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Renters Insurance: Affordable Protection for Your Most Valuable Possessions

Posted by Morgan Nail on 04, Jun 2024
Morgan Nail

Renters insurance offers a crucial safety net for those venturing into the world of living solo, covering belongings against theft, damage, and even liability claims. Discover its affordability and comprehensive coverage that provides priceless peace of mind.

Summer may be just settling in, but back-to-school season is surely on the brain for college students (and their parents). A new chapter filled with independence, learning, and exciting experiences awaits in August. Amidst the hustle and bustle of campus life, one crucial aspect often overlooked is renters insurance. Whether you're a freshman moving into the dorms or a seasoned student transitioning to off-campus living, renters insurance is a vital safeguard for protecting your belongings and providing peace of mind.

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Not only is renters insurance affordable—here at CFM, a policy averages only $25-$33 a month for $10,000-$40,000 of coverage—but it also provides essential protection against catastrophic damage to your personal property and potential legal liabilities. And the coverage isn't limited to $40,000; if you possess very valuable items, your CFM agent can ensure that your policy accurately reflects their worth. Of course, without renters insurance, you risk having to cover any losses to your property or potential lawsuits out-of-pocket. We may be slightly biased, but we believe your wallet will thank you for the monetary assistance a policy can provide in a claims scenario.

CFM parents and policyholders, Parker and Penny, are bidding farewell to their son, Renter Riley, in a couple of short months as he embarks on his college journey. Through the undeniable excitement and anticipation, there's a comforting thought lingering in their minds–Riley is covered by a CFM Renters Policy that he can actually afford month-to-month. As they wish him a smooth transition to campus life, they understand the importance of making sure his expensive belongings are protected against unforeseen events. After all, college life is a perpetual game of hide and seek with surprises lurking around every corner, waiting to pounce on unsuspecting students like pop quizzes in disguise.

In this comprehensive breakdown, we'll dive deeper into the specifics of renters insurance, shedding light on what's covered, what's not, and debunking common myths surrounding this invaluable policy. From understanding its affordability to selecting the appropriate protection levels for your belongings, we're here to guide you every step of the way. So, whether you're a college student moving to your first apartment or a seasoned renter looking to beef up your protection, let's navigate the world of renters insurance together.

What Does Renters Insurance Cover? What's Not Covered?

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1. Personal Property

Personal Property coverage refers to all of the things you own that fill up your living space. Keep in mind that personal property coverage will not pay to replace your roommate's stuff or any furnishings or appliances supplied by your landlord if you’re renting an apartment or house. Those two parties will both need their own separate insurance policies to cover their items. But, if your clothing, appliances and furniture, jewelry, or electronics get damaged or destroyed by a covered peril on your policy, your renters coverage will step in to restore your loss. Covered perils include fire, theft, and weather events.

Did you know? The food in your fridge is covered under "Food Spoilage" on your renters policy! That's right - all those expensive groceries you just packed your fridge or deep freeze with would be covered if they spoiled due to a covered mechanical breakdown, for example. Your renters policy can't replace the now non-functioning fridge that stored your food since it's likely your landlord's - their policy covers that - but it can replace the groceries that were in it when it stopped working. CFM Renters policies cover up to $500 worth of food, without any deductible - score!

2. Additional Living Expenses (ALE)

In the event that a covered loss, such as a structure fire, renders your rental uninhabitable, your renters coverage will help pay for your temporary living expenses at a different location. That means if you need to stay in a hotel for a bit and buy new clothing and food to carry you through your difficult time, your policy will take care of those costs until you're able to get back on your feet at a new place.

3. Personal Liability & Medical Bills

If someone gets hurt at your place in a freak accident, your personal liability coverage extends to the injured party's hospital bills or legal fees incurred from a lawsuit. Personal liability coverage also applies to certain damages that you may cause by accident when you’re away from your rental space.

Not Covered:

1. Natural Disasters (Floods & Earthquakes)

Natural Disaster instances require their own separate insurance policies. Luckily, Missouri doesn't see many earthquakes, but if your place is in an area that regularly experiences flooding, sinkholes, and mudslides, be warned that renters insurance won't cover damage to your things from Mother Nature's worst attacks. If you feel the threat for one of those occurrences happening to your pad is high enough, you can purchase additional inland flood and earthquake coverage through your insurance agent. Trust them to help you weigh your coverage options and see if the additional cost is worth the extra level of protection you'd get.

It's also important to note: Damages and expenses from a more common occurrence in our state - widespread power outages from spring and summer storms - won't be covered by renters insurance.

2. Your Roommate's Stuff

We mentioned this earlier, but your roommate will need to get their own renters policy to cover their belongings.

3. Damage Caused by Pests

If icky critters like mice, termites, or other vermin become unwelcome roommates in your rental, any damage they cause to your belongings won't be covered by your renters policy. If you notice signs of a pest infestation, contact your landlord immediately so they can have a licensed professional exterminate them properly.

4. Undocumented Valuables

Say you have an expensive ring, VR headset, smart watch, or electric guitar hanging out in your pad and a thief breaks in to swipe them all. If you didn't have those high-dollar items listed out, line-by-line under your policy terms, they may not be covered. If your insurance company has no documentation those items ever existed, it could make it more difficult to prove they were actually owned by you and estimate their payout value in a claim scenario. Make sure you keep an updated inventory of everything you own - not just the expensive items - so your adjuster can have a record of them if they ever become damaged or destroyed by a covered peril.

5. Property Damage to Your Physical Rental

Did you know? Your landlord's insurance policy covers anything structural - not contents. Many tenants believe when they move into their new rental, their personal possessions are covered by their landlord's insurance policy, but as you now know, that couldn't be farther from the truth. If you live in a rented house, dorm, or apartment, you are responsible for making sure your belongings are covered in the event that a loss occurs, whether it be by fire, theft, or another disastrous circumstance. As we hinted above, your landlord’s policy covers the physical structure of their building and any furnishings/appliances they own inside, like the fridge or stove. But their policy won't extend coverage to damages affecting your personal property.

Remember, as the person living in that rental 24/7, it's your job to immediately report any deteriorating conditions around the space so your landlord can quickly make repairs and avoid any long-term structural damage or claims down the road.

Renters Insurance: Fact vs. Fiction

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When it comes to protecting your belongings in a rented space, misinformation can lead to costly mistakes. Renters insurance is often misunderstood, so let's debunk some common myths and clarify the facts.

Myth: My Parents' Homeowners Policy Will Cover Me, So I Don't Need My Own Separate Renters Policy.

Fact: Mom and Dad's CFM Homeowners insurance only extends so much coverage to you IF you're under the age of 21 and still considered a member of their household. Basically, if you can legally buy adult beverages, you can't claim damages on your folks' policy. So, raise a glass to adulting and getting your very own renters insurance policy to protect all the cool stuff filling up your new pad - Cheers!

Myth: Renters Insurance is Too Expensive for my Budget.

Fact: Renters insurance is surprisingly affordable, especially considering the protection it provides. The cost varies depending on factors like your location, the coverage amount, and your deductible. As mentioned earlier, the average cost here at CFM for $10,000+ worth of coverage only costs you $25 a month – that's around $300 annually. Think about all the other everyday items you buy for $25. That's a small upfront expense that can save you thousands in the long run.

Myth: I Don't Have Enough Stuff to Justify Buying a Renters Insurance.

Fact: Even if you don't own high-value items like jewelry or electronics, the cost of replacing everyday essentials can add up quickly. Renters insurance covers not only your belongings but also provides liability coverage, which can protect you from expensive lawsuits.

Myth: Renters Insurance Only Covers My Belongings Inside My Space.

Fact: Renters insurance typically covers your belongings both inside and outside your rental unit. This means if your laptop is stolen from your car or your bike is damaged while you're out riding, your policy may still provide coverage.

Myth: Renters Insurance is Complicated and Time-Consuming to Get.

Fact: Obtaining renters insurance is usually a straightforward process. CFM offers an online quoting system, allowing you to purchase coverage in just a few minutes. Plus, should you choose to seek the help of an insurance agent, like Awesome Agent Angela, you can customize a policy to fit your needs and budget.

How Much Coverage Do You Actually Need?

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Now that you're crystal clear on what renters insurance covers you're probably wondering how much coverage you realistically need. We're talking about that magic number that lets you feel confident you're protected, but still getting the most bang for your insurance buck. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when determining how much coverage would match the value of your stuff.

1. Choose appropriate coverage limits based on your property inventory numbers.

Take the afternoon and figure out exactly what you have and what it's worth on paper. Then, keep a running record of your home inventory on an app linked to your smart phone or laptop. This updated home inventory will be extremely helpful to your adjuster in determining your claim payout, should you ever need to file one.

Once you have an accurate idea of how much your personal property is worth, you can choose the most suitable coverage limits for your one-of-a-kind renters policy. CFM's property coverage base limit starts at $10,000. As mentioned earlier, if you require additional coverage for your more valuable items or collections, this can be easily increased and incorporated into your policy with the guidance of a trusted CFM agent.

As for your personal liability limits, keep in mind that medical expenses are on the rise so it may be wise to choose a higher coverage amount. CFM's personal liability limits range from $100,000 - $500,000 giving you plenty of room to work with if a claim ever came about.

2. Don't forget to factor in your deductible.

What is a deductible, you ask? Well, it's the portion of an insurance loss (in dollars) paid by you, the policyholder. Deductibles can range anywhere from $500 to $10,000. Your insurance deductible amount can affect your premium, so if you're looking to keep your monthly premium payment down, select a higher deductible. But, if you're looking to pay less out-of-pocket in a claim scenario, shoot for the lower deductible. Make sense?

Skim through the CFM Glossary for more insurance terminology breakdowns. 

So, You're Ready to Buy Renters Insurance? CFM Has You Covered.

We may be a slightly old - we mean mature - insurance company, but we know what the younger generation of renters want in a policy and the process to get it. Ease of business is the name of our game because we know it's a top priority for our customers, so we spent a good chunk of time developing a quick, seamless online quoting process specifically for our renter’s market.

If you're ready to see for yourself just how affordable and simple it is to get covered today, head over to our Renters Page and start a quote.

Topics: General Tips, Insurance Information, Missouri Made, Rural Missouri, Community First, Claims, Awesome Agent

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