As you review your recurring expenses, you probably look for ways to cut costs. If you’re paying for this coverage, but you’ve never filed a renters insurance claim, it might start to feel like an unnecessary expense. If this is the case, you might be wondering if you should cancel your renters insurance. Is this policy something you need? If not, can you cancel renters insurance at any time? And, ultimately, will the money you save be worth it?
Probably not. Since renters insurance is cheap — $15 a month on average, according to the Insurance Information Institute — and offers a broad range of protections, most people benefit from keeping their policy in place. For the cost of a few lattes each month, you keep all of your belongings safe, get liability coverage and have your policy help with hotel costs if a covered peril like a fire leaves your rental unlivable.
All told, it’s a lot of protection for the amount you pay. Still, if you’re wondering if you should cancel renters insurance — or how to cancel renters insurance — you’ve come to the right place.
[ Read: How to Choose the Best Renters Insurance ]
When it’s a good idea to cancel renters insurance
Even though having renters insurance is generally a good idea, there may be a few instances where it make sense to cancel renters insurance:
Moving in with your parents
If you’re moving back in, you can probably cancel renters insurance. But make sure that your parents’ policy has sufficient limits to cover all of your stuff and your liability. If you’re bringing a dog home with you, for example, you might want to talk to your parents about increasing the limit of their liability coverage.
Buying a house
If you’re no longer going to be a renter, you won’t need renters insurance.
This doesn’t mean you should go without coverage, though. Insurance coverage becomes even more important once you’re a homeowner.
[ Read: The Complete Guide to Home Insurance ]
As you’re buying your house, you might be wondering if you can cancel renters insurance at any time. Generally, the answer is yes — and your insurance provider might even issue you a refund for any premiums you’ve paid that you won’t use. But make sure you set your renters policy cancellation date carefully. Don’t let your policy lapse until you move your belongings to your new house and your home insurance policy will be in effect.
Selling all of your stuff
This might seem extreme, but you might choose to offload the majority of your possessions. Maybe you’re traveling for an extended time or moving across the country, and you want to start fresh there.
In that case, with no personal property to protect, it might make sense to cancel renters insurance. But if you’re keeping even a few possessions — especially valuable ones like a laptop or jewelry — think twice before canceling your coverage. Instead, you can lower your coverage limits to bring the cost of your premiums down while enough coverage.
Joining your roommate’s policy
If you’re living with roommates, it probably doesn’t make financial sense to have two separate renters policies. Instead, you could increase coverage limits on your roommate’s policy so that they’ll cover your stuff, add yourself to their policy and cover half the premiums.
[ Read: What Does Renters Insurance Cover? ]
How to cancel my renters insurance
If any of the above situations apply to you, you’ll want to figure out how to cancel renters insurance. Here are your basic steps:
- Decide on the cancellation date. Before you reach out to your insurance provider, figure out when you want your policy to terminate. Generally, you’ll want this to be after you’re protected by another policy. In other words, wait to cancel renters insurance until you’ll be moved back in with your parents, added to your roommate’s policy or covered by your new home insurance policy.
- Notify your insurance provider. The way you do this will depend on your insurer. You can check their website to see if they offer a way to cancel your coverage online, but you’ll usually need to call them. While you’re on the phone, ask them: can you cancel renters insurance at any time? You might face a penalty for cancelling your policy early, although these penalties are relatively rare for renters insurance.
- Complete any required paperwork. You might need to sign a form to confirm cancellation of your policy. Ask your insurance provider what they need from you to process the termination of your policy.
- Update your info with them. If you’re moving, make sure the insurance company has your new address so they can send you proof of cancellation.
That’s just a general guide, though. Details vary from insurer to insurer, so let’s look at the process to cancel renters insurance with a few of the biggest renters insurance providers:
If you’re wondering how to cancel renters insurance with Geico, it’s going to be a little complicated. Geico has third-party insurers that issue its renters policies, and you’ll need to get in touch with that company to cancel. From this page on Geico’s website, you can select the insurance agency partner who underwrites your policy. That will pull up its contact information so you can cancel your policy.
With State Farm, you can cancel over the phone, by mail or in person. This webpage walks you through each option.
If you’re still curious if you can cancel renters insurance at any time, we have good news. Usually, State Farm doesn’t charge penalty fees for cancellation.
You’ll need to call Progressive to cancel renters insurance with them. Their general customer service line is (888) 671-4405.
Why is it a good idea to keep your renters insurance?
As we’ve mentioned before, renters insurance doesn’t cost much. And for a small price each month, you get pretty sweeping protections.
For starters, you get coverage for all of your personal property (up to your policy limits). That means that if a kitchen fire spreads and destroys your dishes, furniture, clothes, TV or anything else in your rental, your policy can step in to help you replace everything. Same goes for theft: if someone breaks in and nabs your stuff, your policy pays out for the replacements (again, up to your policy limits).
What’s more, your renters policy’s protection extends beyond the walls of your rental. If a personal belonging gets stolen from your car, for example, your policy can help you replace it.
[ Read: How Much Renters Insurance Do I Need? ]
Beyond that, renters insurance offers liability protection. That means that if a guest slips at your rental and tries to sue you, your policy can help you pay for legal fees — and even cover some or all of the settlement. Again, how much protection you get here depends on the amount of liability coverage you include in your renters policy.
Most renters policies include loss of use coverage on top of all of this. That means that if a covered cause (like a fire) makes it impossible to live in your place, your policy can help cover extra costs you incur, like hotel bills and restaurant tabs.
All told, unless you’re going to be protected by a different insurance policy, it usually doesn’t make sense to cancel renters insurance.
Other ways to save on your renters insurance without cancelling
If you feel like you’re paying too much for renters insurance, here are a few things you can do:
- Check your coverage limits. The more coverage you have, the more you’ll pay for your renters insurance. So if you think your liability (i.e., your risk of getting sued) is pretty low, you might drop your liability coverage limits. Or, if you feel you have too much personal property coverage, you can decrease that amount to make your policy more affordable.
- Ask for discounts. There might be discounts you’re not capitalizing on. You could get a discount if you bundle your renters and car insurance (i.e., buy them from the same company) or tell your insurer about the home security system you just installed, for example. Spend some time on the phone with an agent asking about all available discounts to make sure each one that’s applicable gets applied to your policy.
- Increase your deductible. This is the amount you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket after a covered loss. If you could comfortably come up with $1,000, raising your deductible from $500 to that number will make your policy more affordable.
- Pay in full or set up autopay. Some insurers offer discounts when they know they won’t have to chase you down for your premiums. Explore your options to get a small discount on your policy for paying your entire premium right now (rather than in monthly installments) or setting up an auto draft for what you owe each month.
[ Read: The Ultimate Renters Insurance Guide ]
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