renters insurance need to know

There’s no doubt that navigating insurance can feel overwhelming for a lot of people. For first-time renters, insurance can be a mystery. Many renters, whether they have rented for a few months or multiple years have a lot of misconceptions surrounding renters insurance. Unfortunately, these misconceptions can lead to costly and difficult situations. Ensuring that you understand exactly what you should know as a renter about renters insurance is crucial to making certain that you and your belongings are protected. 

The Fee is Minimal:

A significant portion of renters never fully look into getting renters insurance simply because it sounds expensive.  With rent taking a large chunk of change, and multiple other bills knocking at your door, it can feel like an unnecessary and overwhelming hurdle to think about adding another expense to your monthly budget. On top of that misconception, a lot of renters simply assume that their landlord’s landlord insurance will cover any of their items should the property be broken into or damaged through a natural disaster. The reality is that landlord insurance only protects the property itself and your stuff won’t be replaced. The upsetting reality for many renters is that they never learn this information until it’s too late.

The good news is that renters insurance is very inexpensive. If you currently pay for other insurance like car insurance, you can even qualify for additional savings by bundling your insurance policies. The surprising reality is if you rent, you’re likely paying more for your favorite streaming services than you would for renters insurance. Cutting back on a few specialty coffees each month can actually give you the change that you need to cover your belongings in the event of a break-in, a natural disaster, or a multitude of other situations.

Learn more about the costs associated with getting a renters insurance policy: Renters Insurance Is Cheaper Than You Think – Infographic

High-value items may need special consideration:

If you already have a renters insurance policy, great you were head of the game! However, you may not be as covered and protected as you think you are. If you have a few expensive items that you know need to be replaced in the event of damage or theft, check with your insurance agent to verify exactly how and if those items are covered. Some high-value items need a rider, and baseline policies may not cover extremely high-value items. Jewelry, high-end electronics, and other personal possessions that are of particular are of a high-cost nature should be taken into consideration when you select your specific renters insurance policy. You don’t want to be in a situation where you need to make a claim and find out that your policy’s coverage is different than you expected.

Times Occur When You Cannot Sign Up for Renters Insurance:

If you dragged your feet knowing that you should sign up eventually for a renters insurance policy, you run the risk of waiting too long. If a natural disaster or other qualifying event is predicted or at hand, you may find yourself unable to get an insurance policy. Insurance companies will issue insurance moratoriums when a natural disaster is predicted. A moratorium is when an insurance company stops updating policies or issuing policies when an impending disaster or weather event is on the horizon. this is the reason you cannot update or get home insurance during Hurricane, it protects policymakers from people only signing up when a disaster is predicted. Unfortunately, this means if your belongings are considered at risk because of a nearby Wildfire or an impending weather event you’re unlikely to get coverage. If you already have a renters insurance policy but you wanted to extend your coverage a moratorium can prevent that as well. It’s absolutely best practice to ensure that you are taking care of your renters insurance needs long before a bad situation is predicted.

 Learn more about renters insurance and natural disasters: What You Need to Know About Natural Disasters and Renters Insurance

Your Job’s Not Done Once You Sign Up for a Policy:

 It can be easy to get excited about checking renters insurance off your to-do list. A lot of renters stop there, but the moment the policy goes into effect, you still have work to do. If you truly want your belongings completely protected, you need to be sure that you are documenting everything that you own. If a situation occurs and you ever have to make a claim, you need to be able to provide documentation showing what you owned and in turn what was damaged or stolen. If you don’t have those documents before a disaster occurs, making a claim can be exceedingly difficult. Save yourself a headache and do a simple walkthrough of your home to ensure that you have everything documented. There are multiple ways to do this, you can create a physical file or, you can store a document electronically through a word processing or spreadsheet application. Another option is to take a video of your rental home and everything inside of it. Keep in mind that for proper documentation and to make your life easier if you ever do have to make a claim on your renters insurance policy, you will need the make and model of some of your items. For high-value items, you will even need the Serial number is properly documented.

Take photographs or a video of any of your items that have serial numbers or simply write them down on your list. One great rule of thumb is always to keep shopping receipts for valuable items; this can allow you to show exactly how much you paid if you ever need to make a claim. If you don’t want to keep all those little papers you can take pictures or use a receipt documenting application. If you choose an electronic option, be sure to store it securely in a cloud-bade application. This can be extremely beneficial in the event of a disaster. You will ensure that you’re able to access the document or video regardless of where you are and you know that there is no risk that it will be damaged. Finally, remember to keep updating your list or your video as you acquire more items A good rule of thumb is to do this annually maybe after work Christmas or birthday when you know that you usually end up with new higher-value belongings.

Learn more about the document and the insurance claim process: How to Document Your Belongings For Renters Insurance

Sometimes, You’ll Need to Update Your Policy

The renters insurance policy best for you is largely dependent on your current lifestyle and your current belongings. A fresh out of college renter who is moving into their first apartment on their own may have very different needs than an established couple with multiple children.  Your policy needs will likely grow as you do, the more valuable belongings you have on hand the more your policy may need to cover and where you live will also determine exactly what you should look for. Since some natural disasters require special Insurance, be sure to research your local area to find out what risks there are and whether you need an additional insurance policy or a specialized one. Remember that as you move or as your belongings change you should look into updating your policy to ensure that everything is completely covered.

 There can be a lot of misconceptions surrounding and it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. However, protecting your stuff, and yourself from liability, is vital, and a little bit of research can go a long way to make sure that you are not stuck in a bad situation should the worst happen.