Because many residents haven’t had renters insurance in the past, we’re often asked about coverage limits and what’s appropriate for a given situation.
How much personal property coverage should I have on renters insurance? I don’t own that much stuff, but I’m not sure how to value it all.
There’s actually a surprisingly easy answer to that question!
How Much Personal Property Coverage Should I Have On Renters Insurance?
While we can’t give you an exact number since we haven’t seen your home, we can tell you how to get it. The best part is, applying this formula means killing two birds with one stone – you get some evidence of what property you own at the same time!
- Go walk through each room of your house and add up the big ticket items. Furniture, television, significant shoe collections, etc. While you’re walking, take a video of all four walls of each room with your cell phone. There’s your record of the big items, should you ever need it. Email it to yourself or otherwise keep it off premises.
- Take the number that you got from adding up the big ticket items. Now double it. Round up to the nearest $5,000. If it’s $17,500, round up to $20,000.
That’s quite literally, all there is to it! Obviously if you have significant valuables like jewelry, you’ll want to account for them both as part of the total and on an endorsement or floater policy if necessary. Don’t forget the cell phone you’re taking the video with, miscellaneous other portable electronics, and so on.
Why did we double the number in step 2? To account for all the miscellaneous clothes, personal effects, and things that very few people take the time to inventory. Of course, it’s better if you account for them properly, but this should get you to a starting point. If you think you need more coverage, add more. If you think you need less coverage, you’re probably wrong.
If you’re just moving in, it’s the perfect time to take a proper home inventory and valuation, logging each thing as it comes out of its box. This formula is meant to give you a rough ballpark, it’s not an absolute hard and fast rule. Some people need more coverage, some need slightly less.
Does Renters Insurance Pay The Personal Property Limit After A Loss?
No, not unless the loss is that large or larger. The policy limit is a maximum number the policy will pay, it doesn’t mean that you just get that amount, no questions asked. You may have to substantiate some of the property loss as well, which is where the above referenced video comes in. It’s also why you store that video off site somewhere else, even if it’s just in a folder in your email, to make sure that the peril that caused damage to your property doesn’t also damage the video you’re planning on giving the adjuster.
For more information on how much personal property coverage you need on renters insurance, or other renters insurance questions, call Effective Coverage at (800)892-4308 or click above for free online renters insurance quotes.