How to Buy Renter's Insurance

Whether or not you own or rent your house, condo or apartment and disaster hits, the pain, suffering and loss is the same. How you recover from such an unfortunate incident can vary, depending upon your preparedness. You might think that since you rent your dwelling, there is nothing you can do or need to worry about. There could be nothing further from the truth. Your landlord will have insurance that will only cover their loss (the building, structure, etc), not yours. Your loss is everything inside, and your landlord, to a certain extent, could care less about that. Renter's insurance will take care of your belongings inside the house, in case of disaster. So the importance of renter's insurance is obvious, but choosing the right company and the right policy isn't always so easy. With a little time, patience and research, you can make the right decision to buy renter's insurance at the best value for you.

Steps

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    Pick the correct policy type for your situation. The agent you speak with will certainly know, but you should educate yourself anyway. The H0-4 policy type covers apartments and the H0-6 type covers condos. Both of these will cover the same basic perils; they just apply to the specific dwelling that they cover.
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    Know about the special exceptions of floods and earthquakes. These are never covered in the basic policy. If you live in an area that is prone to flooding or in a quake zone, you will have to purchase a special rider policy that will cover these disasters. You might also need to get a special rider policy to cover wind damage if you live in a coastal area or somewhere that is commonly affected by hurricanes as well.
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    Decide whether or not you can afford a policy that covers actual cash value or replacement value. In the event that you need to file a claim, actual cash value is only going to pay what the object is worth, minus your deductible. Your expensive radio back then is only going to be worth a few bucks today and that's all you'll get. Replacement value will get you exactly what you need to replace it with today's radio, minus your deductible. Your premiums will be significantly higher for replacement value policies.
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    Take inventory of all of your belongings. Write down complete descriptions, serial numbers and value. Video taping room to room also helps. This will make filing and collecting on a claim much easier.
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    Note whether or not your policy covers living expenses for the short term if your abode becomes unlivable.
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    Try to be as reasonable and budget-conscience as possible when choosing a carrier. Although it sounds nice to have maximum coverage and benefits in an attempt to be better off, your premiums will be outrageously high. If you are fortunate enough to not have to file a claim, all those premiums will amount to a huge expense and nothing to show for it. Strike a balance, be fair and try to keep the lowest premium possible.
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    Start making phone calls. Call all the major insurance companies in your area and get them to give you quotes in writing. Use your written quotes to negotiate the lowest price possible with other carriers. Pit them against each other; get them in a bidding war and you'll come out on top.

Tips

  • If you have some items that are unusually expensive, such as a piece of jewelry, you'll need to purchase a separate rider. Without riders for expensive items you can't recover the full loss if it's beyond your policy limit.

Article Info

Categories: Insurance | Renting