This year, there have been many natural disasters all throughout the country – tornadoes, flooding, fires, and other unexpected and uncontrollable events. You never know when something could happen to your residence. Therefore, obtaining renter’s insurance is very important. It’s amazing how much money it can take to replace personal belongings. Not convinced? Sit down and make a list of what you own and how much it would take to buy it again. You will find the results amazing.
Many tenants have the misconception that the property owner’s insurance will cover all of their personal belongings within the residence. This is not the case - the owner’s insurance covers the structure and certain areas of liability, but it will not include the tenant’s personal property. As such, it is important to obtain renter’s insurance when moving into a new home or apartment.
It is also crucial to review what the various renters’ insurance policies cover. Many people think all renters insurances are the same, but that is far from true. Just like car insurance, they can have a varied and wide range of coverage. For example, some policies include coverage for electronics and jewelry while others do not. Review the insurance to see if it will “replace” your valuables and personal property; consider whether the insurance company will offer "actual cash value" (ACV) or "replacement cost coverage" for your belongings.
As the name implies, ACV coverage will pay only for what your property was worth at the time it was damaged or stolen. For example, if you purchased a camera five years ago for $700, it would be worth significantly less today. While you could still need to spend about $700 for a new camera, your insurance company will pay only for what the old one was worth, minus your deductible. Replacement coverage can make a big difference.
Here are other items to consider:
§ Additional Living Expenses: Some policies include payments for living somewhere else when events such as a fire or flood happen in a residence.
§ Additional Benefits: An example of this is a policy that covers the liability of water-filled furniture.
§ Liability Protection: Although this is standard with most renters’ policies today, it is a very important item to have if an accident occurs in the residence and the injured party sues you.
§ Amount of the Deductible: This can vary from policy to policy. It is important to review “what if something happens” and how the deductible will affect the outcome.
Take a complete inventory of your assets and belongings before purchasing or reviewing a renter’s insurance policy so you can determine which plan is best for you. The Internet is a great source of information where you can find not only insurance companies but also price comparisons. Call different insurance agents to verify your information.
Protect yourself - obtain or review your renter’s insurance policy today.