Renters insurance is a great way to protect your personal belongings while renting out a property. Some landlords might even require it.
Fortunately, coverage is quick and easy to get. Depending on which insurer you use, you may even be able to secure a policy the same day you apply.
On this page:
- How long does it take to apply for renters insurance?
- Does it take longer if additional coverage is added?
- When does my renters insurance go into effect?
- How to get renters insurance fast
How long does it take to apply for renters insurance?
Many insurance companies offer online coverage applications, which make for a speedy and painless process. You’ll fill out a few bits of personal information regarding yourself, your property, and your belongings. In many cases, you can get approved for coverage in just minutes.
Here’s what you’ll generally need on hand when filling out these applications:
- The address of the property you’re renting and the type of property it is (apartment, single-family home, etc.)
- Details about any pets or roommates you’ll be bringing in
- Whether the property has protective devices like a security alarm, fire alarm, or smoke detector
- An estimated value of your personal property in the home
- Details about any damage to the unit (a previous fire, for example)
- Your history of previous insurance claims
If you are using the unit for business, the insurer will need to know about this, including the nature of the activities you’ll be conducting.
Does it take longer if additional coverage is added?
Basic renters insurance will cover damage to your belongings due to theft, fire, and other unexpected events. It usually protects you from liability if someone is injured on the property too. In some cases, it could also provide living expenses if you’re forced to leave the property because of a natural disaster or some other issue.
Depending on your situation, there are also additional coverages you might want to consider, including:
- Flood insurance: You may need this if your property is located in a flood zone or is prone to flooding.
- Earthquake insurance: This type of coverage is common in areas exposed to regular earthquakes, particularly those along the West Coast.
- Water back-up: If your rental has a sump pump, this coverage can protect you in the event the system gets backed up and floods the home or causes water damage to the property.
Some of these coverages may take longer to secure than your basic renter’s policy. For one, they might require additional applications. On top of this, there are often waiting periods for these to take effect. For example, flood insurance won’t go into effect until at least 30 days after you’ve purchased it.
When does my renters insurance go into effect?
When you’re filling out your application, you’ll select the “effective date” — or the date you want that policy to start.
In many cases, you can even have your policy start that same day if necessary, or you could choose weeks or months out if you know that’s when you’ll be moving into the rental.
Once the effective date rolls around, you’ll officially be covered under the insurance policy you’ve chosen. (Make a note of the date and policy number, because your landlord may want this info before move-in.)
How to get renters insurance fast
Being prepared can help you fast-track your coverage. Before applying for renters insurance, ensure you have all the information and paperwork you’ll need to fill out the application and contact your landlord if you lack any details. This preparation will help you speed through the application quickly.
Considering several different insurers can be helpful, as application times and effective date options can vary from one company to the next.
Here’s a quick look at some insurers, as well as how long it takes to apply and how soon an effective date you can choose:
|Company||Effective date||Application time|
|Lemonade||Next day||2 minutes|
|Nationwide||Same day||3 minutes|
|Allstate||Same day||3 minutes|
Do you need more help getting a renters insurance policy? Check out our guide to the best renters insurance providers.