Renters Insurance

The collapse of the housing market over the past few years has caused many people to take a fresh look at renting a place to live rather than buying a property. In many cities, demand for rental properties far exceeds availability. According to the latest statistics, over 85 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 currently live in North Carolina and are leasing a place to live, you should familiarize yourself with the benefits and value of having renter’s insurance protection.

Why It’s Important to Have Renters Insurance in North Carolina
Probably no one has to tell a resident of North Carolina about the importance of having renter’s insurance. Considering the many weather-related issues which have battered the state in recent years, purchasing renter’s insurance should be an easy decision for most people. A comprehensive renter’s policy protects your personal property against damages and loss in the event of fire, theft, or natural disaster. It can also provide liability coverage in the event a visitor is injured in your home or apartment. Many people don’t think about the consequences of this happening, but accidents can and do occur. Without the proper liability coverage, you can be sued for damages. This can put your income, your savings, your personal property and even your future wages at risk.

Insurance experts agree that there are many reasons why people don’t have renter’s insurance. Some misguided explanations are:

  • They think renter’s insurance coverage will be too expensive.
  • They think their landlord’s coverage will pay for their personal losses or damage.
  • They think they don’t own enough personal property to make it worthwhile.
  • They greatly underestimate the value of their belongings.

Considering the protection you get with a renter’s insurance policy, it is very much a bargain. The cost of renter’s insurance does vary according to where you live and what type of dwelling you lease. But on average, an adequate renter’s policy costs between $200 and $300 per year. That’s less than $1 a day which is a pretty good bargain considering it’s less than a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

People sometimes assume the landlord’s homeowner insurance will cover their personal property as a renter. Not true. The landlord’s policy does cover the actual structure or building you are renting and the land on which it is built. However, all of the contents of the apartment or rental home are solely the responsibility of the renter when it comes to insurance protection.

Most people seriously underestimate the monetary value of their personal possessions. A great reality check is to make a complete inventory of everything you own- furniture, appliances, clothing, electronics, jewelry, CDs and DVDs. Now imagine having to replace some or all of these items out of pocket. For most individuals, this would be impossible. That’s why if you live in North Carolina, it is important to protect your personal property and cherished possessions by purchasing adequate renter’s insurance.

Smart Tips When Buying a Policy

  1. If possible, always buy replacement value coverage. Generally, consumers are given the choice between “replacement cost” and “actual cash value”. They may seem similar, but in fact they are very different options. Actual cash value means that if an item is lost or damaged due to a covered event (such as fire or theft) you will be given what that item costs to replace MINUS the depreciation. Replacement cost coverage will give policyholders the full replacement amount. This type of coverage does cost a bit more than actual cash value but is definitely worth it.
  2. Be sure you understand what is excluded from your policy. A typical renter’s policy will not include coverage for damage or loss due to earthquakes or floods. If you live in an area where these natural disasters occur, you will need to add separate coverage for them. Some valuable items such as jewelry, artwork, or antiques may also require separate coverage. Check with your agent when writing up your personal policy.
  3. A main factor affecting your monthly premium will be the deductible amount you choose. The higher the deductible, the lower your cost. If you choose a lower deductible, such as $250, you will pay more for your policy. But if you have a claim for loss or damage, you will only have to pay the deductible amount. It’s important to consider your own financial situation when you decide on your deductible.
  4. Although it’s not required, it’s always a good idea to catalogue your possessions. For one thing, taking a complete inventory of what you own helps you determine the amount of renter’s insurance you need. Additionally, having a record of your personal belongings can be very helpful if you ever have to file a claim. A written list is fine but it is even better to have photographs and video evidence.

We have friendly, qualified agents available 24/7 to help you formulate the policy you need at a price you can afford. You can easily compare policies and get quotes from several different companies and then make the right decision for your situation and budget. Why not get started today? You’ll be glad you did!