How to Know When You Should Switch Renters Insurance Policies
Many first-time renters may purchase a renters insurance policy and then never look at it again. A simple renters insurance policy shouldn’t change that much, should it? Unfortunately, there can be changes both to your policy and in your life that may mean a need to review your policy.
Buying More Personal Belongings
A large part of a renters insurance policy is personal belongings coverage, which provides compensation if your personal items are lost or damaged due to fire, wind, smoke, hail, theft, vandalism and more. When you first purchase a policy, you are expected to give an estimate of the value of the belongings you wish to insure. This way, there won’t be gaps in your coverage when you have to file a claim for a covered incident.
But many people accumulate more belongings over time, trade items in or get rid of items. As the value of your belongings change, so should your renters insurance policy. If you make any large purchases, such as a television or computer, you should check that your renters insurance properly expands to cover these items. If you get engaged, you may even need an additional policy floater to cover your expensive engagement ring. Not updating your policy can leave you uninsured for certain items.
Pet Ownership Changes
Pets can be covered under your renters insurance liability policy in case they cause property damage or bodily injury to someone else. Your policy should change if your pet situation changes. If you unfortunately lose a pet or adopt another, your policy must change accordingly. Without a pet, especially a dog, your insurance needs may go down regarding liability. Your rates can go down, too, as certain dogs can raise your renters insurance rates by a significant amount.
Also keep in mind that many insurance providers have limitations and exclusions when it comes to pets covered under insurance. Check your renters insurance policy before purchasing a pet so that you are aware of whether or not your new furry family member is covered by your renters insurance policy. Common breeds that are excluded from renters insurance coverage include huskies, German Shepherds and pit bulls.
Since renters insurance doesn’t cover the physical living space, this type of policy can follow you when you move from one apartment to another, so long as you notify your insurer and you move to an area that the insurer services. You must let your insurance provider know that you are moving, both for their records and to help you maintain coverage. Many things can change insurance-wise when you move to a new area. Crime rate, weather patterns and your proximity to a fire station in the new area can all have an affect on your renters insurance needs and rates.
A higher crime rate generally means higher premiums, while if you move to an area with lower crime rates, you could see a drop in your monthly payments. Moving closer to a fire station can also save you money, as it lowers the time it takes for a fire to get put out after igniting.
You’re Paying too Much
In some cases, a renter may see that their renters insurance premiums are going up for seemingly no reason. Although there are many reasons for an insurance policy to go up in price, it’s still important for renters to save money on insurance.
Before switching coverages or even changing to a different insurance provider, ask your insurance agent about possible ways you can save. You may qualify for certain discounts that can save you money. If you think you’re still paying too much, however, compare quotes in your area for the same renters insurance policy.
You’re Not Happy With Your Policy
Say the price you pay is reasonable, but you’re unhappy with your renters insurance policy for different reasons. Maybe you don’t get along with your insurance agent or your policy doesn’t allow the coverage limits you would like. If you have disagreements with an insurance agent, many insurance providers will be happy to switch you to another agent. You should also ask about possibly policy floaters if you feel like you don’t have enough coverage. Policy floaters are additional coverage that offer higher limits for certain items and incidents, such as sewer and sump pump coverage and compensation for expensive items like jewelry, furs and art.
It is always a good idea to review your renters insurance policy every six to twelve months, or any time you feel something is amiss. Make sure your renters insurance policy is working for you rather than against you and ask as many questions as you need to make sure your policy is the best you can get.