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Thanks for making it easy to find the cheapest renters insurance. Knowing our stuff is always protected gives me peace of mind.

Matt and Bethany, Charleston SC

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Renters often assume that they don't need any form of liability or contents insurance. The presumption is that a property's landlord assumes all the risk for a location and the renter is neither liable nor responsible for additional insurance. Like many assumptions, this one is true to a degree. A landlord is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of a building and is also responsible for insuring the property and the integral appliances therein but that is as far as the landlord's responsibility goes. The insurance provided by the landlord does not extend to any of the renter's belongings which means that in the event of a catastrophe the landlord's insurance will not cover any damaged or destroyed items owned by the renter. As a result of this distinction, most insurance companies offer a special service to protect customers who rent a home. This is called, unsurprisingly, renters insurance.

Renters insurance is a specialized form of coverage that applies to the belongings inside a rental property. Because of the gap in coverage between a landlord's insurance and the items owned by the renter, many landlord require or strongly encourage the purpose of this separate policy to insure that they are not exposed to undue risks of litigation from their clients. The exact terms of the coverage vary a great deal from plan to plan, but the best renters insurance covers all of the contents of an apartment owned by the renter under a separate plan from that protecting the house itself.

The economics of renters insurance are fairly simple. Determining if insurance is necessary, and if so what is the best renters insurance, depends primarily on the value of the possessions to be protected by the personal property insurance policy. If this value is high and/or the renter could not afford to repurchase the items in the event of their loss, then renters insurance may be a good idea. However, like all form of insurance, renters insurance vary a great deal in terms of its specifics.

The best renters insurance covers will be tailored specifically to the needs of the policy holder. Different plans will cover different potential causes for property loss. For example, some plans cover stolen items while other cover damage incurred from a fire or other emergency. These plans may overlap and some of the best renters insurance plans cover any sort of loss under a single plan. It is generally a good idea to get as many forms of coverage as possible to ensure that your property is covered regardless of the type of problem. Nothing would be worse than losing everything you own and not being able to replace it because you purchased the wrong type of insurance.

In addition to the various types of coverage, another variable for renters insurance is the plan's deductible. A deductible is the portion of a claim not covered by the insurance policy. Higher deductibles mean that more of the loss of value is carried by the policy holder and less by the insurance company. High deductibles are the marks of less expensive plans because it reduces the risk of a large payout in the event of a claim. Plans which replace items rather than provide their monetary value also use deductibles, which in this case would be the portion of the cost of a replacement that the policy holder covers. Determining the best deductible is a large portion of finding the best renters insurance policy for a particular client as it strongly impacts the cost of a policy.

Different types of insurance companies handle the value of their claims differently. ACV, or Actual Cash Value, determines the value of the policy holder's belongings at the time of loss. For example, the value of a television lost in a fire would depend on the age of the TV set and the depreciation in value resulting from that age. Newer or more expensive items are assigned a greater value and in the event of a successfully filed claim the renters insurance company pays out the value of the belongings to the client so he can replace the lost items himself. Another type of payout policy uses something called replacement value to determine the size of the claim. This is essentially the same as the actual cash value of a policy holder's belongings without any adjustments for their depreciation over time. Balancing the increased cost of a replacement value plan's higher premiums against the additional protection they offer is a vital to finding the best renters insurance policy for a given client.

While finding the best renters insurance appears to be a fairly straightforward 'higher premium equals better coverage' affair, there are several ways to work the cost of a policy's premium down once you settle on the best compromise. As the risk of paying out on a policy is highly dependent on the likelihood of an accident, any measures taken to reduce the risk of damage tends to reduce the cost of renters insurance. Having safety equipment or fire prevention systems installed in a house is a good place to start. Things like fire extinguishers or monitored alarm systems are excellent ways to reduce the cost of renters insurance. Policies that cover theft are also made more affordable by having proper security measures like burglar alarms or deadbolts. Additionally, some insurance companies may offer discounts for clients who also hold other insurance policies with the same company, most notably car insurance.

The best renters insurance policies are designed to protect against losses incurred from a fire or burglary as these are the most common threats to a renter's property. However, the location of the rental property may make the purchase of additional coverage a smart idea. Specific riders, or extensions, to the normal coverage offered by a renters insurance policy, are available for earthquake or flood damages. As always, finding the best renters insurance depends on the specifics of your rental property

Finally, renters insurance can include coverage for liability. Essentially, liability insurance is coverage for losses incurred as a result of a lawsuit. Should a guest injure themselves or otherwise attempt litigation against the policy holder, liability coverage would protect the policy holder from financial loss resulting from any attempts to sue them.

By carefully considering your needs and budget, it can be easy to get the best renters insurance with our comparison shopping service.