some offer quarterly or even bimonthly payments, and you can always pay your bill ahead, helping lower your overall premiums for the year. That means you can fork out that $253 average up front, or pay every 6 months with some interest, or pay monthly, with even more interest. This means that monthly rate we figured out earlier could go as high as $30 or more depending on the coverage you need.
A great option for those starting out is bundling your insurances to keep your costs low. If you've got great service through your car or other insurance, bundling can save you up to 25% on your premiums. Many companies offer discounts for bundling, and it can help to build brand loyalty with a certain company. This can increase your discounts down the road, and offer some unintended perks like being bumped to the front of the customer service queue when you call with a problem or a question. Bundling can also help keep the amount of paperwork you need to keep track of low, especially with helpful phone apps where all of your insurance information can be located. No more trying to find the password to one company and the username for another! All your information can be found in one helpful place.
So you've found your provider! Awesome! With quote in hand, give them a call, or set up coverage through their online portal. You can have your coverage in minutes, and emailed directly to you. This can help streamline moving processes, leasing, and future claims. Make sure when all is done, you print out a copy for your hard records in case of an emergency. If you're still looking for more information on insurance, and how to navigate the many twists and turns, check out more on www.texasinsuranceratings.com