The average cost of renters insurance in the U.S. is $185 per year or $15 per month. This affordable coverage is crucial in protecting the value of your personal belongings and giving you protection against liability in the event you are sued for injury or damages by a visitor. According to recent reports, with natural disasters and catastrophes increasing in frequency, the percentage of renters who say they carry renters insurance has gone up significantly in the last few years, from 42% in 2018 to 57% in 2020.
Average Cost of Renters Insurance by State
While nationally, the average annual cost of renters insurance is $185, this cost can vary significantly depending on where you live. In our analysis, we found that average annual costs ranged from a low of $129 in South Dakota to a high of $269 in Louisiana.
|State||Average Monthly Cost||Average Annual Cost||Difference from National Average|
|District of Columbia||$13||$160||-14%|
A number of factors may influence the cost of renters insurance, including exposure to catastrophes such as hurricanes, tornados, wildfires, earthquakes, snowstorms, high winds, hail, and more. Crime rates and proximity to bodies of water also play a role in determining your premiums.
Most Expensive States for Renters Insurance
The most expensive states for renters insurance were dominated by states in the South. Nine of the top ten most expensive states were all located in the South, with seven states from the Southeast, two states from the Southwest. The only outlier in the top 10, Michigan, is located in the Midwest region.
The top five most expensive states for renters insurance are:
- Louisiana, with an average annual cost of $268
- Mississippi, with an average annual cost of $258
- Oklahoma, with an average annual cost of $251
- Alabama, with an average annual cost of $241
- Texas, with an average annual cost of $234
While there are a number of factors that contribute to increased renters insurance costs in the South, it’s hard to deny that natural disasters have played an outsized role. With the increasing severity and frequency of hurricanes, the South has suffered billions of dollars worth of damages in recent years. As this trend shows no signs of abating, it’s likely that premiums will continue to rise in the South.
Least Expensive States for Renters Insurance
The least expensive states for renters insurance were dominated by states located farther inland, with six of the top ten least expensive states all located in the Midwest and one located in the Rocky Mountains.
The top five most expensive states for renters insurance are:
- South Dakota, with an average annual cost of $132
- North Dakota, with an average annual cost of $133
- Wyoming, with an average annual cost of $140
- New Hampshire, with an average annual cost of $143
- Wisconsin, with an average annual cost of $146
Many of the states with lower renters insurance costs benefit from fewer occurrences of natural disasters, as well as less densely populated areas.
Average Cost of Renters Insurance by City
Along with the data we’ve provided on a state level, we’ve also compiled average costs for the top 25 most populated cities in the U.S. We found that Detroit, Michigan, had the most expensive renters insurance at $504 per year, and Seattle, Washington, had the least expensive renters insurance at $164 per year.
|City||Average Monthly Cost||Average Annual Cost|
|Charlotte, North Carolina||$17||$207|
|El Paso, Texas||$23||$272|
|Fort Worth, Texas||$26||$317|
|Los Angeles, California||$23||$271|
|New York, New York||$18||$210|
|Oklahoma City, Oklahoma||$31||$374|
|San Antonio, Texas||$24||$287|
|San Diego, California||$16||$195|
|San Francisco, California||$19||$225|
|San Jose, California||$18||$213|
What’s covered by renters insurance and what’s not?
While the building that you live in is typically covered by your landlord’s property policy, your personal possessions are not. If your apartment building suffers a catastrophic fire, your landlord’s policy would pay for repairs to the building, but not for your own losses. Renters insurance provides protection against both property loss and liability in the event of an accident. Renters insurance policies typically cover the following:
- Personal property. If your personal property is damaged or lost due to a covered peril, renters insurance can provide funds to replace or repair your possessions. Commonly covered perils include fire, smoke, lightning, vandalism, theft, and water damage. This protection can also extend to cover property that is damaged or lost outside of your apartment, including items stolen from your car.
- Liability coverage. If a guest or visitor to your apartment suffers bodily injury or property damage, you could be held liable and sued. Renters insurance provides coverage for legal defense and any judgments or settlements.
- Medical payments. If a guest or visitor is injured at your apartment, renters insurance can help pay for medical expenses. Oftentimes, this coverage can help prevent an injured visitor from suing you, given that their medical fees would be paid for.
- Loss of use coverage. If you’re unable to live in your apartment due to a covered loss, renters insurance can pay for your additional living expenses, including temporary housing, meals, moving costs, and more.
What determines the cost of renters insurance?
Renters insurance pricing can vary widely depending on a number of variables. Your best bet is to understand the level of coverage you’re looking for and gather quotes from a variety of reputable insurers. To better understand what impacts the premium you’re quoted, the following are a few factors that affect renters insurance cost:
- Location. As you’ve seen from our analysis, renters insurance depends greatly on where you live. Depending on where exactly your property is located, you may be more exposed to certain types of risk, from natural disasters to crime. The more risk your location faces, the higher your premium will be.
- Building features. If your apartment building is a new construction featuring the latest in fire safety systems and a 24-hour security guard, your premiums are likely to be lower. Ultimately, the more features that lower risk of loss in your building will be reflected in your premium cost.
- Claims history. If you’ve made a number of claims in the past, you’re likely to see higher premiums. Insurers see multiple claims in your recent history as a sign that you’re more likely to file a claim in the future.
- Coverage limits. When you purchase a renters insurance policy, you’ll be able to choose your coverage amounts for personal property and liability. The more coverage you get, the higher your premiums will be.
- Deductible. The deductible amount is what you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket on a claim before the insurer starts to provide coverage. Generally, the higher the deductible you choose, the lower your premium will be.
- Replacement cost vs. actual cash value. Insurers can value your property in two ways: replacement cost and actual cash value. Actual cash value takes into consideration depreciation when valuing property, while replacement cost does not. You’ll pay higher premiums with replacement cost, as it offers a higher level of coverage.
- Dogs. If you own a dog, you’ll likely see higher premiums. This is because of the liability risk associated with dog ownership—your dog may bite a visitor or cause damage to someone else’s property.
AdvisorSmith used data published by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) on countrywide and state-specific premium and exposure information for renters insurance policies. This data was published in the 2020 NAIC Dwelling Fire, Homeowners Owner Occupied, and Homeowners Tenant and Condominium/Cooperative Unit Owner’s Insurance Report, which analyzed data from 2018.
We also used quote estimates from a sampling of insurers in each city and state across the U.S. Quote estimates were based on a single, employed 30-year-old renter with no pets and no prior property claims. Coverage limits were set at $30,000 in personal property, $100,000 liability, $1,000 medical payments, and a $500 deductible.