Renters Insurance

The collapse of the housing market over the past few years has caused many people to re-think buying a house or condominium. In many cities, demand for rental properties far exceeds availability. According to the latest statistics, over 80 million Americans now lease a home, apartment, or condo as their personal residence. This number is expected to increase as the mortgage industry continues to tighten its lending requirements and demand large down payments from potential homeowners. Unfortunately, the number of renters who actually purchase renter’s insurance remains dangerously low- around 30 million. If you reside in Iowa and are leasing a place to live, you should familiarize yourself with the value of having renter’s insurance protection.

Why You Need Renters Insurance in Iowa
Wildfires in Texas and Arizona, flooding along the Missouri River, and hurricanes in the southeastern United States and along the eastern seaboard. If you live in Iowa, the headlines alone should be enough to make you realize the importance of renter’s insurance coverage. Tornadoes, floods, and other natural disasters can damage or destroy your personal possessions. A kitchen fire or even a broken pipe in a nearby apartment can put you at risk unless you have adequate renter’s insurance protection.

On average, a renter’s insurance policy costs between $200 and $300 for an annual premium. This breaks down to around $18-$25 per month, depending on the value of an individual’s personal belongings, where the rental property is located, and other factors. In the scheme of things, this is really a bargain. For this price you can normally get $30,000 of personal property coverage against theft, fire and natural disasters along with $100,000 of liability coverage.

As a general rule, a typical renter’s insurance policy does not cover loss or damage due to earthquakes or floods. If you live in an area which is prone to these types of natural disasters, you should inform your agent of this when writing up your personal renter’s insurance coverage. For an additional cost, protection from these disasters can be added to your policy.

Many people mistakenly think that when they rent a place to live, they don’t need renter’s insurance. Often people assume that the landlord is responsible for all insurance coverage. It is true that the landlord or property owner is required to carry homeowner’s insurance on the property. But this only covers the actual structure (building) itself and the land on which it is built. The personal property which is inside the apartment or rental home is strictly the responsibility of the renter. Because of this fact, many landlords and leasing companies today require all tenants to provide proof of renter’s insurance before they can lease and move into a property.

Liability coverage should also be included in your renter’s insurance policy. Unfortunately, accidents do happen. If a visitor is injured in your home, you could be sued and found liable for damages in a court of law. Losing a lawsuit such as this could put your current income, savings, personal property, and future earnings at risk. It makes sense to protect yourself and your belongings with a comprehensive and affordable renter’s insurance policy.

Putting together a policy is not as complicated as it sounds. First, you should make a detailed inventory of everything you own. This includes all the big items such as furniture, appliances, electronics, etc. Then include the smaller items- dishes, glassware, CDs, DVDs, jewelry, carpets, and clothing. You will probably be amazed at the number of things you own. Then imagine having to replace all of these items out-of-pocket at today’s prices. That is exactly what you will be faced with if your personal property is lost or damaged due to theft, fire, or weather-related issues. Now you can begin to understand the importance of having an adequate renter’s insurance policy and the peace of mind which it brings.

Ways to Save on Your Iowa Renters Insurance
There are additional ways you can save on the cost of your annual premium:

  • If you are comfortable having a higher deductible, choose this option. This means you will pay more upfront in case of loss or damage but it will keep the price of your renter’s policy lower.
  • Most insurance companies offer discounts for bundling policies. If you have all of your policies (renter’s, life, and car) with the same company, you should receive a nice discount.
  • Non-smokers generally have lower rates for renter’s insurance.
  • If your apartment or rental home has deadbolt locks, a security system, and smoke detectors, these safety features can bring down the cost of your annual premium.

We are available to assist you 24 hours a day. When shopping around for Iowa renter’s insurance, it is always a good idea to contact several different companies. This allows you to compare policies and get quotes so that you can make the best decision when it comes to getting renter’s coverage. Our trained and friendly staff can help you do this quickly and easily from the comfort of your home or office. Then you can choose a renter’s insurance policy which meets your personal needs at a price you can afford.