the Real Costs of Renters Insurance

The Cost of Renters Insurance Might Surprise You.

Great Tips for Renters that want to protect their stuff !

 

Top 2 reasons to have Renters Insurance, 1. Protect Your Stuff and 2. Lawsuit Protection

A little over 30% of the USA Rent and 60% of those renters don’t have rental insurance for a number of reasons but one of the main reasons in a recent survey was pertaining to costs despite the fact the average premium is less than $200/year. Finding renter’s insurance seems harder than it should be. However, with the rise in the number of people choosing to rent rather than buy, Renter’s insurance  is now much easier to find and with the right research you can save lots of money because no two rental insurance policies are the same. They are underwritten much like, home, auto and life insurance policies, many times you save money by contacting your existing insurance agent and ask them to bundle onto your existing policies. But be careful because they might now offer the type of coverage for your specific needs, so do your homework.

Do you considered yourself a Renter or Urban Dweller, or are you more like Tom Cruise or Kim what’s her name?

Certain insurance companies specialize in providing insurance for renters. Renter’s insurance many times is going to be required by your landlord. Whether or not you are required to purchase renter’s insurance, you should consider purchasing renter’s insurance to protect your stuff if you renting or soon to rent and will be living in an apartment, house, mobile home, condo, or town house.

It is important to shop around when looking for insurance and seek out a specialist in renter policies. If you don’t, you may find yourself paying more than you should and not having the right type of coverage. Rental Insurance companies, will evaluate many factors, not limited to your financial background and the area in which you are or maybe renting.

Why Get Renters Insurance?
  1. It’s affordable the average renter’s insurance policy costs $187 a year
  2. To protect your stuff in the event something bad happens, the average renter owns about $20,000 worth of personal property, that’s a lot to replace. Most renters are opting for $25,000 in personal property coverage and $300,000 in personal liability coverage with a $250 deductible.
  3. The landlord requires it as part of your lease or rental agreement
  4. Help with living expenses in the event the rental property becomes unlivable due to some type of storm, natural disaster or covered peril. The policy may cover “additional living expenses” including the cost associated with having to temporarily live somewhere else.
  5. Liability coverage protection if someone is injured while in your home or if you accidentally injure someone. It could pay any court judgments as well as legal expenses, up to your policy limit.
  6. It covers your stuff when traveling. Renter’s insurance covers your personal belongings, whether they are in your home, your car, or while your traveling. Your possessions are covered from loss due to theft and other covered losses anywhere you travel in the world.
  7. Safe Rentals: May help you determine if the area you are looking to rent is safe or not by any up-charges in premiums, so ask the question to compare premiums against multiple areas (zip codes)
  8. Bottom Line: Renter’s insurance provides coverage for your personal belongings, whether they are in your home , car or with you while you’re on vacation. In addition, renter’s insurance provides liability coverage in case someone is injured in your home or if you accidentally hurt someone. Be sure you understand what your policy covers,and ask your agent about available discounts, deductibles and coverage limits.
Things you should know:

All companies will ask you how much you need to be insured for, Better to know up front than be surprised on the back end.

  • Take an inventory of your personal property that you will want to insure. There are many online sites to help you, old school spreadsheet or god forbid, paper and pencil.
  • Total up the value of everything in your home and don’t overlook anything. Take Pictures, keep receipts.
  • A standard renter’s policy might not include everything that you think about, so ask questions:
    1. What’s covered, What’s not?
    2. What are the exceptions?
    3. What’s in the small print?
    4. Will a Renters Policy Cover my Roommate? Is the policy for everyone renting, or just your stuff, does it include roommates, visitors, family members, etc?
    5. What’s the Difference Between Cash Value (the actual cash value of the item in today’s values not what you actually paid)  and Replacement Coverage (covers the cost of repairing or replacing the item at its current price)?
    6. Will Owning a Dog/CAT/Pet Affect my Renters Coverage?
    7. What is a pet damage rider and what will it cover?
    8. Am I Covered if my Laptop Computer or IPhone is Stolen from my Car Parked Outside my Home? or while I’m away on business/vacation?
    9. What are the coverage limits?
    10. What perils are covered?
    11.  What is the difference between an “all risk” policy (any peril that isn’t specifically listed as an exclusion is covered) and a  “named peril” policy (only perils explicitly listed in the policy)?
    12. If I’m a renter, but also have a storage unit will those items be covered?
    13. What happens if someone gets hurt in my apartment?
    14. How long has the insurance company been in business?
    15. What is the insurance companies A.M. Best rating?
    16. If I move, can I move the renter’s policy with me?
    17. What are the payment options?
    18. What is the claims process?
    19. How are you rated by JD Powers for claim processing?
    20. Is there any medical coverage if I or someone else gets hurt at my apartment?
Do You Need Rental Insurance?

Many renters don’t stop to think about what happens if there is a fire, someone breaks in and steals their new TV or stereo, or a visitor slips and falls on their property. The sad truth is; you will be responsible! While your landlord has
insurance that covers the actual building, that coverage does not include your personal property or liability for injuries which occur in the space you rent ~ be it an apartment or a house and yard.

If a fire should destroy or damage your home, your landlord’s insurance will cover the structure. It won’t cover damage or loss of your belongings. Neither will it provide for the cost of temporary housing for you and your family.

You may think you don’t own enough personal property to make the cost of insurance worthwhile. You’re probably wrong! If you sit down and add up the cost of everything you own, you may be in for a big surprise. Consider what you have invested in such things as:

• Furniture and accessories
• Electronics like TV, stereo, computers
• Small appliances like microwaves, toaster ovens, etc.
• Clothing
• Art work like paintings or prints
• Dishes, silverware and cookware
• Sporting equipment
• Books
• Jewelry

Could you afford to replace all of these things?

Even worse, what would you do if a friend is injured on your property and decides to sue you for medical costs and more? It’s a scary thought, isn’t it?

Are you beginning to see why rental insurance may be a very wise investment?

The cost of rental insurance is based on several factors:

• The dollar amount of your coverage

• Deductibles

• Whether you choose to be reimbursed for Actual Cash Value or Replacement Costs (more about that in a minute)

• Where your rental property is located and the number of previous claims made, not only by you, but by others living in the same area.

Let me explain the difference between Actual Cash Value (ACV) and Replacement Costs. ACV is the value of your property at the time a loss takes place. For example, if your television set is five years old, it’s valued at much less than if it were brand new. The lesser amount is what you are reimbursed.

However, if you opt for Replacement Cost, you’re paid whatever it costs to go out and buy a new TV with similar features. Insuring for replacement cost raises the amount of your premium so it’s a good idea to get quotes for both ACV and Replacement Cost policies. Then you can decide which option fits your needs and budget.

Another thing to keep in mind is that jewelry, valuable collections, and guns are usually covered under a separate policy or “rider”. If you own these kinds of items, be sure to tell your insurance agent. You don’t want to find out after disaster strikes that they aren’t covered or that they aren’t covered for their true value.
One way you can reduce the cost of your rental insurance is to check with whichever company insures your car. If they provide rental insurance you may be eligible for a multi-line discount.

Rental insurance may be worth the investment just for the peace of mind it offers you.

Renter’s policies protect against a surprisingly long list of perils.

A standard HO-4 policy designed for renters, for example, covers losses to personal property from perils including:

  • Damage caused by aircraft
  • Damage caused by vehicles
  • Explosion
  • Falling objects
  • Fire or lightning
  • Riot or civil commotion
  • Smoke
  • Theft
  • Vandalism or malicious mischief
  • Volcanic eruption
  • Weight of ice, snow or sleet
  • Windstorm or hail
  • Damage from water or steam from sources including household appliances, plumbing, heating, air conditioning or fire-protective sprinkler systems
Our Best Advice for you:

The best advice regarding renters insurance is purchase it. When we rent an apartment, a condo, a house, or a mobile home, we sometimes feel a bit too secure in knowing the property isn’t ours. We don’t own it; therefore, whatever happens to it, outside of the damage we may cause the property ourselves, is not our responsibility.

If the plumbing is faulty, the landlord will clean up the small lake in the kitchen and replace the pipes, right? If a storm hurls a tree through the living room window, the landlord will sweep up the broken glass and replace the window, right? If faulty wiring sparks a fire and burns the building to the ground, the landlord will just build again, right?

While it is the responsibility of the landlord and/or owner of the property to fix these damages not caused by you, it is not his or her responsibility to replace or repair your damaged or lost possessions along the way. So, who’s going to replace your kitchen table when it becomes water logged, your television set once a tree rams through it, and everything else you own when the building burns down?

Your renters insurance company; that is, if you have a renters insurance policy.

A renters insurance policy is like a homeowners insurance policy in that your possessions are protected against accidents such as fire and water damage, as well as theft. When purchasing a renters insurance policy, you should follow the same advice as purchasing a homeowners insurance policy: take inventory of your possessions, decide how high or low you want your deductible to be to get the premium you can afford, and look into a “floater” policy if certain valuables aren’t covered under the renters insurance policy.

Don’t be swept away by the false security of not owning the property in which you live; remember, you do own the property you moved in with!

Interested in the possibilities? 

Article sponsored by Renter Insurance Offers

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