Renters Insurance Information
If you are a renting an apartment, condo or house, you should consider buying renters insurance. With premiums averaging $8-21 per month for $20,000 to $30,000 worth of coverage, renters insurance is an affordable way to protect your personal belongings, such as electronics, furniture and clothing, against damage or theft.
Most tenants forego this type of insurance because they assume their landlord already has insurance coverage that will protect them. But it is unlikely for a landlord to maintain renters insurance for the personal possessions of their tenants. Typically, landlords have a policy that only insures the building they own.
Missouri has a highly competitive insurance market, so shop around. Get a few of quotes before you make a decision.
Other things to discuss with your agent:
- You may need to purchase a “rider” for specialty items, such as jewelry, firearms and collectibles.
- Raising your deductible can save you money on your premium. For example, if you have a $500 deductible, you will pay less in monthly premiums than if your deductible was $250.
Look to see if you apply for these discounts:
- Monitored fire or burglar alarms
- Fire extinguishers
- Sprinkler system
- Dead bolts on exterior doors
- Auto insurance with the same provider
Renters insurance will not cover damages caused by:
- Sewer and water backup
Additional living expenses
If you are forced to move out of your apartment, condo or rented house while repairs are being made, or until you can find a new place to rent, renters insurance will pay for additional living expenses, such as meals and hotels.
Replacement Cost vs. Actual Cash Value
For a little extra money, you may want to upgrade your coverage to pay for the actual cost to replace a damaged item with a brand new item. If your policy pays “actual cash value,” the payment you’ll receive for an item damaged will be based on the cost of the item at that time. For example if you bought a TV for $1,000 two years earlier, it may be only worth $300 at the time of loss.
If you have replacement cost coverage, your payment will be enough to buy a new item similar to the one you lost.
Liability coverage is often standard with renters insurance. This can come in handy in case of an accident, such as a slip or fall by a guest. It provides protection against legal claims that you may be obligated to pay, but it is limited to the amount of liability coverage provided. It also covers unintentional damage to the landlord's property caused by you (such as damage from a kitchen fire).
Creating a list of your possessions will help you file an insurance claim in case of theft, fire or other damage.