Finding your dream rental home doesn’t make moving any easier… or less expensive. The cost of renting in America has risen year after year since 2017 in most major American cities, only to be disrupted by the pandemic. With rent slightly lower on average in 2021, now is the time to find a new place, preferably a new place that doesn’t require you pay a security deposit. Using security deposit insurance can make moving more affordable — even as the price of renting continues to rise  — and moving out easier when the time comes. Rhino’s security deposit insurance has been designed to improve the renting process and give you more financial freedom. 

What is security deposit insurance?

Security deposit insurance is an alternative to a traditional cash security deposit.

Instead of paying a cash security deposit directly to your property manager or landlord directly, you purchase an insurance policy. The insurance policy protects the property owner from unpaid rent and property damage the same way a security deposit would. While you won't get your insurance policy refunded at the end of your lease, in almost all cases the insurance policy is significantly cheaper than the cash deposit. Now, instead of locking that money away in an escrow account, you can spend it however you want. 

You also have options on how you want to pay for your policy: You can purchase the policy in full, or pay a monthly premium. Interested? Ask your landlord if they offer security deposit insurance before you move-in.  

Rhino is considered renter-friendly security deposit insurance because it's modeled after a surety bond that levels the playing field between renters and property owners. Rhino’s security deposit insurance is an alternative to the cash deposit that is more affordable for the renter, but protects the rental from damage and unpaid rent all the same. When you miss rent or cause damage to your home, you have to pay for it from the cash security deposit. With Rhino, you are still expected to pay for unpaid rent or damages, but you only pay what you owe, rather than giving your landlord a large cash deposit upfront.

Coverage is no more than what the unit needs, and most policy prices are inexpensive, costing an average of $7-$15 per month. Most importantly, the property owner can’t charge renters directly and has to go through Rhino to make a claim about damage done or lost rent. If you feel a claim is unfair or inaccurate, you can appeal it. All in all, renters get more say in how they pay.

Graphic with a dollar bill exiting a door, implying that it is being unlocked from an account. The graphic reads "Now instead of locking that money away in an escrow account, you can spend it however you want."

How to use security deposit insurance from Rhino

On the hunt for a new home? This is a perfect time to get started with Rhino’s security deposit insurance and skip the large cash deposit. Like we said before: a property manager, owner, or landlord will likely offer security deposit insurance as an option. In some states, it’s required legally to offer it as an option.

We recommend these four steps: 

1. Search for no-fee apartments near you 

New Yorkers are pretty familiar with Rhino by now, thanks to StreetEasy’s simple “no fee” filter that connects them directly to apartments and multi-family homes using Rhino. Live elsewhere in America, try sites like Zillow, Zumper, Renthop, and others have search capabilities or filters that allow you to specify “no fee” or “no security deposit.” Many times when an apartment with no security deposit is advertised, it’s because they’re partnering with a company that offers security deposit insurance or another alternative. You can also search in Google “Rhino security deposit apartments near me” to learn more. 

2. Double-check if you're renting a Rhino home 

Once you find your no-fee future home, be sure to discuss Rhino with your landlord and double check that the property offers Rhino. If they don’t, now is the time to chat with them about Rhino! If they do, make sure they give you all the details. 

3. Get a quote that’s just for you. 

Once you’ve been approved to rent by the property manager, they’ll send you an invitation to enroll with Rhino (or you can get a quote from our homepage if you’re curious). Rhino will perform a soft credit check, but don’t worry. Any renter can use Rhino as long as they have been approved to rent at a partnered property.

4. Enroll with Rhino

Happy with your inexpensive policy price? Ready to enroll? All you have to do is specify if you would like to pay the full price of your policy upfront or pay a low monthly price.

Rhino will let your property owner know that you satisfied your security deposit requirement, and you’re all set. You can monitor any changes to your policy, check or pay claims, or renew through the Rhino Portal.  

Remember: Rhino policies usually cost less than the cost of an upfront cash security deposit. Your property manager should never ask for an additional security deposit alongside Rhino. If they do, please reach out directly to us.

Graphic with a hand pointing at a cellphone screen which has a Rhino invitation on it.

5. Renew with Rhino

Renewing your lease? Rhino makes it simple to keep coverage going: Your policy will automatically renew 15 days before your lease end date, unless you have already manually renewed or discontinued coverage. All you have to do is stay up to date on your payments and have no claims filed against you. You can also manually renew your coverage at any time. 

Moving out? Rhino notifies you 90 days that your policy is set to expire. You will have to manually cancel your Rhino policy through the Rhino portal. You can cancel Rhino at any time. 

Security deposit insurance makes it easier and more affordable to find a home you want in the location you want, and the convenience of Rhino insurance makes it easy to enroll and renew. Our claim process offers more transparency into why you’re being charged, and you won’t have to worry about whether or not you’ll get your security deposit back. Once you’ve used Rhino, you’ll never want to pay another cash security deposit. 

Get a quote and learn more about Rhino pricing at our homepage for renters. 

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KT Heins-Nagamoto

KT Heins-Nagamoto is a senior brand writer at Rhino. They advocate for security deposit alternatives and renter rights in everything they write.