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In today's troubled economy, Michigan renters insurance is a big relief. In a state which is battling record unemployment, it is good to know that Michigan residents can get coverage for their belongings for less than the cost of one cup of coffee each week.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Michigan renters insurance costs on average $164 per year, or $13.67 per month. That's quite a savings when you consider the same amount of homeowner's insurance costs an average of $715 per year.

Michigan renters insurance is very important to have as it provides coverage for many types of damage. If your apartment in Escanaba, Michigan, is damaged under a heavy load of snow, the belongings inside it can be replaced. Or, if your apartment in St. Clair Shores (in metro Detroit) sustained damage after a lightning strike, it's good to know that your television can be repaired under your renters policy.

Surprisingly many people don't get Michigan renters insurance, thinking it is too expensive or that their possessions are covered by other policies, such as those held by their landlord or by the renters parents. However, the landlord's policy most likely only covers the building itself, not the renters possessions. And while a parent's policy may cover a renters belongings on a college campus in East Lansing, Michigan, once that student moves into his or her own place off campus, he or she needs renters insurance, even if his or stuff is second-hand and seemingly worth little.

Damage that is generally covered by Michigan renters insurance includes vandalism, theft, fire, water damage from burst pipes,  smoke, broken glass, falling objects, vehicle strikes and most electrical surges (though not generally for televisions or radios). If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, such as Algonac, you may qualify for additional federal flood insurance, however that coverage will cost a little more as it is added to your renters insurance.

Shop Around for Michigan Renters Insurance

While coverage is certainly affordable, it pays to shop around for renters quotes, but it is easy to get renters quotes online just by answering a few basic questions. You can get enough renters quotes over your lunch hour and still enjoy your meal.

Before you get those renters insurance quotes, you should decide how much renters coverage you need. To do that, you will have to complete an inventory of your belongings.  Walk through your apartment with a notebook and write down each of your possessions and an estimate of how much it would cost to replace each item. You may choose to insure your belongings for the actual cash value (i.e., how much the item is worth today) or its replacement value (how much it would cost to replace the item). Most experts recommend insuring for the replacement value to ensure you are sufficiently covered. However, replacement coverage may cost a little more on your renters policy.

While you are doing your inventory, take pictures of your jewelry, your electronic equipment and any other valuables and store them with each copy of your inventory. Make sure the pictures are detailed enough to show identifying marks, serial numbers etc.

Determine Michigan Renters Insurance Liability Coverage

In addition to determining the value of personal property, Michigan citizens will also need to determine how much liability coverage they will need.  This is important because a liability policy covers your assets in the event that you are sued. Imagine that someone slips and falls in your Ann Arbor, Michigan, flat. If he or she is injured and needs medical treatment, he or she could sue you for the cost of that treatment as well as for lost wages and pain and suffering. One little accident can wipe out all your savings if you don't have sufficient liability coverage. Be sure your Michigan renters insurance includes enough liability insurance to cover all your assets.

In order to reduce the cost of your Michigan renters insurance, you should consider increasing your deductible, the amount you pay out of pocket if you sustain a loss.  By increasing your deductible, you will have to pay more to repair damage, but your premiums will be lower. If you do raise your deductible, be sure to have enough set aside in case of emergency.

Many people will wonder what renters insurance covers. As you get each Michigan quote, read each one over to make sure it provides coverage you need. Make sure your quote includes such items as temporary housing in case your renters property becomes uninhabitable.  You may also need to include provisions for medical payments and insurance for other people's property if it happens to be stored in your home.

Some Michigan renters insurance policies include coverage against counterfeit money, and credit card or fund transfer fraud. You may also wish to purchase additional coverage for valuable jewelry, furs, rare collectibles or electronic equipment.

If Michigan renters insurance still seems too expensive in these hard economic times, you may want to see what discounts are available. If you belong to a union, a trade association or civic group, you may be able to get a renters discount through it. You may also get a discount by getting all your insurance policies through a single company. Another option if you have a roommate is to pool your money and get a single policy for all of you.

If two or more companies have similar rates and coverage for their Michigan renters insurance, how do you choose which company to use? First, you should contact the Michigan insurance office in Lansing, 517-373-9273, to find how many, if any, of the companies have had any complaints filed against it. That office should also be able to tell you how those complaints were resolved. You can also get similar information from your local Better Business Bureau.

You should also ask your friends and relatives for recommendations, especially if they are Michigan renters. They can tell you which companies and agents offer good customer service and which ones should be avoided. Ask them if they've ever had to file a claim and if so, how it was handled.

While you are gathering quotes from different Michigan renters insurance policies, ask about the claims process. Does it seem clear, fair and relatively easy to file a claim? Does the agent or the company website explain unfamiliar terms? Do they make it clear what conditions may cause a claim to be denied? The time to find out this information is during the quote process, not after an incident in which you may be too emotional or flustered to think clearly.

In addition to Michigan renters insurance, there are many other things you can do to protect your belongings: Always install secure locks on your windows and doors. Keep valuables out of sight. Keep fire extinguishers, alarms and escape ladders convenient and in usable condition. Don't flash large amounts of money or your valuables. Keep important papers locked in a safe deposit box and never give away personal information such as account numbers, Social Security information etc.

Whether you live in a flat in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, or a luxury apartment in Birmingham, Michigan, you need renters insurance for your peace of mind.

So what are you waiting for? Compare cost and coverage details from the Michigan cities of: Detroit, Grand Rapids, Wyoming, Lansing, Flint, Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo, Portage, Holland, Grand Haven, Saginaw, Allegan, Battle Creek, Bay City, Dearborn, Farmington Hills, Jackson, Livonia, Monroe, Muskegon, Norton Shores, Niles, Benton Harbor, Sterling Heights, Traverse City, Troy, Warren, Adrian, Alma, Alpena, Big Rapids, Cadillac, Coldwater, Escanaba, Houghton, Iron Mountain, Marquette, Midland, Mount Pleasant, Owosso, Sault Ste. Marie, Sturgis and more...

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