A Basic Guide To Choosing Renters Insurance

Law mandates that you insure your car against auto accidents and personal injury. Health insurance is virtually required to afford medical treatment. Yet so many people skip over renters insurance. The reality is there’s no reason not to.

What is Renters Insurance?

Renters insurance is an offshoot of homeowners insurance, and provides all the same coverage as HOI. The typical renters insurance policy will cover your possessions in the event of a fire, lightning damage, vandalism, personal injury and a few other disasters. As with any insurance, the level of coverage determines the number of disasters covered. Most basic policies do not cover earthquakes or floods.

The one difference between homeowners coverage and renters insurance is that rental insurance does not cover the building itself. Because you are renting, someone else owns the land and building. That person is responsible for insuring the building, but has no liability or responsibility for your possessions.

How do you find the Best Renters Insurance?

Finding the best renters insurance is a matter of locating all of the companies in the area that will insure you and checking them out. Most insurance companies will have websites where you can request a quote. If they don’t have a website, or you don’t want to put the information in online, you can always visit the offices. What you are looking for is renters insurance quotes from each of the companies available.

Once you have an idea of the renters insurance rates for your area, you can compare each of the companies that offer coverage. While each policy will differ in rates, coverage and exact specifications, you will get an idea of what each company offers and what you will be paying them.

You can also do some research into the companies themselves. In many cases, especially for smaller, local companies, you will be able to find reviews online. Reviews may not give you information about the policy or your costs, but they will tell you how the customer service is and how reliable the company is.

Once you have the list of companies narrowed down to a small handful, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision about which policy you would like to go for. You can request details and compare the policies directly.

What to Look For when Comparing Renters Insurance Policies

How much does renters insurance cost? This is just one of the factors you need to consider when you’re comparing insurance policies from one company with another. Here are some of the others.

  • Compare the coverage. Most apartment renters insurance policies, and other policies for that matter, will cover the same sort of damage. The details are important. Pay special attention to flood coverage if you’re in a flood prone area, because many homeowners are burned on it.
  • Check the payment method for claims. Actual Value of the items considers depreciation. This means the insurance company will pay out the amount the item would be worth if you were to buy it in it’s condition today. Full replacement value will give you a lot more money in the end. This is because it pays the cost to buy you an equivalent new item today, rather than the actual value.
  • Compare the ratio of premium to coverage amounts. You will need to strike a balance between the premium and the amount you can expect to get. Low premiums are a tempting option, but you end up paying for it in the end when you get little in return. On the other hand, if you’re paying too much in premiums, you’ll end up paying more even with a claim in the long run.
  • Compare the online reputation of the company. Pay special attention to websites that the insurance company is not able to tamper with. The less biased the reviews, the better. They will give you a better idea of the quality of the company.

Finding Affordable Renters Insurance

Finding good renters insurance and finding affordable renters insurance are not necessarily the same thing. Sometimes you might have to compromise on your coverage in order to have coverage at all. This is especially true for those in lower-income areas, crime-prone areas and areas known for natural disasters. Insurance coverage for these areas is generally higher, because of the higher incidence of claims.

An insurance company insures you based on the idea that you won’t need to claim damages, and therefore they get all of the money. Calculating the renters insurance rates is a tricky business based in statistics, past histories and demographic figures.

When you’re searching for renters insurance, you need to find the right balance between coverage and payments. The many factors listed above are all good for helping you make this choice.

What are the Important Parts To Look At in a Renters Insurance Quote?

There are a number of factors that go in to calculating your renters insurance quote. Here’s an idea of what will be factored in.

  • What does renters insurance cover? More coverage will result in higher payments. The most common additional protection is flood insurance, which will increase your premiums above what they would be if you skipped it. Floods are both common and damaging, meaning insurance companies don’t want to pay for the damages if they can help it.
  • Where is your home located? Living in an area known for fierce storms means wind damage is much more likely, which in turn means your risk is higher. This means your claim is more likely, and so your payments will be higher to compensate. Note that renters insurance will only cover your belongings damaged in a storm, not your building itself — that is the responsibility of the property owner.
  • Other location factors include if you’re in a high crime area, how close you are to fire stations and emergency services and how good your access to a fire hydrant is. If emergency services have restricted access, the damage caused by fire is likely to be higher.
  • Anything that will increase the chances of someone getting hurt on your property will increase your insurance costs. This might include a swimming pool, certain at-risk dog breeds and other common causes of personal injury.