A big misconception among many people who rent their homes is that they assume their landlord’s homeowners insurance will cover their personal property in case of a fire, or burglary or some other disaster. No matter where you live in Montana, if you are renting a place to live you owe it to yourself to find out the real facts about renter’s insurance. This could save you a lot of money and heartache down the road if you are ever the unfortunate victim of theft, fire, or other weather-related damage.
Let’s Dispel Some Common Myths about Renters Insurance
First of all, landlords do carry insurance on the place you are renting. But typically the coverage extends only to the building itself, any fixtures they own within the apartment or home, and the land on which it is built. Any personal property which you own is strictly your responsibility to insure against loss or damage.
If someone visits your home and is injured in a fall or some other mishap (perhaps gets bitten by your dog) you are the person liable, in most cases. Not having liability coverage through your renter’s insurance can put your income, your savings, everything you own, and even your future wages at risk in the event you are sued for damages.
A normal renter’s insurance policy does not cover roommates so don’t depend on your valuable possessions being protected through someone else’s policy.
Many people think that renter’s insurance will be expensive. But on average, a typical renter’s policy will only cost around $200 to $300 a year. That’s the price of a couple of large pizzas per month or two movie tickets. You have to agree that’s a pretty good bargain! You might be thinking that you don’t own that much property and what you do have isn’t worth that much. But statistics show that the average person has about $20,000 worth of personal belongings. Would you be able to replace them all if they were damaged or lost? Remember that a renter’s policy also protects you in the event of other occurrences- an electrical fire or burst water pipe. If you live in an apartment building, this can happen in another unit but can quickly spread and cause damage to your place. Why risk it?
Smart Tips For Finding Good Coverage
- Know What Is Covered. Generally renter’s insurance will cover property that is lost, stolen or damaged due to the following events: smoke, theft, vandalism, plumbing leaks, hail, windstorms, lightning, fire, explosions, falling objects, and electrical surges. Flood, earthquake and hurricane damage is NOT typically covered so if you live in an area where these natural disasters occur, you will need separate coverage for this.
- Take An Inventory Of Your Possessions. Make a list of everything that you own and how much it would cost to replace all of it. You should include furniture, appliances, electronics, clothing, books and CDs, sporting equipment, art, and any other collectibles. You will probably be amazed by how much you actually own and the total value. This number will give you a good idea of the amount of coverage you need on your personal property.
- Document Your Belongings. Save receipts. Having these will make it easier if you ever need to file a claim and can also be used as proof of loss on your taxes. Take photographs and videos of your possessions. Store all of these items in a safety deposit box or other location outside of your home.
- Personal Liability Coverage. This protects you in the event of a lawsuit brought by someone who is injured in your home. This generally pays for legal fees and medical expenses for the injured party.
- High-Value Property. If you own antiques, expensive jewelry or valuable artwork you may want to purchase additional coverage for these items. Let your agent know when you are writing up your policy so that you are adequately protected.
Ways to Save on Montana Renters Insurance
Here are some tips which can lower your annual premium:
- If it’s financially reasonable, choose a higher deductible.
- Bundle your insurance policies. Most companies offer discounts if you also purchase auto or other types of insurance from them.
- Ask about senior discounts (55+).
- Many insurance carriers check your credit score/credit history and base your cost accordingly. Keep a good credit rating.
- Non-smokers sometimes receive a discount.
- Insurance companies normally will discount if your home or apartment has safety features such as: smoke alarms, sprinklers, security systems, and deadbolt locks.
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. Contact us today we’ll help get you started!
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