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If you’ve never
bought renters insurance
before, don’t worry. Here’s how to find the best policy from the right company—and save money in the process! 
  • Start by taking an inventory of all your belongings. This is the most time-consuming part of the process, but it’s essential to know what you’re covering and how much it’s worth before you begin. Open a spreadsheet, pull up your phone camera, and dig up receipts, if possible, for everything you want covered. 
  • Next, it’s time to calculate your net worth by subtracting the value of your debts from the combined value of all your assets (think cars, savings, investments, etc.).
  • Decide whether you want to cover the actual cash value or replacement cost of your belongings. 
  • Compare rates from at least three insurance companies to determine which one best meets your coverage needs. Don’t forget to check what discounts each company offers! (Pro tip:
    makes this step a breeze.)
  • Sign the paperwork—and breathe a sigh of relief knowing you’re covered! 

How (and when!) to cancel your renters insurance 

Buying renters insurance is easy—but what about canceling a policy? In general, if you need to cancel your renters insurance, these are the best steps to take: 
  • Check your lease to make sure you won’t be breaking a contract by dropping insurance, and inform your landlord ahead of time. 
  • Purchase new insurance before you cancel the old policy if you’re planning to switch. 
  • Call your insurance company to cancel the policy. 
If your landlord requires renters insurance, you may not be able to cancel your insurance until you move out. But if you’re moving to a new state that your previous company doesn’t serve, or if you’re moving in with someone new, it’s a good idea to cancel so that you can switch companies. 
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What are the state laws on renters insurance cancellation?

In New York State, an insurance company can cancel your renters insurance policy, but they’re required to notify you with the reasons for cancellation 60 days in advance

How do states handle liability and negligence? 

Assigning responsibility for an accident is a tricky legal process, and it differs from state to state. In pure comparative negligence states, you can seek damages regardless of fault, but in modified comparative negligence states, you’re only permitted to seek compensation if you’re less than 49% or 50% at fault. 
There are only four US states that follow a contributory negligence rule, which prohibits anyone from seeking damages for an accident they were even 1% at fault for: Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia. The District of Columbia also follows contributory negligence. 
When it comes to an insurance payout through your renter’s liability coverage, your state’s policy on negligence and fault will determine the damages you’re able to claim. 

How much personal property coverage do you need? 

To determine the amount of personal property coverage you need, it’s important to create a complete inventory of your personal belongings, including pricing information. You need at least enough to cover the actual cash value or replacement cost of all of your property. 

Tips for renters insurance

Renters insurance may be the most affordable kind of insurance that most people carry, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a significant expense. If you’re worried about the chunk of cash renters insurance is taking out of your bank account, here are some hacks to save you money. 

1. Pay annually—not monthly. 

Because renters insurance premiums are generally much lower than home or auto rates, you may be able to pay your entire annual premium in one lump sum. If you do, you’re likely to get a discounted rate because your insurance company don’t need to worry as much about whether you’ll keep up with payments. 

2. Choose a higher deductible. 

That nice, low deductible might look attractive, but you’ll also pay more each month (or year) than if you bumped it up to a higher amount. Just increasing your deductible from $500 to $1,000 could lower your premium by as much as 25%! 

3. Calculate the right coverage limits. 

It’s easy to overpay for renters insurance if you just opt for the highest coverage limit without taking stock of your finances. Do you really need a $500,000 limit on liability? Creating an inventory of your belongings and estimating your net worth can help you avoid this trap. 

4. Install smoke detectors, security systems, and more. 

Insurance companies are all about risk—so if you’re able to lower your property’s level of risk, they’ll likely reward you with discounts. Installing smoke detectors and security systems are just two ways to diminish your home’s risk along with your premium. 

5. Avoid minor claims.

One of the most frustrating things about insurance? The best way to keep your rates low is not to use it. Submitting claims can raise your premium, because your provider sees you as a higher risk. 
Think of your renters insurance policy as a safeguard against losses you’d have no way to recover on your own—a major fire, for example, or a break-in. Although smaller catastrophes, like a burst pipe or a rock to the window, could potentially be covered, it’s generally best to pay out of pocket if your finances can absorb the cost. 

6. Look for discounts. 

Insurance companies offer a range of discounts for renters insurance, from lower rates for senior citizens to non-smoking discounts and discounted premiums for customers who choose paperless billing. Always check with your insurance company to see what discounts are offered—you might be surprised by the savings you’re eligible for! 

7. Bundle renters insurance with home or auto

If you rent and own property, or if you’re one of the millions of people with both an apartment and a car, you can save money on multiple insurance policies by bundling them with the same company. Be sure to compare rates before you jump into a bundle—it can save you up to 15% or more, depending on the company and policies! 

8. Compare rates with Jerry. 

You don’t have to wait until your policy’s up for renewal to switch companies and save money. With help from
, you can shop for a new low rate on renters insurance any time—and the savings can add up quickly! 
As the #1 rated insurance app, Jerry has your back for more than renters insurance. We’ll also help you save money on home and car insurance, with an average annual savings of $887 on car insurance alone! No matter what policy you’re looking to shave dollar signs off of, you can do it in 45 seconds with

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