Renters insurance policies are comprised of coverage provisions that are standard in the industry. However, the amount of coverage and the fine print vary from company to company, and it’s important to know how to compare them when shopping around for insurance. Knowing the major provisions to look for, and how to compare them, can help you make the right decision.
Some renters insurance policies will only extend coverage for the belongings at your apartment. The policy won’t cover other items you own that are not on the premises, such as items in a self-storage facility or at your parents’ house. There are, however, a few policies that offer worldwide or global coverage, which means your items can be anywhere. The best part about those policies is that the premium costs are just as competitive as the other ones. When comparing renters insurance policies, verify where you items need to be stored in order to be covered, and select global coverage if possible.
Renters insurance also includes personal liability coverage for visitors to your apartment. This includes bodily and property damage caused by an accident. Let’s say you’re having a dinner party at your residence and one of the attendees you invite slips and falls down the steps on the way in. If that attendee turns around and sues you for injuries they suffered or property damage, you can file a claim with your renters insurance company. They will provide you with a defense, and pay damages up to the limit on your policy. That’s why it’s important to compare this portion of renters insurance when you’re getting quotes. You can purchase additional personal liability coverage, but most renters insurance policies include an amount. Figure out the highest liability amount that’s already included when comparing policies.
In addition to personal liability coverage, renters insurance policies include coverage for medical payments to others. Let’s say the guest in the above example doesn’t want to sue you, but has to get medical treatments for injuries suffered. You can file a claim and get that paid, too. The amount that your insurance company will pay out depends on the company you choose. When comparing policies, see what they offer for medical payments. This is just as important as personal liability coverage, and a minimum amount is already included in the quote for insurance. If the payment amount is too low, you can often increase the medical payments amount for a higher premium, although you may also have to increase the personal liability coverage.
Minimum Coverage Amounts
You can have too much renters insurance, and some insurance companies require a minimum coverage amount that may far exceed what you own. For example, you may need a $12,000 or $15,000 policy, but the company you’re interested in may only offer policies with coverage starting at $30,000 to replace personal belongings. If the premium is the same as the other policies you’re comparing with lower coverage amounts, it’s fine to go with the company with a higher minimum coverage amount. Otherwise, it’s better to get the coverage you need at a lower monthly cost.
Ask the agent you’re working with for more information on these provisions before you make your decision. This research takes time and patience, but you need it to compare renters insurance policies.