More and more folks are turning to rental properties as opposed to becoming involved in a mortgage due to the lending restrictions being super tight and home prices reaching record-high levels. Renting is vastly less expensive with savings on maintaining the property, from buying homeowners insurance, and from property taxes. The downside to renting is that if there were to be a disaster of any kind to the rental property, the landlord would only be responsible for his items. They would not be held accountable for your personal belongings that may have been damaged or lost due to the event.
Unfortunately, the Insurance Information Institute (III) noted that upwards of 60% of those who rent defer the insurance putting themselves at great risk for instances such as:
- Theft of electronic equipment or appliances or damage to the same.
- Fire which could render the home uninhabitable.
- Bills for medical or legal costs associated with injuries received while within the rental property.
Renters insurance is not terribly expensive. There are policies that start at upwards of a couple hundred dollars a year with maybe a $20 per month premium. If you add that to an already burgeoning budget, it’s one thing that folks feel they can do without. There are lots of hacks you can use, though, to get the prices down so that you can have the protection you deserve for your prized possessions.
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Tips On How To Get The Cheapest Renters Insurance
Insurance carriers aren’t the bad guy. They love to give out discounts to their policyholders and find a lot of different reasons to do so. Here are a few ways in which you can maneuver a lower cost for your renters insurance policy.
There are some insurance carriers who recognize groups of professionals by giving them discounts including police officers, nurses, teachers, doctors, retirees, and several others. It’s definitely worth checking with a few agents to see if anyone offers this type of professional courtesy for your field.
You want to try to make sure that you have chosen an apartment or home that is located in a safe neighborhood with low crime, maybe within a newer building, or perhaps close to a fire or police station. Insurance carriers will give you a lesser premium because you will be viewed as a lower risk.
If you raise the amount that you pay out of pocket before the actual insurance pays out, you can actually lower the premiums that you’ll pay. It may be tough to come up with that kind of cash, so it would be smart to start small and work your way up as your savings account allows for the larger amount.
Insurance carriers do use your credit score to help them determine what they will charge you for your premiums as well as if you have filed claims previously. It’s the perfect time to get to work cleaning up your credit. This will get you a lower rate because you’ll be viewed as a financially stable risk.
Rent a home that has a security system installed or has the potential to have one installed or maybe has a security guard who watches over the building. It should also have deadbolts on the doors, smoke detectors in the appropriate rooms, fire sprinklers as well as fire extinguishers. If these things aren’t available, talk to your landlord about having them installed. It won’t only allow for you to get a discount on your policy, but it will provide them with lower premiums on your insurance policy as well.
Set up automatic payments for your billing. Insurance carriers like to be able to pull their payments directly from your checking account so they don’t have to worry about if you’re going to pay your bill or not. You could possibly get even greater savings by paying up to six months or a year’s worth of premiums at one time.
It is nice to bundle different insurance plans within one company and the carriers will give you a multi-policy discount if you do this with their office. Generally, most people will sign up for auto coverage along with their renters policy.
If you happen to be age 55+ and retired, a lot of insurance carriers will give a decent senior citizen discount for those who are not looking to obtain full-time employment.
Do your homework and always get at least three good quotes from different carriers making sure to ask what their different discount options are because each one will be different. It’s best to start with a multi-policy bundle and work your way from that point. Look at reviews from other customers who have used their services, ask lots of questions so you’re sure to get the best value allowing for the most complete coverage of your personal property along with liability coverage to protect you in case there are any injuries while you have visitors.
Renters insurance provides a source of peace for you in case there is ever any type of devastating event and your property is damaged or lost. Before you go about picking a policy, be sure to see what is going to be covered and know exactly what will be excluded. Liability coverage is something that definitely needs to be included in case anyone is injured due to any type of negligence on your part while they are in the rental home. It’s also a good idea to get replacement value coverage which will give you the money to replace your things at today’s replacement costs as opposed to cash value coverage which will reimburse you at what they were worth when you filed the claim, so depreciation has set in.
Always have a home inventory list in a safe place that will document all that you own and what the value is so that if you ever need to file a claim, you have all of the information that you need in one place.
Given the discounts that the insurance carriers like to give and the already fairly low cost, renters insurance is worth it to protect the things that are most valuable to you.