What People Are Saying
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
RENTERS INSURANCE POLICIES
Perhaps you think that fires, burglaries, and tornados only happen to someone else. Or perhaps you are under the impression that your landlord’s insurance will cover your loss in case of disaster. Either way, you feel that you do not need a renters insurance policy.
Mother Nature is not selective when it comes to destruction. Your home could be destroyed in the blink of an eye, just like anyone else’s. You could be targeted for theft, and a burglar could remove all your valuable property while you are at work. Fire threats exist from without as well as within your home – a lightning strike that sparks a wildfire, a blaze that spreads from a neighbor’s house, or a squirrel chewing through wiring in the attic can all lead to a pile of ashes where your home once stood.
Your landlord will have insurance on the structure, so he will be able to rebuild. But his policy only covers his own property. Unless you have a renters insurance policy, your belongings will not be replaced.
Consider all that is within your home, and then think of how you could possibly afford to replace everything should disaster strike. How much would it cost, and how long would it take you? You will probably be left with little more than what you are wearing at the time, and it most likely will not be what you need to wear to work. A renters insurance policy could help you to replace those items you lost that can be replaced.
If your home is destroyed, where will you stay? Can you afford to move into a motel until you can find other lodgings? If you have a family, the costs are magnified, and the logistics are staggering. The children will have to be taken to and from school. Your mail will need to be forwarded. You will need to find a new route to work. And everything is going to cost more than you ever dreamed it could.
A renters insurance policy will not only help you to replace your belongings, it will provide the funds for temporary lodging and meals while you are displaced. Furthermore, your insurance agent may be able to work with you to secure better rates from the motel.
In case you are thinking that you cannot afford a renters insurance policy, this is one of the least expensive types of insurance you can buy. Depending on the exact terms of your policy, coverage limits, and the company you choose, you could pay as little as $200 a year.
There is another benefit of a renters insurance policy as well. Like homeowner’s insurance, your policy will offer liability coverage, should anyone be hurt while on the premises you rent. If a deliveryman slips on your icy steps or your dog bites the mailman, they can sue you for medical costs. If you have a renters insurance policy, it will pay, not you.
Once you have decided that you truly need to obtain a renters insurance policy, you will need to determine a couple of renters insurance factors to get accurate quotes. The first question is whether you want a policy that pays actual cash value or replacement value for your belongings. If you choose replacement value, this means that your insurance will pay you whatever it costs to replace the items you lost. If you choose actual cash value, you will receive what the insurance company determines is the true value of your belongings after adjustment for depreciation. Usually, this is not nearly enough to replace your losses, but it is slightly less expensive than replacement value policies.
The next decision you will have to make about your renters insurance policy is the amount of the deductible you want to carry. The deductible is the figure taken from a claim before payment is made. Therefore, if you have a renters insurance policy with a $500 deductible and suffer a $1,200 loss, the insurance company will pay you $700. As your deductible amount goes up, the cost of your policy goes down. You may already be familiar with this concept from your automobile insurance.
You can compare rates easily online to find the best renters insurance policy for your needs. Many sites allow you to review quotes from several different insurance companies at the same time. When you are checking quotes, make sure that they are all for the same terms. In other words, do they all feature the same deductible amount, and are they all for replacement value? Are belongings in the garage or shed covered? What, if any, exclusions are made for natural disasters such as floods or earthquakes? If any type of coverage, such as for floods, is missing, you can add it on for an additional cost. You therefore need to compare the policies with all the same features included.
If you have excessive property value, you may need to supplement your renters insurance policy through riders. This would normally be a factor if you have furs or jewelry above what the insurance company considers standard. This figure will vary from company to company, but it can be as low as $25,000. You may also need riders if your home is filled with antiques or valuable works of art, or if you have a great deal of expensive computer equipment or similar specialized equipment.
You might want to check with the company that carries your automobile insurance to see what kind of rates they can offer for a renters insurance policy. Sometimes you can save money by bundling all your policies with one company. However, this is not always the case, so don’t assume that this option guarantees the best price.
It is also a good idea to videotape the contents of your home in case you ever need to support a claim. Store the tape offsite in a safety deposit box or a safe at a relative’s home. You might also want to save receipts for any major purchases for the same reason.
A renters insurance policy is one of the smartest and least expensive choices you can make when it comes to selecting types of insurance coverage. Hopefully, you will never need it. But if you have to join the ranks of thousands affected by theft or disaster each year, you will be glad you have it.