Understanding renters insurance
When you own a home, it is a given that you purchase a home insurance policy. And when you rent an apartment or other living space, you need to purchase renters insurance. Why? These insurance plans keep your property safe. When you are renting, you may not see the value in this insurance, but you need to consider the cost of your property and how much it actually means to you.
What is covered?
Renters insurance covers you in the event your belongings are stolen, damaged or destroyed. Here are a few things that most policies will provide coverage for:
- fire and smoke damage
- storm damage
- water damage
- electrical problems
That means if someone breaks into your apartment and steals your computer or your bike, your insurance company will reimburse you so that you can purchase a replacement. Many people mistakenly think that their landlord would cover the cost of personal losses, but with a few rare exceptions, that’s not the case.
How much does it cost?
When you consider how much renters insurance covers, the price of a policy really isn’t expensive at all. The estimated cost of an average policy across the United States is about $169.00 a year. Take some time to calculate the value of your belongings; you’ll find that what you have is worth considerably more than the cost of a renters insurance policy. And odds are, it would be hardship to pay out-of-pocket to replace everything you own.
The importance of keeping good records
When you get your renters insurance policy, you should document and record all of your property for reference. Make note of serial numbers, and save any receipts or warranties you have. Take a picture of your belongings, too. Having this proof will make filing any claims much easier, should something happen to your property. Some renters insurance policies will only cover so much and will only reimburse you so much. So, there are some items that may require separate policies. For example, if you have a valuable collection of antiques, you may need to ensure those pieces individually.
Getting a renters insurance policy could save you a lot of trouble and money in the long run. Make sure you ask good questions when talking to your insurance agent, so you understand the limitations of your coverage. Especially if you have roommates, you’ll need to know how that may affect your policy. Generally, it’s recommended that only people who own property together insure that property under the same policy, so in a roommate situation, you may each need your own policies.
Look into renters insurance now, before you need it.