7 Tips for Reliable Renters Insurance Coverage
Even if you don’t own your home, it’s important to make sure your stuff is safe and protected from all kinds of serious disasters.
Whether you live in an apartment, townhome, or condo, renters insurance coverage is absolutely essential. Anything from a building fire to a break-in can cost you potentially thousands of lost dollars.
Just because your landlord owns the building you live in doesn’t mean your personal property is covered under their insurance. Read on to discover seven tips to help you find reliable coverage.
1. Find Out What’s Covered
Take a close look at potential policies and what they cover. Most renters insurance will cover the basics like your personal belongings, however, high-end jewelry or artwork may require you to pay extra on your premium.
In addition to the actual items that are covered, make sure the insurance will protect you in a variety of situations. For example, if your friend comes over and hurts themselves in your apartment, your policy might cover their medical expenses.
Another bonus to many renters insurance plans is that they’ll provide you with temporary housing in the event that your apartment gets damaged due to things like flooding or fire.
2. Determine How Much Renters Insurance Coverage You Need
Even if you don’t have an original Van Gogh painting hanging in your apartment, you still want to make sure your stuff is covered. Make a list of the things you own and write down the estimated cost to replace each one.
Add up your newly-created home inventory and this should give you a good idea of how much insurance coverage you should opt for. Many plans will allow you to combine your personal belongings with your spouse or roommates.
Talk to you an insurance agent who can walk you through the coverage limits, including liability.
3. A Floater Might Float Your Boat
If you happen to have some serious valuables in your apartment, you might need to add what’s called a floater. This addendum to your insurance policy is designed to cover high-end goods.
From your grandmother’s wedding ring to precious artwork or family heirlooms, anything of extra value will probably need additional coverage. This can also apply to items like collectibles, fur coats, and even musical instruments.
Remember that if your place catches on fire or you’re hit with a burglary, precious heirlooms and other items can never be replaced, but at least your insurance will be able to repay you for the estimated cost or value.
4. Shop Around
It probably goes without saying that you’ll need to do a little bit of rate comparison before making your decision. Most renters insurance charges a monthly premium, or you may opt to pay a years’ worth at once.
Check for new insurance companies that give you a low-cost option like lemonade renters insurance. They have a simple app, easy to understand coverage, and reasonable monthly rates.
Alternatively, if you already have car insurance, your company may be able to bundle the car and renters insurance together to give you a discounted rate. Do your homework and a little side-by-side comparison to ensure you’re getting the best coverage and the best rates possible.
5. Your Landlord Has Responsibilities, Too
While renters insurance covers your belongings, protects you from most forms of liability, and provides you with temporary housing, your landlord has their own insurance responsibility.
If the apartment building you live in catches fire, for example, their insurance will cover the structure itself. It should also cover major appliances, fixtures, and the basic pieces that make up an inhabitable apartment or condominium.
Keep in mind that if you need to move out for a while until your landlord can make the necessary repairs, you’ll need to file a claim so you will have a place to stay until you can return.
6. Natural Disasters May Not be Covered
Floods, hurricanes, and other natural disasters can happen almost anywhere and at any time. The majority of renters insurance policies do not cover lost or damaged belongings as a result of a natural disaster or things like termite damage.
A fire that starts in your building or your individual apartment or floods due to leaky plumbing are situations where your policy will cover everything. Check with your local insurance agency to find out if you can supplement your coverage to protect you in the event of a natural disaster.
If you live in a flood zone, it’s especially important to get supplemental flood coverage. The odds of losing your belongings in these areas is much higher than in places not considered to be a flood zone.
7. Read Everything Thoroughly
Take a very close look at your renter’s insurance policy and read it through line-by-line. If you find that you have questions, contact your agent who should be more than happy to clear things up.
It’s also a good idea to revisit your policy every year or two just to make sure your coverage limits are at a good level. As life goes on, we tend to accumulate more and more things, so your coverage limits might need to rise to accommodate your growing personal belongings.
As long as you do your homework and read through your policy carefully, you should have peace of mind while renting.
Once you’ve signed up for a renter’s insurance policy, you should be able to transfer the policy with you whenever you move with a simple address change request.
Choosing a Great Policy Is Simple
If you understand what you own and its value, finding excellent renters insurance coverage should be an easy process. Make sure you do your homework, shop around for rates, and find out exactly what will be covered.
You work hard for the things you own, so it’s important that you can replace them in the event of a fire, water damage, or a break-in. Talk to an insurance agent to make sure you get the coverage you will need.
For more information about home maintenance, property, or DIY home projects, be sure to check our blog.