Don't Slip Up - Renter's Insurance Isn't Just for Possessions
By John Voket
About once a year I get a reminder from Peter Frascarelli, CPIA, president of PIACT - the Professional Insurance Agents of Connecticut Inc. He has often discussed how renters insurance covers personal items in the event of damage from a variety of events.
If your belongings encounter smoke, broken water pipes, electrical surges, vehicle damage, vandalism, windstorms or an explosion, many renter's insurance plans can cover replacing or repairing items.
However, Frascarelli says, there are some restrictions on what renters insurance will cover.
Generally, natural disasters like earthquakes and flooding are not covered, although most insurance companies offer additional coverage for these situations.
But the most important point Frascarelli makes is regarding renter's liability exposures. Did you know if someone twists an ankle on the wet bathroom floor, the renter is responsible for covering the treatment for the injury.
All the more reason for both current and prospective renter's policyholders to double-check to ensure your policy will cover the medical payments for the injured person, and up to what amount.
One way to ensure you are compensated for any belongings you may lose in a fire, storm or other catastrophe Frascarelli says, is to take an inventory of all possessions.
Your inventory should list each item, its value and serial number. Photograph or videotape each room, including closets, attics, cellars, storage buildings and your garage.
Keep receipts for major items in a fireproof place. And, keep several copies of your inventory and receipts in another location.
Renters insurance is relatively inexpensive, according to Frascarelli.
Just like any other type of homeowners insurance policy, a renter's insurance premium will depend on a number of factors: where you live; your deductible; your insurance company; and whether you need additional coverage.
To save the most on premiums, Frascarelli says consider increasing your deductible - and ask about discounts for protective devices including smoke and fire detectors and burglar alarms.
Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.