Renting is on the rise nationally, and Floridian cities are among the nation’s top renter’s markets.
Luckily, rental insurance is much cheaper than home insurance in Florida. And that’s great news because it’s a really good idea to carry renters insurance!
Why? Renters insurance coverage is relatively inexpensive—the national average cost is just $180 per year. But the cost of replacing your stuff in the event of damage or theft would cost you thousands. Think about it: your wardrobe alone is probably more expensive than a year’s worth of insurance premiums.
If you’re going to protect all your belongings in the Sunshine State, then read on to learn more about renters insurance in Florida.
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Is renters insurance required in Florida?
While there is no law in Florida that makes renters insurance mandatory, nothing prevents landlords from requiring renters to purchase and keep a rental insurance policy. In fact, more and more landlords require renters to carry insurance.
And it’s with good reason. Landlord insurance does not cover the tenant’s personal property. Requiring tenants to carry insurance takes care of possible disputes when tenant property is damaged. Furthermore, carrying renters insurance is the sign of a responsible and desirable tenant.
Renter policies are inexpensive. According to the Insurance Information Institute, Floridian renters only pay an average of $188 a year for insurance—slightly more than the national average.
Of course, where you live will have a significant impact on your price, and the types of perils you pay to cover. Factors to keep in mind:
- Higher crime rates in your area will usually make it more expensive to insure your belongings. The exception is if you live in a gated community or your landlord provides security features to reduce risks.
- Water damage and flooding may not be covered by the average rental policy. If you live in a flood-prone area, you may need to purchase a special flood insurance rider to protect your personal property.
- Sinkholes are common in Florida due to the bedrock throughout the state, mostly limestone. You’ll need to buy a special rider to protect your property from loss by a sinkhole, but only purchase this rider if it makes sense to after considering where you live.
Best Renters Insurance Companies in Florida
The best rental insurance company will really depend on you, what you own, and your preferences. To get you started, here is a list of insurance companies providing top-notch renters insurance in Florida:
- State Farm
- Security First
- Liberty Mutual
- American Family
Getting Cheap Renters Insurance in Florida
According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average renter in Florida pays just about $15 a month for coverage. But, there’s always a way to save money on insurance, even if the average cost of renters insurance in your area is low.
First things first: make an inventory of what you will be insuring. Create a spreadsheet and use pictures if you can. Knowing exactly what it costs to replace your belongings prevents you from buying more or less insurance than you need. You should also decide if additional riders are right for you.
Next, make two lists. On the first list, write every discount you can use. Here’s a list of typical discounts for a renters insurance policy:
- Multi-policy, also known as bundling, offers you a discount for carrying multiple lines of insurance like auto, homeowners, RV, boat, motorcycle, business, and life insurance.
- Safety discounts are given for having a home equipped with fire alarms, sprinklers, and security monitoring systems.
- Claims-free discounts are offered at some companies if you go for a certain period without making a claim. Usually, you will need to commit yourself to the same company for a year to get this discount, but some companies will offer you one if you switch from a previous provider without having made a claim.
- Automatic payments, electronic billing, electronic documentation, and pay-in-full discounts.
- Early bird discounts for shopping at least a few days before you need your policy to start.
- Affiliation discounts based on employers, schools, or military service.
The second list should comprise all of the service options that are important to you. For example, if you prefer to do most of your interaction through apps on your phone, you’ll want to look at companies that have a good app.
Now you’re ready to gather and compare quotes from at least four companies. When choosing which companies to get quotes from, use your discount and preference list to weed out companies that don’t offer what you need. Be sure to compare based on the coverage limits and riders you need.
Renters Insurance for Mobile Homes in Florida
Renters insurance is used by renters in many different structures, including mobile homes. That means people living in apartments, free-standing houses, townhouses, and mobile homes are all purchasing the same type of insurance, an HO-4 policy.
However, your home may make you more or less vulnerable to certain perils. Crime rates, fire risks, and flooding are risks that affect most Floridians, no matter where they live. Be sure to understand the specifics of your area.
Lastly, you should know that if your mobile home is moved while you’re renting, your possessions, if kept inside the house, will not be covered while in transit. Be sure to speak to a customer service representative if your mobile home needs to be moved.
Renters Insurance in a Manufactured Home in Florida
It may come as a surprise, but manufactured homes are insured precisely the same way as mobile homes, and precisely the same way as renters insure their property. Manufactured homes are, technically speaking, mobile homes built after 1976 to the standards as set forth by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Back then, it was recognized that federal regulations were necessary to make mobile home living safer. Fire resistance, energy efficiency, and durability are among several categories of standards affected by HUD’s new regulation.
What does renters insurance cover?
There are three types of coverage in a renters insurance policy:
Personal Property protects only your property. Personal belongings like electronics, clothing, jewelry, and furniture are covered by this component up to your coverage limits. Damages are typically only covered when caused by fire, theft, or vandalism.
Liability protects you when a guest suffers damages in your home and you’re responsible. This includes personal property damage and bodily injury. Liability coverage reimburses you or your guest for medical payments and repair or replacement of property.
Additional Living Expenses, also known as Loss of Use, covers your costs if you cannot stay in your home. Hotel bills, additional gas money, and eating out are all examples of expenses typically protected by this component.
Insurance Coverage Limits
You get to decide the limits of your property coverage based on the value of your possessions, and there are many coverage options out there. The best way to be sure everything is covered is to create an inventory of all your stuff. Some companies allow you to upload a list and pictures of your possessions in your customer account.
Bear in mind that your belongings may only be covered for their actual cash value, not their replacement cost. Be sure to carefully read your insurance documents when you make your purchase, and more often than not, you’ll want to purchase replacement cost coverage.
Conclusion: The best way to save on your insurance costs
No matter where you live or how much stuff you own, there is one surefire way to get the best price on insurance: comparison shopping. Compiling a list of quotes from top companies allows you to make an informed, smart decision.
And don’t forget about bundling! Not only is bundling your auto insurance with renters insurance an easy way to get deep discounts—many companies allow for bundling your parents’ homeowners policy with your renters policy!
Florida Renters Insurance: Frequently Asked Questions
Which company offers the cheapest renters insurance in Florida?
There are many ways to save money on renters insurance in Florida no matter what company you choose. While some companies, like State Farm, Progressive, and Esurance, tend to have lower renters insurance rates, the cost of your insurance largely depends on you. Understanding the perils you need to cover, the discounts you’re eligible for, and the replacement value of your possessions is the key to finding cheap renters insurance. The special ingredient is comparison shopping: gathering quotes from several companies and choosing based on what company best fits your needs.
How do I get an online renters insurance quote in Florida?
Companies that allow you to get a quote online include State Farm, GEICO, Esurance, and Progressive. Many companies will allow you to start the process online and then receive a phone call to get your quote.
Does my renters’ insurance cover my roommates?
Your renters insurance policy covers your possessions. It may cover damages caused by your roommates, but unless you add your roommates to your policy, their possessions won’t be covered. We generally do not recommend adding roommates to your policy unless they are relatives or a significant other.