You might know that affordable renters insurance is important. You can think of all sorts of mishaps and disasters that your policy will likely cover. Still, you might not know how your Georgia renters policy can offer financial protection.
That’s why we present these five ways you might have never imagined your renters insurance coverage can kick in (and one way that won’t). Check it out.
Your Stuff Gets Stolen Outside Your Living Space
Sure, you might (correctly) expect that if a burglar breaks into your rental unit and steals your valuables, you can turn in a claim on your renters insurance. But what if your laptop gets stolen while you’re on a business trip in another state? Surely that’s not covered by your policy.
Wrong. You likely do have coverage in that situation.
Now let’s say you leave your valuable collectibles and rare items at another location when you move, and your storage space is burglarized. Or the roof leaks and ruins your personal property. Or someone sneaks into the van as you and your friends are moving your stuff into your new apartment.
Yep, yep. And yep.
You can make valid claims on your coverage plan under all of those examples of the theft or destruction of your personal property, even when they’re off-site.
Just remember that your coverage begins once you meet your deductible. So, if you have a $500 deductible, and your claim is only worth $50, you won’t receive a settlement. But still, turn in such a claim. The non-covered loss will be subtracted from your deductible. By reporting a $50 claim, you’ll only have $450 more on your annual deductible before receiving a financial settlement for losses above that amount.
You Pay for Your Neighbors’ Stupid Mistakes
Life ain’t fair. You have smoke detectors. You never leave a hot stove, and you turn off and unplug your iron after every use. Your kids know better than to play with matches, and you don’t even smoke, so you certainly don’t do it in bed.
Nonetheless, you-know-what still happens. You have neighbors who share walls or a building, and they do stupid or careless things. As a result, your unit burns down or receives smoke damage or gets flooded out, or…
Any number of things. Similarly, you can incur damage when other users of your storage site act irresponsibly.
You can’t cure stupid, but you can count on your renters insurance policy to pay for the damage or destruction of your possessions due to the negligence of others.
Your Friend Has Too Much Party at Your Party
It’s all fun and games until someone trips and falls. Or perhaps it’s an elderly visitor who gets hurt at your place and must be rushed to the emergency room.
The point is when bad things happen to others on your premises, your policy can contribute to their medical care.
And if that friend isn’t such a friend after all and sues you for the accident, your policy benefits include lawyer fees and legal expenses. So go ahead and entertain visitors in your spaces. (But get the kids’ roller skates off the stairs first.)
You Need a Place to Live When You Can’t Live in Your Place
Let’s return to that “smoking in bed” imagery and say that the resulting fire is so damaging to the building that you have to live elsewhere while rehabilitation takes place.
Live…where? Maybe your mom hasn’t turned your old bedroom into a den yet. Or you can couch-surf with friends. For a while, anyway. But the strategy of living on borrowed turf gets old quickly.
What if you’ve just moved to Atlanta — or elsewhere in the state — and you don’t know many people?
Or your borrowed temp space is far from jobs and schools.
Or your family is too large for a single couch, or you want to keep the kids’ disruptions to a minimum.
There are lots of reasons you might need more comfortable space for weeks or months to come. Your renters policy will put you and your family up in temporary quarters until your home is renovated and you can move back.
That’s in addition to the settlement you’ll get for all that was damaged or lost in the fire or whatever mishap left you without housing.
Your Water Damage is Covered (Except When it’s Not)
Yeah, it gets complicated. If a water pipe breaks in your apartment, or an upstairs neighbor leaves a bathtub running, and the water leak destroys your computer and printer, you’re covered.
Same with property damage from a leaky roof, in most circumstances.
But floodwaters…not so much.
Most renters insurance policies will cover windstorms, wildfires, and earthquakes…but not flood damage. But this exclusion is only a problem if you ignore the threat. If you live close to a body of water, or especially if you’re in a marked flood zone, you should invest in flood insurance.
Just keep this in mind. Most of the country carries at least some flood risk. If that risk is high, not having flood insurance could be disastrous. And if the risk is low, such a policy will be so cheap that it might be a no-brainer.
If in Doubt, Ask Your Agent
The final point we’d like to make is that your independent renters insurance agent can answer all your coverage questions.
This coverage is highly affordable in Georgia. How so? The average annual cost for a policy in the Peach State is around $20 a month.
Your independent agent will be able to keep your plan as low as possible by shopping for estimates from multiple major insurance carriers and bringing you the best deal.