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What are the questions to ask yourself as you consider any carrier's rental policy offering?
First let's summarize the four types of coverage that come as part of the typical or standard renters insurance package quote:
1. Personal Property (Contents)
2. Guest Medical Payments
3. Loss of Usage/Additional Living Expense
4. Personal Liability Insurance
Personal Property Renters Insurance Comparison
The main element to your policy, a renters insurance comparison begins once the principal coverage amount is chosen. Known as your policy limit, the dollar amount of coverage you choose for personal property protection affects other coverage. This figure should be chosen carefully to reflect the value of all your belongings. E.g. $40,000 or $60,000 coverage etc. This amount should be consistent across all provider policy options considered.
The policy limit or principal coverage amount has an important bearing on the quote and premium and is a primary determinant of the rate that you qualify for when insurers calculate your quote. A renters insurance comparison should be made for the same identical policy limit.
Renters insurance comparison questions for personal property coverage:
- Named perils. The standard approach is to cover named perils, i.e. causes of loss or events as listed in the policy. Quotes always include theft and fire, but you should familiarize yourself with what to expect.
- Settlement. The default approach is Actual Cash Value (ACV), but some policies may come with Replacement Cost as default. While replacement cost is better protection, it can add 20-25% for example to the cost of quotes. Insurers typically offer an endorsement option that can upgrade your policy from ACV to Replacement Cost. While this comes at additional cost, it can still be cheaper to add an endorsement than going with a carrier whose product offering has Replacement cost as standard.
- Additional/Extended Coverage. Is the policy flexible. You may need to tailor your coverage.
- Category Limits. Claimed items are subject to categorization by insurers. For example jewelry or computer equipment limited to a total payout amount within the aggregate contents policy limit chosen. A renters insurance comparison should consider these limits. How do default limits compare? similarly a renters insurance comparison should be mindful of per item claim limits where relevant. For example jewelry per item payouts are capped not to exceed, within the category limit itself.
- Scheduling. Do you have full and unrestricted ability to schedule any items that you may wish to?
- Losses Away From Home. Adjustment approach can differ for items claimed for away from the home. Settlement can often be less favorable. What terms does the proposed policy have for such losses?
- Deductible. How much is the standard quote based on.
Guest Medical & Loss of Usage Renters Insurance Comparison
- Coverage Limit. What amount is offered as standard for each of these two coverage types? How does it compare to the next carrier's product?
- Loss Of Use Limitation. Approaches differ in regard to the limit for this coverage. Capped by a dollar limit, a time limit or both. Pay attention to differences here.
Personal Liability Renters Insurance Comparison
- Default coverage. How much is offered as standard?
- Scope. Does cover extend to include incidents away from the home or apartment, or is it limited to within and around the rental only.
- Pets. Sometimes pet caused injury/loss can be covered. E.g. if your dog bites someone in the park.
Find carriers and compare quotes today. Quality coverage is available from top insurers and local state providers. Shopping quotes from a few carriers is the primary way to save money by finding a value premium. While renter policies are affordable in general, prices do differ as you compare one carrier to the next. The rating system used by rental insurers means that quotes are calculated on the basis of a predetermined rate or base cost set with reference to location and dollar coverage required.
Because rates can vary sometimes significantly, it pays to collect free quotes and do a renters insurance comparison of price from a few companies. In addition to quote price, a good renters insurance comparison should also consider quality issues. Reviews and reports consider customer satisfaction, payout or settlement fairness, speed of the claim process and online service help etc. The cheapest quote is not always the best deal. Carrier quality is an important consideration; you need to feel comfortable that in the event of a claim you will receive the service you expect. What about discounts? Many carriers offer discounts for a variety of reasons, but seeking quotes on the basis of discount comparisons alone is not the way to go. The rating approach used in the pricing of policies means that best value comes from a favorable or relatively low cost rate. With the wrong choice of carrier a renter could have discounts applied but still overpay in comparison to another insurer's premium with a better rate for that location and coverage amount. Renter insurance comparison by state; for great renters insurance compare quotes from the best state carriers found today.
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