When people have renters insurance, they often ask many questions. You no doubt wanted to know about the coverage, the limits, and the exclusions as well as the stability of the insurance company. But there’s one thing that very few people ask before they buy Abilene Renters Insurance,
How do renters insurance claims work? How are they paid? What documentation do I need? How can I make sure I get the most out of my claim so I’m made whole?
Usually, people ask the question after they’ve had a loss and that’s not the ideal time to be finding out what documentation you’ll need to have, or how renters insurance claims work. Fortunately, Effective Coverage has the answers you need right below our Video Guide To Texas Renters Insurance.
How Do Renters Insurance Claims Work? What Questions Should I Ask?
There are a few questions you should ask in order to understand how renters insurance claims work. Don’t worry, we’ll cover them all in plain language below!
- What information do I need to prove my renters insurance claim?
- How is my claim valued?
- How do I get the most out of my renters insurance claim?
- Is the adjuster my adversary?
- What can I do to make the process go faster?
What Information Do I Need To Prove My Renters Insurance Claim?
How does a renters insurance claim work when you need to prove your claim, prove you owned something, or prove the value of something?
There are a number of ways that you can prove both value and that you owned most consumer goods. The fastest and easiest is a home inventory for renters insurance. Whether you use a home inventory product like KnowYourStuff.org (free), or just keep a spreadsheet and pictures in the cloud doesn’t really matter.
What Is A Home Inventory?
What matters is that you have a list, pictures, and/or video of everything in your home. That’s not as daunting of a task as it sounds. Walk around your home or apartment and slowly take video or photos of each room, making sure to get each wall. It’s a good idea to open cabinets and drawers, as well to capture the contents – that’s all the stuff that you’d forget if you were making a list after a loss!
Why Video? Does That Make My Renters Insurance Claim Work Faster?
Adjusters love video because it’s easy for them to pause and dig in on a particular area to make sure they’re giving you full value for the items, but pictures also work. In either case, make sure you upload them to the cloud somewhere. If your phone suffers a loss and the video is on your phone, you’re in trouble!
What About Big Ticket Items?
If you have receipts, scan or take pictures for big ticket items. Pictures of the serial number and model number of electronics are always a good idea, as well because it helps to establish exactly which model of television or computer you had. The whole process can often be completed in an hour or two in an evening!
What If I Don’t Have A Home Inventory? How Will That Claim Work?
If you don’t have a home inventory, you’ll need to make a list of absolutely everything that suffered a loss. You’ll need to describe it and attribute a value to it. You’ll also need to be able to substantiate a particular model or type of some electronics or other big ticket items in some cases.
The good news is that credit card or bank statements can help with that. The bad news is that older statements can be difficult or expensive to get, and many people use cash and don’t keep receipts.
Renters insurance claims work much more smoothly when you have a home inventory, and it’s a very easy process. It’s not a bad idea to repeat the process on an annual basis, of course, because people naturally acquire more stuff. But only having to add big ticket items you bought in the last two years is better than listing everything you ever bought!
How Is My Claim Valued?
There are two primary ways that a renters insurance claim works. We’ll start with the one that’s most common by far – it’s the one that you want.
Replacement cost coverage on renters insurance means that you can buy new property to replace what suffered the loss, at retail prices, without depreciation. That means you’ll get like kind and quality of what you had. The vast majority of new renters insurance policies are issued with replacement cost. It’s a good idea to double check your policy to be sure, though – there are some policies in Texas without replacement cost, and some older policies that are still in force didn’t even offer the option!
Actual Cash Value
This is not the type of loss settlement that you want. ACV takes the cost of the item and subtracts depreciation based on how long you’ve owned it. Furniture is one area where actual cash value is dangerous, because the value drops quickly. Your three year old couch might well still look like new, but it’s still a three year old couch.
If you advertised it as such, you’d get maybe fifteen or twenty percent of what you paid for it, probably much less. Electronics and computers are another area where you’ll get hurt badly by ACV coverage, because they depreciate so quickly. Moore’s Law might not quite hold true, but computers and electronics improve at a surprising pace. Something that’s even a year old might be obsolete and have very little value.
How Do I Get The Most Out Of My Renters Insurance Claim?
You want to understand how renters insurance claims work so that you can get the most out of your claim and make sure you’re able to replace all of your property after a loss. Having a home inventory, as noted above, is the most efficient thing you can do, but there are a few other things to keep in mind.
- Return phone calls promptly. If your adjuster calls you, it’s because they need information so they can move the claim forward.
- Complete forms promptly, ideally in a quiet place where you’re not distracted.
- Be completely honest with the adjuster. If there’s an item you’re having trouble describing or attributing value to, the adjuster would rather know that and offer you resources to help. If you make up a description or value, they’ll know.
- Understand that there is a process, but you can ask the adjuster for certain types of coverage like loss of use to pay for your hotel after a loss to be paid before the claim is closed.
- Get the help of family and friends to make sure you didn’t miss any items.
Is The Adjuster My Adversary?
No! The adjuster wants to get as much information as possible from you so that they can give a fair value to your claim and get it paid. Your Abilene Renters Insurance policy obligates the company to make fair payment for a loss. The only way to do that is to have all of the information available.
The adjuster wants to see your claim paid appropriately, and they want to see you able to rebuild your life. That’s what an insurance company does. They have an obligation to ask questions, to make sure you owned the property in question, and to make sure that the valuation is fair.
The adjuster also has an obligation to send you certain communications in writing, that’s just how renters insurance claims work. If they tell you that they’ve sent you a letter, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. It just means that your state mandates they mail certain things. That’s because just leaving you a voicemail does not give you the same information, or the same likelihood of receiving the information.
The adjuster wants to see your claim handled fairly and quickly as much as you do. That is, quite literally, their job.
What Can I Do To Make The Process Go Faster?
Renters insurance claims often move quickly. The most important thing you can do to make the process go faster is to make sure you are responsive to the adjuster’s questions and provide complete information when they ask for it. The more information you can provide, the fewer questions about the claim there will be.
The average renters insurance claim is closed out quickly, and offers you the amount of money you need to replace the things that were lost, subject to the policy limit.
What If I Don’t Have Renters Insurance?
The national average price of renters insurance is just $187.00, according to the III. That works out to as little as fifteen dollars per month. The vast majority of families can budget renters insurance easily at those prices.
Additionally, it's important to note that renters are at a significantly higher risk of experiencing loss than homeowners. Renters occupy roughly one third of total housing stock in the country, and yet they are fully fifty percent more likely to experience theft than homeowners, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
It only costs a few dollars a month to protect your family, and this cheap renters insurance is a great way to mitigate the additional risks that come with being a renter.
You can afford a policy, and you do have time to buy one! It’s affordable, quick, and easy. Just call (800)892-4308 or click to get covered - whether you need Abilene renters insurance quotes online or coverage anywhere else!
Effective Coverage offers the nation's only completely mobile platform to quote and purchase renters insurance right from your phone or tablet in just one minute. Get an online renters insurance quote today and protect your family.
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