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Renters insurance in California

More than 45 declared major disasters occurred in the state of California between the years 1976 and 2004.This made this state the second state with as much declarations of disasters. Theft, fire, and earthquakes comprise most of the disasters that happen in the state. There was a report from the US department of Justices that rented homes were targets for burglars at the rate of 79% compared to owned homes. To state a figure, according to the federal bureau of information, 513266 burglaries occurred in the west in the year 2004 alone. Fire as it is, is a risk in all the states including California. In 2004, there was an estimated loss of $9.8billion in direct property due to fire, which included residential fires also. Earthquakes also occur very frequently in California compared to other states. Wild fires are also very common in the state of California consuming several acres of land and burning everything in their way including houses.

With the list of disasters not ending, you and your house with all the furniture and valuables inside, is at risk of losing everything in a second if a disaster strikes. To be protected against any of these disasters that may occur seems to be the wise decision with this scenario.

The apartment complex you live may have huge fences on all the sides and a guard on duty, but these may not offer too much protection against a theft or a natural calamity that comes your way. And the homeowners insurance owned by the apartment authority would not cover any of the belongings in the house. It only takes care of the building and the damages happened to other structures in the complex. So in such an unfortunate situation, you would have to replace every item in the house from your own pocket. This is the same situation in case you do not have a apartment rented but live in an independent house which is rented. The owner of the house would have a homeowners insurance but the common myth that the homeowners insurance covers for all the items in the house is wrong. Any damage to the personal belongings in the house is not accounted for in the homeowners insurance.

Also think of a situation where a friend of yours visiting your house, slips on the floor and hurts himself. You are legally liable to pay the huge doctors or hospital bill that he may incur in the treatment of the condition. Paying this would leave a huge hole in your pocket.

The solution to all the above stated problems is Renters insurance which is almost similar to home owners insurance with the difference that this insurance does not cover for the structure of the house other than those owned by you. This insurance covers for your personal belongings in the house, like the furniture, jewelry, fur, antiques, books etc. basic renters insurance offers coverage against damages caused by windstorm, burglary, water damage, smoke damage, explosion, vandalism and malicious mischief. In addition to these disasters, renters insurance also covers for the damages that you cause to the property of the landlord, or any new additions to the house which are done by you.

Though renters insurance does not offer protection against any theft occurring in the house or any natural calamity from happening, it gives you the peace of mind that in case of any of these, there is at least some money coming from the insurance company to replace the items in the house and you do not have to start from scratch again.

Renters insurance covers for your personal belongings as well as offer a personal liability protection. Before purchasing a renters insurance, it is better to prepare an inventory of all your items and valuables in the house and calculate an estimate amount you would need to replace the items if they are lost or damaged. This, and a little more considering inflation, is the amount of renters insurance you would need. Renters insurance would cover all your personal property even if they are away from the house, like your car or the suitcase of clothes and other personal belongings while you are traveling. Usually companies offering renters insurance place a limit to the amount of coverage for certain items such as coins or bank notes and you should confirm that all your valuables are covered for the appropriate amount before purchasing the insurance.

Liability insurance included in renters insurance would pay the medical bills if someone gets hurt when in your premises.

In addition to coverage of personal property and providing liability coverage, renters insurance also provides some additional living expenses. Additional living expenses are those expenses incurred in case your house is so damaged that you have to live in a motel or somewhere else for a period of time when your house gets repaired. This would pay for food, traveling and other expenses to a limit during this time.

Though most of the disasters are covered under the renters insurance, earthquakes and floods are not covered under this policy. It is possible for you to purchase earthquake insurance or flood insurance in case you live in areas prone for the same. These insurances are also offered by most of the companies offering renters insurance.

If you are living with a room mate, it would be wise to include all your roommates’ property in the renters insurance that you are paying for and share the expenses.

The renters insurance is fairly inexpensive. And there are a lot of discounts offered by different companies, so the premium amount comes to be affordable. Renters insurance has a deductible, the higher the deductible is, the lesser the premium would be. And the higher the deductible, the higher the amount you would have to pay when the benefits of the policy is paid. You can opt for either replacement value or actual value policies. In replacement value policies, the amount required to replace the damaged or lost item is paid by the insurance where as in actual value insurance, the actual value of the item is paid.

As before the purchase of insurance, it is wise to shop around with different companies and then decide on the one company which suits your need best.

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