How to Cancel a Renter's Insurance Policy: Step-By-Step


If you're a renter and bought renters insurance, you made an excellent choice to protect yourself financially. But circumstances change, and now you may want to cancel your renter's insurance policy.

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Just as when you cancel a health, life, or disability insurance policy, you want to be sure to adhere to your insurance company's cancellation policy and procedures.

Below, we show you how to cancel step-by-step, so you can quickly and easily get through the process of dropping coverage altogether. You can also just cancel to get a better price from a different insurance company.

What You'll Need Before You Cancel Your Renter’s Policy 

Fortunately, you won't need to assemble too many documents when you cancel your coverage. However, you will need the following handy:

  • Your original policy when your coverage went into effect.
    • However, you will want to re-read the section about cancelation to protect yourself financially.
  • A cancellation request form provided by the insurance company (if necessary).
  • A letter from you to the insurance company confirming when you want the coverage to no longer be in effect.
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How to Cancel Your Own Renter’s Insurance

Canceling your renter's insurance is pretty straightforward. Here are the four steps if you decide you want to cancel:

Step 1: Contact your insurance company

Make contact with your insurance company and inform them that you would like to cancel your policy. You can do so by calling your agent or contacting the company directly online.

Step 2: Ask about penalties

Ask if there is a penalty to cancel the coverage. Penalties will vary based on the length of time the policy was active or how much time remains in the term.

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Step 3: Fill out a signed request form

Provide the insurance company with a signed request to cancel your renter's insurance policy. Ask if they have a specific form that you need to sign or if you can send them a letter requesting the cancellation. Doing both will make sure all of your bases are covered.

Step 4: Give your contact info

Provide the insurance company your current mailing address so they can send you the cancellation documents, and if you're fortunate, any refund you may be entitled to.

Don't just assume your coverage will terminate at the end of the term. Make sure to call the insurance company directly and ask about their cancellation policy and procedures. Some policies can contain an "automatic renewal" clause, renewing your policy at the end of the term.

By not following the insurer's procedures, your policy can be canceled for non-payment, which can impact your insurance credit score and possibly disqualify you from premium discounts from other insurers. It's always best to speak directly with the insurance company to ensure that your policy's end date is when you want it to be, not the end of the term written on the policy.

What You'll Need Before You Cancel a Deceased Loved One's Renter’s Insurance Policy

There is not much difference between canceling your own insurance policy and that of a deceased loved one. In addition to the above documents necessary for canceling your own renter's insurance policy, you'll need only one additional document – a copy of the death certificate. Since the policy is not legally in your name, the insurance company will require the death certificate to verify that it matches the insured person's name to prevent any type of fraudulent activity.

How to Cancel a Deceased Loved One's Renter’s Insurance Policy

Canceling a deceased person's renter’s insurance can be difficult emotionally, but it's not difficult procedurally. If you follow the steps listed above to cancel your own policy, you are 90 percent there. The only additional step is to secure a copy of the death certificate and get it to the insurance company. They'll then have everything they need to cancel the policy.

A couple of words of caution. First, don't cancel the policy if the deceased's furniture and personal property are going to remain at the rental property for any period of time, no matter how short. Once the property is vacant, then start the cancellation process.

Also, don't cancel the policy if another family member will be moving into the property. Many insurance companies will allow you to change the policy and have the new tenant become the insured – no cancellation necessary.

Be sure to talk directly with the insurance company to make sure all of the premiums were paid, and the policy isn't in danger of lapsing for non-payment. You don't want someone to move into the rental and think they were covered, only to find out that the policy had lapsed long ago.

Alternatives To Cancelling Your Renter’s Insurance Policy

If you're going to be staying in a rental, you don't want to lose your coverage. It's worth keeping for the protection and peace of mind it provides. In the event that you don’t like the policy benefits or you think you're paying too much, there are three good alternatives:

  1. Adjust your coverage. You might be able to raise your deductible or lower some of the coverage amounts, both of which could lower your premiums.
  2. Adjust your payment terms. You may be able to pay annually instead of monthly to qualify for a discount.
  3. Get quotes for a new policy. If you're not satisfied with your policy, shop around with other companies that offer renter’s insurance. You might be able to find similar or better coverage than you have now at a more attractive price.

Renter’s Insurance FAQs 

What are the advantages of keeping renter’s insurance? 

Even during periods of transition in your life, there are advantages to keeping your renter’s insurance in force. Not only will it protect against damage or theft, but it also offers additional benefits that many people never consider:

  • You may have worldwide coverage for personal liability, and damage or theft of your personal property
  • You receive additional living expenses if you're renovating the property and you need to live somewhere other than your home.
  • There are also multi-policy discounts on insurance if you also have your vehicle insured with the same company.
Do I need to cancel my policy if I'm moving to a different rental property?

It would be easier to add an endorsement for a change of address rather than canceling your insurance when you move. Changing the address could save you money since you won't face any penalty for canceling your policy. And, your policy will probably provide coverage for your belongings while you're moving from one location to another.

Is renter’s insurance different than moving insurance?

Renter’s insurance and moving insurance are not the same things. In most cases, your renter’s insurance will still provide you with coverage for fire and theft. You'll want to contact your insurance company to see if your renter's insurance policy will be adequate if you have an upcoming move. 

Does renter’s insurance cover items in storage?

Many people don't realize that their renter's insurance may cover items they have in storage. If you are living somewhere else temporarily and want to store your possessions, you can avoid risking financial loss from theft or damage to your furniture, collectibles, or other personal items. Each insurance company handles this differently, so review your policy and talk to the insurer directly before you decide to cancel your renter's insurance policy.

How does renter’s insurance help me when I'm traveling?

Your renter's insurance may cover your liability and your possessions while you travel. If you're going to be gone for an extended period of time, you may be tempted to cancel your coverage, but check with the insurance company before you do. Regardless of how long you'll be away, you want to be sure that your belongings are insured against damage or theft while you're gone. 

How does renter’s insurance coverage work if I live with someone else?

If your roommate or housemate has a renter’s insurance policy in force, you still may not be covered. Not every insurance company's policy will cover roommates. 

Have your roommate talk with their insurance company to ensure your liability and personal belongings are covered before canceling a renter’s insurance policy you may have had before moving. It may be to your advantage if you just change the address on your policy.

If you're getting married, you won't have to cancel your policy and get a new one. You can add your spouse instead of canceling it altogether. If you're moving after you get married, a change of address endorsement can keep you insured.

I'm moving back in with my parents. Do I need renter’s insurance?

Because you're a family member, you might be covered under your parent's policy. It might seem to make sense in this instance, but you might not be covered automatically based on your personal situation and your age.

If you’re interested in double-checking your coverage eligibility, have your parents contact their insurance company and request to add you to their coverage for personal contents and liability. This will give you peace of mind knowing you're covered, and it will also maintain your insurance history, which can help you qualify for discounts when you get your own insurance again.

Cancelling Renter’s Insurance Is Easy

Nobody likes paying for insurance, but you want to have insurance to protect you financially against loss when you own something valuable. Before you cancel your renter's insurance, ask yourself how you would be affected money-wise if you lost all of your furniture and personal property.

If you’re in a period of transition, there are ways to save money without canceling the policy outright. Renter’s insurance can be helpful in many ways, but if you find yourself no longer needing it, rest assured that it can be easy to cancel. 

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