If you are renting your home or apartment, don’t rely on your landlord’s insurance to get you by. That coverage only protects the structure you live in against damage – not the things you own inside of it. If disaster were to strike, you could lose everything. How would you afford to start over? With renters insurance, you can rest assured that most of your belongings, as well as your income and assets, are protected against unexpected accidents and damages.
What is Renters Insurance?
Renters insurance is an affordable coverage you can purchase to protect your personal possessions against a wide range of perils and hazards, such as fire, smoke, lightning, theft, and vandalism. Your landlord may require it before entering a lease agreement. However, we recommend this important coverage to anyone who is renting a home or apartment at all. In addition to personal belongings protection, renters insurance can also shield you against other losses, such as financial responsibility for a third-party’s injuries or property damages. A typical policy usually costs about the same as a movie ticket and popcorn each month, but it could save you tens of thousands of dollars or more in damages.
Types of Coverage in a Renters Policy
There are several different types of coverage available to renters. Mark Leonard and the staff here at our Mequon office want all of our customers to be familiar with these coverage types and how much of each they may need. A typical renters insurance policy includes:
Personal Belongings Coverage
Your personal belongings include nearly anything you own, with certain exceptions for things like your car, which is covered under your auto insurance policy instead. This coverage protects the things inside your home, and it also follows your belongings anywhere else you take them, such as in your car or when traveling.
When you purchase your renters policy, you will select a coverage amount for your belongings. To improve your accuracy, we recommend taking inventory of your home and accounting for everything you own. This will help you determine your total coverage limit. Next, break down your home inventory into categories, and compare the results against the ‘special coverage’ limits within your personal belongings coverage. These additional limits are smaller caps on coverage available for certain types of belongings, such as furs, precious metals, and other high-value items. If the value of your jewelry exceeds its special coverage limit, for example, you may need to schedule additional coverage for those items.
Finally, we recommend adding upgrading your personal belongings coverage to provide replacement value protection. A standard policy only covers losses based on their depreciated, actual cash value, leaving you with a big gap between your insurance settlement amount and the actual cost of buying new furniture and other belongings. With replacement cost coverage, you are reimbursed for the brand new replacement cost of your damaged or stolen belongings, minimizing your out-of-pocket costs to include little more than your deductible.
If your apartment building or house is severely damaged or destroyed, you may not be able to live there anymore. Since it can sometimes take many days or weeks to find a new place to call home, relocation coverage is available to help pay for temporary living expenses. This could include the cost of staying in a hotel or even eating out if you no longer have access to a kitchen to cook in.
A liability occurs when you become financially responsible for someone else’s loss. Renters insurance can cover many types of liabilities when you or a member of your household is responsible for third-party bodily injuries or property damages. This includes incidents occurring inside your home, as well as those that occur away from home, such as at the park, work, or school.
We recommend selecting enough liability coverage to pay for all associated costs of a lawsuit, including legal defense fees, court costs, victim medical bills, property damages, victim lost wages, and other judgments against you. If the amount of the damages exceeds the limit you choose for your policy, you may have to pay for the excess costs out of your own pocket, whether that means withdrawing from your savings accounts or making years of payments from future wages and income.
Making Renters Insurance More Affordable
Renters insurance is a highly affordable insurance product, but at the end of the day, our team wants nothing more than to provide you with the protection you need at the most affordable, competitive rate possible. Though we never recommend sacrificing the quality of your coverage for the sake of a lower premium, there are many other ways an independent agent like Mike Leonard can help you save on insurance costs.
By working with an independent agent, you already benefit from access to a vast network of insurance carriers – not just one. Since we work for you and not the insurer, we can shop around and compare rates on your behalf. Next, we will search for applicable discounts you may qualify for. Though these vary from insurer to insurer, they often include extra savings for things like a home security system or simply combining renters and auto insurance with the same insurer. Other factors can also affect the cost of your coverage, such as the deductible you choose.
To find out more about Mequon renters insurance and how an independent agent can help you save on the cost of coverage, contact our office to request your free quote today. We look forward to serving you soon.