Thursday, October 8th, 2015

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A ‘How To’ Manual On Buying Renter’s Insurance

It's sometimes a prudent idea for renters to buy an insurance policy to protect their property. Renter’s insurance isn’t as popular an insurance option as some other kinds, including health and homeowner’s. Perhaps because renters often feel like transients, they’re a little unwilling to fork over the money to insure their possessions in a place they don’t own. Nonetheless, it’s not a bad idea to think about purchasing some form of renter’s insurance as unfortunate events can – and sometimes do – happen.

Now, first you need to decide if buying renter’s insurance is a good investment. Insurance companies obviously argue that it absolutely is, but some people aren’t convinced. Ultimately, you’re the only one who can decide whether you want to splurge on a protective policy, but you should consider the neighborhood you live in, what the usual weather is like, and other similar criteria to decide whether you could lose money in the event of some unfortunate circumstance. Just remember, your landlord is usually never responsible for damage done to your possessions.

Now, if you’ve decided you’re going to buy renter’s insurance, you have a little work to do. Many companies offer insurance policies for non-homeowners, and if you want to figure out which is policy is best you’re going to have to do some research.

A quick Google search reveals a plethora of insurance companies that will compete for your business. Some big national players that are reputable insurance companies offer the policy, including Geico, State Farm, Allstate, USAA and Liberty Mutual. It’s important to note, though, that not every insurance company operates in every state; also, even if an insurance company operates in your state, it doesn’t guarantee they will offer renter’s insurance.

Each of the their websites features a special tool that helps you build a policy that works for you and gives you a quote that is a ballpark estimate of what you’d have to pay should you choose it. There are various plans pertaining to different neighborhoods and events that could result in damage to your property.

As is a normal practice of insurance companies, a majority of businesses that offer renter’s insurance will cover damage done up to a certain value amount. USAA offers plans that start as low as $10 per month, representing one of the lowest rates of all major insurance providers, and actually covers all your belongings even if they are damaged outside of your apartment. Essentially, instead of thinking of it as you’re insuring your apartment, you can picture it as protecting your possessions.

With each insurance company varying so much in what it covers and offers, it’s important to shop around if you’re in the market for a policy. Allstate’s renter’s insurance will pay for a hotel stay if you’re forced to live somewhere else for a while. Geico offers liability coverage in case someone is hurt in your rented home.

Usually, basic level renter’s insurance plans cost around $10 to $20 per month. That’s not a huge sum – it amounts to under $250 a year – and it’s a wise choice if you’re living in an area like Southern California, for example, where forest fires occur. What you need to make sure of is that your policy covers what you want it to. Most policies won’t reimburse you for damage caused by floods and earthquakes, so it’s prudent to always double-check exactly what is included in a given policy.

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