Filling out a renter’s insurance application is straightforward and easy to complete. Some insurance agents do the work for, and ask you the questions over the phone. You receive the completed application in the mail, sign it and return it. Here’s the general information required:
Any application for renters insurance requires personal information for yourself, and everyone living with you, such as a spouse. What’s often asked for is your:
- Name, address and telephone number
- Birth date
- Social security number (to check whether you’ve filed claims in the past, and to run a credit report)
- Marital status
- Employment status
How much of this you fill out is up to you, as well as the minimum information your insurance agent requires in order to process your paperwork. For example, your insurance agent may not proceed without your social security number, but they might be fine without a birth date.
You’ll also be asked about dogs on the premises. Some renters insurance will not cover injuries resulting from dog bites, and you’ll have to sign a form stating that you don’t expect any coverage in this area. Dog bites is a common basis for lawsuits among tenants and visitors to the apartment, and some insurance companies view it as too risky to provide coverage.
You’ll get this question if you’re renting in rural areas, where it’s common to keep chickens, goats and other backyard animals. These are considered property, and the cost to replace them will be factored in. The application will ask you to list what you have, and how many you own.
Farm and Ranching Activities
Owning backyard animals is different from farm and ranching activities, and most renters should say “no” to this question on their renters insurance application. Unless you’re renting a farm and carrying out activities such that you’re holding yourself out as a farmer or rancher, this portion of the application does not apply to you. Again, this impacts renters in rural and farming communities.
Foundation of Manufactured Home
If you’re renting a trailer, you’ll be asked a lot of information about it. The insurance company will want to know what year it was built, the length and width of the trailer, but the information your agent is most interested in is whether the trailer rests on a foundation. Manufactured homes are considered risky to insure because of the potential for total destruction in the event of a fire. A home that doesn’t sit on a foundation is even more risky because it can be easily destroyed in a natural disaster, and fire. This information is required when you complete your application, and some insurance agents will come by to take a photo of it.
Fire and Security Protection
You can expect to share information about fire protection in your apartment. These questions include:
- Do you have smoke detectors?
- Do you have fire extinguishers?
- Is there a fire sprinkler system?
- Does anyone in the apartment smoke?
- Are there deadbolts on the front and back doors?
How you answer these questions can affect the rate of your policy and your ability to obtain coverage. Take the steps you need to properly protect your apartment from fires prior to filling out an application for renters insurance, in order to get the best rates possible.
Knowing the information required when applying for renter’s insurance ahead of time will help you make any improvements necessary, so that your premiums are affordable.