There are so many things you need when it comes to renting your apartment or home, but one of the most important things is making sure you have renter's insurance! It’s a non-negotiable, especially with how cheap it is. It’s the type of insurance you purchase with the hope of never needing it. On the off chance you end up needing it, it's is a huge relief knowing you thought ahead!
Along with renter's insurance, it’s important to also think ahead to what needs to go into your fireproof box, especially in California. Wildfires have been so prevalent in our state that making sure your important documents are safe is a no-brainer.
Let’s talk renter's insurance first, then we’ll cover where to purchase a fireproof box and what you should place inside it!
What Exactly is Renter's Insurance?
The most basic definition is, “Renters’ insurance, often called tenants’ insurance, is an insurance policy that provides some of the benefits of homeowners’ insurance, but does not include coverage for the dwelling, or structure, with the exception of small alterations that a tenant makes to the structure.”
Renter’s insurance is something that everyone should have to make sure that their space and things are protected, especially when on average it only costs around $14.90 a month. While your property manager will have coverage on the building, unless the items inside it belong to them, you won’t receive any compensation if something happens to your things and you don’t have renter’s insurance.
One of the biggest misconceptions of renter's insurance is that your items are only covered when at home. When in fact your items are covered outside your home as well! It makes spending the money (even the small amount) feel even better as the coverage goes wherever your personal property goes.
What’s Typically Covered?
Each renter's insurance policy is slightly different, but the majority of them will reimburse for personal belongings like clothing, electronics, jewelry, and other items if they are damaged within one of the 16 categories below according to NerdWallet.
- Fire or lighting
- Windstorm or hail
- Riot or civil commotion
- Damage caused by aircraft
- Damage caused by vehicles
- Vandalism or malicious mischief
- Volcanic eruption
- Falling objects
- Weight of ice, snow, or sleet
- Accidently discharge of water or steam from within certain household systems or appliances
- Sudden and accidental tearing apart, cracking, burning, or bulging of certain household systems
- Freezing of certain household systems or appliances
- Certain sudden, accidental damage from artificially generated electric currents
Things like earthquakes, flooding, and infestations aren’t covered under your typical policy, but you can always purchase additional coverage.
What’s Considered a Fireproof Box?
A fireproof box is a container that is easily portable and can keep your items safe from fire for a predetermined time at a certain temperature (the length of time and temperature varies upon which manufacturer you choose). Most fireproof boxes are also waterproof, but you’ll need to check the tag to verify.
Looking to protect larger amounts of cash or high-value items from not just fire but also theft? You’ll need to purchase a burglar fireproof safe that isn’t easily portable (think too heavy to move!).
Here are some good fireproof containers!
What Should I Place in My Fireproof Box?
All the important documents that you’d need to verify your identity, medical conditions, proof of ownership, etc. are the types of things you should place within your fireproof box.
Here’s a more detailed list of the documents:
- Current Insurance Policies & Agent Contact Information
- Documentation of Medical Insurance
- Insurance card (or at least a copy)
- List of family doctors
- Prescription medications
- Pharmacy contacts
- Birth Certificates
- Social Security Card
- Financial Documents
- Retirement plans
- Bank accounts
- Any contact information needed
- Car Title
- Powers of Attorney
- Living Wills
- Health Care Directives
Depending on the size of your fireproof box, you can also add important photos, jewelry, and even videos of your rental for insurance purposes!
No matter the items you place within your fireproof box, make sure that you keep it updated with any new documents or forms like insurance, medical, and financial!
Want more information on renter's insurance? We have an entire eBook that goes through the basic information and common questions. Download it for free!