Spotting 2017 Iowa Renters Insurance In The Hawkeye State
Many people in Iowa rent their homes, but there’s a small problem. There are only about 152,000 apartments in the entire state! Renting in Iowa can be a challenge. You need to know how to find a good apartment, and you also need to know how to protect it. Iowa renters insurance is the best way to protect your home, your family, and the things that you own but only about forty-four percent of renters have the protection it brings.
From Des Moines to Cedar Rapids, Davenport to Sioux City, and from Iowa City to Waterloo, Effective Coverage offers the affordable coverage you need in just minutes. If you’re worried about the cost, don’t be – Iowa renters insurance may be derived from a homeowners policy, but it costs far less money. If you’re worried about the complex process of applying for insurance, don’t be – Effective Coverage has simplified so you can be covered in just sixty seconds right from your computer or cell phone. If you’re laboring under the delusion that your landlord’s insurance covers your stuff, now is the time to learn the truth – your landlord’s insurance doesn’t protect you at all. That’s why you need renters insurance in Iowa.
At Effective Coverage, we’re on a mission to make insurance accessible nationwide. Our mission is providing solutions for those buying insurance, because insurance is our world, and we want you to get back to yours. Our history is one of innovation and disrupting the insurance industry. We don’t do things because that’s the way they’ve always been done. We do things that smooth your experience and make it easier to get covered and get back to your life. Best of all, there’s always a friendly insurance expert available to answer your questions on the phone, as well. Just call (800)892-4308.
2017 Iowa Renters Insurance Guide Table Of Contents
- What Are The Benefits Of Iowa Renters Insurance?
- Can A Landlord Require Iowa Renters Insurance In 2017?
- How Does Iowa Renters Insurance Protect My Personal Property?
- Is Water Backup Covered By Renters Insurance In Iowa?
- Does Iowa Renters Insurance Move with Me?
- Is Iowa Renters Insurance Going Up In 2017?
- Iowa Renters Insurance Fast Facts
- Bonus Section: 2017 Guide To Renting In Iowa
What Are The Benefits Of Iowa Renters Insurance?
The benefits of Iowa renters insurance in are greater than ever before. In 2017, income gaps are getting larger while the incomes of many families are becoming smaller. Money needs to go farther than ever before. Many people lie awake in the evenings wondering how they’ll make ends meet, or what they would do if there were a fire. Instead of wondering how you would replace a lifetime’s worth of property, the benefits of Iowa renters insurance take care of that for you.
Other people lie awake at night wondering what would happen if they were sued. Nearly every accidental injury and most cases of accidental property damage end in lawsuits. Most people can’t afford a lawyer to defend them, but anyone with an alleged injury can find a lawyer to take the case on contingency. How can you protect yourself when there is an entire industry built around those lawsuits?
Another benefit of renters insurance in Iowa is that it provides defense coverage along with liability coverage. The insurance company has a duty to defend you as their insured, if a claim is brought or a suit is filed. That duty, and representation paid for by the insurer, lasts until either:
- The policy limits are paid in a settlement,
- The suit is dismissed,
- The claim is settled below the policy limits,
- The insurer can prove absolutely that they are not responsible for paying the claim.
The only scary one is the final option, and there are very strict limitations on why they wouldn’t be responsible. You would essentially have to have seriously violated the policy provisions or have engaged in a criminal act that caused the loss for that to happen. Even in those cases, you’ll generally get a reservation of rights letter and initial defense coverage.
The vast majority of claims involve defense and payment or settlement of the claim. The insurance company is in business to pay claims and to accept risk which is transferred to it. Iowa renters insurance is governed by the policy provisions and a very specific body of law defining the few circumstances where coverage might not apply. The insurer and the law are on your side.
Additional benefits of renters insurance in Iowa include the fact that you look like a responsible tenant if you already have coverage when you apply for an apartment, coverage for additional living expenses after a loss, and much more.
Can A Landlord Require Iowa Renters Insurance In 2017?
Very little has changed in the world of contracts recently, and a lease is just a contract. Two people who have a meeting of the minds can agree to almost anything they want in a contract. You are, of course, assumed to have read the terms you’re agreeing to. In 2017, landlords can require Iowa renters insurance and almost all of them do so. It protects them against the risk of major damage from tenant negligence.
Landlords also require renters insurance in Iowa because it protects tenants. When you’re living in a multifamily dwelling, the risk of fire, smoke, and water damage are greatly increased. The average value of a family’s personal property has increased drastically in recent years, owing to an explosion of phones and computers. A loss to even one of those devices is a substantial hit to a tenant’s income, and landlords want to know that you’re protected against that financial risk.
How Does Iowa Renters Insurance Protect My Personal Property?
Your renters insurance in Iowa contains a list of the named perils against which your property is protected. That list is lengthy, and includes both common risks such as fire, theft, and vandalism as well as less common risks such as volcanic eruption. The types of losses which are covered are carefully spelled out in the policy, but there’s another way renters insurance can protect your personal property.
You also can opt for “open perils” coverage on your Iowa renters insurance. Any loss to your property is covered, as long as it’s not excluded. While those sound like weasel words, they’re not – the exclusions are generally quite limited in scope: nuclear hazard, war, vermin and infestation, intentional loss, and inherent vice or defect. An open perils policy is also shorter than a standard named perils policy – the endorsement replaces the list of what’s covered with much more sweeping language and those very limited exclusions. The additional coverage is a sound investment, usually adding only a few dollars a year.
When there’s a loss, whether it’s covered under named perils or open perils, you contact your insurance. They review the loss, find out from you what property was damaged or destroyed, and issue a check so you can go buy new things. It’s that simple. Claims move quickly in most cases, and Iowa renters insurance protects your personal property by making sure that you can replace it after a loss, regardless of who caused the loss.
Is Water Backup Covered By Renters Insurance In Iowa?
Renters insurance in Iowa covers water damage from broken pipes, but water backup is excluded from the standard policy. It’s available as an endorsement, however. The average cost of water backup coverage is ten dollars per year, or less than a dollar a month. It’s well worth adding to the policy.
What’s the difference between a broken pipe and water backup? Water damage is covered by your policy if the water was inside a pipe or plumbing system and escaped due to damage to the pipe or system. This would be water coming from a pipe joint, for instance. Water backup is when water or water-borne materials come back into the living area because they’re unable to drain through a clogged pipe.
Ask your Iowa renters insurance expert about water backup coverage, because those losses can be substantial and devastating.
Does Iowa Renters Insurance Move with Me?
Iowa renters insurance can move with you, all you have to do is call and change your address. If you need overlapping coverage at both locations while you’re in the process of moving, that’s available under the policy language. You do, of course, have to let us know that you’re moving. Your leasing office isn’t able to make changes to the policy on your behalf because it’s not their policy.
If you’re moving within Iowa, it’s a simple address change. If you’re moving outside of Iowa, we can rewrite the policy for your new state. It’s quick and easy. All you need to know is your new address, and the additional interest information for the new apartment, if necessary. The whole process takes just a few minutes.
Moving is a great time to consider changes in your policy and your lifestyle. Are you moving in with someone? Are you moving into a larger home that will accumulate more personal property? Are you buying new furniture for the new home? Moving is also a great time to complete a home inventory to make a future claim easier.
If you’re hiring professional movers, make sure they’re insured, bonded, and licensed per state requirements. Their insurance generally covers their liability for damage they cause, and your movers may offer additional insurance to you as well. Your renters insurance would only cover items in transit against named perils such as theft or fire, not against breakage or damage by the movers.
Is Iowa Renters Insurance Going Up In 2017?
Iowa renters insurance in 2017 is still the best value around for the protection it provides. While you might find that your policy goes up a few dollars, any increase is generally insignificant over the course of the year. Renters insurance prices in Iowa are based on rates that are filed with the state, and companies have to justify those rates. A particularly active year for claims might cause a statewide increase, but it hits individual policies at a very low level.
There are reasons for the price to go up on individual policies. If you’ve had a claim, you’re likely to see an increase in the price of the policy. While the increase might take you by surprise, let’s take a closer look. You pay $200.00 a year for your policy, and you had a $30,000 claim that was paid for a fire loss last year. If your Iowa renters insurance goes up threefold, it’s $600 a year. In the real world, the increase would likely be far less than that, but we’re making a point. That’s still a very small amount of money, given that the company is still ready to pay another $30,000 claim if the need should arise. Even when renters insurance goes up after a claim, it’s still a bargain.
Iowa Renters Insurance Fast Facts
- Having renters insurance in place already when you apply for an apartment makes you appear to be a more responsible prospect.
- The average claim for bodily injury and property damage is over $18,000.
- Water claims average $7,000.
- Having a home inventory helps recover an average of 30% more on your claim, and also speeds the process.
Bonus Section: 2017 Guide To Renting In Iowa
Finding An Apartment In Iowa
Even in 2017, renting in Iowa requires a long search because of the very limited number of apartments that are available. These few apartments are concentrated in cities, such as Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Sioux City, and Iowa City. Single-family rentals are common, but can be difficult to find because they’re not always widely advertised. There are certainly alternatives to apartment complexes, but you’ll have to look hard to find them. If you’re just moving to the state, start your search for an apartment in Iowa somewhat earlier than you think you need to.
Renting in Iowa is easier when you’re already here. You’ll have access to local for rent signs, as well as the ability to ask friends and family for help in your search. It’s possible to engage a real estate agent, but that adds a significant expense and not all landlords are interested in such an arrangement. The internet can be helpful, but you’ll have to search a number of fragmented sites to find the right apartment.
Iowa Tenant Rights
What must the landlord do in Iowa? What do they have to provide? An Iowa landlord is responsible to follow codes, keep the home in good repair so that it’s livable, and to provide for trash removal. You’re also entitled to hot and cold running water as well as heat, though you may be asked to pay your own utilities for the hot water and heat. The landlord is required to keep common areas clean and safe and to maintain your appliances provided by the landlord.
As a tenant in Iowa, you’re required to follow any codes applicable to tenants. This is one that’s often overlooked because moving in one more person doesn’t seem like a big deal when you’re a tenant. There are limits on how many people can live in an apartment, for fire safety and other reasons. You’re expected not to cause damage on purpose or through your negligence. If you do cause damage to the apartment through your negligence, that’s why you have Iowa renters insurance!
What remedies do you have as a tenant? If there’s a problem with the apartment, you need to ask the landlord to fix it first. Ideally, this would be in writing via certified mail. There are city ordinances specifying the required notice, so make sure to pay attention to these as well as state law. Iowa does allow for withholding rent and for repairing and deducting the cost from your rent, but only in limited situations. There are procedures that must be followed, or your repair and deduct will be seen as a simple non-payment of rent.
Your landlord cannot charge more than two months rent as a security deposit in Iowa. This benefits you because your money is tied up, but it also denies you the opportunity to offer additional security if you have some blemishes on your application. When you move, the landlord must return the deposit within 30 days after you have moved and provided a new mailing address. If the landlord intends to keep some or all of the deposit, they must contact you in writing within that 30 days to explain in detail why they believe they are entitled to keep it. If they fail to contact you, they lose the right to keep any of the deposit and you may have a right to additional damages.
Iowa has reasonable tenant protections. They have not gone as far as some other states, but the basics are covered. Iowa is a great place to live in 2017, and you’ll find that rents and the cost of living are lower than in much of the country. Even though the apartment search can be time-consuming, it’s worth it.
Once you’ve found the perfect home, make sure you have the perfect protection. Just call (800)892-4308 or click above to get the Iowa renters insurance you need with easy payments and coverage you can rely on. Effective Coverage insurance experts are happy to answer your questions and help you to understand what type and amount of coverage may best fit your personal situation.