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  • Writer's picturejoseph retcho

Renters Insurance Basics

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Purchasing renters insurance to protect your belongings may appear to be an unnecessary expense until you experience a theft or fire in your rented home or apartment and permanently lose some of your most prized possessions.

Whether you've been renting for a long time or are just starting out, renters insurance policies offer valuable benefits and coverage. If a fire or other similar incident destroyed your home and you did not have renters insurance, you would be responsible for replacing everything you own. Furthermore, if someone claims you caused an injury or property damage, without adequate insurance coverage, you could face an expensive lawsuit and have to pay that person for his or her damages.

1. Off-premises coverage is provided by renters insurance.

Renters insurance does more than just pay for lost or damaged belongings in your home. If your bike is stolen from a park bike rack or your laptop is stolen from your car while you're at the supermarket, you're covered.

2. If you are forced to relocate, you may be compensated.

Most renters policies cover additional living expenses if your home is rendered uninhabitable as a result of an event such as vandalism, theft, fire, or water damage from home utilities. This benefit typically covers the cost of living expenses up to the limits of your policy.

This coverage is typically limited to 30 to 50% of the insured personal property. For example, if your belongings are insured for $100,000, the policy limit on additional living expenses is $30,000 to $50,000.

3. A home inventory can help you determine how much coverage you require.

Before you decide how much coverage you require, you should know how much it would cost to replace your belongings. You can calculate replacement costs by conducting a home inventory and confirming your coverage with your insurance representative.

4. You Can Lower Your Renters Insurance Premiums

There are several methods for lowering the cost of renters insurance. You can choose a higher policy deductible, which is the amount you must pay before your insurance coverage kicks in. Raising a deductible from $250 to $500 could result in annual savings of up to 15%.

You may also want to consider purchasing all of your insurance policies from the same company. For example, when you combine your Travelers auto and renters policies, you can save even more money.

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