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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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After you purchase renters insurance, you'll want to make sure you take inventory of your personal property. We recommend that you go through each room systematically with a computer and list the items line by line in each room.

Step 1: Be sure to mark all items and take pictures of both large and small, describing them in detail, where you purchased them, model numbers (if necessary) and serial numbers. If you still have receipts for the larger items that you purchased, you might even consider making copies of the receipts and then scanning them and sending an email to yourself with the PDF attachments. That way, you'll always have you're receipts in your email!

Step 2: After you have gathered all of your information, you should email the list to yoruself or store it on a removable disk drive

Step 3:Review your policy to determine if you are over or under insured and have enough liability and coverage to replace all the items on your list should you be required to buy them new. The easiest way to do this is to compare your policy amount by your property total. One thing to look at is whether the renters insurance company will offer "actual cash value" (ACV) or "replacement cost coverage" for your personal property. As the name implies, ACV coverage will pay only for what your property was worth at the time it was damaged or stolen.

As an example, if you bought a compute five years ago for $1500, it would be worth significantly less today. While you'd still need to spend about $1500 for a new computer, your insurance company will pay only for what the old one was worth, minus your deductible.

Replacement cost coverage, on the other hand, will pay what it actually costs to replace the items you lost, again minus the deductible. In some regions, most insurers write "ACV" coverage. In others, they'll quote you replacement cost coverage by default. Replacement cost coverage will cost you a little bit more in renters insurance premiums, but it will we be worth it if you're items are damaged or stolen since they pay out more if you ever need to file a claim. Let your renters insurance agents know about any particularly valuable items you have such as mechanic's tools, computers, software, weapons or other valuable items. Jewelry, antiques and electronics might be covered only up to an amount that won't pay for their replacement.

If you have some items that are unusually expensive, such as a engagement or diamond ring, you'll probably want to purchase a separate rider so you're honey doesn't get mad when you propose with a twisty tie. Without riders for expensive items you can't recover the full loss if it's beyond your policy limit.

By following this recommended guide to taking inventory of your belongings, you can rest assured knowing you have everything covered.