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Renters Insurance Questions

Renter's insurance is a type of insurance that protects a renter's personal property from loss or damage in a rental unit. While a landlord is required to have property insurance, many times only the structure is covered in the policy. This means that everything the renter has in a rental home is unprotected without renter's insurance. Renter insurance can be purchased for a relatively low price and will cover most of your personal property as well as provide liability coverage in the event a guest is injured in the rental home. The cost of renter's insurance can range from $150-$300 per year but will generally cover $35,000 for property loss and up to $100,000 in liability coverage. Take a look at the renter insurance questions below that have been answered by Experts.

What can I expect to receive from rental insurance if I do not have an appraisal on my wedding ring ($2500.00) and coins ($550) that were stolen?

Before you speak with the insurance company, make sure you have listed everything that was taken from your home. You don't want to list additional items later on; this may prove to be unfavorable by the insurance company. If you made a police report of the theft, you can tell the insurance company of the report and explain the chain of events leading up to the police report.

You need to read your renters insurance policy to determine how your insurance company will reimburse you for your stolen items. Usually, a policy will state that the full replacement value will be paid. This ensures the person can replace the items in question. The replacement value is generally determined by an adjuster who has researched items equal to your stolen ones. The going rate for the items is generally what you can expect to be reimbursed. The replacement value is set to ensure that you can replace your stolen item, not the actual price that you gave for the item.

While the insurance company uses full placement value, they also use depreciated value. The way they determine the depreciated value is, for example; your TV has been stolen. The insurance company will give you the purchase price of the TV for the year it was bought minus a set amount for every year you owned it. If you don't have the sales receipt, you can use anything that will prove that you actually owned the item. If you can't prove ownership, the insurance company may decide not to replace the item. Of course this will all depend on the situation, the item, and the adjuster.

Usually, you will receive an insurance settlement within 30-60 days of filing the claim. However if the claim hasn't been settled or the insurance company isn't reimbursing you with a reasonable amount, you can contact the California division of insurance and file a complaint. You could also take the insurance company to small claims court.

I have been told by my apt management that in order to sign a new lease I must carry a renter's insurance policy. Is this a common practice today? I live in Utah.

While there are no laws that enforce this behavior of landlords requiring the renter's insurance, many are choosing to make it a part of lease agreements. Every year landlords are forced to pay for tenant losses or damages due to fire, water damage or theft. Requiring a tenant to take a renter's insurance policy benefits both renter and landlord from monetary losses. Renter insurance policies are rather inexpensive and will cover electronics, clothing, jewelry, and furniture. So while you may have to get a renter's policy, you will have the peace of mind knowing that if you need coverage, it will be there for you.

I do not have renters insurance and my ceiling is falling in from being wet. What are my renter rights?

If your ceiling is falling in, that would be an issue that should be taken care of by your landlord. Renter's insurance covers loss and damage to your personal belongings inside a rental unit. You need to call your landlord and tell him/her that until the repairs are fixed, you will not pay rent since your apartment is unlivable. You should also send a certified letter stating the same. Make sure you have return upon receipt from your postal service to show the landlord received the letter.

I have a renters insurance claim for stolen property and I feel I am being treated unfairly. I have provided all the proof I have available of ownership of the stolen property. What can I do?

If your insurance company is refusing the claim without a good reason you may want to contact an attorney and discuss your options. If you provided the insurance company with all the information they required and they still refused the claim, you may have cause for a suit against the insurance provider. By refusing your claim without a valid reason, they are violating your rights under the contract agreed upon. The insurance comp-any may be liable for breach of contract. If you cannot find an attorney, contact your state bar. You will be given attorney referrals through this office.
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