A study by a New York research firm places annual premiums for renters in Cartersville above the state average.
ValuePenguin looked at 129 cities across the state, collecting renters insurance quotes for a 1,000-square-foot property. The mean premium came in at $398 using quotes from five major carriers in Georgia.
“Renters insurance is somewhat of an enigma,” the study’s author, Michael Thrasher, said. “While 95 percent of homeowners have homeowners insurance, only 37 percent of renters have renters insurance, according to a study by the Insurance Information Institute. But it's still an important product. Renters insurance protects the policyholder's personal property, provides liability protection and offers additional living expenses.”
The study examined renters insurance quotes for a 1,000-square-foot residence with at least $25,000 in personal property coverage and $100,000 in liability coverage. The findings showed the most expensive city — Blakely at $518 — was 47 percent higher than the cheapest, Sylvania’s $353.
Cartersville ranked No. 73 at $402 on the list. In other cities in northwest Georgia, prices varied. Calhoun’s cost was $403, while Rome was $362 and Canton $391.
Thrasher warned against investing too much in the state mean of $398 because the study looks at one specific property.
“So the mean rate and rates for each municipality have comparative value — the percentage differences are very useful, but they are not indicative of what the majority of tenants are going to pay for renters insurance,” he said.
The results, however, may encourage renters to compare pricing.
“I hope the study accomplishes at least two things: to show individuals how rates in their municipality stack up against other municipalities, and that it encourages them to shop around for renters insurance policies. We used quotes from five major carriers to determine the mean rates, so there are cheaper premiums out there,” Thrasher said. “Even if someone already has renters insurance, it's always worth shopping around to see if they can get a cheaper policy for the same level of coverage. Even with customer loyalty factors and discounts for bundling policies, sometimes diversifying the companies you buy insurance products from can be cheaper.”
Having conducted an identical study for almost the entire United States, Thrasher said one factor of the study did surprise him.
“I authored an identical study for nearly all 50 states — thousands of cities, towns and census designated places — and there were no specific municipality rates that surprised me. However, something that somewhat surprised me is how varied renters insurance rates can be, even though renters insurance policies do not cover the structure the tenant is living in,” Thrasher said. “The cost of homeowners insurance premiums wildly vary because the replacement cost of homes wildly varies, i.e. the cost to rebuild a $10 million home is obviously much higher than a $150,000 home. That factor is absent in calculating the cost of a renters insurance policy, so I anticipated a smaller range. Having said that, renters insurance is still much cheaper than homeowners, in general.”