Recently some friends of mine received a call early in the morning from a former neighbor stating that their out of state condo was on fire. My friends had moved to another state and were leasing their condo in the interim. Their tenant had thrown a cigarette away in the trash without thinking and went to bed. He was awakened by thick black smoke in the condo. Luckily, he was able to get out without being physically harmed; but the state of the condo was not good. And if this situation could get any worse, my friends nor their tenant had renters insurance. My friends had assumed that they were covered by their HOA, but were not aware that they needed their own supplemental renters insurance policy. They ended up having to file for bankruptcy because the financial load was too great to carry.
Hearing this story got me thinking about Venterra’s recently implemented renters insurance policy. While this story may seem like it doesn’t apply to you, the fact of the matter is that most renters don’t get renters insurance. They think they don’t need it or that the landlord’s insurance will cover their loss in the event of a disaster like fire but that’s not the case…A Landlord’s policy will pay for repair of the building but not for possessions. Renters are at risk.
Here are a few helpful tips about renters insurance:
- It is not expensive. On average you will be paying less than $20 a month.
- Underestimating the value of possessions. Many renters feel that the value of their property doesn’t warrant insurance. But you will be surprised how much each item costs when you try to replace them all at once.
- A fact-based inventory is a must. The first step is making an inventory of all the belongings in your possession. An accurate list with pricing will help you recover your money faster in case of a storm or fire.
- Getting paid living expenses in case you are displaced due to a fire. This is a very important part of renters insurance; something that is often overlooked: the ‘loss of use’ component of your renters insurance coverage. Hotel bills or temporary rental payments are covered by this element in a policy.
- Selecting a coverage that suits your needs. The two basic types of renters insurance are Actual Cash Value [ACV] and Replacement Value [RV]. Here’s how it works – with goods that are damaged, the depreciation of your items will be taken into account by the ACV. When it comes to RV, you will receive replacement value and be able to buy a new item immediately with the money you get from the insurance. Both the renters insurance have different premiums. The more expensive of the two will of course be RV because the insurance company will have to pay more in case of a claim.
Life at best is uncertain. Natural disasters like a fire can happen anytime; destroying all that you hold precious. While loss in such circumstances is inevitable, with the help of insurance, you have the means to weather the storm. If you’d like more information about living at a Venterra community or about our insurance requirements for renters, contact us today.