If everything is bigger in Texas, does that include renters insurance?

The Lone Star State has a lot going on: the beaches of the Gulf, the rolling plains, the striking reds of the desert. There’s something for everyone…including low-cost living. It’s no wonder Texas attracts more than 400,000 new residents every year.

But, because of inclement weather, insurance for renters and homeowners alike is expensive. Lucky for you, there are many ways to save even when costs are high. 

Read on to learn how to reduce renters insurance premiums deep in the heart of Texas.

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What’s the Best Way to Get the Cheapest Renters Insurance in Texas?

The average cost of renters insurance is $232 a year in Texas. That’s nearly $50 higher than the national average. The good news: there are many tricks for getting cheaper renters insurance rates.

Here is a basic outline of the steps it takes to get cheap renters insurance in Texas:

Step One: Make a List of Everything You Own

You don’t have to include every paper clip. But you should include everything that would be difficult to replace. List your:

  • Furniture
  • Electronics 
  • Clothing 
  • Tools
  • Furnishings 
  • Special collections
  • Jewelry

Make it easy on yourself and type up a simple spreadsheet with the cost of each item.

Step Two: Decide How Much Liability Protection You Need

The standard renters policy provides you with $100,000 of liability coverage. But carrying more than the standard may be necessary. Especially if you have guests over often. 

You’re responsible for foreseeable risk that might befall a person or their property. Be sure you’re covered.

Step Three: Discover Your Discounts

Insurance companies offer many ways to save, and each company offers different options. Here’s a list of discounts you can expect to find:

  • Bundling/multi-policy
  • Fire alarm or smoke alarm
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Deadbolt locks
  • Burglar alarm system
  • Gated community 
  • Security guard 
  • Paperless
  • Pay-in-full
  • Quote in advance
  • Military affiliation
  • Employer affiliation

Be sure to note what you qualify for and choose a company that offers you the best discounts for your profile. 

Step Four: Make a List of What You Like in an Insurance Company

Not all insurance companies are the same. Some have fantastic websites and apps. Others have in-person agents just down the street. Knowing what you prefer helps you choose between similar companies. 

Step Five: Comparison Shop and Buy

Now you can gather renters insurance quotes. We recommend gathering quotes from six to ten companies. Many companies allow you to get a quote online. Once you’ve gathered enough quotes, it’s time to compare companies.

Choose the company that best fits your needs and price point—and don’t forget to factor in your discounts! 

Best Renters Insurance Companies in Texas

To get you started, check out these top renters insurance companies in Texas:

  • AAA
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Nationwide
  • Farmers
  • Texas Farm Bureau
  • GEICO
  • Progressive
  • Allstate
  • State Farm

Is renters insurance required in Texas?

Long story short, no. There are no laws making renters insurance mandatory. We still think it’s a great idea to carry enough insurance to protect you from financial disaster. Even when the law doesn’t mandate it.

Can my landlord require me to carry renters insurance in Texas?

Yes, your landlord can require you to maintain a renter’s insurance policy in Texas. Asking tenants to insure their property protects landlords and their tenants from loss. And while many landlords don’t require their tenants to purchase a policy, it’s still a great idea to do so. 

What does renters insurance cover?

Renters insurance covers you and your personal property. There are three coverage components to a renters insurance policy:

Personal Property Coverage

This component protects all the stuff you own, up to coverage limits. Things like your home stereo, designer shoe collection, and prized KitchenAid mixer. You set the limit with your insurance company.

Just be sure the limit is high enough to cover the cost of your property. 

Personal Liability Coverage

If a guest at one of your awesome parties gets injured, you may face medical expenses. You may even be sued. This component covers you for medical payments and legal fees up to coverage limits.

Additional Living Expenses

Also known as loss of use, this component covers you when you can’t stay in your home. Hotel bills, extra gas money, even the expenses of having to eat out can be covered.

Replacement Cost vs. Actual Cash Value

It’s important to note that there are two ways to ensure your personal property. If you carry replacement cost coverage, you’re ensured for the cost to replace your item. For example, you have a top of the line computer that’s three years old. If it’s stolen, your insurance company pays for a new top-of-the-line computer.

But, if you only have actual cash value coverage, you’re covered for less. Your insurance company pays for what the computer was worth at the time of loss. If the computer depreciates to 65 percent of its $1,000 purchase price, you’ll only receive $650 to cover your loss. 

While actual cash value policies are cheaper, it’s easy to see why a few dollars more is worth it. If you lose everything, you would only receive a fraction of the cost to replace your possessions. 

What doesn’t renters insurance cover?

Finally, we should note that renters insurance only covers you for named perils. That means perils named in your insurance documents. You can usually find this on the declarations page.

Perils that are usually included in a renters insurance policy include:

  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Some inclement weather events

Perils that aren’t usually included:

  • Hurricane
  • Tornado
  • Earthquake
  • Flood

You can add special riders to a basic renters policy to cover other perils. Every rider you add to a policy does increase costs. But, if you face specific risks, you should add riders to your policy to protect you from those risks.

Renters Insurance Coverage Options

Renters insurance is never one-size-fits-all. You can personalize your policy to match exactly what you need:

  • Raise or lower personal property claims limits
  • Raise or lower personal liability limits
  • Choose between actual or replacement value
  • Raise or lower your deductible

Each of these options affects your premium costs. For example, you can lower your premium costs by increasing your deductible. That means you’ll pay more out of pocket in the event of an insurance claim. So, never raise your deductible higher than you can reasonably afford. 

Texas Renters Insurance FAQ

How do I get the best renters insurance in Texas?

Everyone’s insurance needs are unique. The key to finding the best renters insurance is to choose a company based on your needs and preferences. What’s right for you will depend on how much insurance coverage you need; the types of coverage options you need; your personal preferences aka what you like about your insurance company; and your budget.

What’s the average cost of renters insurance in Texas?

The average annual premium for Texas renters is $232. But, that varies depending on where you live. Premiums are more expensive in urban areas like Dallas, Houston, El Paso, and Austin. Yet several rural areas also face higher premiums. Price fluctuations depend on several factors, like claims rates, crime rates, and weather patterns. Costs fluctuate depending on your deductible, whether you choose actual value or replacement value coverage, extra riders, and discounts. Don't forget: an easy way to save is by bundling with your car insurance policy. Find the best car insurance for your budget in two minutes with Insurify!

What are the renter insurance laws in Texas?

If you’re purchasing renters insurance in Texas you’re entitled to a copy of your Consumer Bill of Rights. There are over 40 consumer rights the state government ensures to Texas renters. Review all in this form. Pro tip: Texas law requires insurance companies to send a copy to you whenever you buy a policy.

Conclusion: The best way to save on your insurance costs

The easiest way to get discounted renters insurance is to bundle it with an auto insurance policy. 

The best way to save on your auto insurance: comparison shopping. That’s where Insurify has got you covered. Get 6+ real quotes in two minutes!

 

Browse, Compare, Discover today with Insurify!

Updated March 12, 2020

J.J. Starr is a financial copywriter and enjoys helping readers find the information they need. In addition to her background in banking and financial advising, she is also a poet with an MFA from New York University. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts. You can learn more at jjstarrwrites.com.