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How to get renters insurance

By Home Media

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Whether you’re moving into a new apartment and your landlord is requiring you to get renters insurance or you’re relocating and want to make sure your belongings are safe and secure, a renters insurance policy can help. Similar to homeowners insurance, renters insurance protects your personal belongings if they’re damaged by a covered peril, such as a fire or windstorm.

Because there are a variety of renters insurance companies to choose from, the Home Media team researched multiple insurers and compared coverage, pricing and other benefits to help you find a renters insurance policy . Keep reading to learn how to purchase renters insurance.

If you’re ready to purchase a renters insurance policy, enter your zip code into this online tool and compare quotes from multiple renters insurance companies near you.

What does renters insurance cover?

Here’s what a typical renters insurance policy covers:

  • Liability: Personal liability coverage protects you if someone gets injured on your property and it’s your fault. It can help pay for court judgements and other legal fees, as well as medical expenses that you can’t cover.

  • Personal property: Renters insurance companies also provide personal property coverage, or personal possessions coverage. With this insurance coverage, you’ll receive compensation for your belongings should any damage, theft or vandalism affect them. This coverage also protects against normal perils that may damage your possessions, such as weather-related damage, fires, plumbing issues and electrical issues.

  • Additional living expenses: If a covered peril makes your apartment, condo or rental uninhabitable, your insurance company will cover any additional living expenses, such as hotel fees and meals, that you and your family might incur while your current residence is being repaired or reconstructed.

In general, the following events are covered under renters insurance:

  • Fire

  • Smoke

  • Lightning

  • Windstorms and hail

  • Water leaks

  • Damage from snow, ice or sleet

  • Damage from steam-heating or water-heating appliances

  • Freezing of plumbing, heating and air conditioning

  • Short circuit damage

  • Explosions

  • Theft and robbery

  • Riots

  • Vandalism

  • Damage by a vehicle that is not your own

  • Falling objects

How to get renters insurance

When you’re ready to buy a renters insurance policy, follow these steps:

Estimate the value of your personal property

Take inventory of your belongings and estimate their total value. Go room to room in your home and take pictures of each item you would want cash value for if anything happened to your home. In addition to taking photos of these items, record any serial numbers that might be helpful to identify the item after a covered peril.

Additionally, keep a list of the cost of each item. If you don’t know the cost of an item, look it up online or look up the cost of similar items. You’ll also want to include any receipts or appraisals you have for these items. Consider using an online home inventory tool or an inventory smartphone application to store this information.

Check with your landlord

There are three main reasons you’ll want to check with your landlord before gathering and comparing renters insurance quotes:

  1. Most landlords will require you to purchase a policy with certain coverage limits. If they don’t, decide how much coverage to buy by comparing an insurance company’s offerings to your personal inventory. You may want to check with an insurance agent about any discounts they’re offering and have a discussion about their coverage options.

  2. Your landlord’s insurance policy might cover certain items that you were considering adding to your policy for extra protection, so checking with them before adding any additional coverage can prevent you from spending money on unnecessary coverage.

  3. Landlords and leasing offices often have partnerships with renters insurance companies in the area and can offer you a discount on your policy.

Understand what’s included in a policy

Review the terms and conditions of the policy you’re considering so you understand your coverage and plan pricing and aren’t surprised by any coverage limits or additional fees. This is also a good moment to determine how to file a claim with the company.

Gather quotes and compare policies

After meeting with your landlord, gather quotes from three to five renters insurance providers to compare pricing and coverage. Most quotes will include information about the coverage included in the policy you’ve selected. If you want to compare a variety of companies in your area, take advantage of this free and easy online quote tool .

Verdict

Though your landlord might be able to provide you and your family protection when it comes to property damage, you’re responsible for covering your personal belongings. Renters insurance can protect your belongings if they’re damaged by a covered peril, such as fire or lightning. If you want to compare quotes from other renters insurance providers in your area, use this online quote tool .

Frequently asked questions

Do I need renters insurance?

Your landlord may require you to get renters insurance. Even if it’s not required, investing in a renters insurance policy can protect your personal belongings if they’re damaged by a covered peril, such as fire or theft.

What isn’t covered under renters insurance?

While renters insurance protects you from a variety of perils and the damage caused by them, it doesn’t protect your belongings from damage caused by natural disasters, such as earthquakes, and pest-related problems, such as termite infestations.

Can renters insurance help with identity theft issues?

While most standard renters insurance policies don’t cover identity theft, some providers will offer identity theft coverage as an endorsement, or add-on. This additional coverage will pay for expenses related to recovering your identity, such as the fees for sending letters to credit bureaus or getting documents notarized.

What is proof of renters insurance?

Your landlord or leasing office may ask you for proof of insurance before you sign a lease. To do this, simply send your landlord or leasing office a copy of your policy. You can also speak with your insurance company and add your landlord as an interested party to your policy. This allows you to have additional proof that you own a renters insurance policy.

How much does renters insurance cost?

Though renters insurance prices vary according to what company you use and what policy you get, you can expect to pay around $120 to $190 per year for renters insurance.

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