HOW MUCH? - renter's insurance

The importance of having renter's insurance.


What is renter's insurance?

Renter's insurance allows you as a tenant to protect your personal belongings that you keep in your apartment from theft, fire, vandalism and more.

Why get renter's insurance?

Many believe that because the owner of a property they are renting is insured that the insurance automatically carries to them. This simply isn't true. Rental insurance can cover you as a tenant for the following events.

Theft of:

  • Your personal computer or related equipment
  • Cash (including collections of coins, traveler's checks and more!)
  • Jewelry including loose precious and semi precious stones
  • Collectibles such as antiques, gold, silver, rugs, paintings and more
  • Firearms, vehicles and furs (or other "large ticket" items)

Damage caused by hazards such as:

  • Water damage from plumbing failure
  • Hail/Windstorms
  • Smoke/Explosions
  • Frozen water pipes

How to apply for a quote?

You should first check with your current auto insurance carrier and see if they offer rental insurance. If not, you may want to check with the owner of your property as many offer contact information for companies they have successfully dealt with.

How much will renter's insurance cost?

Rental insurance is very inexpensive, often costing less than $500 per year. This layer of protection is invaluable if you need it! Who wouldn't be willing to spend $25 per month to cover their property? Check with your carrier - often if you carry more than one type of a policy with the same company they will offer you a discount.

What is protected? What is not?

Several rental insurance policies cover earthquakes, water damage as a result of flooding or nuclear hazard damages only if you have a special policy rider. To determine what is covered in your rental insurance policy you should carefully read the entire policy before you agree to accept it.

Policies should be checked for:

  • coverage for roommates property (if applicable)
  • fine art coverage (if needed)
  • fire, flood and other occurrences

Insurance Policy Folders
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What types of questions should I ask before I get a policy?

  • Find out about replacement versus depreciated costs on coverage
  • Do you need to photograph items that you wish to have covered
  • Do you need to have receipts for items that are covered
  • What types of items are not covered
  • What optional coverage is available
  • What optional coverage might I need

In Summary

If you are investigating renter's insurance make sure you know what your rights and your liabilities are in regards to your policy. Make sure you get all the coverage you need and find out before you need the insurance what is covered and what's not to avoid surprises when you file a claim.

See also: HUD guide to renting

Related topics: choosing home insurance companies, homeowner insurance premiums




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