By: Revanche

Renters Insurance, Revisited

March 19, 2010

Michelle lit a fire under my butt with the suggestion to get my renters insurance in order. I hadn’t committed to a policy since talking about it in October for a very stupid reason: I was grumpy that my quotes were so high in comparison to everyone else’s. That’s just nonsense. I’m insuring a 3-bedroom house with two dogs and earthquake insurance in California; clearly I forgot I wasn’t comparing apples to apples.

But I’ve finally just bitten the bullet – I’ll be gone soon and won’t be here to take care of anything in case of theft, break-ins, etc.

With the following sage advice from my previous post

@Funny About Money: Be sure it covers full replacement value…that is, what it would cost to buy new stuff. Unless a policy specifically says that (and check with the agent to be sure what the wording means), the insurer may pay you only what it decides is the used value. And used furniture and clothing isn’t worth much, by anyone’s reckoning.
My policy covers full replacement value. 

@The Lost Goat: Make sure the plan covers your comic books … I have to get riders to cover my firearms, because they are not considered general household items. Expensive collectible things like firearms, jewelry, and stamps generally require riders (read: more money) if they are valued past a certain amount.
A comic book rider will cost something like $15/$500 increment, well worth it. The interesting detail about the rider is that if a loss occurs just to the books, I don’t have to pay a deductible. They would simply pay out the claim in the amount insured.  

I set up two policies

I’ve increased my required monthly contribution amounts to the Insurance Fund accordingly to make sure that I’m covered this time next year when the renewals come up.  When I get the chance – honestly, probably in a month or so, I’ll rate-review again just in case another company had better rates.  I don’t get a multi-policy discount anyway so there’s no real reason to be loyal to a single company if I can find comparable value and better rates elsewhere.

6 Responses to “Renters Insurance, Revisited”

  1. Those quotes aren’t terrible, considering what you’re covering. Although I never thought to ask about “animal liability” — what exactly does that cover?

  2. That certainly seems like generous coverage.

    And yeah: I wonder the same thing about “animal liability.” If the dog bites someone and they sue your tuchus, is 50 grand the limit of coverage? If so, better get them beasts defanged… 😉

  3. Shelley says:

    I, too, hate the insurance racket. In my experience they often don’t give you much on a claim. For example, when my house (that I rented) was burgled, they stole a few gold and silver coins that I had in my jewelery box: some silver dollars my dad had given me and a gold kugerrand I don’t remember how I got. Turns out my insurance policy didn’t cover foreign currency and the value of the silver dollar was apparently $1. I’m sure it was all my fault, but I’ve despised insurance companies ever since.

    I do have homeowners’ insurance but, following advice from the Tightwad Gazette and from a Charles Givens lecture I once attended, I do not insure that which I could easily replace from savings, I keep a high deductable, I don’t insure things that I primarily value for sentimental reasons – they are irreplaceable anyhow. Also, I live in a reasonably decent neighbourhood, keep things locked up and follow local precautions (they have a thing about curtains over here) when we are on holiday.

  4. Mrs. Micah says:

    I like the idea of a comic book rider. 🙂 I don’t have enough books to make that worthwhile, but if those collections aren’t covered under regular insurance, they could be awfully expensive to replace!

  5. Carolyn says:

    My apt complex requires renter’s insurance so I bought relatively cheap one… I have to be honest, I’m not sure about the coverage! Eeps…

  6. Revanche says:

    @RainyDaySaver: It covers 3rd party bodily injury and not the animals themselves, but see below.

    @FaM: Turns out that the dogs fall under Personal Liability and are covered to $100k! Still probably not enough to save me from a lawsuit but it may pay for the suit itself. 😛

    @Shelley: Yes that’s exactly why I’m trying for a comic book rider. Though the face value of my comics aren’t high, I’ve finally amassed enough over the years that I couldn’t afford to replace all of them if they were lost, damaged or destroyed. But a few would cost far more than face value to replace as they are limited editions.

    @Mrs.Micah: More than anything, it’s the number of books I’d find burdensome to replace. BUT I have to get an appraisal done, evidently, which is a PITA because I’m two days away from leaving AND I’ve already shipped a good chunk of the books off. *sigh*

    @Carolyn: Should just be a quick call to check! 🙂

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