Many people don’t consider renter’s insurance, instead assuming that their landlord’s property insurance will automatically extend protections to their own belongings. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case and after the security of the building and neighborhood in question, a good renter’s insurance policy is one of the most important considerations when leasing.
In fact, from a common sense point of view, if it’s mandatory that you insure your car and health, don’t you think you should insure your personal belongings?
1 – Protect Your Personal Items
A renter’s insurance policy provides coverage for your personal items. This is important seeing as about most homes are susceptible to burglars at one point or the other.
Having your personal items insured is a surefire way to have some peace of mind, since you can’t be at home all the time. The average renter’s insurance policy covers theft, vandalism, damages from home appliances, fires, smoke, and flood, to mention a few.
Make sure you understand the kinds of damages your policy protects you against just as well as you understand the limitations of your landlord’s policies.
2 – Fix Damages Immediately
Accidents can and do happen in the home. The neighbor upstairs could accidentally leave their tap running, resulting in your apartment being flooded; another neighbor’s barbecue fire could get out of hand and incinerate your things; forest fires could spread to your apartment, destroying everything in the process.
The point is if this happens, you have two alternatives: you can hound the offending neighbor to pay for the damages or you can get in touch with your insurance provider. If the neighbor is unable to pay up at that moment, you would have to look for a means to fix the damages.
With a renter’s policy in place, the insurance company will pay for some or all of the damages, depending on the stipulations of your policy.
3 – Protect Yourself from Liability
Most renter’s insurance policies have liability coverage. This means that if someone gets injured in your home, the insurance company can cover the medical expenses and pay for damages if the individual sues you.
Most renter’s insurance policies have a policy limit of at least $100,000 for liability coverage and will cover up to $5,000 worth of medical payments. You can always extend your policy limit to between $300,000 and $1 million for liability coverage by paying into a more comprehensive policy.
4 – Things to Consider Before Buying Renter’s Insurance
All renter’s insurance policies typically provide coverage in the forms of:
• Actual cash value policies — the current value of damaged items at the time minus depreciation. This means if you bought your TV 3 years ago, the insurance company would only pay you what it’s worth in their estimations at the time you file your claim.
• Replacement value policies — the actual cost of replacement. So, if you bought a TV for $400 3 years ago and it costs $700 to replace that exact model now, the insurance company will pay you the $700.
Actual cash value coverage is often cheaper than replacement cost coverage. Consider this trade-off as you shop for the policy that fits your needs.
5 – The Trade-off Between Premiums and Deductibles
Often, your monthly premiums are determined by your deductibles — the amount you pay out yourself before insurance covers your losses. Higher deductibles will mean cheaper premiums and vice versa. This is yet another balance to strike when shopping for insurance though, on the whole, renter’s insurance is pretty affordable. If you’re currently renting or intend to rent a place, you should look into your options or have a service like Insurance Land in Central Florida help pair you with the right policy and insurer for your needs.
Oscar King is a freelance writer and family man who contributes articles and insights into the blessings and challenges of family life in the modern world.