Apartment renters insurance is the policy for the people who want to live in rented apartments with a piece of mind where all of their personal belongings are covered by the insurance company in exchange for a minimal monthly premium of $15-$30.
Renters insurance or also referred as tenant insurance in the policy which covers for unintended or unexpected damages to the property of people who rent an apartment for living. There is a common misconception among some renters that all kinds of damage is covered in the landlord’s insurance policy but that is not the case. In fact the landlord’s insurance policy only covers damage to the building but not the personal belongings of the renters. Here apartment renters insurance becomes an essential and safe investment for you to get beforehand for your peace of mind because even if you think that your belongings are not that worthy or you are being extra cautious about your possessions, you never know what the other day is bringing for you.
So, for any unfortunate moment to unfold you should be prepared beforehand and not panic at the very moment.
What does renters insurance cover?
All apartment renters insurance mostly cover these basic components:
The apartment renters insurance covers your personal belongings such as clothing, electronics or furniture that got damaged in result of covered perils such as:
- Wind and hail
- Smoke damage
- Water damage from leaking or plumbing
- Falling objects
- Snow and Ice collapse
Renters insurance only covers damages caused by agreed perils. You cannot claim any reimbursement in case your property is damaged other than these perils. Also, the policy only covers the amount of your insurance.
For instance if you lost all of your personal property in theft or serious fire, the company will only pay you the amount of your insurance policy. Other than that the insurance covers damage to all of your property either damaged in or outside of your apartment. For instance your insurance company will pay you if you get theft outside of your apartment as well as inside.
The policy covers you in case you are proven guilty of damaging others’ property at your place. If you get sued for any injury or other damage that requires court judgements or other legal expenses up to your policy limits. Generally renters insurance include $100,000 liability protection which can be covered in any unexpected or unfortunate event.
For instance any visitor who gets himself injured at your place can potentially file a lawsuit against you to pay medical bills for him or if your pet dog bites your guest, you have to pay for their claim. The average dog bites claim in the U.S. however is $35,000. The liability protection in your renters insurance covers for these damages.
Additional living expenses
This coverage will help you to get paid in case your apartment is temporarily uninhabited as a result of covered perils. For instance your apartment got damaged in a heavy windstorm and the landlord has to repair it, the renters insurance will pay for your hotel bills, restaurant meals, temporary rentals up to your policy limits unless your apartment is ready to be dwelled.
With these primary categories of coverage under apartment renters insurance, it also provides supplementary coverages such as debris removal, credit card and check forgery, building additions and alterations and food spoilage. Renters can also upgrade their policy limit by adding more unexpected perils such as earthquakes or floods.
What is not covered in renters insurance?
Generally apartment renters insurance does not cover damages caused by perils such as earthquakes, floods and sinkholes. Other than that in the following perils some companies offer limited coverage or not at all.
Bed bugs and pests: With only some exceptions, generally apartment renters insurance does not cover damage caused by bed bugs and pests. Companies consider it under the maintenance issue rather than standard renters policy.
Car theft or damage: Renters policy does not cover damage to your car or its theft because there is a separate category for car insurance. If you get theft inside your car you will be reimbursed with the damage caused to your belongings but any damage to your car would be covered by your car insurance.
Earthquake and flood: Generally apartment renters insurance does not cover damage caused by perils such as earthquake or flood. But some companies offer an add-on to their renters insurance. For these perils too there is a separate flood or earthquake insurance policy.
Your roommate property: Apartment renters insurance doesn’t cover damage to associations of your roommate unless you get him/her listed in the policy. Adding a roommate is not usually recommended unless he/she is your spouse because adding someone would split the coverage between you and your roommate for all of the possessions.
At average in common categories following is the limited claim a policyholder can make at a time:
|Money, bank notes and coins||$200|
|Jewelry and furs||$1,000 – $2,000|
|Sports equipment and musical instruments||$500 – $2,000|
|Credit card and forgery||$1,000|
|Collections (i.e. baseball cards, comic books and album covers)||$1,000|
|Watercraft and trailers||$1000 – $1,500|
|Personal computers||$1,000 – $5,000|
|Firearms and ammunition||$2,500|
|Silverware and goldware||$2,500|
How to get apartment renters insurance?
Whether you think that your belongings are not worthy enough to get renters insurance or you assume that there won’t be a major mishap in your rented apartment, think of every possibility that might occur. So, it is a smart decision in every way to get your policy beforehand and not panic about any unfortunate occurring in the unexpected future.
So, here is the step by step guide on how to get you apartment renters insurance:
Determine your insurance needs
Firstly you should have a comprehensive idea about the number of your belongings and their worth. For that you can photograph or digitally video everything that you own with a serial number that will help to make your claim afterwards more organized.
You can also enter the number of items and their value in a spreadsheet and keep it safe in a bank or simply mail yourself with attachments so that if they get destroyed or stolen, you can claim to your insurance company with these proofs. This way you will have a clear idea of how much your belongings are worth and how much insurance you need from the company.
Choose an insurance company
You can search for the best apartment renters insurance company on the internet which is near to your area or you can ask from your family or friends who can recommend you to a trusted one. Make sure to tell your insurance rep how you came to know about their company because they might offer you family rates or packages if you are willing to buy both renters and car insurance. Once you locate a potential insurance company, you can check their ratings through companies such as AM Best which rate the companies based on their ability to pay you when you make any claim.
Start the application
Once you finalize potential companies you can start applying for the insurance. You can apply in more than one company in order to check their rates and packages and finalize one which offers you the best combination of rates and coverage.
You can apply for the insurance online and some companies can ask you to fill out some paperwork. In any case you should be available and responsive to their questions.
Fine-tune your policy
While entering your preferences about the policy, you can opt for one of the two options on how you want your company to pay for the damage. There are two types of coverage available for the renters:
- Actual cash value
- Replacement cost
Actual cash value pays the renters the amount that was the worth of an object at the time of damage or loss while the replacement cost is the full payment of the object with 10% of more than the price.
You can finalize the deductible and if you want any add-ons so you can mention them while fine-tuning the policy.
Pay for the policy
In comparison to house insurance, renters insurance is cheaper. On average the monthly premium for renters insurance is $15 to $20 while for house insurance it is $100. Although the rates vary from company to company and state to state and also on other factors such as the amount of insurance you purchase and if you offer extra measures that you take to reduce the risk of damage or if you are already a policyholder for the same company. In that case you can enjoy substantial discounts.
Insurance premiums tend to be cheaper if you annually because if you pay monthly the companies charge you the administrative fees. So if you can afford to pay the premiums on an annual basis, you can save the money in the end.
Once you paid for the policy you will get the confirmation email describing all the details about the policy. Make sure to double check every detail or perils covered and premium and deductible amounts.
From where to get apartment renters insurance?
Although there are many apartment renters companies out there, below is the list of some of the notable insurance companies based on their out class performance in satisfying their customers’ needs.
|● Get quotes online instantly
● Policies are customizable
● Multi-policy discounts are available
|● Discounts can vary from state to sate|
|● Identity Protection Services are included with each policy.
● Outstanding customer service
● Flexible payment plan
|● Loss of use is not included in standard policies|
American Family Insurance
|● Get a quote online
● Multiple discount options
|● Slightly below average rating from J.D. Power in 2020
|● Highly rated for claims satisfaction
● Get a quote or file a claim online
|Discount availability varies from state to state|
|● Multiple discounts are available to reduce premiums.
● Basic policies include stolen credit card coverage.
● Easy add-on coverage for collectibles and high-value items
|● The least expensive option is around $20 a month|
|● Easily make policy changes online
● Protect your business equipment
|● Available in only 25 states
|● Easy online claims filing
● Get discounts when you bundle coverage
● Get customized insurance for as low as $5 per month
|● Discount availability varies from state to state.
|● Multi-policy discounts
● Highly rated by J.D. Power in their renters insurance category
|● Limited availability
How to file renters insurance claim?
Renters insurance is bought with the hope to not to use it, but uncertainties are always there to happen. In that case when you lose some of your belongings or in the worst case the apartment got fire and you lost much of your possessions, it is essential to not panic and direct your attention to claim to your renters insurance company.
Below is the step by step guide on how you should file your renters claim.
Gather your inventory of the damaged items
As already mentioned above, you should make an inventory of all of your possessions with their value mentioned in a spreadsheet. Collect that inventory along with the videos and photos you already have of your items to show your insurer.
Take photos or video of the damaged items
Taking pictures and videos will be proof to the company of how much damage has been caused to the items and if they need a replacement or repairment. Accurate documentation of what happened to the belongings is very important.
You should report to the police if it is stolen.
Find the copy of your renters insurance policy
The copy of your renters insurance must mention the process of filing a claim. It can be online or on the phone but you should provide them with the relevant information about what they ask. Usually they can ask you:
- Your renters insurance policy number
- Your testimony about the incident
- Pictures or videos of damaged items
Follow your claim throughout the time
You need to be available all the time because they can contact you for more information. Make sure that you provide them with the relevant information on time.
Submit the receipts or requested documents
In case your apartment is temporarily unliveable and you have to live in a hotel, submit the receipts of your hotel and restaurants to them so that they pay you under additional living expense coverage.
How renters companies pay reimbursement?
Depending upon whether you have actual cash value policy or replacement cost policy, the company will pay you off with the check. In case of actual cash value policy the company will pay you with the depreciated amount of your item. While in case of replacement cost policy pays out the full amount of your actual value of the item. Depending on the process of the claim it will take some time to pay the amount.
In case if you have filed for additional living expenses claim, the process will be more of an ongoing way. They can ask you why you need to relocate and how much is your need to live outside of your apartment for how many days.
Benefits of apartment renters insurance
Besides the obvious advantages of buying the apartment renters insurance, there are some lesser-known perks that one can enjoy if they go for having the apartment renters insurance.
Like house insurance, renters insurance can also include endorsement and floaters to bolster their coverage of personal possessions of a policyholder. Common endorsement and floaters for jewelry, electronics, furs, collections and earthquake protection. Usually policyholders have to purchase separate insurance for these perils which can be far more expensive.
The insurance coverage applies outside of your apartment
The apartment renters insurance not only covers the belongings of a policyholder when they reside in the apartment but they can easily move with their belongings without the fear of not getting compensated if they lost it. Renters insurance covers them outside of their residence.
Peace of mind
Having an apartment renters insurance gives you an enormous sense of protection and peace of mind that your personal belongings are safe. It is like a protective shield around your possessions which keep you at peace every time and make you realize that it is a smart decision that you take.
When you strive hard to live in a rented apartment with your personal property that you bought with hard work, you feel an enormous urge to keep them safe for all the time. Apartment rental insurance gives you that sense of protection that your belongings are saved all the time and that you get compensated in case there is any unexpected damage caused to them.
Rental insurance is inexpensive ranging from $15 to $30 as monthly premium which can easily be paid if you face a tight budget. The process of getting the insurance is also not so hard, in fact it’s on your finger tips when you decide to apply online. With all the uncertainties of the future, apartment rental insurance always seems a smart decision to make.