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You can get renters insurance entirely without speaking to anyone else: Some insurers automate the whole process through an app or website.
There are a lot of reasons to get renters insurance. It provides you with financial protection in case your belongings are destroyed or stolen, or when a guest gets injured in your home and you’re liable for his or her medical bills. Renters insurance is cheap but it can save you thousands of dollars in the event of a catastrophe it covers.
Not only is renters insurance affordable for almost any budget, it’s also very easy and convenient to get. Unlike other forms of insurance, such as life insurance or disability insurance, you’ll almost always eligible to get coverage regardless of your personal characteristics. You can also get renters insurance entirely without speaking to anyone else: Some insurers automate the whole process through an app or website.
Buying renters insurance starts with making an inventory of your stuff. The value of all your belongings is the amount you’ll want to replace if something like a fire destroys everything, and you’ll want to make sure your policy reflects that amount in its coverage. If you have $20,000 worth of stuff – that TV, that MacBook, that coin collection, that couch, and so on – you should get a renters insurance policy worth $20,000. Anything less and you risk being unable to replace your things.
You need to create a record of everything you own, preferably with photographs and even video. This can be a heavy lift, but there are free home inventory apps and services that make cataloging your possessions easier. When you file a claim, these records will be used to confirm that you actually owned your things as well as the condition they were in prior to the loss.
Make special note of any difficult-to-replace or expensive items like art, collectibles or jewelry. You may want to have the special items you own appraised by a professional. Why note these items? Many policies, if they cover these things at all, only cover items like jewelry or electronics up to a certain dollar amount that may not match up to what they're actually worth. Because of this you may want to buy additional coverage in the form of a renters insurance rider.
For the rest of your stuff, go online and figure out how much it's worth. That will determine how much coverage you need.
Now that you know the value of your stuff, it’s time to start shopping. We can help you compare renters insurance policies online and find one that not only meets your coverage needs but also fits easily into your budget. In terms of matching your finances, what you’re aiming for is a low premium, the rate you’ll pay to keep your policy in force. The amount of coverage you need is the largest factor in determining your rate, so the more stuff you need to insure, or the most valuable that stuff is, the higher your premium will be.
Another important factor is your deductible, which is the amount you’ll have to pay out of pocket for claims before the renters insurance company picks up the rest. Common deductibles are $500 or $1,000, and a lower deductible means higher premiums.
Figure out how much you want to purchase in personal liability and medical payments to others coverage as well. This can save you a bundle if you have clumsy or litigious friends.
Once you know how much coverage you need and what you can afford, you can get a quote from the renters insurance company. Quotes estimate how much your premiums will be once the carrier calculates exactly what it will cost to insure you. Quotes can be obtained online or through a renters insurance representative.
Your renters insurance policy will contain all the information you need about your coverage. But these policies are full of legalese and, although usually very thorough and clearly written, are kind of a slog to read through. For that reason, you should discuss everything with your renters insurance representative if you have one, and ask questions like,
There are a few things you can do to get lower premiums. One way is to buy renters insurance as part of a larger package, like with auto insurance, which is called bundling and could save you money on both policies. Insurers may also give a discount if you agree to stay a customer for a certain number of years. Here are some more ways to lower your renters insurance premium.
You may be charged higher premiums as if you have a recent history of making a lot of renters insurance claims. Smoking will count against you, too.
This article originally appeared on Policygenius.
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