Does Renters Insurance Cover Hurricanes and Other Storms?
Renters insurance covers damages and losses from natural disasters such as hail, fire, rain and wind storms such as hurricanes. But not every kind of natural disaster is covered by renters insurance. Two exceptions are earthquakes and floods. You would need to buy a separate earthquake insurance policy if you live in an area prone to earthquakes. And you would need to buy a separate flood insurance policy if you live in an area where flooding occurs. You can buy a separate flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program. Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States. Some floods are caused by tropical storms and hurricanes but most occur because of thunderstorms, heavy rains, rapidly melting snow and breaches of dams and levees. There is a 30-day waiting period before a flood insurance policy begins. So don’t wait until there is bad weather in your area to think about purchasing a policy. Your renters insurance won’t protect you during a flood but flood insurance will.
What’s Covered in Renters Insurance
Your belongings matter. Here’s a look at what is covered under a renters insurance policy, up to your policy limit.
These items include clothing, televisions and other electronic equipment, phones, jewelry, computers, bicycles, furniture and books. So all these items can be claimed if damaged in your rental unit up to your policy limit. For example, you may sign up for a renters insurance policy with a $10,000 coverage limit. So if a covered risk, such as a hurricane, causes damages to your items you’ll be able to claim as much as $10,000 worth of damages.
How Renters Insurance Gives Personal Liability Protection
You might not realize it but a renters insurance also gives you personal liability protection for guests in your apartment or townhouse. Let’s say you have a party and someone slips on a wet floor. You’d be covered for the liability with a renters insurance policy.
Paying for Renters Insurance
Renters insurance is very inexpensive. It can be as little as $10 a month. You can choose to pay your renters insurance policy every month, every six months or once a year. Your premium will be lower if you pay for your policy just once a year. So choose this option if you have the cash. Choosing monthly payments results in the most expensive premium. And paying once every six months falls in the middle for premium costs.
You have the option of renewing your renters once a year. Review it carefully. Did you buy some more expensive items in the past year? You may want to increase your policy amount. Did you make a claim in the past year? Did it go smoothly? If not, are you interested in changing companies? Just wait until your current policy is set to renew and then make your move. SmartFinancial makes it easy to compare renters insurance in your area. Comparison shopping is the best way to get a good deal on a renters insurance policy.
Applying for Renters Insurance
Ready to apply for a brand-new renters insurance policy? Get ready to answer plenty of questions. Here are the questions that insurance companies want to know.
The first questions are easy. They’ll ask for your name, date of birth, email address and apartment address.
They’ll also ask for your coverage start date. So give it some thought. When would you like coverage to begin? Right when you move into an apartment is best. That way your renters insurance and lease will renew at the same time.
Your insurance company will want to know how many people live in the apartment. So count up your roommates and let them know.
Are you running a home business out of the apartment? An insurance company will want to know the name and type of business being conducted.
What is the value of your personal property? How much are your belongings worth? Doing a home inventory will help you get organized and help determine how much renters insurance you may need. So go item by item through your apartment making note of your most valuable items. Once you do, you’ll have a good idea of just how much renters insurance that you need.
What kinds of locks are on your apartment door? Are there deadbolts on exterior-facing doors? Check the locks and let the insurance company know.
Do you have fire extinguishers and smoke alarms in your apartment? What about sprinkler systems? How safe is your apartment in a fire? If you have a smoke detector in your apartment, you may qualify for a discount on your renters insurance.Find Renter Insurance
Does your apartment have an alarm system to alert if an intruder strikes? If you do have a burglar alarm in your apartment, you may qualify for a discount on your renters insurance.
Have you filed insurance claims for losses in the past five years? Share this information with the insurance company.
When was the last time you had property damage coverage? Dig out the old policy and check. Share the coverage dates with the insurance company.
How close is your apartment to a fire station? The insurance company is interested in this distance. And they will want to know if you live outside the city limits and away from fire protection services.
If you have valuable jewelry or expensive home computers, you may need to increase the coverage limits on your renters insurance. So let the insurance company know if you would like to increase the coverage limits on your policy.
What kind of deductible would you like with your premium? The higher the deductible the lower the premium. Just make sure you have the money for the deductible set aside in a checking or savings account. That way you will have the money on hand if you need to file a claim with your renters insurance.
Keep a Home Inventory
Having a record of all that you own in a home inventory will be very helpful in the time of a natural disaster. So keep photos and receipts of your belongings so you’ll know just what is missing or damaged if a disaster should strike and hit your apartment. Picking up the pieces is difficult. Knowing your home inventory will make it a bit easier.
Don’t put off buying renters insurance. It’s an important protection to have. SmartFinancial can help you find the cheapest rate. Just enter your zip code below to get started.
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Renters insurance is one of the most underrated types of insurance out there. It’s also one that many people regret not having invested in until it’s too late. A renters insurance policy can protect you and your belongings in situations that you may not have ever anticipated.
Really, the best way to determine which policy is right for you is to see how often you think you may need to file a claim. Because an expensive deductible is more difficult to pay, you should not choose the highest deductible if you know you’re prone to break-ins or if the apartment complex you live in is poorly maintained (a faucet leak upstairs from you may destroy all your property).