Renter's Insurance: What is Covered?
Renter’s insurance, as most people know, is an insurance policy for your belongings when you don’t own the property in which you live. It typically covers any loss from fire, theft, damage, or vandalism. Your dog knocks over your flat screen because you thought playing ball inside was a good idea, renter’s insurance can often cover it. And, the good news is that it is typically affordable. Average policies run around only $15-30 per month. And you can even get policies without a deductible so if you ever have a claim your out-of-pocket is nothing.
The list for times when you would not want your items covered by an insurance policy is not a very long one, but there are times when you need more.
Consider the following. Renter’s insurance…
1. Often does not cover items stolen from your car.
This is a common statement that is not always true. Always read the policy or discuss the details with your agent to know how and what items are covered.
2. Policies have a limit to how much they cover in each category.
You need to be supplemented with additional personal articles policies if you have a lot of electronics or jewelry (often, $1000 will put you over some policy limits on electronics and jewelry). Fortunately, personal articles policies are also budget friendly, and they have the benefit of covering the items outside of your home from theft or damage.
3. Policies don’t cover cash or precious (non-jewelry) metals.
Don’t have cash in the house or gold/silver. If you must horde physical currency and metals, do so in a bank safe deposit box. It’s still not insured directly, but it is very safe in a bank vault and the cost for a deposit box can be as little as $35 per year, or even free for certain bank customers.
4. Policies do not cover damage from flooding.
This is a big one that gets people all the time. Water damage, in essence, is not covered by standard policies. Always read your policy and ask what additional flood coverage costs and also, whether that coverage includes both natural floods and man made floods (i.e. your water main breaks).
5. Policies don’t value your items as new and you need to prove the loss.
In the event of a claim, your items will be valued in reference to their current value. One big tip is to prove your items. An easy and efficient way to do this is by taking a long video of you walking through your home and literally recording everything you own. You can also take photos, but video tends to work better. Once you do this, email the file to yourself, put it on Google drive, and send it to your agent. If something happens and you need to prove what you lost, say in a fire, you have video evidence that will all but guarantee you that all of your items will be replaced to the fullest extent of your policy.
Enough with what they don’t cover, because they cover an awful lot. And, if you’re smart, you can be 100% covered with supplemental insurance (i.e. personal articles for electronics, jewelry, and firearms & flood insurance). So you should also know some of the hidden benefits of renter’s insurance.
1. Liability insurance
If someone is injured in your place and needs medical care, your insurance likely will cover it (depending on fault and circumstances). Most policies start coverage around $100,000, which can offer peace of mind.
If you use the same insurer as your vehicle or other policies, you will likely see a drop in your other rates because discounts are often given to individuals who hold multiple policies.
Most tenants who have had renter’s insurance for a substantial amount of time will be able to easily explain the value, as well as link a time or two where it saved them money. And it’s always good to know that if something happens to your belongings, you will be able to replace your items and move on with your life. So, now that you’re moved in, if you don’t have insurance, call an agent right away and get covered.
* Disclaimer: This article is purely informational. The Carrington at Schilling Farms is not a licensed insurance agent and does not take responsibility for any claims in this article. All statements must be confirmed with a licensed insurance agent.
NEC Schilling and Winchester
Collierville TN 38017
Carrington at Schilling Farms | NE Corner Schilling Blvd. and Winchester | Collierville, TN 38017 | (901) 854-0111