How to: Get Renters Insurance

Last night, as I helped my friends bring a brand new 46″ plasma TV into their apartment, I thought that it was an appropriate time to delve more deeply into the details of renters insurance.

We’ve written about renters insurance before, but this time we will run through a how one would get a quote on the internet. We chose to use the State Farm renters insurance quote calculator. For a rental apartment in San Francisco with 3 applicants and 5 rooms, the quote calculator determined that they would each need to pay a total of $125 per year to cover $10,000 worth of personal property with a $500 deductible.

This plan also provides $100,000 of personal liability coverage and $1,000 for medical payments to others. Personal liability is when you are protected from others suing you for damages that you incur to other people or their property. If someone was to bring a claim against you, the insurance company would pay $100,000 towards the total costs incurred.

Below is a step by step run down of getting this particular plan online.

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State Farm inquires about your insurance history; if you answer yes to any of these questions, you will need to provide details and speak with an agent in person or over the phone.

The questionnaire then proceeds to ask you about the features of your rental apartment that may affect the risk that the insurance company is undertaking; if your apartment has deadbolt locks, fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems, smoke detectors, burglar alarms, you are likely to save on your premium. When calculating the premium, they also consider the proximity of your apartment or rental home to tidal bodies of water and fire departments.

When you are looking at apartments for rent, you should consider these features not only because it will reduce your premium, but also because these risk factors are important to consider for your own safety.

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In the policy options and endorsements section, insurance companies usually have a limit on how much they will pay out for the items listed below. Make sure you check to see how much your insurance company pays out for items such as jewelry, furs, computers and firearms, as they may have restrictions.

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Be sure to check the terms of your rental agreement. You usually will need to make claims in a timely fashion. As long as you make accurate statements on your questionnaire you should be covered against all kinds of risk. Imagine if that 46″ inch television had fallen down the stairs during the move. That kind of awful scenario can be avoided with the purchase of renters insurance.

Has anyone been either saved or burned by renters insurance policies? Tell us your stories in the comments section. Also look for more articles in our apartment guide.

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