Renters Insurance: 5 Basic Answers You Need to Know

When it comes to renters insurance, only 37% of people actually get it, according to research by the Insurance Information Institute. What’s crazy is that this means lots of people are not fully aware of the risks of not having this type of coverage. And the reality is renters insurance usually is super affordable so the risk really isn’t worth it. In this blog, we’re getting super duper clear on the basics of what you need to know before deciding [or not] to get yourself set up with renters insurance. 

1) What does it cover?

We want to be clear from the beginning what renters insurance covers, and what it doesn’t. You may think it’s only for the big catastrophic events like a fire, but it’s also for instances where maybe someone trips over your rug and falls and hurts themselves so badly it requires medical attention. Guess who gets that bill? If you have renters insurance you can file a claim with your insurance company. Also, let’s say you’re on vacation and your home gets broken into. Renters insurance will also replace or reimburse you for the cost of your stolen or damaged items as it would be considered insured property.

2) How do I know how much my stuff is worth?

So, we just talked about having your items stolen, but how do you know what your things are really worth? Well, you do need to have a good idea and we’re here to help. There are some apps and sites that can help you log and track your items. Apps like Sortly and others are great to start getting your things itemized and tracked. If apps are not for you, a spreadsheet will work as well. We recommend creating your list as you are moving in because it will be easier to determine how much coverage you need. This is also helpful for when/if you would need to file a claim. 

And, we know it can get tedious, but also noting big ticket items as you get them is critical. As you buy more items and have them in your rental, saving the receipts and serial numbers – even taking photos of your items and adding them to spreadsheet – is helpful in the event you need to file a claim. Not having the proper inventory report can hurt you in the long run, so do yourself a favor and write it down and take the picture.

3) Does it cover roommates?

We’ve all had them, [well most of us], those lovely roommates. And while we usually enjoy our roommates we are not responsible for them. But, unless they are your spouse, most renters insurance plans do not include others on the policy. It is recommended each person who lives in the rental property have his/her own renters insurance. 

4) What about pets?

Simply put, if you have a pet, you should purchase renters insurance. We all know you have the nicest sweetest dog who loves kids and wouldn’t hurt a fly, until he does. Your dog [in this example] is a liability that needs to be covered. If your pet bites someone and that person requires medical attention, you’re covered [amount varies]. If your pet ruins your own property, like chewing up your favorite expensive pair of shoes, sorry to say you are not covered. But if he chews up your friend’s favorite pair of expensive shoes, you are covered.

When looking for renters insurance know that not all will be so keen to cover pets and there are some dog breeds that insurance companies will not cover at all. If you have a 4-legged furry little animal, be sure to do your own research on what plans and properties are right for you.

5) What if I live in a flood zone?

This one is super important, so pay attention. Let’s say you live in a place that has experienced a flood and the basement where you live was damaged by the water. Most renters insurance will cover loss by a water leakage, but a natural disaster, not so much. And my friend, a flood is considered a natural disaster. 

If you are living in a flood zone, you need to buy separate flood insurance. It not only grants you peace of mind, it will come in handy if/when this happens in real life. 

So as you can see, there is not a whole lot to lose and a lot of coverage to gain. If you’re already thinking you need this coverage, give us a call at 712-277-2424 to get your free quote or fill out this form and we will be in touch. At IBC, we’re more than insurance. We’re here to help you protect the things that matter most.