How much does renters insurance really cost?

How much does renters insurance cost?

  1. Not much at all.
  2. Much less than you think.
  3. It depends, but still not very much.
  4. All of the above.

The answer, of course, is 4, “all of the above.” So let’s break it down.

Toggle® renters insurance starts at just $5 per month—just 60 bucks a year. Of course, as any savvy consumer knows, nothing that “starts at just...” ends up costing that. 

According to the data, the average cost of renters insurance is $15 per month —about the same as most subscription entertainment services. Not a lot, but not five bucks, either. So what’s the deal? There are a number of different things to consider that could either raise or lower the cost of renters insurance. Here are some of them.

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More coverage, more money.
They say “you get what you pay for,” and that’s no different when it comes to renters insurance. The amount of renters insurance coverage you want really comes down to where you derive the most peace of mind.

Let’s say, for example, that you’ve got a lot of toys. Maybe your hobbies or side-hustles require expensive equipment. Maybe you’re a collector of rare things. Maybe you’ve got irreplaceable family heirlooms at your place. If the damage or theft of those items and the subsequent replacement cost would cause you the most stress, you’ll need to cover those items, and doing so will result in a higher renters insurance premium. That’s your tradeoff— more insurance and less worry about your stuff.

If, however, your place just contains the basic essentials—stuff you either wouldn’t miss or could afford to replace if it were lost, stolen or damaged—and if paying another bill would cause you more anxiety, then maybe a lower premium for a policy that covers less and costs much closer to that original $5 per month figure might be the way to go. Take a look at some different plans to match your lifestyle.

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It doesn’t matter how big or small your pad is; you could live in a postage-stamp-size studio in New York City, but you should consider getting some liability coverage. You'll want to be covered in case you accidentally start a stove fire and damage your neighbor’s apartment. 

If you live at a crash house and you bump a plant off the balcony onto a stranger's noggin, having personal-liability coverage is a great way to avoid major hassles. 

Good news (brace yourself for our sales pitch here): if you decide to choose Toggle for your renters insurance, you can adjust your coverage online. Toggle it up or down to get the right balance of coverage and cost that works for you.

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Deductible vs. premium.
As with most insurance, the “cost” of renters insurance is really a balance you strike between a deductible and a premium. “Premium” is the amount you pay for your insurance—it’s the number you see on your regular bill. “Deductible” is the amount of risk you’re willing to assume personally if you ever need to file a claim.

The higher your deductible, the lower your premium (your insurance bill). The lower the deductible, the higher your premium.

Deciding the balance between the two is always tricky—it’s a kind of gamble. And unlike something like health insurance, for which you can estimate regular medical expenses year to year, with renters insurance, there’s no predictable standard for an emergency. You can’t say something like, “My estimated annual burglary losses are $X.”

It really comes down to deciding how much you can absorb comfortably in the event of such an emergency. You might’ve heard the unsettling statistic that 40 percent of Americans wouldn’t be able to cover an unexpected $400 expense. If you’re among those Americans, be sure to set your deductible below $400.

But remember that renters insurance, even at its most expensive, is relatively inexpensive. Let’s say you’re 25. Let’s say you plan on being a renter for the next 10 years. Let’s say you pay $200 per year—on the expensive side for renters insurance. That’s only $2,000 over the whole 10 years. Even if nothing happens for the entire 10 years, you’ve essentially added less than 17 bucks to your monthly rent. Not that big a deal in the grand scheme of things. And if a fire destroys your stuff and you need it replaced, then the protection is worth it.

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Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

Location, location, etc.
For some obvious reasons, certain areas come with higher risks than others. If you live in an area prone to natural disasters, for example—high winds, forest fires, hurricanes and floods—your premiums will likely be higher. 

Given all these variables affecting the cost of renters insurance, it bears repeating that even in the most expensive case, renters insurance is still extremely inexpensive. We’re talking about differences of mere dollars per month, not hundreds. And with all due respect to our name, you can toggle the amount of coverage you need anytime. 

Renters insurance is a bargain, and you’ll appreciate the peace of mind of knowing there’s some protection if things ever go sideways. If you want to see some FAQs about Toggle renters insurance, we have some great answers.

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Photo by HiveBoxx on Unsplash

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