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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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Contents insurance policy plans will help keep your stuff safe. As a renter, you're not protected by your landlord's policy. Well, you're sort of protected, in that you won't have to pay for the damage done to the home that you rent. Your landlord's homeowner's policy should cover that. However, if your house burns down, nobody is going to reimburse you for all that stuff.

That's why you need a contents insurance policy. However, that's not the only reason. Imagine this: you burn down the house on accident, by leaving a pot on the stove for instance. If your landlord sues you for this negligent behavior, you're in big trouble. If you have any idea how much a lawsuit could cost you in terms of legal fees, not to mention the damages, you know this could be seriously awful.

Most renters contents insurance policies include liability coverage, as well as contents protection. So, if someone sues you, you're covered. Your landlord's policy has liability as well, but it doesn't usually cover the liability of the renter. Who's fault is it if the mailman slips on your steps in the winter? He'd probably sue you, since you didn't salt or shovel, and that's why you need coverage.

Actual Cash Value Versus Replacement

Contents insurance policy plans often offer two options. One is actual cash value, or ACV, an the other is replacement cost coverage. Deciding which policy is better for you will depend on the contents of your home. Will your valuables decrease in worth, or stay the same?

One important item to consider, for example, is a computer. While it could be very expensive to replace your computer, the chances are pretty high that your current computer will decrease in value. Actual cash value will only reimburse you for the market value, whereas replacement cost will replace the item.

In some places, you may only be able to get actual cash value for your contents insurance policy. It depends where you live. Replacement cost coverage is obviously more expensive, and more valuable. On the other hand, replacement cost coverage may make your contents insurance policy kind of complicated.

Certain items, like antiques and jewelry, may be impossible to replace. Also, they could be outrageously expensive. So, your contents insurance policy may only pay up to a certain point, for example. You have to check the specifics of your contents insurance policy to clarify this.

You should carefully examine the contents of your home when you're contemplating what kind of insurance policy would best suit you and your family. You should take an inventory of all your personal belongings. They're probably worth more than you think!

Inventory of Contents

When you're taking an inventory of your home, you need to be meticulous. Insurance companies need explicit information in order to reimburse you. Well, they may not need it, but they tend to want it! You should photograph or videotape every room in your house when you're filing your belongings.

Your contents insurance policy will be based on this inventory, and if you need to file a claim, this information is important. You should keep the receipts of expensive things, for example, at the bank or in a fire proof place. You might scan them and store them online, for example.

Some sites offer software that allows you to create a room-by-room inventory of the contents of your home. You can find this for free. This makes updating your home inventory really easy, and it often offers you free storage. It's a great way to insure your home and ensure your peace of mind.

Additional Benefits

Your contents policy will offer additional benefits. As noted above, you get liability coverage, up to your limits. This is a key component of renter's insurance, and arguably the many reason you need it. Of course, that depends on the value of your stuff!

Another benefit is that your renter's insurance should cover living expenses when your home is unlivable. If your house has smoke damage, for example, your landlord may or may not be generous to forego the rent. Your insurer, though will pay for alternative accommodations during the necessary time period.

You may be able to reduce your premium if you adhere to certain safety precautions. Insurers base policies on statistical risk, so if your risk is lower, you will pay less. Not bad, right? All you need to do is check with your insurer to see what your options are.

A good insurance company will help you reduce your costs by including fire detectors, burglar alarms and so forth. Some insurers may offer you a discount if you're a senior. You might also get a multiline discount if you purchase a contents insurance policy and car coverage from the same company.