The unimaginable happens. You're cooking in your kitchen and a grease fire starts. Or You forgot to blow out the candle before you went to bed. Maybe the neighbor above you left a burner on. All of a sudden your world has changed.
You never know when a fire could potentially take down your home. Whether you're in the process of searching for a rental property in Chico or Redding, or you already live in a rental property you love, it's important to be safe and proactive before there's an emergency. Unfortunately, renters insurance isn't something people think is an important piece of rental living, but it is! Signing up for renters insurance can be done at any time, and it should be high on the list of things to do when signing a new rental agreement - right up there with switching over the PG&E in your name, setting up your cable and internet, updating your information at the post office, etc.
1. Why do I need renters insurance?
Look around your rental property. Do you see any furniture? Electronics? Clothing or collectibles? Consider all of the things that would quickly disappear if there was a fire or if someone broke in and helped themselves to your belongings.
You may think you do everything to prevent a fire or break-in from happening in your home but what about your neighbors? Do they do everything to prevent fires? Is your apartment burglar proof? Probably not.
The average monthly payment for renters insurance is $15-$30. That's only $4-$10 a week, or what it would cost to give up a latte or meal eating out. Renters insurance can also give you the peace of mind knowing you're protected.
2. What does renters insurance cover?
There are different variances of coverage for renters insurance, just like auto and health insurance policies. You can purchase a policy that will either give you the replacement cost or actual value of your belongings.
If you pay for a policy that covers replacement cost, then you'll be given the amount to replace the item. If you have a nice big screen TV that didn’t survive a fire, then you'd be given the price that it will cost to buy the same TV now.
The actual cost policy considers depreciation and resale value of your belongings. This is what the value of the items were when they were burned in the fire. It doesn't matter that you spent thousands of dollars on a dining set a few years ago because they will account for normal wear and tear...but at least the items will get replaced.
3. How do I sign up for renters insurance?
Start by making a list of the items you would want coverage for, collect as many receipts for those belongings as possible, and have an estimate of those prices. You also need to figure out your budget and what you can afford as a monthly payment.
There are several different places to get renters insurance. Allstate, AAA and Geico are just a few. Start with the company that holds your car insurance policy because it's common for there to be deals when you can bundle the two together.
Basic information like birth date, social security number (for credit check), and address will be needed. They will also ask for information regarding the rental property, such as where the nearest fire extinguisher is located, how many smoke detectors there are in your unit and where they're located, and what material the exterior of the unit is made of.
It can seem like a daunting process to shop around for renters insurance. But remember that you're doing this to protect yourself if there's an emergency. Renters insurance covers damage to your property from fire, theft, lightning, windstorm and more. If you're searching for or living in a Chico or Redding rental property, be proactive and prepared for emergencies by getting renters insurance.