In light of the devastation caused by natural disasters across the United States in recent years, interest in renters insurance policies has been growing. Unlike homeowners insurance coverage for mortgage borrowers, renters insurance policies cannot be forced upon tenants, which explains why it’s not as widespread as it should be.
Renters insurance is a smart financial measure to consider right after you sign a leasing contract in California. When shopping for this coverage, make sure to look for the following features.
1. Adequate Coverage for Personal Possessions
Personal possession coverage is a standard feature of renters insurance policies, but it must be backed up with a detailed inventory of all items along with their value. You can choose from various levels of coverage, and you should get as close to 100 percent as possible.
2. Covered Risks
Fire and theft are the most common perils covered by renters insurance. San Diego tenants may be disappointed to learn that not all disasters are included in standard policies. You may see coverage related to water damage, but this will likely refer to flooding caused by a plumbing issue and not by storm surge. In California, renters have the option to insure their belongings in case of earthquake by means of a separate policy offered by the California Earthquake Authority agency.
3. Risk Mitigation Factors
Similar to homeowners insurance, smoke detectors, security alarm systems, and smart locks lower the risk profile and reduce the policy premium. Likewise, a good credit history and bundling other insurance policies may result in discounts and more affordable premium payments.
4. Replacement Cost Coverage
Most renters insurance policies include actual cash value provisions that are subject to depreciation, which means you may get less than what you expect. A replacement cost provision provides higher payouts. This option typically comes with a higher premium, but it may make it financially easier to replace lost items.
5. Reasonable Deductible Amount
Like most other policies, renters insurance contracts feature a deductible amount you’re expected to cover out of pocket. If your deductible amount is $1,000 and the total value of your property is $3,000, you’ll only get a $2,000 payout in case of a total loss.
6. Away from Home Coverage
If you travel with some of your personal property items, check for this provision. For instance, if you take a laptop on the road and it’s stolen from a hotel room, this is when off-premise coverage would apply.
7. Covered Living Expenses
If your rented home or apartment is rendered uninhabitable by a covered peril, the additional living expenses you would incur by moving into temporary accommodations would be covered by this special provision. In case of emergencies, living expenses such as meals may also be covered for a few days.
If you need reliable and affordable renters insurance, reach out to Altra Insurance Services. We are also a leading provider of home, commercial, and car insurance. San Diego residents who would like to receive a free quote can give us a call today at (800) 719-9972.