Data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) shows that the cost of renters insurance in the U.S. currently ranges between $15 and $30 per month, depending on factors such as the size of the rental unit and its location. However, despite its relatively low cost, only about 44% of American tenants carry renters insurance. This is unfortunate because renters insurance protects your personal property from damage resulting from a covered peril such as water damage, fire, theft, and vandalism. It is worth noting that your landlord’s policy does not cover your personal property.
With that in mind, there are things you can do to maximize your renters insurance policy. Here are four tips to get you started.
1.Create a Home Inventory
When you file a renters insurance claim, your insurer will likely ask you to provide an itemized list of the damaged items as well as their values. One of the best ways to keep track of your personal belongings and their values is to create a home inventory and update it regularly. Your home inventory should contain all the information concerning your belongings, including names, serial numbers, prices, pictures, and other specifications. If your renters insurance policy covers off-site items, be sure you include those in your home inventory. The Insurance Information Institute (III) says keeping a detailed home inventory will make your claim process easier and increase the chances of claim approval.
2.Find Ways to Lower Premiums
Certain factors such as high risk, many possessions, and amount of coverage can raise the cost of renters insurance. There are a few simple ways to help lower your premium costs. Some of these ways include:
- Mitigating the risk
- Raising your deductible
- Bundling your policies to earn discounts
- Using other available discounts
While raising your deductible can help lower premiums, it leaves you with a bigger out-of-pocket burden if you have to file a claim. For this reason, the National Apartment Association (NAA) cautions to choose an amount that is still possible for you to cover out of pocket without harming your finances. Additionally, you can mitigate some risks by reporting repairs and improvements to your landlord in a timely manner as it is their responsibility to maintain the apartment itself.
3.Know the Exclusions
In every insurance policy, there are certain aspects that the insurance provider does not cover. These are called exclusions. For instance, per the National Public Radio (NPR), a typical renters insurance policy does not cover damage resulting from floods. You may have to purchase a separate flood insurance policy to ensure full coverage. It is important to know the exclusions on your renters insurance coverage and purchase alternative policies to avoid underinsurance.
4.Take Advantage of Available Renters Insurance Benefits
Depending on where you buy your renters insurance policy, you may have some added benefits available to you. For example, some renters insurance policies provide emergency living funds to cover your expenses while you wait for your landlord to repair your rental unit. Other policies cover accidental damage to third-party property, such as accidentally breaking a neighbor’s water pipe and causing the neighbor to suffer water damage. Find out what additional benefits your coverage comes with and make maximum use of them. Most insurance providers will offer additional benefits for a slight increase in premium costs.
These four tips will help you make the most of your renters insurance. When you’re ready to secure a quality renters insurance policy, talk to the friendly experts at Jack Stone Insurance Agency. We serve Antioch, Brentwood, and surrounding cities in California. Contact us today to get started!