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When you get a renter's insurance quote, you should request coverage for your personal property and some personal liability protection at a minimum. Sometimes, however, people just “pick a number” for their personal items when they occupy rentals. This is usually a mistake. Here are some tips you should consider to protect yourself and your belongings.
While there are many similarities between renter's insurance and homeowner's insurance, there are a couple of significant differences when applied to rentals. If you're going to rent a home, your cost will be lower than it would be with a homeowner's policy. Here are the primary differences between the two.
With renter's insurance in home rentals it is also important to have any items that are worth a lot of money appraised for insurance values. Having these items appraised by a third party will help describe the value of the item and help to have it replaced if damaged or lost.
If you have replacement cost coverage you will be reimbursed for the actual replacement cost of your lost property, up to the limit stated in your policy. Replacement cost coverage is usually more expensive in premiums but will pay out more if you need to file an insurance claim for items when you rent a home.
Most standard renter's insurance policies cover your personal property for the following scenarios:
When you are looking into renter's insurance, see if your insurance company is offering “actual cash value” (ACV) or “replacement cost coverage” for your possessions. ACV will pay you what your property was worth at the time of it being damaged or stolen minus the deductible. Replacement cost coverage will pay you what it costs to replace the item minus the deductible. Replacement cost coverage is usually the better of the two options if you have a choice.
If you already have car/auto insurance, you should call your insurance carrier and get a quote for renter's insurance. Many times insurance agents give a discount when you have multiple insurance policies with them. Since you already have a relationship with the insurance agents, it is a good idea to discuss your options with them and to keep your insurance together with the same company you like and trust.
If you think that you do not own anything of value and that you do not need renter's insurance, think again. Most people own at least $20,000 worth in property and items. You will be surprised how all your belongings add up. Consider your closets and drawers filled with clothes, CD's, books, appliances, and everything else around your rental home. Renter's insurance can be as little as $5 a month and can be a great asset, if the time ever comes when you need it. It is definitely worth calling an insurance agent and getting an estimate and then evaluate whether you need it or not.
It is a good idea to take inventory of all the items you have in your home that has any value. You should keep an inventory list of all your items including the value and serial number of the items. You should also take photographs of your items, rooms, closets, storage units, and garage to prove ownership of items. You should also keep receipts for major items. Your inventory, photographs, and receipts should be kept in a safety deposit box or a fireproof and waterproof place.
There are several types of residential insurance plans and ways to customize them depending on your location, type of residence, and possessions. You should contact an insurance agent and explain your living situation and what you would like to insure. There are different plans for renters living in apartment and houses (HO-4) then people who live in or rent a condo (HO-6). You should contact two or three insurance agents to get estimates for renter's insurance coverage that fits your needs.
Renter's insurance policies are designed to cover you in the event of damage or loss of your personal property. Renter's insurance will also protect you in the event you are responsible for personal injury or property damage to guests in your rental. Landlords home insurance will just cover the building from any damage not your possessions inside. It is a good idea to get renter's insurance; it is usually a small price to pay to cover your possession in case of an emergency.
Your renter's insurance may also cover you in other ways; ask your insurance agent about what is offered in your plan. Some plans offer liability protection in case a visitor to your rental tries to sue you, medical payments to visitors to your rental that were injured in your rental, increased living expenses in case your rental become unlivable and you must live elsewhere, lost property when traveling, such as luggage, and many other premiums can be offered. You can usually add on more coverage if you request it but it will make your premiums go up. Renter's insurance is a small price to pay for peace of mind during traumatic experiences that may take place in your rental.
Renter's insurance usually covers those family members who live in the rental. If there are several people living in the rental or you have roommates, you should ask your insurance agent if they are covered. Sometimes you may need to list everyone living in the rental on the insurance policy. If roommates or unrelated people are not covered by one policy each person may want to consider getting individual renter's insurance.