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Moving day has come and gone. After setting the furniture in place and hooking up the utilities, it is common for tenants to settle down into a routine in their new home immediately.
What a majority of tenants fail to take advantage of, however, is obtaining a renter’s insurance. An oft-forgotten yet valuable coverage, a renters policy guarantees the peace of mind of an occupant by providing financial protection against the loss or destruction of their possessions. All rental properties are susceptible to a variety of damages, after all.
From a leak from the tub of a tenant upstairs that could damage a renter’s electronic possessions to a grill fire on the deck that damages the structure of the building as well as other basic household contents, a renter’s belongings are only as safe as their most irresponsible neighbor. Simply put, they need a way to protect themselves from these situations.
The Different Types of Renter's Insurance Coverage for Raleigh Tenants
By obtaining a renters insurance in Raleigh, residential leases can get personal property and possessions coverage, liability protection, medical payment for injuries, as well as additional living expenses/temporary lodging.
- Personal property – This includes coverage for items that Raleigh renters use on a daily basis, such as furniture, electronics, appliances, and clothing. It also includes specialty items like jewelry collections and musical equipment.
- Liability – This is the cost of repairs for accidental damage to property or the cost a tenant incurs if they turn out to be legally liable for a guest’s injuries. An example would be a dog bite victim suing the dog’s owner for the personal injury they sustained while on the owner’s property.
- Medical coverage – This covers the medical cost for injured guests on a tenant’s property, regardless of whether they were liable or not. Medical payments for it include doctor fees, x-rays, or hospital visits.
- Additional living expenses – This covers the additional costs that a renter incurs as a result of significant property damage and temporary displacement. The policy includes hotel bills, restaurant expenses, and other related costs.
In spite of the benefits of a homeowner’s insurance policy, an Insurance Information Institute Poll in 2016 reveals that only 41% of renters carry insurance, compared to 95% of homeowners with the policy. Further data from an InsuranceQuotes.com survey shows that the widespread lack of coverage is the result of a general misunderstanding about renters insurance—specifically, how it works and what it does. So, what are the top myths about renters policy?
Myth #1: A landlord’s insurance covers a renter’s possessions.
A landlord may partner with a local Raleigh insurance company. More frequently, however, the policy only covers the building itself and the damage it undergoes due to negligence. It’s up to the tenants to seek coverage for other causes of property damage like theft, vandalism, or fire.
Myth #2: Raleigh Renters don’t own expensive items to warrant coverage.
What constitutes as “expensive belongings” is more than just big-ticket items like laptops and flat screen TVs. Everyday items, such as furniture, clothing, and appliances, can add up to more than $25,000 in personal property — the loss of which shouldn’t be taken lightly. Additionally, most renter insurance policies include replacement cost coverage to relieve renters of the financial burden of buying new things.
Myth #3: Taking out a Raleigh renter’s insurance is expensive.
About 50% of renters from the InsuranceQuotes.com survey cite cost as a common reason for failing to take out insurance. Unlike a car or house insurance, however, a renters policy is considerably more affordable. Renters only need to pay less than $20 a month — approximately the same amount as a delivered pizza dinner.
Saving Money on a Raleigh Renters Insurance
Saving money on renters insurance without skimping on coverage is possible. In fact, a tenant can protect their valuables and property on a modest budget. With the following tips, renters can decrease premiums and save money on a Raleigh renters insurance policy.
Pick a location carefully. Prices for renters insurance will vary, depending on the state, city, and neighborhood. Safer locations often have lower rates, so renting in a low-crime area near a fire station often translates to a lower insurance payment. On that note, an older, not renovated apartment has a higher chance of having electrical and plumbing issues. Therefore, opt to rent out a place in a newer building to score a lower insurance payment.
Choose the right deductible. The deductible is the amount of money that a renter must pay before the insurance provider makes payments on a claim. The cost of the insurance policy, therefore, depends on the deductible. When filing a claim, the renters pay for the deductible, while the insurance company shoulders the remainder. By bumping up their deductibles, tenants can bring their rental premiums down. So, keep raising the amount as your savings grows. Data from the Insurance Information Institute shows that a thousand-dollar deductible can cut your premiums down by as much as 25%!
Maintain a good credit score. Cleaning up credit is one of the easiest and most effective ways to lower insurance costs. A good credit rating, after all, shows the insurance company that a tenant can be relied on to pay their bills on time. This, in turn, makes an individual less risky to insure.
Go after safety discounts. It pays to pick a home with a lower risk of potential losses and damage to property. By renting a place with security alarms, smoke detectors, and fire extinguishers, a renter could score a sweet insurance discount. If a rental lacks a security system, a tenant could talk to their landlord about it—apart from improving property security, it could help a landlord save on their insurance, too.
Take advantage of insurance bundles. Insurers offer multi-line discounts for buying more than one policy with a company. By adding (or bundling) a renters policy to an auto coverage, for instance, tenants can enjoy the convenience of two policies with one company at a reduced price.
Loyalty pays off. Staying with an insurer can lead to lower premiums. It’s an incentive that companies offer to keep clients happy. Renters could save up to 5% after staying with the same company for three to five years, in fact. Additionally, an annual review of insurance policies can help renters adjust their coverage amounts and save up.
Some things are beyond your control. And in an apartment building with multiple units, a renter is only as safe as their most irresponsible neighbor. Obtaining a renters insurance is, therefore, a wise financial move because it offers protection from property and possession damage. Since the cost of replacing a tenant’s valuables can add up quickly, a renters policy provides peace of mind at an affordable price.