What Questions Should I Ask When Buying Renters Insurance?

Charity needs renters insurance in Baltimore, MD so she can move into her apartment, wrote to the insurance experts at Effective Coverage to find out,

What questions should I ask when buying renters insurance? I’m new at this, I’ve never needed to have renters insurance before, so I’m a little behind on the whole process. Can you help me out, insurance experts for renters?

Sure, we can help you out, Charity! There’s plenty of questions you could ask, but let’s look at some of the important ones…

Can I Move My Renters Insurance To Another Apartment?

When thinking about what questions should I ask when buying renters insurance, it’s important to ask can I move my renters insurance to another apartment. Most of the time, the answer is yes, especially if you’re working with a major national provider like Effective Coverage. Effective Coverage can write you a Maryland renters insurance, and then if you decide to transfer schools and need renters insurance in Boulder, your Effective Coverage policy can be moved right along with you! We only know of one national renters insurance program where you can’t move the policy outside of their program, but it’s an important question to ask.
Charity Writes To The Renters Insurance Experts To Ask, What Questions Should I Ask When Buying Renters Insurance?

Charity Writes To The Renters Insurance Experts To Ask, What Questions Should I Ask When Buying Renters Insurance?

Is All My Personal Property Covered?

Another important one. Just because the personal property limit on your policy is large enough to cover all of your personal property doesn’t mean it’s all covered. Certain carriers limit some classes of property like jewelry or even electronics to a small portion of the total limit. You need to know this so you can find a renters insurance provider who meets your needs, and endorse the policy appropriately. The last thing you want to happen is to have your iPhone and laptop stolen, and then realize that there’s a $1,000 totals sublimit on electronics for loss by theft – that wouldn’t even come close to covering your losses!

What Are The Payment Options For Renters Insurance?

Some carriers will only take payment in full, others spread it out in some variation of monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually. You need to remember that while level monthly payments may be more convenient, they’re also more dangerous. If the mailman doesn’t bring a bill to you on time, on a monthly payment plan, you have far less cushion of pre-paid premium and could be canceled for non-payment in as little as a few weeks, depending on the state! Quarterly, semi-annually, and annually are better options because of this, and also because it’s fewer checks for you to write or payments for you to call in.

How Difficult Is Filing A Claim?

A few renters insurance carriers are notoriously troublesome when it comes time to file a claim, which just isn’t fair. You’ve paid your premiums on time, and after a loss is not the time you want to be arguing about a clear cut claim. This is especially important for people who bundle renters insurance with their auto insurance, as some of those carriers are agencies for other carriers when it comes to renters insurance, they don’t write their own. If you buy a Geico renters insurance policy, for example, you could get Travelers renters insurance, Assurant renters insurance, or any of several other carriers.

These are just a few of the things to think about when wondering what questions should I ask when buying renters insurance.

The best way to find out what questions you should be asking is to work with an experienced provider like Effective Coverage, For Renters, where the focus is on you and your needs as a renter. Call Effective Coverage at (800)892-4308 today or click above for a free renters insurance quote online!

I’m A Landlord, Should I Require Tenants To Have Renters Insurance?

Carla, a landlord in Houston, TX, has a question about requiring her tenants to have renters insurance. She writes,

I’m a landlord in Texas. Should I require my tenants to have renters insurance in Houston, TX? Can I require my tenants to have renters insurance in Houston, TX? My deductible is high, and I know some things tenants could do to damage the property might not be covered by my dwelling fire policies.

That’s a great question, Carla. Good for you thinking proactively!

Should I Require My Tenants To Have Renters Insurance?

Absolutely! Commercial deductibles are high, and profit margins are low. There’s no reason that tenant negligence should be taking money out of your pocket. You carry insurance, including liability insurance, for yourself and your properties. It’s perfectly reasonable to ask your tenants to do the same. Most landlords put it as a provision in the lease, so that there’s no question about the requirement. If you have 100% occupancy currently, you can still implement a renters insurance mandate over the course of the next twelve months as leases renew, adding the provision with each successive lease renewal.

Can I Require My Tenants To Have Renters Insurance?

Absolutely, Carla! As a landlord, you can put just about anything you want in the lease, from quiet hours to renters insurance. Because it’s a binding contract between you and the tenants, you can enforce provisions in the lease with fees, fines, or other methods the same as any other provision of the lease.

It’s a good idea to require tenants to have renters insurance, even if you only have a few units. Whether you’re just keeping the buildings occupied until you sell them for retirement, or you’re a national property management company, a renters insurance requirement makes sense. Whether you’re requiring Texas renters insurance, California renters insurance, or New York renters insurance, it’s a good idea.

I'm A Landlord, Should I Require Tenants To Have Renters Insurance?

I’m A Landlord, Should I Require Tenants To Have Renters Insurance?

How Do I Track Policies When I Require My Tenants To Have Renters Insurance?

Some tenants will, unfortunately, just buy a policy, show the declarations page, and let it cancel the next day. It happens all the time. That’s where the Effective Coverage renters insurance tracking platform comes into play. By listing the landlord or property management company as an additional interest on the policy, with the address of the Effective Coverage Processing Center, you can be assured that you’ll receive notification about lapses, cancelations, and even renewals. The whole process is managed from Effective Coverage’s national headquarters in Albany, NY, all you have to do is wait for the notifications to roll in as tenants purchase coverage!

But Don’t I Want To Be The Additional Insured If I’m Requiring Tenants To Have Renters Insurance?

No. And again, no. A landlord being listed as additional insured can bring trouble if you need to collect under a tenant’s liability coverage, since liability is a third party coverage and being additional insured makes you a party to the policy. It’s a bit more complex than that, but that’s the basics of it.

Whether you have two units or twenty thousand units, Effective Coverage has a way for you to require tenants to carry renters insurance, and to track their compliance. Contact Effective Coverage’s Property Management team at (800)892-4308, option 3, for immediate information on how we can help you mitigate risk, and in larger cases even help you generate revenue through our resident indemnity program, Renters Liability Pro!

Should I Get Renters Insurance?

Caprice, in her first apartment, wrote us about Forth Worth, TX renters insurance. She asks,

Should I get renters insurance? I’m in my first apartment and I don’t really have anything. What I do have is all secondhand. There’s not really much worth protecting, should I get renters insurance?”

Well, Caprice, we get that question often. Invariably, the answer is the same. Let’s take a look at why.

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