|Corrigan Times - Local News
Copyright 2013 - Polk County Publishing Company
Tips to protect your dreams if you are renting property
CORRIGAN -- (Family Features) There are many reasons people choose to rent over home ownership. Whether saving up for a dream home, you're having difficulty affording one or you simply enjoy commitmentfree, hassle-free living, renting certainly has its perks. For those who choose to rent, having adequate protection is a must — and with advances in the industry, finding the right coverage is easier than ever. Protecting your assets For many looking to rent a home or apartment, the thought of renters insurance may seem less important with so many other things to think about. Though not all landlords require it, many do, and for good reason. "Though you never hope you have to use it, insurance is so valuable to the protection of your family, your belongings, and, overall, your peace of mind," said Kathy McDonald, senior vice president at Assurant Specialty Property. "Many returning to the rental market will be pleased with how the insurance industry has evolved, which makes acquiring the best coverage easier than ever." Advancements in the industry The conveniences brought on by computers, tablets and smartphones have greatly improved the services insurance providers now offer. With easy-to-follow websites, apps and customer service chats, one can check the status of a claim 24 hours a day. Keep a home inventory To evaluate the amount of coverage you need — and assist if you ever need to file a claim — keeping a well-documented list of your possessions is important. A recent survey conducted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) stated 59 percent of consumers do not have a proper listing of their possessions in the event of a fire, robbery or other loss incident. Update your list According to the survey, 59 percent of those who do have a list of their belongings admit they haven't updated the list within the past year. That can fail to account for many gifts and purchases throughout the year. Make a mental note to add to your list after each birthday, the holidays or other similar occasions. Note valuable items Make sure you get sufficient coverage for expensive belongings such as artwork or collectibles, which may be subject to policy limits. As many policies only cover $1,000 for jewelry, you may need additional coverage, considering many jewelry items exceed that amount. Consider everything has value Many items have more value than you think. To better understand this, consider how much it would cost to replace every item in one load of laundry. Sometimes, it's the little items that add up. Jot down everything — clothing, shoes, kitchen gadgets and power tools. In-depth information on renters insurance is available from providers. Did you know? Affordability Add up monthly rent, utilities and all other costs to ensure you can afford it with your current budget. Safety It's important to find out about crime occurring in the neighborhood in which you are interested. Contact the local police department for information and police reports on robberies and other crimes in the area. An evaluation of the property's safety is also essential, such as the lock features on doors and windows and working smoke detectors.