The recent financial meltdown and continuing turmoil in the housing market have caused many Americans to rethink homeownership. It is estimated that more than 85 million people now lease their home or apartment and the number will undoubtedly continue to climb as mortgage requirements remain more stringent than in years past. Unfortunately, while the number of people renting a place to live has increased dramatically, the number of people purchasing renter’s insurance has remained alarmingly low. If you live in Rhode Island and are moving to a new rental home or apartment (or are already settled in), it’s important to know the facts about renter’s insurance and the reasons why every renter should have insurance coverage.
Why You Need Renters Insurance in Rhode Island
Here are five great reasons you should have renter’s insurance:
- Protection from Natural Disasters
In the event your home or apartment is damaged or destroyed by lightening, hail, strong winds, or fire, renter’s insurance will pay you for the loss or damage. A typical policy generally will not cover damage from floods and earthquakes. If you live in an area prone to these types of natural disasters, you should tell your agent so that you can add specific coverage for these events.
- Protection from Life’s Unexpected Occurrences
Although hopefully certain events will never happen to you, it’s good to know you are covered just in case. Perhaps a driver loses control and the car crashes through your front door. Renter’s insurance protects you. Maybe there’s a riot and your place is damaged. Again, you are covered. Some more common situations that can occur and cause damage are: a water heater explodes, a neighboring fire fills your home with smoke, a water pipe bursts, heavy snow causes your roof to collapse, or an electrical (power) surge fries your computer and flat screen. If any one of these things happens to you, renter’s insurance coverage will protect you from loss. While none of these scenarios is very pleasant, it will be much easier to handle if you are insured.
- Protection from Burglary and Vandalism
If you are the unfortunate victim of either theft or vandalism, renter’s insurance will help you cover the loss or damage.
- Temporary Housing Benefits
If you are unable to live in your home or apartment due to a covered event, such as a fire, smoke damage, or weather-related problem, most renter’s insurance policies will cover temporary living arrangements while your place is being repaired. Many policies limit the amount of coverage so you should check with your agent to make sure you have adequate protection.
- Protection from Liability
If someone slips and falls while visiting your home or apartment, you could be sued for damages. A typical renter’s insurance policy protects you from having to bear the cost of this. Without it, your wages, savings and personal property could be at risk if you are found liable in a court of law.
The Cost of Renters Insurance
An average rental insurance annual premium in Rhode Island will generally cost between $200 and $300. The actual amount you will pay depends on many factors, such as:
- Where the property is located.
- The estimated value of your personal property.
- The type of dwelling you live in.
- What type of coverage you select.
- Which deductible amount you choose.
- Your credit history/credit score.
Generally, there are two types of coverage offered to renters. One is Actual Cash Value which pays you the amount an item is worth at the time it is stolen or damaged (depreciated amount). Replacement coverage actually pays you the amount needed to replace the item at the current market price. Replacement coverage will normally cost about 25% more than Actual Cash Value coverage.
Insurance experts estimate that the average cost of renter’s insurance is about $15 per month. For this price an individual can get $30,000 worth of personal property coverage and $100,000 worth of liability protection.
We work with all of the major insurance carriers in Rhode Island who offer renter’s insurance to consumers. From the comfort of your home or office you can compare policies and get quotes from several different insurance companies. Our friendly and professional staff is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist you in finding the most comprehensive renter’s insurance policy for the best possible price. We take the guesswork and confusion out of buying renter’s insurance. You can relax knowing that your personal property and valued possessions are adequately covered in the event of theft, fire, and a host of other possible disasters.