Persons who own their property are obligated to protect their investment. Banks will not lend money to a borrower who does not present proof of insurance. They are protecting their investment, and this in turn protects the investment of the homeowner.
However, accidents and acts of God are not just experiences familiar to those who own their own homes. It stands to reason that people who rent their homes should take the same precautions of protection. Renters must take decisive and appropriate action to protect the contents of their rented dwelling. The homeowner’s insurance will not cover your personal contents.
If you are a renter without renters insurance, start the process by determining your specific needs.
Imagine a scenario in which it is necessary to replace your belongings. With this scenario in mind make an extensive list. Consider the value of individual pieces in each room. Be as specific as possible. Make an honest assessment as to the cash value of your possessions. Walk around the dwelling with a pencil and paper and write down everything. Include furniture, clothing, jewelry, and collectibles. It may become necessary to insure some items under an added policy, but for now the list is what is important. Later on your insurance agent will assist you in determining how to effectively meet your needs. Remember, a ‘picture is worth a thousand words’, so feel free to record via photograph or video tape. The pictures and recording will act as proof to your list. Complete the list of items with an estimated value written next to each entry.
It is very helpful to keep receipts for purchased items. In particular receipts for electronics and exercise equiptment should be retained. Also, recording serial and model numbers will assist in determining replacement value. In most cases you will be compensated what it would cost to replace the item. Of course the adjuster will consider whether the item has depreciated in value.
Contemplate your liabilities.
If someone is injured in your home, you are definitely liable. Reflect on this when building your renters insurance policy.
Ponder the possibility of an emergency relocation.
Temporary or permanent renters insurance may assist in an event such as, a fire or flood. The renter would not be left high and dry without the financial means to relocate.
Now that your list is complete keep it in a safe place. It will be of no use to you if destroyed during an emergency. A safety deposit box is not a bad idea. Make a copy of your insurance card and place it in the box along with your list. Permit a second person whom you trust, access to the box. The onslaught of stress following an emergency will be minimized to the renter who is prepared.