Mistakes people make when buying renters insurance in Maryland
People who own their homes are required by their mortgage companies to buy homeowners’ insurance. This insurance will offer protection for the home, their personal property, possessions, and when an injury or accident happens within their property. But what about those people who are renting or leasing their residences? What kind of protection is available for them?
Maryland renters insurance is a kind of property insurance that covers the losses to personal property as well as from liability claims. This means that injuries that occur within the rental property are covered, even though these were not caused by any structural problem. When the injury happens due to a structural problem, this will fall under the landlord’s responsibility and landlord insurance. With Maryland renters, everything can be protected, whether you are living in a studio apartment, a mobile home, or an entire house.
Though renters insurance is not required in some rental properties, you need to know the importance of this insurance if you are renting the property. Whether you are planning to rent, or you have been living in a space for years, you must get a renter’s insurance policy to protect yourself and your possessions. This smart investment is considered as the least expensive as well as the easiest-to-obtain insurance. There is no reason not to buy this kind of insurance. If you think that this insurance will not bring anything of great value, just think whether you can afford to replace all your valuable belongings when burglary or fire takes them away. This simple thought is enough to make you realize that a renter’s insurance is a necessity.
You will never know when misfortune can happen in your rental place. While you are very careful with your apartment, which is the most common rental property in the country, you will never have control over your neighbors. If you happen to be living with some careless neighborhood, you may end up with open security gates, strangers who have hidden intentions, or fire that may start from irresponsible smoking. These situations are inevitable, and while the entire building is protected under your landlord’s insurance, the content of your apartment is not a part of its coverage. Also, if someone gets injured inside your rented place, you will not be protected by your landlord’s insurance. But your renter’s insurance will do.
The Coverage of Renters Insurance
Before you sign a Maryland renters insurance policy, as well as other policies such as auto insurance and homeowner insurance, you must know what can be covered by your policy. The basic policy will cover the contents of your rented place. Lost or damages caused by fire, plumbing, electrical malfunctions, vandalism, theft, and various weather condition and hazards can be part of your renter’s insurance coverage. The HO-4 policy, more specific insurance, was designed to cover your losses of personal properties due to explosion, hail, riots, volcanic eruption, and aircraft or vehicle. Your Maryland renters insurance policy also covers loss of use. This means that if your rented place is uninhabitable because of any of those mentioned perils, your insurance will provide you money to pay for temporary shelter, as long as it is specifically listed in your insurance policy. These are some of the basic information that you must know about renters insurance in Maryland.
Aside from your possessions, most of the Maryland renters’ insurance policies offer various liability coverage. It will give your protection up to a certain amount in case someone sues you due to injury or damage that happened at your home. With liability coverage, your policy will pay court judgments and legal expenses, which is a huge help for your finances. However, keep in mind that this protection has its limits that you must be cleared about at the beginning of your policy.
Important Details That Are Not Covered by Your Renters Insurance in Maryland
Every insurance has its limitation and your Maryland renters insurance policy will never cover everything that you can think while renting a property. Most insurance policies will not cover damages or losses incurred because of the backup of sewage into your residence, floods, earthquakes, and other natural disasters that can happen in your area anytime. If you wanted to cover these perils, you need to pay an additional cost for your premium insurance. These add-ons are recommended if you are expecting frequent storms, earthquakes, and floods in your area. With these inclusions, you are giving yourself peace of mind and you’re prepared whenever these disasters happen.
Your high-end electronic equipment, musical instruments, fine jewelry, or collection of arts and antiques, these valuable possessions are not covered by your basic insurance. You need to buy a rider or separate insurance to protect these items. Also, damages caused by hurricanes require a separate rider for added coverage.
Maryland renters’ insurance does not cover damages and losses due to the tenant’s negligence or any intentional acts.
Applying for Renters Insurance
Now that you have decided to get a Maryland renters insurance, you have to be a prepared application process. If you want to have the right insurance, you have to be careful with your choices. Follow these steps to get started with your renters’ insurance in Maryland.
Determine your needs
When applying for Maryland renters’ insurance, it’s highly recommended to photograph or videotape everything that you have inside your rented property. If you own expensive items, keep track of all the serial numbers to help you in verifying your claim.
Also, it is a great idea to create a spreadsheet and list down or record every item that you have together with its value. While this step requires extra effort, you will appreciate this record when you need to submit your claim. If you track all the items that you have at home, you can assess their value well and avoid under-insuring yourself. This process will provide a more accurate picture of your possessions as well as their worth.
If you have prepared this document, make sure to keep copies of this inventory outside your rented property so you can get hold of the document whenever fire, floods, or other perils damages the entire property. You can keep these copies in a safe deposit box, through a saved email, or a trusted family or friend.
Pick your renter insurance company in Maryland
Since you have determined your renter’s insurance needs, the next step is to find an insurance company that will offer you a Maryland renters insurance policy. When choosing an insurance company, don’t settle with the one that can offer you the cheapest insurance quote. This is not always the best choice. Also, it will be helpful if you talk to a trusted and reliable insurance agent if you want to find the best offer. Ask for insurance quotes from 3 to 5 insurance companies and compare their offers. Some insurance companies will give you a discount with your insurance quote if you avail of both your auto insurance and renters insurance from them. You can take advantage of this offer if you want to save on your insurance costs. The most important part of finding the right insurance company is to determine reviews and ratings about the insurance company. If you know some relatives or friends who availed of insurance from a certain insurance company, ask about their experience during the application, when making a claim, and everything that you want to know about the company.
Finalize your policy
As soon as you have started your application, you must stay clear with all the coverage included in your policy. Now that you know the basics of Maryland renters insurance, you might be interested in some riders or add-ons with your policy. Additionally, you have to choose between the two types of coverage for renters: the cash value and replacement value. With cash value, your renter’s insurance in Maryland will pay the worth of your property or possessions at the time of damage or loss. This is also known as the least expensive type for renter’s insurance. If budget is not an issue, it is wiser to choose the more expensive option which is the replacement value. With this coverage, your policy will pay the latest price of your possessions. Replacement value is 15% more expensive when compared to the actual cash value.
When finalizing your renter’s insurance in Maryland, you also decide the amount of deductible whenever you submit a claim. Some renters use deductibles to get some savings with their Maryland renters insurance. Just like other types of insurance such as homeowner insurance and auto insurance, a lower deductible means higher premiums. So, if you want to lower the cost of your renter’s insurance, you must declare a higher deductible which ranges from $500 to $2000.
If you are still asking why you should get a Maryland renters insurance, the answer is very obvious – to keep yourself protected while renting other people’s property. If you are living in an apartment or an entire house, you will never know when misfortune will happen. You might damage your belongings, lose your possessions, or worse, injure other people. To keep yourself, your family and your belongings protected, get a renters insurance policy today.
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