A 2016 insurance study conducted by ORC revealed that only 41 percent of renters had renters insurance.
Today, many landlords are increasingly becoming strict when reviewing new tenants and require each occupant to carry renters insurance.
For that reason, it's wise to take ample time to find the best renters insurance that will cover your belongings.
Here are the key questions that you need to ask during your search.
1. What does the policy cover?
The policy usually covers your belongings from risks and events such as smoke, vandalism, lightning, fire, and theft. It can also act as a liability coverage in case a person is injured in your home.
Some policy can cover reasonable costs of staying in another place after an event renders your home inhabitable.
Before picking an option, find out what a policy covers and what it doesn't cover. For example, damages caused by earthquakes and floods may not be covered.
There can also be limits on the amount of coverage you get for your belongings. Find out if the policy will cover expensive belongings, such as arts and jewelry.
2. What about my pet?
In particular areas, you may need a pet insurance to cover for any damages or injuries caused by your furry friend. Some standard renters insurance might feature this liability.
However, some insurance companies will need you to pay for additional coverage for your pet.
Inquire from the agent or company if there are any premium costs for including your pet in your plan.
For situations where your pet is sick or injured in your home, you will need a freestanding coverage. Most renters insurance do not cover your pet's health issues.
3. How much insurance do I need?
When talking to an insurer, list out the belongings that you need to be covered and the type of risks you want to protect from.
Your agent will give you the coverage specifics based on your state and the type of plan you want.
The amount of insurance you need will also depend on the value and number of your belongings. You can take an appraisal video of your house and share it with your insurer.
Remember, your goal is to get the best renters insurance that suits you needs.
4. Is my roommate covered (if any)?
Most renters insurance policies usually cover you and your family members. So, if you are hosting a relative or friend, the policy is not likely to extend to them.
Or, if you are sharing a home with a roommate, you will need to be insured under a single policy. Both you and your roommate need to agree on the level of insurance you need.
Should your roommate move out, you will need to get a new policy.
5. Are insured items stolen outside my home covered?
Many insurers usually cover insured belongings that are stolen off-promises. That means that items in your car or outside your home have the same protection as those in your home.
But still, it is important to find out how your insurer handles such cases. Different companies many have different approaches, especially on certain items.
Moreover, off-premises coverage may have limitations.
Choose the best renters insurance
These are some of the important questions you need to ask when looking for the right coverage.
Compare the rates of different companies and also read their terms to get familiar with their services and approach for filing claims.
You can also seek help from the state insurance department in situations where you need clarification.