Your neighbors pay as little as $14 a month for coverage.See Your Rates
The cost of renters insurance in Alabama is $235 a year on average, somewhat higher than the national average of $180 a year.
|Coverage amount||Average cost per month||Average cost per year|
|Source: National Association of Insurance Commissioners, 2019|
Alabama has a low rate of renter-occupied housing units, at only 26% of total housing, compared to the national average of 31%. Surprisingly, only 28% of those units in Alabama are insured, a full 10% lower than the national average. This means that almost three quarters of renters in Alabama are missing out on cheap coverage that can protect them from disaster.
In Birmingham, the most populous city in Alabama, nearly 44,000 housing units are rentals, or about 40% of the total housing in the city.
Many renters in Alabama are missing out on a wide range of coverage plans. While some renters may be comfortable with a $14,000 coverage limit, it only costs Alabamians $7 more per month to boost that limit to $38,000. Mid-range plans can offer great value, depending on how much renters insurance you need. For an average cost of $25 per month, most Alabamians could ensure that everything from their clothing to their electronics is protected in the event of disaster.
Alabama is susceptible to all types of weather disasters, including hurricanes, floods, droughts and even earthquakes, making protecting your things even more important.
With relatively low costs and a high rate of weather disaster, renters insurance is an important consideration whether you are in Birmingham, Montgomery, Mobile or all the way up on the northern border of Alabama.
Do you qualify for rates that low?
Below are some of the best renters insurance companies offering policies in Alabama. The J.D. Power overall satisfaction scores give a good at-a-glance impression of a company, while the NAIC Complaint Index is a reliable indicator of how often a customer needs to file a complaint (the score is weighted according to the company’s size):
|Company||2019 J.D. Power overall satisfaction (out of 1,000)||2019 NAIC Complaint Index (lower is better)|
|*USAA is only available to military service members, veterans and their eligible family members.|
Clearly, there are several options for people hunting for renters insurance throughout Alabama. The options include companies both large and small. Someone seeking renters insurance can choose whichever company best fits their personal preferences and needs.
Price is certainly a consideration, but Alabamians should also consider other factors when choosing an insurance agency. These include customer service, availability of and the ability to choose specific agents, claims satisfaction, flexibility in coverage, and rates of complaints or mistakes made by the insurance company. Speaking personally with an insurance agent or customer service representative at a company you are considering may be the best step toward the peace of mind that comes with knowing you and your family are protected.
A great way to save money is by bundling your renters insurance with auto, boat or life insurance. Companies usually offer sizable discounts on such policies.
However, bundling is not necessary. While it is convenient and can save money, it’s best to compare quotes from all of the companies you are considering before jumping on a bundled policy.
Usually, renters insurance consists of four coverages: personal property, loss of use, personal liability and medical payments to others. Renters insurance is standardized, so any reliable, legitimate company should include all four.
Two things to know: what your renters insurance covers, and and what your coverage limits are. Generally, renters insurance divides different belongings into categories, sometimes placing a limit on a specific category.
For example, electronics, something many people want to cover, often have a coverage limit of $2,500, while the limit for jewelry may be significantly higher. Depending on what you most want to protect, it is important to ask about and review your limits. Sometimes, you may request a limit increase or a rider if you think you need more protection for a particular category of belongings.
These are the categories people most frequently want to cover:
With all of the above and more, the average renter has $20,000 worth of belongings. That is a lot worth protecting.
In the event of disasters such as floods, fires, hurricanes and more, renters may find their homes unlivable for an extended time. An additional bonus of having renters insurance is that, should your home be badly damaged, renters insurance pays for your housing (usually in a hotel) until your home is livable again.
With less than 1,500 hotels in the entire state, Alabama renters may have serious trouble finding a suitable hotel to live in until their home is ready for them again. Renters insurance protects you from this scenario with loss of use coverage, meaning that the insurance agency will pay for your temporary housing, and sometimes even your meals, until you can move back in.
Some landlords require renters insurance as part of your lease, but not all. If a landlord requires renters insurance as part of a lease, you may be required to add them as an “interested party” on your policy. Listing them proves that you have renters insurance. Keep in mind that while renters insurance is not required by law in Alabama, it is strongly recommended. This is partially to protect the landlord and their building. In Alabama, if a renter does not have renters insurance and damage to a building is deemed to be their fault, they may be forced to pay for repairs out of pocket.
Some leases or landlords in Alabama include penalties for not having renters insurance. In Alabama, it is even possible for a landlord to evict you for not having renters insurance if they include that policy in your lease. It’s also important to keep in mind that when a landlord says they have insurance in Alabama, that doesn’t automatically protect you. It may protect their building and your apartment, but not your belongings.
With a statewide median rent of $750, compared to the national average of $1,012, Alabama residents pay less for rent each month. While adding anywhere from $14 to $41 to your monthly expenses for renters insurance may sound like a lot, it is almost surely worth the peace of mind and safety you will have should disaster strike.
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