If you are a tenant, you need tenant insurance! No ifs, ands or buts about it. Unless you’re a minimalist whose entire life could fit in a suitcase, your belongings are worth a lot more than you think.
In fact, most people underestimate the value of their stuff. But don’t expose yourself. If something were to happen to your apartment or house, renters insurance is the perfect backup plan. In addition, many owners require it. But most renters say they don’t have it.
We’ll tell you why you need it. And we’ll explain how to get tenant insurance so you can check it off your to-do list.
Why do I need tenant insurance?
Tenant insurance is a type of protection that will cover the cost of your belongings if they are damaged, vandalized or stolen during your rental. As home insuranceit is one of eight types of insurance you can’t do without it.
Imagine that you are a tenant and your apartment is burgled. Your laptop, your iPad, your jewelry and your brand new flat screen TV are stolen. Carried away by the wind. What can you do?
Protect your home and your budget with the right coverage!
First, the thief probably won’t change his mind and show up at your door with all your stuff. And even if the police catch them, that’s still no guarantee that you’ll see your stuff again. But what about your landlord? Well, they’re not in the business of writing checks out of the generosity of their hearts.
Enter renters insurance. It does three main things:
- Covers the cost of replacing your belongings in the event of theft, fire, storm, vandalism, electrical malfunction or plumbing problem.
- Gives you Liability coveragewhich means that if someone is injured in your home, you will be financially protected against medical bills or legal fees.
- pay for additional living expenses if you need to stay in a hotel while your accommodation is being repaired.
Now that you know you need it, you’re probably wondering, How do I take out tenant insurance? Good question! Let’s find out.
How to Get Tenant Insurance: 5 Tips
Don’t be overwhelmed. Follow these tips and you’ll soon be a Jedi master of renters insurance (if such a thing exists).
1. Research what your landlord covers.
The first step is to determine the type of insurance your landlord has. They are required by law to have insurance on their building, but it won’t cover your stuff. Also, it probably won’t cover damage caused by water backup or appliance mishaps. Ask your landlord for their rental policy to see which part you will need to manage.
2. Create an inventory.
Then go through your house and register what you have. Estimate the coverage you will need to replace everything. Group your stuff into categories such as electronics and appliances, furniture, clothing and footwear, jewelry, upholstery, and more. Then tackle any special items, like that fancy exercise machine or that expensive bike. For higher end items you can buy something called floating insurance. This protects larger assets like art or antiques.
Take videos and photos of your stuff. Write down the makes, models and serial numbers if you know them. Keep receipts for big ticket items if you can. Keep all of this in a safe place or on a spreadsheet saved on a cloud drive.
3. Look for renters insurance policies.
Nobody likes homework. But this step will pay off if you really have to make a claim on your tenants’ policy. Do your research on renters insurance policies to get an idea of what is covered and what is not. This will help you later when it comes time to shop.
There are two types of tenant insurance: replacement cost and actual cash value. Replacement cost is a bit more expensive as it pays the full amount to replace your belongings, but it’s well worth the difference, and we recommend you always get it. Sure, the actual cash value is cheaper, but that’s because it only covers what your stuff was worth when it was damaged. Do yourself a favor and get replacement cost coverage.
4. Consider your responsibilities.
Consider any additional liability coverage you might need. If you are a smoker or have pets, you may want to increase your liability. You will be asked about this as both can affect your prime. Also think about how often you have company in your home, whether you’re hosting a book club or just old parties! The more people you have, the more likely someone is to get hurt. Increasing your liability coverage is definitely worth considering. It normally only costs a few dollars, but can save you a lot in the event of a disaster. And if you think you’ll need After than the usual amount of liability coverage, see umbrella insurance for additional protection.
5. Be prepared to provide details.
Depending on where you live, you’ll be asked to answer these questions and more when getting a quote:
- What is your full address and type of residence?
- Does your home have a smoke alarm, carbon monoxide detector, sprinkler system and security alarm?
- Does your home have electricity, gas, or both?
- What floor do you live on if you are in an apartment building?
- Who lives with you?
- Does your front door have a deadbolt?
If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you can contact your landlord. Provide as much detail as possible to get the best rate.
How much does tenant insurance cost?
Now that you know how to purchase tenant insurance, How much does it cost?
The cost of renters insurance varies depending on factors such as where you live and the level of coverage you want. For example, if you get $100,000 in personal property coverage, you will obviously pay more premiums than if you had $25,000. And opting for replacement cost coverage instead of actual cash value will also increase your premium. Increasing your liability limit will also increase your premium a little.
If you want to reduce your premium, you can increase your deductible. (Your deductible is the amount you must pay before your insurance company starts paying.) A higher deductible means you will pay less monthly premiums but more out of his pocket when you make a complaint. It’s definitely worth raising your deductible if you can afford the extra risk.
You can also sometimes get discounts if you install additional security features like burglar alarms or deadbolts.
Keep in mind that even the high end of a renters insurance premium costs less over the course of a year as the replacement of a damaged or stolen laptop or television. And you don’t have to lose everything all at once to be able to file a claim.
Is tenant insurance worth it?
Tenant insurance it’s a lot and it’s really worth it. It is affordable and provides excellent protection for your belongings. And as the number of tenants increases across the country due to the unprecedented housing market, more people will need renter’s insurance. (If you don’t want to rent for the rest of your life, check out these tips to get your finances on track.)
Without tenant insurance, you’ll have to drain your savings or go into debt to replace your belongings, not to mention that you’ll be financially liable if someone is injured in an accident or dog bite in your home.
Think about it. You protect your personal computer, your television, your favorite chair, those first hardcover editions of Harry Potter you collected years ago, and that pair of shoes you like more than you should and just can’t find everywhere more.
When you add up the value of these things in dollars and cents, and how much they are sentimentally worth to you is more than premium and more. This is why renters insurance is something all renters should have.
Get coverage today!
The steps to take out tenant insurance are quite simple. If you’re ready to get started, you can go online and start collecting quotes yourself. Or you can work with an independent insurance agent to help you get the best policy.
Our Approved Local Providers (ELPs) know the insurance market inside out and can help you find a policy that offers you the same or After coverage than what you found online and for a similar or lower cost in premiums. They are RamseyTrusted and can advise you on coverage you forgot to include or discounts you qualify for, such as bundling renter’s insurance with your car insurance.
At the end of the line ? Independent agents can scan many more insurance companies, saving you time and possibly money.