UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Renter's Insurance

 

It is imperative as a renter that you consider purchasing renter's insurance.  It is inexpensive, costing approximately $110 per year and will protect your belongings from damage or theft.  More importantly, it will protect you from having to pay thousands of dollars if you accidentally cause damage to the property, such as in the case of fire or water damage.  You will also have financial protection should you be sued by someone claiming to have been injured in your home.  Take the time to obtain several quotes from a number of companies.  Don't go with the first company you call or you could end up spending more than is necessary.

Before You Start Making Your Calls.....
  • Check with your parents to see if you are still covered under their homeowner's insurance and if so, to what age.

  • If you pay for car insurance, you may want to check with that company to see if they will provide renter's insurance at a discounted rate.

  • If you're not covered under your parents, do an assessment of your property and determine approximately how much money it would cost to replace your belongings.  You will also need to decide which items you want to have fully covered, i.e. jewelry or collectibles.

Information Needed When Calling Each Company
  • Your name, phone number, and property address

  • The names of everyone who lives at the property and how long they have lived at the residence

  • Prior addresses

  • Employment history

  • Any insurance claim history you have including details such as dates, type of loss, and the extent of damages

  • Some companies may ask information about your residence, including building materials used or square footage

Insurance Terminology
  • Deductible:  Most policies have a deductible.  This is a specific amount of money deducted from every claim you file.  When getting quotes, make sure to inquire about deductible amounts because they can range anywhere from $50-$250 (or more). Also, the deductible may vary depending on whether the item is lost, stolen, or damaged.  All of this should be taken into consideration when making your final decision.

  • Liability:  Liability coverage can range from $100,000 to $300,000. In most cases, more coverage is better.  Check to see if your policy will cover your attorney costs in a civil suit, and/or medical damages for you and others.

  • Minimum Coverage:  Some policies won't cover your property for less than a specific amount.  Usually the minimum range is between $8,000 or $10,000.

Variables Impacting Rates
  • If you live in or out of city limits

  • If the structure is frame or brick, how much theft and fire protection the home has (e.g., dead bolts, smoke detectors, etc.)

  • Student or non-student status, and sometimes marital status

  • If you live in a complex with four or more units

  • If you have other policies with the company (e.g., auto insurance)

  • How much property and liability coverage you want or need

  • Policies can be fitted to meet your specific needs

Insurance Companies to Call