Compare Renters Insurance Policies

It is estimated that 85% of those who rent apartments do not have any renters insurance to protect their personal property or themselves. What many do not realize is - how inexpensive renters insurance can be.

As a smart shopper, it is important to know how to compare one renters insurance policy against another. Here are some tips of what to look for:

1. Discounts

Multi-Line Discounts - This is one of the first things you'll want to take a look at, especially if you are reviewing a quote from the insurance company that provides you with auto insurance. Multi-line discounts are common in the insurance industry and are often used to get your business. It is when two or more policies are held with one insurance company, and in turn, the company provides discounts to that policyholder.

Safety Discounts -- In general, it is important to take safety measures within your apartment. But it can also make you eligible for safety related discounts on your renters insurance. These safety measures include having deadbolts on your door, having fire alarms in all the major rooms of your apartment living room, kitchen and bedrooms) and having at least one fire extinguisher within your apartment. Not all apartments are equipped with fire extinguishers or may have one located in the hallway. If this is the case, you can purchase a fire extinguisher at most retail stores or online.

2. Deductibles

As with most insurance policies: the higher the deductible -- the lower the premium, so it is important to compare the two renters insurance quotes based on the average deductibles of $250, $500 and $1000. Since insurance rates can vary from state to state, you'll want to take note if you receive any quotes from companies located out-of-state and compare against the quote from your local agent.

3. Actual Cash Value ACV) vs. Replacement Cost

The typical renters insurance policy will provide you with coverage of the actual cash value of your property less depreciation. This means, if you purchased your T.V. for $1,000 five years ago, it may only have a cash value of $200 today -- and that is all you will receive from your insurance company if you need to file a claim. If you start to add up what it would cost to replace everything you own versus their depreciated value, the difference could be significant.

When comparing the two renters insurance policies, see if the insurance companies provide replacement cost coverage up front, and if they don't, request that a rider be added to the quote or quotes. You may be surprised at how little it can cost to have this added coverage.

4. Valuable items

Most renters insurance policies limit coverage to $1,000 per item on high-priced property such as jewelry, computer equipment, stereo equipment and antiques. If you have a $5,000 engagement ring, spent $2,500 on your stereo system, or have more than a few thousand dollars invested in your computer, hard drive, printer and scanner, you could be out a large amount of money.

Ask your agents to add a rider that includes coverage for valuable items and make sure you have documented your inventory of these items in the event of a claim.

5. Liability

For homeowners, standard liability coverage of $300,000 is included in their policy. This is not the case for renters insurance, which is typically $100,000. If the two quotes you received for renters insurance has liability set at $100,000, you may want to seriously think about increasing your coverage -- and here's why:

First, a higher amount of liability coverage can cost as little as seven to eight dollars a year -- just about the price of two double mochas.

Second and most importantly, liability coverage not only protects you in the event of an accidental injury you may have caused, it also applies to any damage you may cause to your apartment and apartment building. If you accidentally hit a ball out on a golf course and hit someone, their medical costs or potential lawsuit could easily exceed $100,000 and you will be left paying the rest out-of-pocket. If you cause a fire or flood in your apartment, you not only have to pay for damages to that part of the property but for any damage caused to the rest of the building, which could again, exceed $100,000, leaving you with a hefty amount still too pay.

Renters insurance provides you with added protection and peace of mind at a very affordable price. When you've started shopping for renters insurance and are ready to compare quotes, use this handy check list to make sure you're getting the best coverage that fits your needs and budget.

See how easy it is to shop for and save on renters insurance -- get your free renters insurance quote now.