How To Buy Renter Insurance

As a renter, you face many of the same property and liability risks as a homeowner. Buying the protection you need is easy and inexpensive.

Renter insurance is a simple part of securing your financial well-being for the long haul. Many renters end up living without protection from serious financial losses. Making a personal property inventory and thinking about your liability exposures will help you get the right coverage, and quoting and buying renter insurance is easy and affordable.

Summary
  • Insurance companies get some of the information they need to prepare a renter quote from you and some from public data.
  • You should pick an effective date for your new insurance policy at least a few days in the future to confirm your new insurance policy is approved and verify purchase, and to give advance notice to the current insurance company so there is no overlap in coverage.
  • A personal inventory is a great way to decide how much personal property coverage you need and will help if you need to file a claim.
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What is a renter insurance quote?

Renter insurance quotes represents the insurance companies’ offers to sell you protection for your personal property, your liability and more.

Each company has a different formula for coming up with your quote, so the prices you see may vary a lot. Renter quotes take into account information such as those listed below when considering the price of your policy:

  • The amount of coverage
  • Age of your rental building
  • The type of materials your rental building is made of
  • Security features
  • Accessibility of local fire protection
  • Likelihood of natural disasters in your area
  • Crime rates in your neighborhood
  • Your credit score
  • Your pet(s)
  • Your belongings
  • Previous insurance claims

How to get a quote

You can get an insurance quote from a local insurance agent, online from an insurance company, or online from an insurance agency. Once you do choose an insurance company, don’t consider it a long-term relationship—you will save money in the long-run by switching insurance companies periodically.

Insurance companies need several pieces of information about your rental (and you) in order to prepare a quote. You will provide most of it, especially things like the amount of personal property coverage you need. The insurance company will pull other information from public data, such as: the year your building was built,
the construction type and your credit score. You have the right to not allow the insurance company to pull your records, but they will usually decline to offer you a quote if you do.

The following information is some of what is needed when submitting your account to INSURANCE-MOD for renter insurance. A lot of this information is also needed for your auto insurance, so you will only need to be entering it once.

  • The date you moved into your rental
  • Your social security number
  • The shape of the rental’s roof
  • The number of people living in the rental
  • Which protections are there (fire extinguisher, smoke alarm, burglar alarm, etc.)
  • Distance to the nearest fire hydrant (more or less than 1,000 feet?)
  • Distance to the nearest fire station (more or less than five miles?)
  • Whether you have any dogs, and their breed
  • The amount of coverage you want for your Personal Property. Getting your coverage amount right usually involves making (and maintaining) a personal property inventory.

Purchasing a new policy and cancelling the old one

Purchasing your new policy
The quotes are in! Once you have your renter insurance quotes, you should read the list of coverages and pick the one that is right for you. Don’t just go by price—look at the coverages carefully and find the differences between quotes because there may be some differences that are important to you.

When you have selected your quote, inform INSURANCE-MOD of your selection and your desired policy effective date. The final step is to make your payment. You can expect a refund from the current (soon to be old) insurance company, which can be put toward the new policy.

Canceling your current policy
You will want to have the current insurance policy cancel on the same date as the new policy becomes effective. The current insurance company needs to be notified about the cancelation. There are several ways to contact the current insurance company: you can call them, mail or write a letter.

The information the old insurance company needs to know to process your cancellation is:  

  • Your first and last name
  • The policy number
  • The address of the residence
  • The effective date of the cancellation (same as the effective date of the new policy)

How to make a personal property inventory

Taking an inventory of your personal property by making a list, taking photos, uploading receipts (or at least having estimated values) is very helpful in getting the right amount of coverage. You will also seriously thank yourself that you made your list if you end up needing it. Dealing with a major loss to your property is a really tough time to list all your items and their approximate cost.
An inventory with photos will make it much easier for you and your insurance company to agree on what was lost in a claim situation. Home inventories are not required when buying renter insurance.

>> Learn more about how much renter coverage you need.

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Questions? Call us!

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