Renters of houses, condominiums or apartments often face the same hazards that affect homeowners. Whether you rent or own your home, you want to protect your personal property. Renters insurance protects your personal property for covered events, such as fire, smoke, vandalism, theft or water damage.
What Does Renters Insurance Cover?
Similar to a homeowners insurance policy, renters insurance typically provides liability and property damage coverage. The liability portion of your policy may help protect against claims of third-party bodily injury or property damage that you or another listed insured on your policy may cause. It may also help pay for medical bills if a guest is injured within your property.
The property damage protection portion of your policy helps provide protection for your personal belongings within a rental unit. Renters insurance offers two personal property coverage options: replacement cost value or actual cash value. If you insure your personal property at its replacement cost value, you can replace items purchased formerly at today’s prices. If you opt for the actual cash value, you get the replacement cash value minus depreciation at the time of your loss. We can help you determine the coverage that best protects your belongings.
How Much Renters Insurance Do I Need?
Your renters insurance coverage limits can be tailored to the value of your belongings. By creating an inventory of your possessions, you can more accurately determine the value of your items to get an appropriate policy.
How Does a Renters Claim Work?
If you need to file a renters insurance claim because of a covered incident, there are the steps you will need to take to increase the likelihood of coverage for your claim. Though every policy varies, these are the general steps to follow:
1. Report any damage or loss to your landlord. Tell your landlord immediately about any damage or loss. Your landlord may be liable for repairing broken doors, windows, or other damage to your property.
2. Report any damage or loss to the authorities. If you have a theft, vandalism or burglary, contact the police immediately. To file a renters insurance claim, reporting the theft or break-in is required. The police report will also help provide proof to your insurer and make the claims process run more smoothly.
3. Contact your insurance company. Besides contacting your landlord and the police and safeguarding your property, you must immediately contact your insurer. Almost all insurers have a deadline for filing a claim, usually 48 to 72 hours after the damage or loss occurred. Be sure to have your policy number, any details regarding the damage (e.g., when and what time it happened) and a phone number where you can be reached.
4. Document damaged items. Write down and take photos or videos of all damage before any repair work is completed. Don’t throw any of your damaged items away until a claims adjuster has inspected your property. If a claims adjuster isn’t necessary, your insurer will let you know. A detailed written home inventory is helpful for filing your claim more quickly and helps determine the replacement cost of your damaged or lost items.
After you’ve made the necessary calls and documentation, you’ll want to take measures to ensure the rest of your belongings are safe. Work with your landlord to facilitate safety tasks such as changing your locks or sealing broken windows. If you’re concerned about your safety and need to make temporary living arrangements or your unit is damaged and you cannot safely stay, talk to your insurance agent to see if your policy provides “loss of use” coverage.
How We Can Help
Call Akin & Associates Insurance Group today at 256-355-8500 to determine the value of your belongings and get a homeowners insurance policy that is right for you.