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Consumer Price Index

Measuring Price Change in the CPI: Tenant’s and Household Insurance

The tenants’ and household insurance index is a component of the shelter index in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The tenants' and household insurance index is published at the U.S. city average level.

Item Definition

The tenants' and household insurance index includes contents coverage insurance for tenants of rental housing and households as is available in standardized renters’ and homeowners’ insurance policies. In keeping with the scope of the index, only renters’ insurance policies are sampled and priced. Dwellings eligible for coverage include those from multi-unit buildings, single family homes, and other types of rental units.

The rental equivalence approach used to measure price change in the cost of owner-occupied shelter renders household insurance for residential structures, along with most spending on home maintenance and repairs, out of scope. Therefore, insurance on physical damage to structures and liability coverage included in homeowners’ policies as well as insurance on commercial properties are excluded from the index.

Relative Importance

The relative importance of an item category is its percentage of the CPI weight as of December of the most recent year. The CPI weight is calculated using spending data collected in the Consumer Expenditure Surveys. Spending by renters on tenants’ insurance is included. Only a portion of spending by homeowners on homeowner’s insurance is included to reflect the scope of owner’s equivalent rent.

 Table A. Relative importance, December 2023
Item Relative importance



   Rent of primary residence


   Lodging away from home


      Housing at school, excluding board


      Other lodging away from home including hotels and motels


   Owners' equivalent rent of residences


   Tenants' and household insurance


Sample selection

The tenants’ and household insurance index is a non-consumer expenditure sample rotation category and follows a reduced sample rotation schedule similar to other select items. We select the sample of tenants’ and household insurance carriers from a universe of companies provided by a national insurance trade organization based on the dollar amount of eligible tenants’ insurance written by a company within each state. Policies for a sampled carrier within an area are selected from the total eligible tenants’ insurance policies issued by the company within the area.

We work with respondents at selected insurance companies to choose actual policies that we follow over time. When policies are selected for pricing, we record characteristics of both the insured housing unit and the specific characteristics of the selected policy. Characteristics include the property address; the insurance company’s territory classification; fire protection classification; the type of materials used to construct the dwelling; selected type of coverage; contents coverage amounts; policy exclusions, endorsements, and discounts; regional and local attributes impacting premium calculations; deductible amounts; length of policy; and any policy specific attributes. The CPI holds these characteristics constant and follows prices over time. We use premiums calculated for the policies with these unchanging characteristics and not the actual premiums paid for the initially selected policies – since the characteristics and coverages for actual policies change over time.

Price Change

Each month we collect the premium amount for the selected policies in our pricing areas. To ensure that the full month is properly represented, pricing is spread out over three separate pricing periods covering the entire collection month.

Once a year, the contents coverage amount for each policy in our sample is adjusted by the regional annual rate of inflation or by a company-specified factor to keep the contents coverage amount consistent with the overall rate of inflation. For example, a policy with $40,000 in contents coverage in 2004 is not the same as a policy with $40,000 in contents coverage in 2024 as inflation has eroded some of the purchasing power of the initial coverage amount over the preceding twenty years. We distribute the timing of these updates evenly throughout the year across the sample. This annual updating process may result in premium changes which are used in the index calculation along with other price changes commonly driven by annual rate increases.


Access data for tenants’ and household insurance in our online database.

Additional information

Additional information may be obtained from the Consumer Price Index Information Office by email or calling 202-691-7000. Information on the CPI's overall methodology can be found in the BLS Handbook of Methods.

Last Modified Date: February 9, 2024