What choices should you make to find the right plan?
When considering renters insurance for the first time, the cost may not be the most important factor. There are different types of coverage, as well as policy management benefits.
First, we’ll look at what renters insurance is, what it covers in various circumstances, and how to approach a renters insurance quote comparison.
What is renters insurance?
Renters insurance protects you in case your home or belongings are lost. This could be due to a fire, robbery, or other disaster or incident.
Even if you don’t have a lot of valuables in your rented home, it’s still a good idea to have coverage. If you’re able to show a list of your possessions, like furniture or electronics, making a list in advance for the most valuable items will make the claim process easier for those important items that you lost. You won’t want to start completely from scratch while also dealing with a loss of or damage to your home.
What does renters insurance cover?
Specifically, renters insurance can cover three categories:
- Personal property. This covers your physical belongings. This can include furniture, clothing, appliances, electronics, instruments, and jewelry. If anything is lost to disaster or theft, this component of your coverage will reimburse you for a certain amount equivalent to the value of those lost items.
- Liability. This coverage protects you if you or your family is found responsible for bodily injury or property damage. For instance, it applies if you are sued for damages by someone else and may also cover the cost of legal defense. Additionally, no-fault medical coverage can be included in these policies, which means some or all of the other party’s medical expenses can be paid by your insurer.
- Additional living costs. If you lose your home, you’ll have to find another place to stay and obviously won’t have a place to cook meals. This extra coverage covers those expenses, such as hotel or restaurant costs, after you lose your home or property.
When it comes to personal property coverage, keep in mind that there are two different types of reimbursements. The first is actual cash value, which means you’ll receive whatever an item is deemed to be worth at the time of loss. This valuing process takes into consideration any depreciation since the time of purchase. The second is replacement cost, meaning the cost of replacing lost items with new items is covered.
Replacement cost coverage is usually better since it’s what you’ll actually be paying out of pocket when you lose your property and have to buy it again.
How to compare renters insurance quotes
When comparing quotes, keep in mind the above coverages. This type of insurance is fairly inexpensive in the U.S., so it may be more important for you to ensure you have all the coverage you need, rather than which plan is the cheapest.
You may also consider a company’s policy management offerings when selecting your provider; many carriers now offer tools where you can track and tally all of your belongings to figure out how much money you would need if you were to lose it all. Start by creating an itemized list of your property to figure out how much coverage you really need.
Some carriers also offer discounts you could be eligible to receive. The most common of these are multi-policy, meaning you have more than one type of insurance with a carrier; claims-free discount, which you could receive if you haven’t filed a claim during a specific term; and protective devices, which means you have security systems or smoke detectors installed at home.
When shopping for the right renter’s insurance policy, keep in mind that these offerings vary by carrier. You can get quotes from several companies but always check with your current insurer to see if they could offer you a discount on this new coverage for having multiple policies with them.
According to Insurance.com, the national average monthly payment is $17 for renters’ insurance. Note that premiums will vary based on factors like credit history and location.
While there are many online tools to get a fast quote, talking to an insurance professional can provide you with more guidance and a thorough explanation of the different benefits. Discussing your options in person ensures that you are covered for everything you would need if the worst happens.
At NICRIS Insurance, we are committed to building lasting relationships with our customers. We do offer simple online quotes, but we recommend calling or visiting us in New York today to speak with someone about your specific insurance needs.
We offer a variety of insurance coverages, including car, home, renter, life, and motorcycle. Whatever level of coverage you need, we’re here to help you get the right plan for you and your family. Give us a call (516) 544-0006 or fill out our contact form to get in touch.