Today's not only the first post of the new year, but also my first post since our apartment was broken into and our laptop stolen. It feels so good to have a new laptop and be connected to everyone again! As promised, I'll spend this month giving tons of advice on keeping safe and protecting your belongings. Have any additional tips or suggestions? Leave a comment, shoot me an email, or start/join the discussion on our facebook page.
First we're going to cover renter's insurance. Before today, I didn't completely know what renter's insurance covered. I now know that insurance not only covers your if your apartment's robbed, but also if you're mugged, your car's broken into, your place catches on fire, or someones injured at your apartment and decides to sue you for damage. Basically, wherever your stuff is, it's covered!
If you don't have renter's insurance already, you're probably like I was, living with the thought that no one would ever break-in and that insurance can wait. NOT TRUE!! I found out the hard way that break-ins can happen anytime. After being a renter for 8 years, someone broke into our apartment two weeks ago and stole our tv, laptop, and xbox. Because we procrastinated and decided to put off getting insurance until 2011, we're left buying all new electronics on our own dime. Not cool!
If you're a procrastinator, you'll be happy to hear that getting renter's insurance takes no time at all. In the few hours before writing this post, I was able to not only get quotes from multiple agencies, but also completely sign up for both renter's AND auto insurance. Not only is the process quick and easy, but prices range from $10-$45/month depending on the coverage level and deductible. That means even those living on a tight budget can afford insurance. Just think...it's easier to pay $20/month than to be out several thousand dollars buying everything new!
I looked into State Farm, 21st Century (they use Farmer's for rental insurance), Commerce (our old auto agency), and Allstate. Allstate and State Farm were my top 2 companies. I spent about an hour total talking on the phone with them before deciding to go with Allstate for both renter's and auto insurance. My renter's insurance is $33/month with a $500 deductible...definitely a lot less than what we're currently paying for the new tv, laptop, software, and xbox.
When signing up for insurance, don't forget to ask questions such as how long it takes to process a claim (2 weeks or less seems standard) and make sure you'll be covered for the full cost of replacing your items. Some policies only cover the item's current value which, depending on depreciation, can be a lot less than what it costs to replace it. If you have an engagement/wedding ring or other valuable jewelry, you'll have to add on jewelry coverage which was only $12/year in my case. You can also get discounts for bundling your car insurance or for having an alarm installed in your apartment.
Like I said, there is NO EXCUSE for any renter to not have renter's insurance. Even if you don't have a lot of valuables, you should at least have basic coverage to cover your clothing, computer, furniture, etc. All it takes is a few bucks and a couple of hours...DO IT!!! For those who already have it, what agency do you recommend?