Many people wonder if they should invest in renter’s insurance or take the chance that they will never be in a situation that warrants the protection it offers. They worry about the cost, hassle, and overall necessity of renters insurance. What many renters don’t know is that the benefits far outweigh any cost of insurance. Talking to an independent professional insurance agent allows a renter to feel secure about their purchase. They can relax because they understand that their property is protected with a solid insurance policy. Info on uninsured young renters >
The cost of renters insurance can be as little as $7 a month. Even in an expensive area like New York City, you’ll probably only pay around $20 per month. The potential cost of insurance has a lot of different things factored into it. Ultimately it is up to the policyholder in deciding what they pay. There are options to lower the cost of your renters insurance. If you have never had an insurance claim than you are eligible for a discount. There is also a discount available for those who have multiple policies with an agent or company. Home security devices make a residence safer and the insurance companies take that into account when looking at costs. Smoke detectors, dead bolts, fire extinguishers, and alarm systems are all features in a home that can lower the cost of your monthly rental insurance payment. These are something that don’t change the day to day existence of a renter, but overall they provide a greater peace of mind. Your belongings and your safety are more secure.
Recently many different insurance companies offer a discount if the policyholder is certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. This discount is an extra benefit to the certification that also lowers your monthly energy costs overall. The design of your rental property as well as the materials used in the residence can affect the cost of the rental insurance. A more stable material lowers the cost of the rental insurance policy overall. Along with the materials in a home, the age of the residence contributes to the cost of rental insurance. You can also save money by showing that you are a nonsmoker and will therefore avoid the risk of fire associated with smokers. The last great option for many renters is to be a long-term policyholder in good standing with the company. By showing responsibility you can drastically lower the monthly cost of renters insurance.
What does Renter’s Insurance cover?
Rental insurance protects the possessions that are within a rental property. Even if your landlord has home insurance it will generally not protect the property within the building. All your important belongings that can’t be replaced easily need to be protected with the purchase of rental insurance. It is something that many renters overlook as a unnecessary payment. But it is a very important part of being a renter. A renter’s insurance policy replaces stolen property, or things that were damaged by fire or severe weather. It reimburses the policyholder for any stolen goods and sometimes even reimburses the goods despite the depreciation of the goods over time. Most possessions have more value than you think. The average renter has over $10,000 worth of possessions in their residence. With rental insurance there is some guarantee that you are financially protected from severe weather or a fire. The larger threat of theft is even covered under renters insurance.
One of the less thought of benefits of rental insurance is the protection in the case of a liability lawsuit. The landlord is not solely responsible for injuries occurring in your rental property and your lease probably transfer much of his liability to you. For less than a dollar a day in cost a renter can be protected from an expensive lawsuit. With some policies the renters can even get their legal defense fees covered. The possibility of a liability lawsuit would not be something that everyone thinks about, yet it is a very real risk that you take when inviting people into your home. With the protection of rental insurance a renter does not have to worry about the dangers and risks of a potential injury. You can get insurance that is specific to different apartments so that the policy is tailored towards what you need. If you feel that your apartment could be the scene of an accident you can find a rental insurance policy that covers the potential costs.
Kinds of Renter’s Insurance
There are three types of renters insurance. There is loss of use, loss of personal property, and personal liability protection. Some policies cover all three types and some policies are more pick and choose to create an individual plan. Many providers have claims services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Many other providers also have a tradition of not raising rates due to a claim. With all of the accommodations, getting rental insurance is relatively painless. Many leases even have a requirement that the tenants need to have renters insurance in order to avoid any unfortunate situations.
If any situation does occur some rental insurance policies will pay for the relocation costs that occurred due to the damage. If there is a fire, the renter’s insurance policy could pay for a hotel room for the occupants to stay at. The value of that during a time of crisis is invaluable. The policyholders can rest easy knowing that if something disastrous does happen they will be supported through the whole process.
There is also a clause in most renter’s insurance policies that covers their valuables on the go. If you take your laptop to a coffee shop and it gets stolen, there is a very real possibility that it will be covered under your rental insurance policy. That alone is enough for most people to realize the benefit of a great rental insurance policy. The policies can even travel with you if you move within a state. Certain policies will even carry over a state’s border. It is important if you want to keep continuity with your insurance policies.
If you have a particular piece of personal property that you want insured you can add a clause to your existing renter’s insurance policy. The clause is commonly referred to as a personal articles policy and it will serve you to ensure that everything you value is insurance. You can relax when you buy an expensive TV or computer, that it is protected from almost any mishap and you might even be reimbursed the cost without the depreciation of time.
A college student is a prime example of who generally needs renters insurance. They can typically be protected under their parent’s homeowner’s insurance policy, but there are situations where it makes more financial sense to have a separate renter’s insurance policy. They need to have their own individual policy that protects their interests. A dorm can be a dangerous place for expensive items. With renter’s insurance, parents can relax a little knowing that the valuables they sent their students to college with will be insured.
Another great benefit for obtaining renters insurance is that there are some insurance companies that will send emergency response vans that can help you out with a situation. That cost is all covered in the initial cost of around $7-11 a month. The support of an insurance agent and company is invaluable in the case of theft or damage to your home. Especially as a renter it can be important to protect what are most likely your largest assets in your home. The emergency response vans represent the dedication that your insurance company has or all its policyholders. With the purchase of a rental insurance policy you get all the support of a regular homeowners insurance policy.
In 2010 there were an estimated 2.2 million burglaries in the United States. The frequency of theft depends on where you live, and generally rental properties, especially a location with multiple residents, are a popular target. Victims of burglaries lost an estimated $4.6 billion in property in 2010. With the help of renter’s insurance, that cost can be covered. The location of your home can help lower the cost of your renter’s insurance, as it lowers the risks of things like fire and theft.
The fear of every homeowner and renter is that his or her private space will be violated with theft. That fear can be relieved a little with the addition of some security measures. That can also lower the cost of renter’s insurance. With the addition of some precautionary measures the monthly costs of insurance will go down. You can also relieve stress just by knowing that your property will be protected in the event of theft. There is also protection in most policies for renter’s insurance that deals with credit card theft and certain property protection. Most insurance providers offer packaged deals. They want their clients to have the most protection for the least expensive premium.
Independent insurance agents work very hard at premium customer service. They know that their individual customer service is what sets them apart from the larger insurance operations. They can speak to their clients about their financial portfolios and decide if a higher premium for a lower monthly cost will be the best option, or if it is smarter to go with a larger monthly cost and lower premium. The different situations all have to do with an individual’s location, job, property, and their living situation. Renting in a homeowner’s association can even lower your monthly costs because of the security it offers. The different discounts can be a huge help, but without the knowledge and expertise of an insurance agent many renters will never know what they are missing in potential discounts.
Renter’s insurance can be an expense without any payoff for a long time, but the minute that some mishap occurs the value is immediately apparent. If a fire occurs or another mishap like theft or a break-in the value of the insurance appears in the comfort it offers the renter. Knowing that you are protected, at least a little will put anyone at ease when they experience the upheaval that a break-in causes. Your individual insurance agent can guide you through the process of making a claim and getting the most out of your policy.
It is important to re-evaluate your valuables often. That can change the value of your policy and it is important to constantly keep up with your purchases. If you buy something that is very expensive and it isn’t covered a theft could be incredibly damaging. Knowledge is power and with insurance policies, the more you know and understand about your policy the better it will serve you. As a renter it is important to be your own advocate. You need to take the initiative when finding the right policy as well as updating it to the best of your ability. You have to understand that things like location, building materials, and your own personal finances will all help you lower the cost of your renter’s insurance policy. You can even bundle your different auto, renter’s and life insurance to find a more affordable option. The intricacies of insurance can be complicated, but there are ways to understand the business without much effort. The easiest way is to entrust your insurance policies to a individual agent who has the time to work with you and help you understand what you are protected from.
Sometimes there are damages that seem as if they would be protected under a landlord’s insurance. Water damage from leakage or flood would normally seem to fall under the property owner’s policy, but it is more than likely that it will only be covered by a renter’s insurance policy. The entirety of your possessions may be lost in the event of a building collapse due to weather. That will not fall under a landlord’s insurance policy, or at the very most that policy won’t cover all of your possessions. Renter’s insurance will ensure that a policyholder’s belongings are covered, at least monetarily. The freezing of plumbing, air conditioning and other related damages will also be covered under some renter’s insurance policies. That can be huge when the damage is widespread. It can be difficult for an individual to afford to replace all of their belongings. That is when the premium becomes negligible compared to the overall cost of replacing an entire house or apartment of property.
In event of loss, the burden of proof of loss falls on you. Ask your agent how you can be prepared.
The largest benefit in terms of cost can be the reimbursement for medical costs due to an injury in the dwelling. Certain accident-related medical expenses are covered by renter’s insurance policies. For the cost of less than a cup of coffee a day you can feel secure knowing that protection for all your possessions, as well as protection against liability lawsuits will be covered under renter’s insurance. It is something that doesn’t immediately register under essential costs of living independently as a renter. But it has become more necessary as the basic cost of living increases. It can basically protect your possessions anywhere you bring them and help you with the cost of a theft, which is demoralizing and unnecessarily stressful.
Sources: http://apartments.about.com/od/moneybudgeting/qt/rentersinsfaq.htm, https://www.travelers.com/personal-insurance/renters-insurance/index.aspx, www.iii.org, http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/property-crime/burglarymain, http://www.esurance.com/renters-insurance/do-i-need-renters-insurance
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