Why You may Pay more for High Risk Renters Insurance
Without renter's insurance, you could be at risk for losing everything if a disaster occurs. Renters' insurance covers the cost of people's belongings, unlike homeowner's insurance, which covers the cost of the structure itself, as well as all of your belongings. Renter's insurance generally isn't very expensive, at less than $100 per year for basic coverage. However, if your home is deemed "high risk" you could end up paying a lot more. What does it mean to be high risk? Sometimes, a few simple changes can take your home to a new risk level so you can save money on your renter's insurance.
First, your home could be marked as "high risk" if you live in an area with a lot of crime. This is often the problem in major cities. You don't have to move to lower your renter's insurance, however. Instead, do what you can to make your home safe. Install deadbolts on your doors and talk to your landlord about a security system. These expenses may be a bit pricey upfront, but over time, you'll save a ton of money with your renter's insurance.
You may also wan to consider a new place to live within the neighborhood. Instead of a free-standing house or an apartment, look for a unit in a gated community. You can also look for a building that has a front desk where people must sign in and out. Even if you live in a more dangerous community, these are ways to stay safe, and your renter's insurance will go down. Many insurance agents won't ask though, so if you are taking steps to make your home safer, let them know!
Sometimes, your renter's insurance is marked as high risk for reasons other than your location or the home itself. If your credit history is bad, you might be high risk simply because you might not pay your insurance. Most renter's insurance is paid annually, but some people also pay per month. Insurance companies drop your coverage as soon as you don't pay, but it's a lot of work to start a new account and cancel the account of someone who doesn't pay. They don't want to take on someone who isn't going to pay their bills after just a few months! If you clean up your credit, you might be able to lower your renter's insurance.
Lastly, is your home at risk for fire? If so, your renter's insurance will be higher because it is a riskier investment for insurance companies. Your apartment should already have smoke detectors. If not, it may be in violation of state regulations. On top of that, keep a fire extinguisher in the house and consider talking to your landlord about installing a sprinkler system. Even if you can't make these changes yourself, you can do one important thing - stop smoking. Many insurance companies will lower their rates for non-smokers because you home will not be high risk for fire.
Renter's insurance can be expensive if your home is labeled as high risk. You can't single-handedly lower crime rates, but you can do other things to get your unit out of the high risk category. Consider these tops, since doing so can help you save a ton of money on your premium.