There are many reasons people choose to rent over home ownership. Whether you are saving up for a dream home, difficulty affording one or you simply enjoy commitment-free, hassle-free living, renting certainly has its perks. For those who choose to rent, having adequate protection is a must — and with advances in the industry, finding the right coverage is easier than ever.
Protecting your assets
For many looking to rent a home or apartment, the thought of renters insurance may seem less important with so many other things to think about. Though not all landlords require it, many do, and for good reason.
“Though you never hope you have to use it, insurance is so valuable to the protection of your family, your belongings and, overall, your peace of mind,” said Kathy McDonald, senior vice president at Assurant Specialty Property. “Many returning to the rental market will be pleased with how the insurance industry has evolved, which makes acquiring the best coverage easier than ever.”
Advancements in the industry
The conveniences brought on by computers, tablets and smartphones have greatly improved the services insurance providers now offer. With easy-to-follow websites, apps and customer service chats, one can check the status of a claim 24 hours a day.
Keep a home inventory
To evaluate the amount of coverage you need — and assist if you ever need to file a claim — keeping a welldocumented list of your possessions is important. A recent survey conducted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) stated 59 percent of consumers do not have a proper listing of their possessions in the event of a fire, robbery or other loss incident.
“All renters and homeowners should develop a home inventory,” said McDonald. “Whether it is electronics, furnishings, collectibles, jewelry or clothing, families need to know what they own and how much it’s worth.”
- Use tracking tools
Put down the pen and paper and get out your smartphone. Many new apps are available to properly keep track of every item in your home. Some even allow you to track every belonging room-to-room with bar codes, pictures, photos or scans of receipts and descriptions. This helpful tool also can create a backup file — just in case.
- Update your list According to the survey, 59 percent of those who do have a list of their belongings admit they haven’t updated the list within the past year. That can fail to account for many gifts and purchases throughout the year. Make a mental note to add to your list after each birthday, the holidays or other similar occasions.
- Note valuable items
Make sure you get sufficient coverage for expensive belongings such as artwork or collectibles, which may be subject to policy limits. As many policies only cover $1,000 for jewelry, you may need additional coverage, considering many jewelry items exceed that amount.
- Consider everything has value
Many items have more value than you think. To better understand this, consider how much it would cost to replace every item in one load of laundry. Sometimes, it’s the little items that add up. Jot down everything — clothing, shoes, kitchen gadgets and power tools.
In-depth information on renters insurance is available from providers. For information on renters
insurance from Assurant, visit www.renterssecurity.com.