While it’s common practice for homeowners to purchase insurance for their homes and possessions, many tenants avoid buying renter’s insurance simply because they’re under the mistaken impression that their landlord’s policy will cover their losses. Better Business Bureau® of Central Oklahoma reminds renters that there is a cost efficient way to protect your possessions from loss and damages through the use of renter’s insurance. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions about Renter’s Insurance and information on how it can benefit any renter.
What range of coverage does Renter’s Insurance offer?
Most renter’s insurance policies provide two types of coverage: personal property and liability. Personal property insurance covers a wide variety of property damage or loss, such as losses incurred from storms, fire, theft, lightning, and even vandalism. On the other hand, liability insurance provides coverage against a claim or lawsuit resulting from physical injury or property damage to other individuals caused by an accident while on the policyholder’s property. However, one thing to remember is that most policies don’t cover damages from weather related floods.
There are two major types of renter’s insurance:
The Broad form of coverage. This type of insurance covers personal belongings against specific events, such as theft, fire, lightning, explosions, smoke, vandalism, and even water-related damages from property utilities. This specific type of coverage is the most commonly purchased and the most cost-efficient policy type.
The Comprehensive form of coverage. This type of insurance provides coverage for a range of events, unless they’re specifically excluded from the policy. Considering the potential amount of coverage, the premiums for this form of renter’s insurance are usually higher.
What’s the best way to ensure you get the right policy for you?
There are a myriad of important things you need to ask about and do to ensure that you get the best policy for you. First and foremost, BBB always recommends getting at least 3 different quotes from different companies to get a feel of competitors pricing and policy coverage. Also, make sure you’re asking the right questions. Ask the insurer if they give special discounts for fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems, burglar alarms, or deadbolts on exterior doors. It’s also crucial to ask about any exclusions. If the policy doesn’t cover specific types of property, that might not fit your specific situation well. Ask what deductibles apply to the policy. Higher deductibles can save you money, but you will have to pay more out of your own pocket to replace things. Lastly, always make sure to check out the insurance company with BBB. BBB Business Reviews are available free at bbb.org or by calling 405-239-6081. You can also check with your state insurance department, which will have information on how insurers handle claims as well as information on costs and industry ratings.
What other steps should the consumer take to ensure they’re protected?
To ensure that your property and valuables are completely covered by any policy, there are certain steps you can take. It’s very important to keep an up-to-date home inventory list. If you keep track of all of your belongings, you can easily show what contents you had before the damages/loss in case you actually need to file a claim. You should also weigh the actual value of your possessions against the cost of insurance. Even college students can have property worth a few thousand dollars such as televisions, laptops, jewelry, furniture, or other appliances. If you have specific high-value items, you may need a rider in order to cover those items.