When you own a home, one of the most important purchases you make is that of homeowners’ insurance. Homeowners’ insurance covers the replacement of your home should it be destroyed by a fire or flood, or some other occurrence, but if you are a renter, the contents of your home are not covered. In this case, landlords pay the insurance premiums and are only concerned about their own loss should a problem arise. House and contents insurance, or renters’ insurance, covers the renter in these cases, and this type of insurance is imperative if you are a renter, whether you live in a home, condominium or apartment.
Covering the Contents of Your Home Is Essential
Most of us have furniture, appliances and a large selection of personal belongings that are invaluable to us. Purchasing house and contents insurance is the only way to make sure that these belongings will be covered in the case of a catastrophe. Although many of our belongings are priceless in our minds and cannot be replaced because of our emotional attachment to them, it still provides peace of mind knowing that if you purchase house and contents insurance, you can receive some financial compensation for your loss.
People who are renting a home or apartment often assume they do not need house and contents insurance, but that is not the case. Landlords only carry insurance to protect them in the loss of the home or apartment building itself. In other words, their own loss is the one they are concerned with. It is the tenants’ responsibility to protect their personal belongings themselves, which is why house and contents insurance is so important. This type of insurance usually even covers tenants in the event of theft, providing extra peace of mind when you are renting.
Choosing the Right Contents Insurance for Your Needs
When researching house and contents insurance, it is important to keep a few tips in mind. This includes:
- Take notes on all the items you want to declare on the policy, and determine their value so that the quote you receive will be accurate
- Stick with a reputable insurance provider, not one whose name you are unfamiliar with or that offers too big of a discount on its policies
- If you have collections of anything – sports cards, thimbles or Depression-era glass – make sure you insure them together, not separately
- Ask the provider about any limitations included in your policy, so there are no misunderstandings later on
- Pay attention to the ratings attributed to each of the insurance companies by checking them out through organizations such as Standard and Poor’s, J.D. Power and Associates, and A.M. Best
Naturally, when you are shopping for house and contents insurance you’ll want to take the quotes into consideration, but paying attention to the companies’ reputations is equally important.
Some Interesting Facts About Renters’ Insurance
Renters’ insurance is relatively inexpensive and tends to cover large amounts of belongings. Below are a few interesting facts about renters’ insurance that are important to keep in mind when choosing a policy.
- House and contents insurance premium rates vary by state, with the most expensive premiums paid by those living in Florida, and the least expensive state being Idaho
- Renters’ insurance can also cover you for liability purposes; for example, if someone visits your home and is injured during the visit
- Natural disasters are often not covered in house and contents insurance policies
- There are two different types of reimbursement: actual cash value less depreciation, and replacement cost
- Certain items in your home can save you some money on your policy, including security systems, fire alarms, deadbolts and sprinkler systems
When researching different insurance companies, you should get a clear understanding of what is and isn’t covered under your policy, so that you can make sure the policy you buy is the right one for you.
Comparison Shopping Is a Good Recommendation
When researching various insurance companies for your house and contents insurance policy, making some comparisons is an excellent idea. These days that task is easier than it has ever been, thanks to the number of websites that will actually compare various companies’ rates so that you can choose the one that is right for you. As with many other tasks, this can be accomplished with a quick Internet search.
Before you contact the first company, you should have written down certain pieces of information, including the combined value of all your belongings, detailed descriptions of each item, and how much overall coverage you would like to have. Being prepared is the best way to receive an accurate quote and to make sure that you will be covered in the future should something go wrong.
House and contents insurance policies are not necessarily complicated, but they do have extensive details in them regarding every aspect of the policy, so it is important that you fully understand all parts of the policy before you sign on the dotted line. Whether you are comparing companies online or in person, agents make it easy for you to ask them any questions you might have, which is important if you want to avoid problems later on. It is a great idea to research the companies online, then write down any questions you have to make sure they are all answered before you make a final decision on which company to use. In fact, many people conduct research online, and then visit an agent in person to complete the enrollment process.
Insurance policies for renters are extremely important, and these days – thanks to the Internet – they are easier than ever to research. You can receive basic information regarding all types of insurance policies by visiting sites such as www.usa.gov, which increases your knowledge level and makes the entire process much simpler. Just like many other things, making sure you are prepared is an excellent first step when choosing house and contents insurance, and starting the entire process online is always a good idea.