Most renters assume that the landlord or rental company has insurance that will protect their belongings, or that they don’t own enough valuable “stuff” to bother with renter’s insurance anyway. Unfortunately, the property owner’s insurance covers the property, not your possessions. Take a moment to figure out what it would cost to replace your belongings if there was a fire or flood. Now that you have that number in your head, it’s clear that renter’s insurance is a necessity. But who needs an extra bill every month? Here are some ways to save money, but still protect yourself.
There is a good chance that the company you use for other insurance will offer you a discount to include renter’s insurance in a package deal, so check with them first. Once you know what your auto or life insurance provider will offer you, shop around. It’s so easy to use the internet to get quotes and estimates from several companies. You can find good deals online that you never would have known were out there. Also consider finding group coverage through an alumni association, club membership, or employer.
Next you need to ensure that you get the right amount of coverage. Make a list of all the items you would need to replace if there was a robbery, fire, or flood. Determine how much it would cost to replace those items. This is a bit of a hassle, but will be well worth it if you ever need to make a claim! You should get enough coverage to purchase replacements, without overpaying for extra coverage you don’t need.
You also need to take steps to minimize your risks. Most insurance providers are looking to see if you have a deadbolt lock on all your doors, as well as secure windows with locks, to prevent break-ins. Installing a security system, especially one that directly alerts the police, can save you quite a bit of money on renter’s insurance. You will need to determine how at risk you are for a burglary, then decide whether the money you will save on insurance is worth the money you will pay for a security system. You should have one anyway, but if you don’t have a smoke alarm, get one. Having other fire protection devices, like a fire extinguisher or a sprinkler system, can also reduce your premiums.
There are some other quick tips to keep in mind. Remember to mention to your insurance provider if there are no smokers living in the home, as smoking increases the risk of fire. And your credit rating will also be taken into consideration. Not only does a good credit rating suggest you will pay your premium every month, but someone who is careful paying their bills will be more likely to be careful with other things, like locking the door and keeping the curtains away from the decorative candles!
If you do your homework, you can get a very affordable renter’s insurance policy to protect your belongings. It is definitely worth the small price you will pay for peace of mind.