I can remember that feeling when I was moving into my first apartment like it was yesterday. It was my sophomore year of college and I was getting my own place off campus (only across the street, but still off campus). I loved the feeling of independence and the responsibility of taking care of my own place.
The one thing I completely dropped the ball on with my new place was making sure I was protected. It wasn’t intentional…to be honest I didn’t know renters insurance existed back then. Ignorance is bliss as they say.
Obviously, my perspective has changed.
As I type this, Hurricane Florence has wreaked havoc on the Carolina’s. I had a client call my office before it hit and was hoping for some good news about being able to find coverage for a relative who lives there had failed to get a policy in place before the warnings. Unfortunately, it was too late. When things like natural disasters or wildfires are bearing down on a certain area, companies will put a moratorium for those zip codes or counties. Basically, no insurance can be written until the impending doom has passed.
Recently, there was a fire in one of the condo’s near our office in Kearney. It was difficult to see the family fight back tears and try to figure out what to do next. There was some damage to the back door from the fire department, which was necessary to get the fire extinguished. The next day, a large dumpster sat in their driveway and held all their possessions that they couldn’t salvage.
Whether you are just starting out, or starting over, renters insurance needs to be part of your financial plan to help protect what you have.
There are some common misconceptions about renters insurance I have heard during my 13 years as an agent, many of which are incorrect. I would like to take some time to talk about those.
It’s too expensive
Typically, $10-$15 per month will get you a policy with $20,000 Personal Property coverage. Personal Property is insurance talk for “your stuff”. All your clothes, furniture, electronics, appliances, etc. With most companies, when you bundle your renters insurance with your auto insurance, you can take advantage of a multi-policy discount. That usually makes $10-$15 per month look more like $8-$12 per month.
I don’t have that much stuff
If you take a look around at your place and do a quick inventory, you might be surprised by how quickly the things you have add up. The flat screen TV, Xbox or Playstation (or both) with all the games, furniture, dishes, jeans, shoes, etc.
Also, you can request Replacement Cost coverage. So, even if your couch is five years old, the insurance company will replace it with a couch of like cost, kind or quality.
Even if the total of your things amount to less than the $20,000 minimum for most policies, you will most likely be buying things are time goes on, so this will give you a little cushion as you make additional purchases (like a sweeter flat screen TV).
My landlord’s policy covers my stuff
I don’t hear this statement as much, but there are times when it comes up. Your landlord has a policy for the dwelling itself, whether that is for the apartment building or house you live in. They need to make sure that the building is safe in case they have damage. The responsibility for covering your things falls squarely on you.
Renter’s insurance policies give you more that just coverage for your stuff. The can also offer liability coverage, medical payments coverage (if someone is injured at your place), and the ability to help pay for an alternative landing spot in case you have some damage to your place that needs to be repaired. It is also a very mobile policy. If you make a move to a new place, usually an address change and a couple of questions about the new building are all you need to move your coverage.
The most important lesson is, don’t wait. And if you are too busy to get quotes on your own, let us help. Stonebridge Insurance in an independent agent that can quote with multiple companies to make sure you are getting the proper coverage at the best rate. Give us a call at 308-698-0144 or check out our website , Facebook , Instagram , or Twitter.