Renters insurance is often overlooked when a young couple moves away from home and into an apartment for the first time. It is ignored by adults who mistakenly believe their landlord’s insurance will cover the loss of their personal items. It won’t. Your landlord’s policy covers the building and items owned by the landlord. It will not cover anything that belongs to you.
It is estimated that 75% of renters do not have renters or apartment insurance. It could be a costly mistake. Take a moment to consider how much it would cost to replace all of your furniture, electrical appliances, computers, DVD players, and game systems. Could you really afford to replace it all if it were suddenly lost?
On average renters insurance will cost between $10 and $15 a month to purchase $30,000 of property coverage and $100,000 liability coverage. You may be wondering why you would need liability coverage. If one of your guests slips and falls and breaks a bone, who do you think is responsible for the medical costs? Unfortunately, you are. Renters insurance will protect you.
Your policy will list the specific “named peril” that you will be covered for. Read your policy carefully and never assume that you are covered unless you read it in black and what. Some common perils that are covered are: fire or lightening, theft, vandalism, electrical surges, and water damage. In the event that your home is made unlivable, your renters insurance will pay for temporary lodging and meals eaten out. This coverage will be limited to a certain percent of your total coverage. Make sure you know what it is. If you have an expensive item like a home theatre or a maxed out computer, make sure it is noted on the policy to ensure its coverage in the event it is damaged.
It is recommended that you inventory your personal belongings and keep a copy in a safe place such as a fire proof box. Better yet, give a copy to a friend or relative for safe keeping in the event that yours is destroyed. It is difficult to remember everything you had when you are dealing with the stress of losing it all. Taking a picture of your belongings and attaching the photos to your inventory, and your policy, will help you to remember everything in the event you need to make a claim.
Get quotes from several insurance companies to make sure you are getting the best deal. Don’t forget to check with your auto insurance company for a quote on renters insurance. Many insurance companies offer discounts if you purchase all your policies from them. You may even be able to add it as a rider on your policy at a discounted rate.
Always read the fine print
Read your policy carefully and make sure you understand exactly what is or is not covered. Know how much you will have to pay out of pocket for the deductible should a disaster arise. If you have questions, do not be afraid to ask. Don’t sign the policy until all your questions are answered.
Always pay on time
Losing everything you own to fire or disaster is stressful enough. Don’t add to your own stress by discovering your policy has been canceled due to a late payment.