The choice between renting and owning a home is a big decision. For those who choose to rent instead of own, one important thing to do is to buy renter’s insurance. Regardless of whether one has valuable items or not, insurance covers unforeseeable events like fires, burglary and accidents. The fact is that renter’s insurance is very affordable – less than $100 a month.
What to expect:
Renter’s insurance will help to cover losses of items such as furniture, clothing, electronics, books and other items that are damaged or destroyed beyond repair. It may cover items stored in the car and also luggage which is used during travel. It is essential to have insurance so that it can help you in the event someone gets hurt on your property. This type of insurance helps in the event of a fire – policy holders can get money for temporary housing. Quite a few
Items not covered:
Renter’s insurance doesn’t cover damage that occurs from burst pipes, backed up sewage lines, floods, earthquakes and acts of God. Coverage for such events can be bought by paying additional premiums. If you have valuable items such as jewelry and expensive electronic equipment, buying extra insurance coverage is a good idea.
How to file a claim:
It is always a good idea to have photographs and lists of all your valuables in a safe place so that you can file based on their value. Keep in mind that an insurance polic will cover property, liability as well as any legal expenses a renter may have. Review the policy so that the coverage will cover losses. The steps involved in filing a policy are:
- Contacting authorities and agents: Depending on the incident, it will be necessary to call the police and file a report. Call your insurance company, file a claim and keep the number handy for reference. Ensure that the claim is made under the right category – flood, fire, accident, crime etc.
- Documenting damage: Having a list handy will make it easier to document losses. List items individually especially in case of jewelry and high value electronics. If serial numbers etc. are available, provide those. Information on price and estimated costs are good as well. Keeping pictures and other information elsewhere will make it easy to get reimbursements.
- Duration of claim: Talk to the insurance company and find out how long it will take to process a claim and get money. This is important for planning and replacing items.
- Repair estimates: Based on the amount of damage, repairs or even replacing items may be necessary. Check with tine insurance company if any forms have to be filled out. The company will also let a claimant know if it it the actual cash value will be paid out or if only the replacement value will be given.
- Temporary housing: Insurance companies usually offer emergency funds to clients so that they can live somewhere and also eat till they find another place to live. It is essential to track all living expenses till the property is made habitable again.
- Final steps in claim process: Claims adjusters make appointments with every client to examine and check all the paperwork that is part of a claim. Based on the supporting papers, they may approve or deny payments. They will also be able to answer questions on the policies, rules and regulations. They have the power to authorize temporary housing and also car rentals. Agents will also negotiate with medical insurance companies and lawyers if the need arises.
- Settling claims: Once all the paperwork has been completed, claimants should make sure to review all the paperwork. If necessary, talk to a lawyer and go through the documents so that there is no confusion. It is always good to have as much supporting documentation as possible to speed up the claim. Get doubts cleared up before signing. One other thing to keep in mind is that all items lost are included in the claim and will be paid for.