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!
With colleges starting back up, maybe you have a child returning to school or leaving for the first time. You’ve got the twin XL sheets, the posters and the textbooks. Did you know that you also might need insurance for your college student?
If you already have auto insurance for your child’s car (and you should!), don’t cancel it if they are not taking their vehicle to college with them. There is a chance your auto insurance premiums could actually drop significantly if your child moves more than 100 miles from home. Most importantly, your child will still be covered when they return home and drive their vehicle. If they do take their vehicle off to college, thankfully they should still be covered under your policy. However your premiums may change depending on where your child is living during college – especially if they go out of state.
The good news is that if your child will be living in on-campus dorms or other university sponsored housing, their possessions should remain covered under your homeowners insurance. It’s important to note that the coverage limits may be different, so be sure to thoroughly discuss everything with your insurance agent before your child leaves.
If your child will be living off-campus, their possessions will no longer be covered under your homeowners policy, and you will need to purchase a separate renters insurance policy to cover their items. A renters policy can protect your child’s expensive electronics such as a laptop or TV as well as other high value items like musical equipment or instruments. Like your homeowners insurance, your child’s renters policy also covers their insured possessions whether they’re inside your child’s living quarters or not.
Although your child is eligible to remain on your own health insurance plan until they turn 26, there are still some things to consider when they leave for college. If your child will be living out of state during the school season and is not willing or able to return home for doctors’ visits, they may struggle with finding in-network providers. With the exception of emergencies, many health policies offer limited or no coverage for out of network providers. Before you make any moves, check with your child’s school to see if there are any in-network providers close to campus.
If there are not, you have two options. First, you can have your child knock out all necessary medical appointments before leaving for school and schedule future appointments to coincide with breaks. If you do want the peace of mind that good coverage offers, look into supplementing your child’s health coverage with a student health insurance policy. Coverage may also be available through their college or your child could purchase their own coverage in the health insurance market.
Sending your child off to college is an exciting time, whether they are a freshman or a fifth-year senior. Make sure your student has all the protection they need by utilizing the right insurance tools.