If you are wondering if you should get renters insurance, you should. In America, a home gets robbed every 13 seconds. Can you be sure you’re not one of them?
From the college student moving into their first apartment to your grandparents who just sold their home.
Even if you are someone who has rented apartments for years without incident, you don’t want to get caught short. While not all policies are going to be the same, most will be well within your budget.
Here is a guide that can help you find the best renters insurance for you and your situation.
Finding The Best Renters Insurance
Prices and coverage will vary. It will depend on what city you live in, if you live in an area where there is a lot of crime or are in a natural disaster zone. The actual worth of your belongings will be a factor, as well.
1. Ask For Recommendations
Ask your friends and family. Look online for companies and ask your neighbors if you already live in an apartment. Find out if anyone has had to make a claim and ask about their experience.
You can learn a lot by asking and reading comments on their website or forums. Customer satisfaction is a big factor in whether they are worth looking into. If people have a lot of complaints or there are issues with them paying out, you can find that before you even go in.
2. Ask For Discounts
When getting a quote or asking about the policy, ask about discounts available. These can be a new customer discount, lower prices if you already have insurance with a particular company or if you have safety measures, like smoke detectors, home security systems or have never made a claim.
3. What is Covered
While this part won’t really vary much, it’s important to know. The building and the contents owned by the company or person you rent from are covered. Your property is not.
When your personal property is covered, a good policy will cover it regardless of where it is. If you are at school and someone steals your phone or laptop, that should still be covered.
There is also extra coverage for rare items like musical equipment or artwork, expensive jewelry, or collections. Find out if that is standard in the policy or if you need extended coverage.
While personal property that is stolen or damaged while you are away from the home if you have items in storage your home policy will not cover that. That will need to be taken out separately or through the storage unit.
If you have things in storage that are not part of the apartment building, be sure to ask about coverage for that, as well. It can be part of the extended policy. The storage facility will have their own insurance but ask anyhow.
To find out about different coverage and finding a policy that meets your needs, please read more here.
Accidents and damage caused by earthquakes or floods that we have no control over are not covered. This will be in your policy but always ask about it. If you live in an area that gets lots of rain or severe hailstorms, bring that up.
4. Types of Policies
The very basics will cover all your personal property, even if it’s not in the apartment as mentioned above. This includes everything you have in your home, clothes, jewelry, and equipment
There will be a liability clause. This means other people and their things are covered if you are responsible for causing damage or injury. Medical coverage for guests in your home if they fall or get hurt.
Living Expenses if your home is damaged and you are unable to live in it. This should cover lodging, food and other expenses. There will be a time limit, so check that carefully.
5. Who is Covered
If you move into an apartment with a friend or are renting a room from someone who has insurance, you will not be covered. Unless you are related, married or on the policy, they will not cover you.
You don’t want to rely on someone else anyhow. Even if you think you don’t have much worth insuring, you do. It’s well worth if you have to replace it all out of pocket.
6. Cheapest Isn’t Best
Cheapest is rarely the best. When it comes to insurance, they may offer you a great deal but there can be a lot of reasons why they are offering. They want your business.
There might be very little difference between the prices of certain policies but you choose the more expensive one anyhow. You might have a better feeling about the company, the agent or you were able to do everything online.
7. Big vs Little
There can be benefits and drawbacks to both companies. Some smaller companies can offer better prices, a more friendly, personal service and you are supporting your local community and ‘mom and pop’ store.
A small company can also not be as financially stable as a large corporation, and it might be difficult for them to pay out if you ever do have to make a claim.
There may not be customer service available when you need it and they also may not be as much room for discounts, as they simply can’t afford it or have them to offer.
Hopefully, you will be more informed when you go out to find the best renters insurance. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and be sure to list everything you have. You might think your clothes or furniture isn’t worth much, but it’s yours.
If you have to replace it without insurance, it will be expensive. If your building has a fire or your neighbors cause damage that effects your belongings, you want to be able to be compensated.
Just because nothing has happened so far, doesn’t mean it won’t. Even meager possessions need protecting. The stress of going through a theft, flood or fire should be enough. You don’t want to end up with nothing.
If you are looking for ways to go green at home, read on here!