If the possessions in your apartment or rental house were damaged or stolen, could you afford to replace them? If you’re like many Americans, the answer is probably no. That’s where renters insurance comes into play. But what is renters insurance, and what do you need to know about it?
Renters insurance protects the personal possessions you keep inside your apartment or rented home. It also covers your personal liability. It’s not an exact comparison, but you can think of it as homeowner’s insurance for people who rent. Here are four useful insurance tips for renters.
Just Because It’s Not Required Doesn’t Mean You Don’t Need It
Renters insurance may or may not be required by your landlord or apartment complex. If you’re renting a home or a room in a home, remember that your property and liability are not covered by your landlord’s homeowner’s insurance. Even if it isn’t required that you have renters insurance, you should always just get it anyway. The cost of renters insurance varies, but it is probably lower than you expect.
Look for Replacement Cost vs. Cash Value
The value of even your largest purchases (such as electronics) decreases over time. If your possessions are insured at cash value, that means the coverage will equal whatever the item is valued at right now. It may not be enough to purchase a new replacement in the event that the item is stolen or damaged. Instead of cash value, opt for replacement cost coverage. It will be a little more out of pocket, but it should ensure you can faithfully rebuild your home or apartment after a loss.
Document, Document, Document!
Carefully construct a list of all the property you want to be insured, especially the more valuable items. Take photos and videos of everything, including receipts, so you can prove that you own the items and that they are not already damaged. In the event you have to make a claim, you’ll have everything prepared to show to the insurer. When you clearly present the evidence, your insurer will likely have an easier time determining the claim as valid.
Ask About the Limits of Personal Property Coverage
Chances are you have auto insurance. But did you know that personal property inside your vehicle is not covered under your auto insurance if it is stolen or damaged? Renters insurance may or may not include coverage for personal property losses due to theft or damage to your vehicle. This is a very important feature that you need to make sure is included in your renters insurance.
Renting is a great way to live, but the risks can differ from the risks of owning a home. Help manage these unique risks by following these insurance tips for renters!