If you rent, don't assume that your landlord's policy will cover your gear in the event of a theft, fire or some other catastrophic event. In addition, it's a good idea to have some liability insurance. The fact that you rent doesn't make you exempt from being sued by neighbors who injure themselves in your home. A good renter's insurance will cover your assets and offer a good amount of liability protection.
Inventory Your Belongings
The average renter's policy may include about $20,000 worth of coverage. Prior to contacting an insurance agent, take an inventory of your personal belongings. While at first glance, you may not think your items amount to much, once you begin cataloging items, such as expensive clothing, furniture, television, radio, computer, music equipment and jewelry, the value of your goods will soon add up. Adjust the amount of coverage accordingly. In addition, certain items may require additional coverage. These include jewelry, furs, watercraft, firearms, silverware, goldware, money, bank notes and coins. Ask your agent if you will need special coverage. Be sure to take pictures of your inventory and store them somewhere safe. Attach receipts, whenever possible.
Consider Liability Insurance and Medical Expenses
Liability insurance shields you against lawsuits stemming from personal injury or property damage. Your policy will include an amount that will be paid out for each incident. Generally, you may want to have about $100,000 to $300,000 in liability protection. In addition, look for a policy that covers the medical expenses of those injured in your home. Owning a dog, hosting parties that serve alcohol, operating a home-based business and owning a pool may put you at a higher risk for having lawsuits filed against you. Consider purchasing a higher amount of liability insurance if any of these scenarios apply.
Consider the Coverage
A typical renter's policy should cover you from damage caused by fire, ice, snow, explosion, smoke, vandalism, hail, freezing pipes, theft and wind. It won't, however, protect against flood or earthquake damage. If you live in an area that is at a high risk for flooding or earthquakes, you may need to purchase additional policies.
Understand the difference between a replacement coverage policy and a cash value policy. A cash value policy, while cheaper, will only pay you the fair market value of your goods. Replacement coverage pays you the amount it costs to replace your items. For example, if your television, which cost $500 at the time of purchase, is stolen, instead of only being reimbursed $500, you will be reimbursed the amount it costs to find a similar replacement.
How to Get Renters Insurance
You don't expect catastrophes in your life, but you never know when someone may choose to steal your belongings. Likewise, you may...
How to Calculate Renter's Insurance
You're convinced buying renter's insurance is a good idea, but you don't know how much to buy. The policy protects your belongings...
How Much Liability Insurance Do I Need?
If you commit a negligent act that results in injury to a third party, liability insurance can be a financial lifesaver. Liability...
What Does Your Renter's Insurance Cover?
Although you don't have to worry about mortgage payments or increasing property taxes as a renter, you need to take steps to...
What Are the Deductibles for Renters Insurance?
Renters insurance covers tenants' personal property losses caused by fire, theft, vandalism and other hazards. Renters foot the bill for some of...
How Renters Insurance Works
Renters insurance is typically designed to cover you in the event of a few specific situations. Learn how renters insurance works with...
How Much Renters Insurance Do You Need?
How much renters insurance you need is something that depends on a few key factors. Learn about how much renters insurance you...
How Much Does Renters Insurance Cost?
The cost of a renters insurance policy is going to vary depending on the specifics of your current situation. Find out about...
Define Collision & Comprehensive Insurance
Collision and comprehensive insurance policies are designed to protect the policy holder in the event of a few key situations. Get a...