Rentership in the United States is at an all-time high with more people renting right now than at any other point in the last 50 years.
If you’re one of the many renters out there, odds are that you’re not insured. Needless to say, that’s not a good thing.
Without insurance, things like fires, sprinkler damage, theft and a number of other adverse events could leave you on the hook paying for unit damage and property replacement.
Fortunately, getting renters insurance these days is easier than ever! You just have to know how to properly assess policies.
Below, our team shares some things to keep in mind to make sure that you know how to get your hands on the best renters insurance on the market.
1. Choose the Correct Coverage Amount
When you’re shopping for the best renters insurance policy, one of the first things you’ll notice is that you can buy policies that carry different amounts of coverage. Lower coverage amounts mean a lower monthly premium. Higher amounts will drive up your monthly rate.
While it can be tempting to buy into the cheapest policy, if your coverage doesn’t properly cover your assets, you’re not really getting the benefit of your insurance.
To make sure that you opt into the best renters insurance policy for your lifestyle, take inventory of the value of everything you stand to lose in a fire. Your coverage amount should at least equal that number.
2. Make Sure Your Insurance Covers What You Think it Does
Renters insurance is not all-encompassing. Many people who have bought policies in the past have been left out to dry when they’ve made claims and found out that damages they encountered did not fall under their policy’s coverage umbrella.
For example, many rental insurance policies won’t cover floods. This is particularly true if you live in an area that’s considered a flood plain. Furthermore, many insurance policies don’t cover against pet damage.
It pays to know exactly what your policy does and does not cover so you can buy additional policies (like flood insurance) to fill in any coverage gaps.
3. Look For Policies That Offer High Deductible Options
Your insurance deductible is the amount you’ll have to pay out of pocket for your losses before your insurance kicks in. It may need to be paid for on an annual or per-claim basis.
In general, we recommend going for a policy that has a higher deductible. Doing so could lower your monthly policy premium substantially and will save you money if you seldom make claims.
4. See If Bundling Is an Option
Many insurance providers let you bundle renters insurance with your existing policies at a discount. Check to see if your auto insurance policy allows for renters insurance bundling.
If it does, you’ll almost certainly be better off bundling than buying your policies separately.
5. Make Sure Your Insurance Brand is Reputable (or has good backing)
Fly by night rental insurance operations shouldn’t be trusted with your livelihood. Always look for a company that has a brand name that you trust or is “underwritten” by a brand that is recognizable.
You can check out this useful website to learn more about finding reputable insurers.
6. Ask for College Rental Insurance If You’re a Student
Some renters insurance policies will have slightly different rules when it comes to covering college dorms. If you’re looking for a policy to cover your on-campus unit, be sure to let your agent know so you don’t end up purchasing the wrong policy.
Sometimes, college policies can be a cheaper than off-campus rental unit policies.
7. Create an Itemized List of Your Possessions
It’s always a good idea to take inventory of your possessions and how much they cost you. With a list in hand, you’ll be able to make strong claims for reimbursement in the event of a fire.
Making an itemized list of what you own is also helpful when it comes to deducing your overall property worth which can help you opt into the correct coverage amount.
8. Read the Fine Print Regarding Cash Value vs Replacement Cost
Some insurance policies will reimburse you for lost property to the tune of what you paid for it. Others will reimburse you their fair market value.
Make sure you know which of the two ways your insurer handles claims if you have a strong aversion to one option or the other.
9. Don’t Wait
Prices for rental insurance go up and down all the time. If you find a good policy at a good price, jump on the deal. It may not be around for much longer.
Also, if you wait on purchasing renters insurance, you put yourself at a higher risk of running into problems while not covered which can put you in a financially catastrophic situation.
Don’t do that to yourself.
Find a policy that works for you and opt into it today.
Wrapping Up Tips for Finding the Best Renters Insurance
There are a lot of best renters insurance options online right now. Use our tips above to filter through them so you can find the perfect policy for your unique needs!
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