What to Do With Renters Insurance When You Move

Quick Answer

When you move, you may cancel renters insurance or transfer the policy to your new rental. If you’re buying a home, renters insurance won’t cover the new house—you’ll need to shop for a homeowners insurance policy instead.

A couple smiles at each other as they sit on the floor of their new home while they have moving boxes behind them.

Renters insurance can protect you from damage, theft or other problems that might occur when you're renting a home or an apartment. But what happens to your policy if you're moving? While you may be able to cancel the policy anytime, keeping it active until you're out of the space can ensure you're covered right up until moving day.

If you're moving to another rental, you may be able to transfer the insurance to your new place instead of canceling. But if you're buying a home, you'll need to get a different type of coverage.

What to Do With Renters Insurance When You Move

Deciding what to do with your renters insurance comes down to where you're moving and what your insurance policy stipulates. If you're moving to a new rental, you may be able to move your policy to the new address, as long as your insurance company provides coverage in your new neighborhood.

What if you're buying a home? Renters insurance doesn't cover a home that you own, so you'll need to start shopping for homeowners insurance instead. The company you bought renters insurance from may also offer homeowners insurance, but make sure to shop around to find the best quote and policy for your needs.

How to Transfer Your Policy

Transferring a renters insurance policy from one rental to another is a pretty straightforward process. Here's an overview of the steps:

  1. Make sure your policy is transferable. Call your insurance company or review your policy to get the details.
  2. Give the insurance company your new address. You may be able to change your address online or by calling an insurance agent.
  3. Review the cost. The address change could result in a rate change. Monthly renters insurance premiums generally range from $15 to $30, and pricing factors include the neighborhood's crime rate and history of natural disasters, and the type of home you're moving into. Any changes you make to your coverage or deductible could also impact your premium. If you're not happy with your new rate, you could get quotes from other companies to make sure it's competitive.
  4. Get your updated policy. If you agree to any new costs and other details of the transfer, you'll get an updated policy with your new address.

How to Cancel Your Policy

Like transferring your policy, canceling renters insurance is also relatively simple. The process can vary depending on your insurance provider, but these are the general steps:

  1. Notify your insurer. You may be able to cancel online, by phone, by mail or in person.
  2. Set the cancellation date. The insurance provider may ask for the date when you want coverage to end, or the policy could be canceled the day you contact the company. Keep in mind that canceling before moving can be risky. This would leave your property unprotected in the days or weeks leading up to your move.
  3. Pay what's due (or collect your refund). You may get a final bill for the unpaid premium amount. But if you paid upfront, you could get a partial refund from the insurance company.

Does Insurance Cover Your Belongings When You Move?

Renters insurance covers your property when it's in the rental, but may not cover property while it's being moved. It's important to read the policy terms to see what moving coverage is available. Also, ask moving companies what protection they provide if items are broken or lost while packing or moving. If you're making the move on your own, a rental truck company might also provide some coverage options for your belongings.

The Bottom Line

Renters insurance can be worth keeping, even if your new landlord doesn't require it. And transferring your policy from one rental to the next instead of canceling and applying for new coverage could save you some time. Without it, you might have to shoulder the entire financial burden if your possessions get stolen or damaged.

As you pack, consider taking an inventory and estimating the value of your property. When everything is totaled, you might find that your current coverage falls short of what you need, and increasing coverage could give you some extra peace of mind.