Renters insurance is relatively inexpensive, costing between $15 and $30 per month, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. For less than $1 per day, renters can protect all of their possessions and not be held liable for an accident in their rental home.
Even the most miserly renters can save on renters insurance by adding safety features to the property they’re renting. Here are four upgrades insurers may offer discounts for:
Landlords should already have smoke detectors installed in rental units. Most states require them by law, so if your rental doesn’t have them, ask your landlord to buy smoke detectors and install them. Smoke detectors alert you to a fire quicker, hopefully giving you time to get outside to a safer location, or to possibly put out the fire quickly and minimize property damage.
Three out of five home fire deaths are from fires in properties without working smoke alarms, and 37 percent are from fires where no smoke alarm was present. The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half when a smoke alarm is working.
Insurers may also offer discounts for having a fire extinguisher that’s working. One in a kitchen can keep a stovetop fire from spreading to your other possessions. They should be checked monthly to ensure they’re working, and the extinguisher should be easy to get to and not blocked in a closet by coats or anything else.
If a burglar tries to pick the locks on your doors, a deadbolt can add an extra line of defense for a few dollars. The high volume of foot traffic in apartment complexes can increase the chances of a break-in. Add deadbolts to front, back and side doors.
A home security system can be as expensive as you want to make it. You can hire a professional alarm company to install a burglar alarm and other forms of surveillance, or you can install video cameras yourself. An around-the-clock security system can alert tenants and police to harm and can prevent the loss of your property.
Whatever upgrades you’re considering adding, first discuss them with your landlord and point out that not only will they save you money on renters insurance, but also likely save money on homeowners insurance for the property for having the extra safety measures.