Renter’s insurance for that College Student?

Car insurance covers a car. Homeowners insurance covers a home. Life insurance covers your life (more or less). So, one would assume renters insurance covers the apartment you are renting …
1. Wait … renters insurance doesn’t cover my actual apartment? Nope, it covers the stuff in your apartment …
2. Why? Umm, well, accidents happen. And stuff is expensive. So, say, a pipe bursts and the leak destroys your furniture or a thief breaks in and steals your laptop. If you have renters insurance, you won’t have to replace all that stuff out of pocket. You can file a claim and get reimbursed for damaged or stolen possessions.
3. You mean my landlord’s insurance doesn’t cover me? No, your landlord’s homeowners insurance protects the building. It covers, say, structural damage to the apartment itself. But your stuff is … your stuff. It’s up to you to insure it.
4. You mean items over a certain dollar amount?More like categories of stuff. So jewelry, collectibles, furs, musical equipment, firearms, art, gift cards, checks, electronics — insurance companies generally set limits for those items. You might only get up to $1,000 back on, say, a $5,000 ring — though you can purchase a rider for extra coverage. Oh! — and there’s usually a deductible. That’s insurance-speak for how much you’ll pay before your policy kicks in.
5. OK, but then the policy pays full-price for the covered items? That depends. There are two types of renters insurance policies. If you have an actual cash value policy, your insurer covers the actual cash value of your stuff, but — and it’s a big but — that’s the actual cash value of the item today, not how much you threw down for it originally. Now, if you have a replacement cost value policy, the insurer covers the cost of repairing or replacing the item at its current price. No depreciation to worry about.
6. So a replacement cost value policy is better than an actual cash value policy? Well, it pays out more, for sure, but it also costs more (in the form of higher premiums), so you’ll need to assess the value of your things, decipher how much coverage you need and, ultimately, consider the trade-off
7. How do I figure out how much my stuff is worth? That’s actually easier than it sounds, thanks to technology. There are quite a few websites and home inventory apps out there that help you log, price and track the value of your possessions. You can also go ahead and take inventory via an old-school Excel spreadsheet. The method doesn’t matter as much as you actually going through the process.
8. Why do I need to inventory my stuff? Well, so you know how much coverage to buy. (To give you some context, people commonly opt for $25,000 in personal property coverage and $300,000 in personal liability coverage with a $250 deductible.
9. Is that all renters insurance covers? Stuff? No, actually! Some policies also tout additional living expenses, like hotel stays and even meals if you can’t stay at your apartment as a result of a peril.
10. Renters insurance covers injuries? We meant to mention that earlier: Most renters insurance policies also cover certain personal liabilities in addition to property. For instance, if someone has an accident at your place, your policy pays for their medical bills or your legal expenses in the event said person sues. Renters insurance can also cover damage you accidentally do to someone else’s apartment. Like, say, you overfill your bathtub and water leaks into the unit directly below. (Whoops.)
11. Will renters insurance reimburse whatever my landlord takes from my security deposit? No. Your security deposit is the insurance against any damage you do to your apartment.
12.My landlord is requiring renters insurance because I have a dog. Isn’t that to cover damages to the apartment? So most renters insurance policies cover pets under the personal liability portion of your policy — meaning if you disclosed Fido’s existence to your insurer and he bites someone, you’re covered when it comes to medical expenses and legal fees.There’s also something called a pet damage rider offered alongside some renters insurance policies. And while it will pay for carpet Fluffy ripped up or the blinds Socks destroyed, that coverage only kicks in once you’ve exceeded your security deposit (or pet deposit or deductible — whichever is the greatest).

So call FLOREY INSURANCE AGENCY 570-587-2615

About the Author
Donna Cook

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