Renter insurance doesn’t just protect your things, it protects you. As a renter you should be aware that you do run a risk of being held liable for another person’s injuries or damage to their property. Just like homeowners and condo owners, renters can suffer major financial setbacks from damaged possessions.
Since you probably don’t have a magic credit card you could use to replace almost all your possessions at once (think furniture, electronics, clothing, tools, etc.), personal property coverage is there to do the job.
If someone says you’re a liability, they’re probably kidding. If they say you’re liable, that might be another story. Liability coverage pays defense costs and damages if you are liable for someone’s injuries or damaged property.
Was a guest injured at your condo? Your condo insurance’s Medical Payments coverage is usually enough to cover the bill for a trip to the ER.
Is there a breeze coming from the sky now instead of a ceiling fan? Loss-of-use coverage pays your temporary stay outside of your rental while it is being repaired from a covered loss. It can also cover moving expenses, additional gas mileage and eating at restaurants.
Condo policies have a list things that could cause damage to your unit or possessions, called “Perils.” The most common ones are covered but you should be aware of the exclusions, in case you need to request a certain item be added by endorsement. For the perils of earthquake, flood or hurricane, you may need to get a second condo policy.
Fire and smoke
Windstorms and hail
Vandalism and malicious mischief
Damage from an aircraft, car or vehicle
Weight of ice, snow or sleet
Wear and tear
Insects or pests
Pet or animal
Renter insurance is reasonably priced, considering how robust the coverages are. The nationwide average for insurance is $180 per year (about $15 per month).
The costs will be different for you, depending on your situation. One factor that plays a big role is where you live:
If there is one industry that is competitive, it’s insurance. The cost of your policy really is each insurance company’s best effort because they have to line up against their competitors every day. So you’re not only getting a fair deal—you’re also getting a good one.
The factors used to calculate insurance costs are:
Do yourself a favor and maximize your insurance discounts
Insurance companies give major discounts for bundling your property because it makes you less likely to switch later on. So don’t get too comfy—you should re-shop your insurance at least every few years.
No two insurance companies are alike, so the easiest way to save is to get multiple quotes and choose the one with the best combination of coverages and price.
Make your condo safer and your insurance cheaper at the same time with security features: smoke alarms, burglar alarms, and fire extinguishers.
Not too fast, not too slow. Get your deductibles just right. Small increases in your deductible can make big changes in your insurance, but be careful you don’t overdo it.
Just got... whatever? Major changes in your life, such as: moving, having kids, or a marital status change, often impact your insurance. You should consider re-shopping after major life events.
It turns out credit scores aren’t just for getting loans. Insurance discounts are just one more reason to keep building your (financial) house.
Want to learn more about renter insurance? Pop the hood and see how it runs!
It’s good to understand the nuances of your renter coverages: personal property, liability, medical payments and loss-of-use. Do you need to address any excluded coverages? Step one is learning what they are.
Get savvy and learn the drivers of your renter insurance cost. Most people are overpaying for insurance by not taking advantage of all the discounts they could. Find where you can save!
Learn what information you will need to provide to get an insurance quote. Request an effective date several days in advance so you can cancel your current policy on the same day without any lapse in coverage.
You have a daily driver, too. Learn more about the ins and outs of standard auto insurance, and how it is similar to classic/collector insurance.
Learn how the liability and uninsured motorist coverages are the same but your vehicle’s value in collision and comprehensive coverages is different. Classic/collector vehicle insurance also gives you some bells and whistles you’ll appreciate.
Ever wonder what you would do if you become liable for more than your condo or auto insurance limits will cover? Umbrella insurance is an inexpensive product that drastically increases your liability protection, and gives you a few coverages you won’t get anywhere else.
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