Renter’s insurance provides important coverage for both you and your possessions, if you live in an apartment or a rented house
A standard renter’s policy protects your personal property in case of damage or theft and may pay for temporary living expenses if your rental apartment/house is damaged. It can also shield you from personal liability.
Your apartment management or landlord is not responsible for your personal property unless you can prove negligence. It is VERY important to have renter’s insurance. Proving negligence in court may be extremely difficult.
Read your policy information carefully and ensure you have full coverage. There are several types of residential insurance policies. Policies should include the following items:
· Lighting or fire
· Hail or windstorm
· Civil commotion or riot
· Malicious mischief or vandalism
· Damage by glass or safety-glazing material that is part of a building
· Falling objects
· Water-related damage from home utilities
· Electrical surge damage
You’ll need to buy a separate policy or a rider if you live in an area prone to hurricanes, floods and earthquakes. Hurricanes and flooding do occur in Gainesville. In areas where hurricanes can pose a threat, you might also need to buy a separate rider to cover wind damage. Ask your insurance agent about this extra coverage. It is a good precaution to add flood and hurricane protection to your policy.
There are usually four separate sections of a renter’s policy:
Personal property: provides protection for your personal property, such as furniture and household items. When you purchase the policy you choose this coverage limit.
Personal liability: claims and suits for bodily injury or property damage. When you purchased the policy, you chose this coverage limit.
Loss of use: is the additional expenses you incur when your apartment cannot be used because of an insured loss. This part of the policy will usually only cover around 20 percent of your personal property.
Medical payments to others: pays for medical expenses for minor injuries to others, even if you are not at fault such as a dog bite, a fall on your property, etc. The policy normally includes limits of $1,000 per person.
The insurance company can offer actual cash value or replacement cost coverage for your belongings? The actual cash value coverage will pay only for what your property was worth at the time it was damaged or stolen. A television bought five years ago for $500 would be worth much less today, but you would still need to spend about $500 for a new TV. With actual cost value, your insurance company will pay only for what the old one was worth, minus your deductible. On the other hand, replacement cost coverage, will pay what it actually costs to replace the items you lost.
Talk to your agent about your expensive items when you buy the policy. Jewelry and electronics may only be covered for a certain amount and you will need to purchase a separate rider or floater in order to recover the loss of the items.
Shop around and ask lots of questions before agreeing to any policy. Read all the literature provided by the insurance agent and make sure the policy covers all your needs.
Some students can be covered under their parents/guardian's insurance policy for a small additional fee. Find out if this is an option for you. If it isn’t, check into a policy of your own. A small monthly fee can protect you and your belongings in case the unspeakable happens.
Reduce your renter’s insurance bill:
One strategy is increasing your deductible (the amount you pay before your coverage kicks in). Whatever deductible you choose, make sure you can afford it.
Some insurance companies are reluctant to write policies for owners of certain breeds of dogs. Know what breeds are covered before you get a dog.
Insurers offer discounts for protective devices, including burglar alarms, smoke and fire detectors, and fire extinguishers.
Students might be offered discounts by Insurers.
A rental house with a pool may seem cool, but the insurance will be expensive.
If you have your car insurance and renter’s insurance with the same company, you can sometimes get a discount.