Renter’s Insurance is very important coverage to have. It provides very valuable coverage at a low price. But yet about 2 out of every 3 renters go without this coverage. If you took away the rental companies that require renters insurance, the numbers would be even worse. In the Portsmouth Ohio area, personal property theft is at an all time high. Many of these thefts would be covered with renter’s insurance. The Scioto county area in general gets their fair share of severe storms powerful enough to cause major damage…..But yet the majority of tenants pass on renter’s insurance. Why?
It’s certainly not the cost. Renter’s insurance is very inexpensive. I believe it’s simply because many people aren’t aware of the value of having renter’s insurance. So let me show you seven scenarios where renter’s insurance can be a huge benefit:
1. Fire scenario.
What happens if a fire destroys all of your property? Are you going to be able to replace all of your personal property out of pocket? With renter’s insurance, you can select the level of personal property that you're carrying. This can be as low as $10,000 or as high as $50,000 with most companies.
2. A visitor gets hurt while on your property and suffers a minor injury.
With renter’s insurance this would be covered under the medical payments to others coverage. Coverage up to $2000 is available.
3. A visitor gets hurt while at your property and suffers a major injury.
This is also covered on a renter’s insurance policy under liability coverage. You can select levels of 25,000, 50,000 or $100,000 in liability coverage.
Unfortunately this is becoming more and more common in the Portsmouth Ohio area. The major drug epidemic that the area is going through is causing a lot more theft cases. Renter’s insurance is a good way to protect your personal property in the event that it is stolen.
5. Being displaced (Loss of Use Coverage).
Imagine a big tree falls on your apartment building and causes severe damage to the roof. You may have to spend some time staying elsewhere while the roof is being repaired. That's why it's very important to have Loss of Use Coverage on your renter’s insurance policy. This would apply to a broad range of risks, including the fire scenario example mentioned earlier. Loss of Use Coverage helps cover your hotel and food expenses should you be forced out of your apartment for a temporary period.
6. Identity Fraud.
More people are becoming victims to identity fraud. While many renter’s insurance policies do not cover identity fraud, a good renter’s insurance policy will offer the coverage on an optional add-on basis. If you were to choose this coverage and someone steals your identity, Identity Fraud Coverage will pay up to $2500 in expenses involved with trying to correct the situation.
7. Water Backup/Sump Discharge or Overflow Coverage.
This is usually offered as optional add-on coverage. But it will come in very handy if your personal property is destroyed. This covers your property if it is ruined from damage to pressurized plumbing systems. Not all renter’s insurance companies offer this coverage, only the better policies.
Other key points you need to be aware of:
Replacement cost coverage vs. Actual cash value coverage.
There is a huge difference in coverage between the two. Replacement cost coverage pays what it would cost to replace your damaged personal property. A policy covered under an actual cash value basis only pays you for what your personal property would be currently worth prior to the damage. It’s basically the difference between the value of new property and used property. A good renter’s insurance policy will offer the option to replace your property on a replacement cost basis. The difference in cost is very minimal. It’s a no-brainer to select replacement cost coverage over actual cash value coverage. In fact, I would shy away from any rental insurance company that doesn’t offer replacement cost coverage.
Keep good inventory of the personal property that you have, and get a good idea of the total value of all your property.
In the event there is a total loss to your personal property, it’s hard to remember everything you had in your home. The best way to do this is to take a walk through your home and video record all of your property. Also be sure to store it somewhere in a remote location, whether with a family member or in cyberspace. This way, if there is a disaster, you have a quick reference to list all of your property…. This will also help speed up the claims process as well if something were to happen. If you need help figuring out a total value of your personal property, there are plenty of free web sites out there who will help you with this. This is very important to do because you want to insure your property for the right amount of coverage.
Be careful of the very cheap Renter’s Insurance policies!
The old saying “you get what you pay for” can be very true with renter’s insurance. Make sure you take a good look at your policy and find out exactly what coverage you have and how much coverage you have insured. Many renter’s insurance policies are very cheap for a reason. The coverage is very stripped down and minimal. Make sure that you have adequate levels of coverage of the things I’ve mentioned above. Especially look to see that you have replacement cost coverage! The difference between a good renter’s insurance policy and a lousy one usually only amounts to $10.00 a month or less. There’s no reason to skimp on coverage for that little of a price.
When you consider the value of what a good renter’s insurance policy brings and compare that with the price, it’s a no-brainer to buy a good renter’s insurance policy. This is especially true in the Portsmouth Ohio area, but true anywhere else as well. But don't cheat yourself by settling for minimal coverage. Renter's insurance coverage becomes critically important when something happens!
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Dan Lyles is an Independent Insurance Agent serving Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia..