Like with all types of insurance, your credit score will have an impact on the premium you pay for your renters insurance. But, as with all other types of insurance, it is absolutely possible to get renters insurance even with poor credit.
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People who rent often neglect the idea of renters insurance. A common misconception among renters is that only homeowners need insurance. Many of us may just assume that our landlord’s insurance will cover our belongings if anything happens to the property. This is simply not the case.
What Your Landlord’s Insurance Covers
A landlord’s home insurance will cover only issues that pertain to the structure of the building, and the appliances within the dwelling. If someone breaks into the property, or if there is a fire, your belongings will be replaced only if you have your own renters insurance policy.
Most people have tens of thousands of dollars worth of belongings.
This includes jewelry, furniture, electronics, clothes, as well as things like dishes, DVDs, antiques, various knick-knacks—literally, everything in your home. If you go through each room and think about what it would cost to replace every item, how much do you think it would cost?
These policies can be very affordable; some companies offer renters insurance plans for as little as $14 (or less) a month. If you already have car insurance or life insurance through one company, you may be able to add a renter’s insurance policy that results in a reduced price for all the other policies you hold with that company.
What Renters Insurance Covers
Your renters insurance policy covers not the cost of what your belongings are currently worth, but what it would cost to replace them. A small but telling example is to think of your DVD collection. Maybe you have 200 DVDs, and almost all of them were bought used, or at some deal where if you buy so many, then you get so many others free. It is not conceivable that you would be able to replace them for what you paid for them. In this case your insurance company will cover what it would cost to replace them, based on whatever the average cost for a new DVD is.
Your policy will also provide you other protections. In addition to covering your own belongings, your renters insurance policy will also protect you if someone else or someone else’s belongings get hurt or damaged on your property. Many renters insurance policies will also offer coverage in the event that unauthorized or fraudulent charges placed on your credit cards.
Things to Keep in Mind
If you live in a house with people who are not related to you—if you live with several roommates, for example—your policy will only cover your belongings. So if your home were to get robbed, only the person or people with renters insurance will be covered. Your policy will not cover your roommates, and their policies will not cover your belongings.
Here are 3 tips to keep in mind:
- Take pictures of your belongings. If you need to make a claim, photo documentation is always going to help you. It is not absolutely necessary, but having the right visual proof will make the claims process much simpler.
- You can get discounts on your renters insurance if you or your landlords have taken certain precautions. For example, if you have deadbolt locks, burglar alarms, and smoke detectors in your home, you will have a lower premium.
- Good credit scores will also get you a better rate, though you should be able to get a very reasonable rate even if your credit is not very good. Some insurance companies may not even run any credit checks. This may depend on which state you are in, so you may want to look to see if there are any differences in how your state does things.
The main point is that you always have options.
Take advantage of free online quote tools that can provide you with quotes from many different insurance providers absolutely free. These kinds of online tools can get you results very quickly. Consider the rates you are given, and then take a good look at what you have that you want insured (my guess is that you would like it all to be insured!).
This is totally possible, regardless of your current credit or financial situation. Consider the rates provided to you by the providers on this page, and research those companies or providers until you feel comfortable with your decision. The main thing is to make a decision!
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