Do's and Don'ts of Shopping for Renters Insurance Online

Looking for renters insurance online makes a ton of sense for the average policyholder. After all, whether you are an apartment denizen in a big city, or you just leased a duplex in a college town, you need a way to protect your assets and possessions against potential catastrophe -- ranging from fire to floods to burglary to someone slipping and falling in your living room. Sure, you could eschew the web and shop for insurance the old-fashion way, but this may take significantly longer. At the same time, searching for an online renters insurance quote can be dangerous business, if you lack working knowledge of the do's and don'ts. This article will simplify the shopping process for you and introduce a free and safe way to source renters insurance online.

Make the Process Better and Faster

Prior to shopping for renters insurance online, discuss your needs and risk tolerance with your family or roommates). What stuff do you need covered? Do you have any super-valuable objects, such as a prized painting, antique jewelry collection, or state-of-the-art computer that might require extra coverage? How much money can you allot in your budget for renters insurance? You don't need a super deep analysis here -- just guesstimate what you need covered and how much you can afford to spend. [Note: if you own property off site say, in a storage unit), don't leave that out of your inventory.]

Your next step is to do some research online. Services like NetQuote can help you collect a free online renters insurance quote five or more, actually) to comparison shop. Using NetQuote is free, fast, and easy. Use the quotes to move forward, or keep them on the back burner as reference information.

Become familiar with typical rates for HO-4 policies. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners maintains a state-by-state breakdown of average renters insurance premiums. Don't use that as an absolute measure -- your quotes will no doubt vary based on the amount of protection you need, the deductible you choose, your credit score, and myriad other factors.

Renters Insurance Online: Traps to Avoid

When sourcing and comparing renters insurance online, it's easy to get caught up in the mindset of "look at me, I'm going to get the lowest rates of all time!" It's smart to think like a bargain hunter. But be careful. Think probabilistically. If you opt for zero coverage, you would pay the minimum possible $0). But you would also expose yourself to massive amounts of risk. So be sure you get adequate coverage. And be sure that your big-ticket items e.g. a diamond ring, an 18th century piece of art, etc) are adequately covered. Get a separate rider, if need be.

Also, don't let the instant gratification of the internet do away with your common sense. Take time to deliberate. Explore possible ways to save by toying with your deductible and looking into potential multi-line discounts. Don't feel like you have to go through this process alone. It can help a lot to discuss your insurance needs with a qualified, credentialed agent. This person lives and breathes insurance, and he/she can clue you into kinds of coverage that you may not know you need but do) and point out hidden ways to save. Finally, be sure to vet both your agent and your prospective insurance companies carefully. You can look up insurers' ratings through independent review organizations like Standard & Poor's and A.M. Best.

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