You’re a good person. You mind your own business and don’t cause any trouble. You work hard for a living so you can afford to live in your nice-but-not-opulent house. So why would someone ever target your home for a burglary?
Plenty of reasons: They want what you have. They don’t have enough money of their own. They’re lazy and don’t want to work. They’re addicted to drugs. And on and on …
The point is, there will always be someone who could view your home as a potential treasure trove. According to the FBI, roughly one out of every 36 homes gets burglarized each year in the U.S. And the average incident results in a loss of property totaling about $2,200. Finally, renters are about 25% more likely to be victimized in a burglary than homeowners are.
So how can you protect yourself? Hire a private security team? Sit at home every night waiting for intruders?
The most cost-effective way to defend yourself against losses incurred from burglaries is by obtaining renters insurance. After all, your landlord probably won’t compensate you for stolen belongings; although they likely have insurance of their own, their coverage is for the building itself, not the possessions of those living in it.
Personal Property Renters Insurance
A personal property policy will reimburse you for any items that are stolen from your home. Typically, these will include:
- Computers, tablets, or smartphones
- Clothing or shoes
- Televisions or speakers
- Furniture pieces
You may not think that the total value of your possessions is all that high. But try this: walk around your house and look at everything in it one by one, then try to estimate how much each item costs. Chances are, your total will add up quickly; in fact, the average two-bedroom dwelling contains possessions that are worth a combined $30,000.
Like auto insurance and other insurance policies, personal property insurance is defined by your coverage limits; in other words, a $35,000 policy would obviously cover more items than a $20,000 policy would. In addition, these policies all have deductibles, or amounts of money that you are responsible for before the insurance coverage kicks in. So if thieves break into your house and get away with $8,000 worth of stuff and you have a policy with a $500 deductible, the insurance company would provide you with $7,500 of compensation.
Actual Cash Value vs. Replacement Cost
When deciding on renters insurance, be sure to note how a particular policy reimburses you in the event of theft. Some policies will pay you the actual cash value of your possessions, which is an estimate of what they are worth today (when accounting for depreciation). In contrast, replacement cost means that an insurer will provide you with enough money to buy brand new items.
For instance, let’s say someone breaks into your house and steals three of your nicest business suits – two of which
were purchased four years ago, and the third that was acquired a few months before the burglary. A personal property policy that uses actual cash value might pay you less money for the two older suits than your newest one. However, if your coverage provides for replacement costs, you would receive whatever amount of reimbursement you would need to go out and buy three brand new suits of comparable quality.
Other Renters Insurance
Some people may have certain items that are exceptionally valuable, rare, and/or difficult to replace. For these specific things, you may want to purchase what is known as additional contents coverage on top of your personal property policy.
Additional contents coverage might be a good investment if you have:
- A state-of-the-art video gaming system
- A coin collection
- A stamp collection
- A sports cards collection
- A rare comic book or action figure collection
- A rare record collection
- Expensive jewelry
- Models of old cars, trains, or planes
- Pricey paintings or art
If you make or resell items as a hobby or side business (perhaps on your own website or a microsite with eBay or Etsy), then you may want to buy additional insurance to protect your wares in case they are snatched up by thieves. This business merchandise coverage would reimburse you for the value of your products if they are stolen.
One more note about renters’ insurance: many personal property policies also cover the theft of items that are usually stored in your home but happen to be outside of your home when they are stolen. This would apply to people whose smartphones, laptop computers, or designer handbags are stolen when they are in a public place. Be sure to check with your insurance provider to see if you are indeed covered against “off-premise theft.”
Finding Cheap Renters Insurance For Your Home
Now, the most important question: how much will renters insurance cost?
Obviously, your premium will depend on a number of factors, such as your home’s location, the coverage amounts and deductibles you choose, and the value of the possessions that you wish to insure. But according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the average renters’ policy will cost you less than $16 per month – which is roughly equal to one night of take out or pizza delivery. And policies for additional contents or business merchandise may be priced even lower.
As with auto insurance, there are a few steps residents can take to reduce the amount of money they pay for renters insurance. Strategies include:
- Installing deadbolt locks and/or a monitored burglar alarm system
- Raising your deductible
- Paying for six or twelve months’ worth of coverage up front
- Bundling your renters policy with your auto, life, or other insurance
- Getting quotes from several different insurers
If you could use a little assistance in finding cheap renters insurance for your home, AIS Insurance can help. AIS works with multiple insurance providers so you can compare renters coverage rates and find the precise policies that suit your needs. Plus, the experienced professionals at AIS can answer any questions you might have about insuring the belongings in your house.
Nobody wants to think about the possibility of burglary. But if you are protected by renters insurance, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you won’t have to spend thousands of dollars replacing items that could get stolen from your home. So why not give AIS Insurance a call today for a free renters insurance quote?
The information in this article was obtained from various sources. This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements, nor is it intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. The definitions, terms and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.