Texas Renters Insurance: What You Need to Know
Y’all know Texas is plenty big. It’s 12 hours across by car, and another 12 hours from the northernmost tip to the tip of the Rio Grande Valley. With mountains, canyons, rivers, oceans, deciduous forests and some of America’s most famous byways, Texas has quite a bit to offer – and you can get the best Texas renters insurance quotes right away!
If you’re thinking about moving out that way, congratulations! Texas pride is much-deserved, and there are so many safe, clean places to live and so much to do. Let’s dig into how to find the best renters insurance possible for your family! At Insurance Geek, we write policies and connect you with your best options all day every day. We help everyone from couples to families to students just starting out – and we know Texas renters insurance inside out!
Do I have to have Texas renters insurance?
Yes. Though it isn’t required by state law, your landlord can absolutely require you to carry at least cheap renters insurance.
Just $15 a month or so can get you $10,000 in cheap personal property insurance. We find that most customers might need a little more than that, and can work out the right deal for you based on your specific needs, and whether or not you bundle your policy with other types of insurance.
You’ll find that most community property apartment dwellings in Texas require you to carry unified minimums, so it’s best to plan on having this coverage in place when you move.
You should expect to pay rents right around $1471 in metro areas – this is higher than the national average. More rural areas in Texas bring that median down to about $1019 monthly. With Texas’ population growing at around 1200 people a day – especially toward areas in Central Texas like Austin – you can expect a fair bit of renting is going on. In fact, the number one rental town in the United States is College Station, home to Texas A&M University. Over 60% of residents of College Station rent.
Over 50% of Texas residents are under 34 years of age at present. Of course, any city with a university is much more likely to have a large percentage of renters.
It isn’t just college towns, however – 6 out of 10 residents of the Dallas metro area are renters. At the beginning of 2018, Austin finally hit more renters than owners. This influx is due to a booming economy, to the presence of universities in major cities and more.
What does renters insurance cost?
Texas Renters Insurance can be a little more expensive than the national average. We found that Liberty Mutual’s policies run on the low end, at $265 premium, while Farmers premiums can go up to $764. Keep in mind your insurance premium changes based on several factors, ranging from how much coverage you need to your dwelling size, year of construction and more.
Our typical policies are laid out as follows:
$20,000 for Personal Property – this includes your personal items in the home. The personal property part of your policy covers everything from furniture to clothing to books. Your agent can help you break down or itemize the value of your property to determine how much property coverage you need. We find $20,000 is normally enough.
$100,000 for Liability and Medical Payments – if someone is injured in your residence due to something you’ve done with the property, you could be legally liable to pay medical bills. This part of the policy covers you – and additionally, if there is a fire or other damage to the home while you live there, this part of your renters insurance policy ensures you won’t owe out of pocket costs to your landlord for repairing the structure
$1000 for Loss Of Use. In certain situations, we may allocate more here – but let’s say there is damage to the property, and you must stay offsite while it is being prepared. If you’re staying at a hotel you’ll have inconveniences to deal with such as not being able to prepare food. In this case, you’ll need to pay for a place to stay and all the inconveniences that go with not having access to your home, including increased transportation costs.
Typically, your deductible will be $500. You’ll need to satisfy this $500 deductible – paying it out to the insurance company – before you’re able to file a claim. Even cheap insurance policies come with this type of deductible.
Live in any of these cities? Let’s talk about what you might pay:
- San Antonio
- Fort Worth
- El Paso
Houston itself is MASSIVE – it covers over 669 square miles, meaning it’d take 9 and a half hours to drive all its square footage via car. There are SO many opportunities to find a rental that meets all your needs in a city like Houston.
Austin rents have doubled over the last 10 years, and Austin’s rental market is one of the most desirable in the country. Properties can average anywhere from $1000 for a small apartment outside the city center to rents around $3000 for a downtown condo. Expect to enter pretty much any apartment or house rental situation in Austin needing cheap Texas Renters insurance.
Factors that Increase Texas Renters Insurance Costs
These factors include:
- Pets on the premises (specifically dogs);
- Location in town;
- Age of dwelling;
- Materials used to make the dwelling;
- Your Fire protection district;
- If you’ve had a policy or claim canceled before;
- Do you have a burglar alarm or burglar prevention on the premises?
- How close are you to a business?
What does it cover?
Texas is home to a variety of natural disasters – most notably, tornadoes. Though Texas doesn’t see as many tornadoes on average as places like Kansas or Oklahoma, there have been some notable twisters. One of the most talked-about tornadoes on record is the 1999 EF-5 Jarrell tornado, a 3-tornado-in-1 mega monster that stripped the concrete more than an inch out of the ground on some country roads.
In Central Texas, where the Jarrell tornado struck, underground tornado shelters are not possible most of the time due to difficulty and expense. The deep bedrock prevents the construction of basements in most homes, so when a strong tornado strikes, the best a family can do is hunker down.
Those in coastal areas like Houston also find themselves in the path of deadly, devastating hurricanes that cause coastal flooding and catastrophic winds. It’s important to get renters insurance in Texas not only to protect personal belongings in the event of a disaster but also to protect the landlord’s property and structure – and to stop you from having to shell out money for damages. In situations like these, even cheap renters insurance coverage can really come in handy.
You’ll want to know the major differences between what’s called a replacement cost value (RCV) policy and an actual cash value (ACV) policy.
Replacement cost value is what you’d pay for an entirely new item. With this type of policy, upon the claim, you’ll be released funds based on what you would need to buy a similar or the same item after your deductible is paid.
Actual cash value takes depreciation into consideration. Here, you’ll get the original item cost minus valuation, minus your deductible.
ACV is typically cheaper than RCV by 10%.
What kind of coverage do I need?
You’ll be able to work with your agent to determine what property you should cover. Your agent will be able to help you add everything up so you have a better idea of what type of coverage you’ll need.
It’s important to get with your agent to talk about liability risks based on your situation. If the landlord’s property is damaged they’ll certainly want it to be fixed, so be sure to discuss the particulars with your agent, including pets on the property, construction type, and even things like credit score and whether or not you’ve ever had a policy canceled.
Also, remember carriers have varying packages, and there are state minimums. Even if you think you don’t have a good bit of property to declare, you’ll still need to meet those minimums.
Are there discounts?
There are! Texas renters insurance may come with discounts based on your carrier. You may see discounts based on bundling different types of insurances (car, renters, etc.) and having a security or burglar alarm on the property always helps!
You may also get a discount if you’re able to pay for your policy in full.
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