The Reality of Renter's Insurance
By Bridget Kulla
June 04, 2008
Many renter’s policies have limits on valuables like jewelry, art, electronics and other items. Let your insurance agent know about any particularly expensive items. You may need to buy additional insurance, called a rider or a floater, to cover them. Premiums
The amount of your premium varies depending on: where you live, your deductible, your insurance company, and whether you need additional coverage. You can get a quote online or through your insurance agent to find out how much you’ll pay for insurance.
You may be able to lower your insurance costs by getting a renter’s insurance policy from your auto insurance provider. Discounts may also be available for “protective devices,” like smoke and fire detectors, burglar alarms and fire extinguishers. “It’s important to maintain a good credit history because many insurance companies consider credit history when determining how much to charge you for insurance,” Young says.
Make an Inventory
To ensure that you are compensated for your property if it is lost, make an inventory of all your belongings. If your property is lost or damaged, this documentation will be needed by the police, insurance adjustors and tax purposes. List each item, the year purchased, purchase cost and estimated current value. If possible, record serial numbers and save receipts. Photos and videos of your belongings are also good additions to an inventory. Keep your inventory out of your apartment or in a fireproof place.
If you have a roommate, you can either each get your own renter’s insurance policy or get a joint policy. A joint policy will allow each roommate to be covered, but could cause complications if one roommate moves out or property is lost or damaged. “Insurance coverage can become complicated because renter’s insurance is designed for single individuals and traditional families,” Young says. You may want to get an individual policy, but talk to your insurance agent first. Since state laws vary, you are not able to get joint coverage in some states.
For more information about renter’s and other types of insurance, read the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America’s online reference The Graduate’s Guide to Insurance.
For information about state insurance laws or regulations, find your state’s insurance department at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.