Renters insurance is one of the most overlooked and misunderstood type of insurance there is. The landlord of your resident must have insurance of some type, but it’s a rare case when the insurance actually covers tenant’s processions in lieu of flood, fire, earthquake and theft. As far as most landlords are concerned, this is your responsibility not theirs.Therefore renters insurance is a must, not an option.
So what must you look for when contemplating renters insurance?
1) Discuss the differences between replacement insurance and standard insurance. Renters insurance should cover replacement value of your property, not its present worth. If your plasma television is five years old it would certainly cost much more to replace now. This applies to all household items, ( electronics in particular. )
2) Know exactly what the policy covers, laptops, cameras, jewellery and so forth. Will they be covered if they are stolen from your locked car? Will you be covered for flood damage, fire, earthquakes and so forth? Many insurance providers do not cover what they deem as an act of God.
3) Ask if there are any policy limitations and how they apply to the policy you are interested in. A host of policies limit specific items, more so electrical appliances. If you work from home and own a large collection of computer software, computer peripherals and so forth, you will need to list these separately (itemize each one) within your policy. This way you will be assured that each one is covered.
4) Do you own collectibles, antiques and so forth? Ensure that your policy covers all these and that they have sufficient cover. Large collections often exceed what the insurance provider deems reasonable. Perhaps your Michael Jackson memorabilia needs more coverage. When one takes into account just how much replacing valuable CD’s can add up to, a discussion with your policy provider is crucial.
5) Do you own a lot of jewellery? Be warned that a host of policy providers have a maximum limit of $5,000 for jewellery reimbursement. You may need to list specific jewellery items and have a provision included in your cover. These covers are called riders and will no doubt cost you a few extra dollars, but you will have piece of mind knowing valuables are covered.
7) Inquire about loyalty discounts, if you have your car already insured with this company you may gain loyalty discounts.
8) Public liability can break the bank and if you are not prepared for such a thing you could be taken to the cleaners. Ask your agent if you need any cover for this and what public liability truly entails.
9)What is the difference in price and coverage between replacement cost insurance, and cash value insurance?
Keep shopping if replacement cost is more than one-third more than cash-value insurance.
10) These questions need to be asked prior to choosing a specific policy. What limits on coverage will you have on specific personal processions? Is there a cap on claims for jewellery, computers, electrical goods and art? How much more do you have to pay for these personal effects to be covered? What information in regards to you personal possessions will you need to provide? Will you need to supply photos or documentation for proof of art, collectible ownership? What happens if my apartment is destroyed by fire, flood or earth quake etc, will you be covered completely?
11) Are there specific claims that a renters insurance agent will veto? Are your belongings covered if they are with me elsewhere at times? Does your roommate’s renters insurance cover me as well? What is and is not covered under liability coverage? Your friend was swan diving off the cupboards onto the bed, she missed and smashed the huge fish tank, this damaged the floor. Are you covered for damage?
12) Research online, read reviews, ask by word of mouth if anyone knows a reputable renters insurance agent. Weigh up the pros and cons of various policies and don’t jump in feet first. Know exactly what you are paying for and what your chosen policy really covers. Shop around for the policy that suits you best.