Renters insurance affordable, covers personal belongings

March 13, 2015 Letters to the Editor Print Print
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letter to the editorIf you are currently renting or plan to rent soon, we recommend you contact an insurance agent to discuss renters insurance. While it is the landlord’s responsibility to fix the building if something like a fire or tornado damages the home, your personal belongings will be your responsibility to replace.

In addition to personal belongings, some policies also will cover living expenses if your apartment or home is uninhabitable due to damage caused by a covered peril.

The premiums for renter’s insurance average between $15 and $30 per month depending on the location, the policy limit requested, loss history and other underwriting guidelines.

Most renters insurance policies provide two basic types of coverage: personal property and liability.

Personal property coverage pays to repair or replace personal belongings if they are damaged, destroyed or stolen. This is the most commonly purchased renters policy. Liability insurance provides coverage against a claim or lawsuit resulting from bodily injury or property damage to others caused by an accident while on the policyholder’s property.

There are two major types of renters insurance:

The broad form covers personal belongings against specific events, such as fire or theft. This is the most commonly purchased renter’s policy. Typical coverage under this form includes damage from fire, lightning, explosion, smoke, vandalism, theft and water-related damage from property utilities.

The comprehensive form provides coverage for a range of events, unless specifically excluded by the policy. Considering the potential amount of coverage, the premiums for this policy may be higher.

One important factor to look for when shopping for renter’s insurance is actual cash value versus replacement cost coverage. While it may not have a large effect on your short-term premiums, it may make a large difference in your claim.

Actual cash value coverage will reimburse the renter for the cost to replace the personal property minus depreciation. It’s important to account for depreciation when considering this coverage option. Replacement cost coverage will reimburse the renter for the cost of replacing the property.

It is also important to have a current home inventory list so that if you do have to file a claim, you can easily show what contents you had before the loss. A free home inventory list is at www.ok.gov/oid/home_inventory.html.

For more information on renters insurance visit www.oid.ok.gov or contact the Oklahoma Insurance Department at 1-800-522-0071.

To contact Kesha Keith, email Kesha.Keith@oid.ok.gov

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