Renters Insurance: A Guide To The Basics

For one reason or another, many of today’s renters feel that they have nothing of value and that they simply don’t need any kind of liability coverage when moving into a new apartment or rental home. Instead of purchasing this kind of insurance coverage, they’ll simply leave all of their possessions subject to chance, assuming that they can affordably replace everything in their home even during the worst case scenario. Other renters actually believe that a landlord’s insurance products will cover the repair or replacement of their belongings in the event of a major disaster that ruins them. This, too, is a misguided view.

In both cases, renters who decline to purchase insurance coverage for their personal belongings are doing themselves a great disservice. Renter’s insurance coverage is exceedingly affordable, very robust in terms of the coverage it provides, and easy to buy from any number of major insurance companies. For those renters who do decide to take the plunge an secure liability coverage, as all renters should, there are some pretty basic guidelines to be aware of when purchasing this type of coverage.

Renters Insurance: What it is and Why it Matters So Much

Those consumes who are currently renting a home or an apartment in a complex need to understand one key thing about their living situation: Any personal items located in that dwelling are simply not covered by any other liability coverage that has been taken out on the structure. Even if a private landlord owns the complex, a renter’s possessions are not covered under any type of homeowner’s insurance. If the apartment is part of a complex, even the company’s business insurance will not cover those personal items. In the event of a disaster, they will be completely lost and irreplaceable unless renter’s insurance is secured.

Renter’s insurance products are available to cover virtually everything owned by a renter, no matter the type of rental they currently pay for each month. Policies vary in price according to coverage amounts and deductibles, but they provide the total coverage of things like electronics and computers, clothing, precious documents, and even the furnishings that make the apartment into a home. These policies are very affordable for renters because they specifically do not cover damage to the actual dwelling. Their focus is solely on possessions, lessening the financial burden on major insurance companies.

How to Buy: The Process of Getting Proper Renters Insurance Coverage

With the need for renters insurance now clearly explained, most renters might be reconsidering their tough stance against purchasing the product and incurring an additional monthly expense. Before rushing off to secure coverage, though, it’s worth noting how to pursue coverage in the best way possible. Remember that renters insurance, like all liability coverage products, requires things like the right deductible, the right coverage limit, and the right kind of coverage, to be effective when it is needed most. Consumers should follow a few simple steps to make sure they have the policy that works best for their needs.

Step 1: Assess the Value of a Home’s Possessions

As mentioned earlier, many renters are young and feel that they simply don’t have the kind of possessions that amount to a very high dollar value. because they feel that they don’t really own anything of value, they’re reluctant to purchase these policies. These same feelings can cause many renters to actually undervalue the scope of the insurance policy that they need to buy. They’ll often pick a coverage level that won’t adequately cover the repair and replacement of all of their possessions in the event of an emergency.

Before securing a renters insurance policy, take inventory of a home’s possessions. Estimate the value of, quite literally, every single thing in the house. Remember the price of things like dinnerware sets and couches, note the value of laptops, tablets, smartphones, and televisions, and estimate the total value of the household’s clothing and personal items. The total may come as quite a surprise, as it’s likely to be in the tens of thousands of dollars in many cases.

With the rough value of the home’s possessions accounted for, be sure to buy a policy that gives a little margin of error. That means most renters should buy a policy that offers a bit more coverage than they think they actually require.

Step 2: Document Every Possession in the Home

Insurance companies are designed to help customers replace their personal items, but they’re not responsible for replacing things that they simply can’t prove were ever in the home at the time that a major emergency or disaster actually occurred. For this reason, renters should document everything in their home so that they can quickly and efficiently replace it during a worst-case scenario.

Be sure to take pictures of things like a home’s electronics, clothing items, furniture, and anything else that will need to be replaced if the home is severely damaged or even destroyed. This will be the first line of defense and proof when a claim is filed with the insurance company chosen to provide the policy.

Step 3: Research Additional Services Offered by the Coverage

One of the great things about many insurance policies targeted to renters is that they actually offer complimentary liability coverage on other items as well. In many cases, this is borne out by the coverage of luggage during travel, or the coverage of some items in a car during travel that might not be covered by a typical vehicle insurance policy.

These services aren’t really essential to the renter’s insurance policy itself, but they do provide a way for customers to add extra value to their monthly fee and give themselves added peace of mind in a wide variety of life’s most common situations. By understanding the additional coverage offered with the policies, customers can more accurately determine whether or not they’re getting the best deal on liability coverage from their insurance company.

Step 4: Compare Companies and Choose a Policy

Finally, consumers should always engage in a side-by-side comparison of the renter’s insurance policies being offered by major insurance companies. These policies are all similar, but not identical, and their different terms or monthly rates may be a big deal to renters. When looking for a policy, always be sure to compare a few things offered by each major insurance company:

– The amount of coverage offered
– The amount of a deductible that must be reached in order to invoke reimbursement
– The monthly fee
– Additional services
– Any restrictions on coverage or reimbursement / replacement

With a clearer idea of the differences between coverage options, consumers will be able to enjoy a lower rate, better coverage, and more robust additional services, for each dollar they spend on a monthly basis.

The Key: Attention to Detail and Preparation for the Worst

Renters insurance is all about preparing for the worst possible scenario while renting an apartment or a house. Each renter owes it to himself or herself to secure a robust insurance policy that will cover everything they might lose, from their favorite sweaters to their valuable television and computers. With the right coverage, those things and more will be both easy and affordable to replace during an emergency situation.