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  • What's Covered
    Renters Insurance will protect you against losses from: fire or smoke, lightning, vandalism, theft, explosion, windstorm and water damage from plumbing.

    Renters Insurance also covers you if someone slips and falls in your home or is injured by any of your possessions and then sues. The insurance covers your responsibility of other people injured at your home or elsewhere and includes coverage for legal defense costs if you are taken to court.

  • Theft Limits
    Most renters policies have a $1,000 total limit on jewelry that is stolen, a $3,000 - $10,000 limit for computers and $2,500 - $10,000 for silverware or flatware. Policies vary, so be sure to ask for a list of standard coverage limits to know whether you'll need to buy a Floater, which provides additional coverage for some of your items.

  • Cash or Replacement Value
    You can insure your possessions in one of two ways - for either the cash or the replacement value.
    • Cash Value coverage takes into account the age and condition of items at the time of damage or loss.
    • Replacement Value pays today's cost of a new item. For instance, if your five-year-old TV is stolen, a Cash Value policy will pay part of the original purchase price while a Replacement Value policy will pay the current price of a comparable set. Replacement Value policies tend to cost more, and there may be other requirements as well.

  • Deductible Options
    Find out the cost of your deductible, the amount you agree to pay out-of-pocket before your insurance kicks in. The higher the deductible, the less you can expect to pay for your policy.

Be Sure to:

  • Shop Around
    Find an insurance agent or insurance company representative with whom you are comfortable. Ask friends or relatives or check the yellow pages for agents and companies in your area. Call a variety of insurance companies and agents. Ask questions. Keep an inventory of your possessions handy so you can purchase the coverage that best fits your insurance needs. ($16,000 is usually the smallest amount of coverage you can get)

  • Seek Discounts
    Insurance companies frequently offer discounts to their auto policyholders interested in buying a renters policy. You also may be eligible for discounts if your apartment or home has a security system, smoke detectors or deadbolt locks. Additional discounts may be available depending on your age or whether you are a non-smoker. Policies vary so examine as many options as possible.

  • Read Your Policy
    An insurance policy is a contract between you and your insurance company. Read the policy carefully. If you have questions or if something is unclear, call your insurance company representative. Don't sign the contract unless you fully understand the company's responsibilities as well as your own. An insurance policy spells out several obligations for both you and your company. For example, the company has a duty to defend you if you're ever sued.

  • Take an Inventory          
    Before you buy a Renters Insurance policy, make an itemized list of everything you own with price estimates and purchase dates (if possible). Your inventory will help you determine the right amount of insurance - not too much or too little. Also, an inventory will help you file a claim easier and faster if you ever experience a loss. Make copies of this inventory and keep it in a safe place outside of your home (at work, in a safe-deposit box or friend's house). Take photographs or video of each item in your home. To get started in developing a Home Inventory, you can access free, downloadable Home Inventory software from this site to help develop an accurate inventory of your belongings.