Renter’s Insurance. Who needs it?
It’s time. In garages and driveways all around (including three staff members’) students are stuffing precious belongings in vehicles. The laptops, the televisions, the tiny refrigerators and more clothes than a closet can handle -- it all has to fit, first in the car, then the dorm room or apartment. (And it’s up how many flights of stairs?!?)
But what then? What if one or all of those items is lost...stolen...destroyed in a fire...fried by lightning? Who pays?
In a perfect world, insurance, through renter’s and homeowner’s policies. (Not the landlord, whose insurance generally covers the structure).
It’s best to find out before the unforeseen arrives, whether you are a first-year student or a renter whose college years are distant memories.
Renter’s Insurance 101:
First, some good news.
If you are a fulltime student and a dependent (under 25 years of age) your parents’ homeowner’s policy may include coverage. Ten percent of parents’ content coverage is automatically extended to other locations where contents may be, from an apartment to a vehicle.
The caveat, though, is the 10 percent. Make sure student/dependent belongings do not exceed the top amount, for example $10,000 of coverage is the limit if the parent content coverage is $100,000. It adds up fast!
(A home inventory comes in handy: www.fortifygroup.net/about/additional-resources/home-insurance-inventory-sheets)
Even better, make sure the computers, cell phones, iPods, jewelry, etc., are scheduled on the homeowner’s policy for broader and better coverage.
If renter’s insurance is needed, there is still good news. This policy offers great value, often costing less than $10 a month for ample coverage. Renter’s insurance also provides some personal liability protection in case you or a family member causes damage to others' property or someone is injured on your property.
Other details to consider:
- Renter’s insurance varies from state-to-state
- Some landlords require tenants to have renter’s insurance (it provides them peace of mind, too).
- It only protects the property of people listed on the policy. That means roommates, spouses, siblings and such will not have coverage unless he or she is listed as an additional insured.
- Some perils may be excluded, such as earthquakes or flooding.
- Does the policy reimburse you for a new item (actual cash value) or the value of the item lost (replacement cost)?
Contact your Fortify Group agent (402.759.3300) for more information or to purchase or review a renter’s policy. We are here to help!
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