Finding the Best Renters Insurance

| October 15, 2012

apartment fireAs a renter, it’s reassuring to know that if trouble such as vandalism, theft or a natural disaster strikes, your rental insurance will kick in and cover the costs. Consider the following guidelines for finding the best home renters insurance.

Inquire about discounts

Get the best rate for your renters insurance by asking about discounts. Insurance companies want as much business as they can get from you, so they’re often willing to give you a discount on your rental insurance in exchange for also signing you on for auto insurance. Other potential discounts include credit for having smoke detectors, deadbolt locks and a security system.

Consider your deductible carefully

The deductible is the amount you’ll pay out-of-pocket before insurance kicks in. The higher your deductible, the lower your premium. Before deciding to go with a high deductible, such as $1,000, make certain that you can afford to pay this amount if something goes wrong. The best renters insurance company will guide you in choosing a deductible amount that you can comfortably afford in the event of misfortune.

Look for a replacement-cost policy

A replacement-cost policy pays to replace your possessions according to how much they would cost you to replace them today, whereas a cash-value policy only pays what the items are worth when they are stolen or damaged. So if you have a 5-year-old CD player that gets ruined in a flood, you’ll only get reimbursed the value of that particular CD player, which is likely to not be sufficient to cover buying a new one. A replacement-cost policy, on the other hand, will give you the money to replace the CD player.

Look for a policy that covers accidents

If a guest slips and falls in your home or otherwise sustains injury, good home renters insurance includes coverage for such accidents, including paying the medical fees of the injured party.

Seek out generous living-expense reimbursements

If something happens to make your home uninhabitable, such as flooding or fire, the best renters insurance policies offer a generous allowance for living expenses if you have to stay elsewhere for a time. Look for coverage that provides an amount of money that would adequately cover your expenses and a reasonable amount of time for such coverage to stay in place.

Ensure that most disasters are covered

The best home renters insurance covers just about every natural disaster, including losses from fires, windstorms, explosions, lightning and some types of water damage. The federal government offers flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program, and if you are in an earthquake-prone area, states offer earthquake policies as well even if private insurance companies don’t.

Now that you know what to look for, you have the information you need to find the best home renters insurance for your situation.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Category: Real Estate, Rental Property -- Apartments, Rental Property -- Homes

About the Author ()

Julie Bawden-Davis is a Southern-California-based writer specializing in home and garden, real estate, small business and personal finance. Since 1985, her work has appeared in a wide variety of publications, including Family Circle, Ladies’ Home Journal, Better Homes & Gardens, Entrepreneur and The Los Angeles Times. Julie is a University of California Certified Master Gardener and has written five gardening books, including Reader’s Digest Flower Gardening.