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Renters and Homeowners Insurance

Moving into a new place often means having to purchase a renters or homeowners insurance policy. As a renter or a homeowner, it is important to be protected against any losses that might happen while living in a new place.

Though insurance coverage is not required in all places, it is an option worth considering. Renters and homeowners insurance protect against losses in the event of an accident, ensuring the policyholder will not undergo any financial stress.

In any living situation, whether it be living in a rented space or in a purchased home, it is important to know the insurance coverage options available.

Coverage options differ depending on the type of home and the risks involved with living in that kind of home.

Insuring Your Rental or Condominium

Purchasing insurance is usually not a renter’s top priority when moving into a new place. Unless the landlord or property manager requires tenants to carry renters insurance, most renters will forego insurance. However, renters insurance can come in handy if an accident occurs while living in an apartment or rental home.

Renters insurance, also known as tenant insurance, covers the personal belongings of tenants renting an apartment, condominium or house. Insurance policies typically also cover what a renter may be liable for, as well as any medical or living expenses incurred due to an accident.

Tenant insurance policies are based on the appraised value of the renter’s insured possessions. Some policies cover personal belongings that have been temporarily removed from the rental home, so renters insurance might be a good choice for those who travel with expensive items.

Condominium and co-operative unit owners have different insurance options than renters do. While renters insurance covers those renting a condominium, it does not cover those who own and live in their own condo. Many condominium and co-op owners believe they do not need to insure their property, since most buildings and homeowners associations have their own insurance policies.

Those policies, however, do not cover damages in individual units nor the personal belongings stored inside. When purchasing a condominium or co-op unit owners insurance policy, it is important to know what the building’s master policy does and does not cover and the coverage options available.

Insuring Your Home

Insuring a detached home is simpler than insuring a condo, since there is only a single owner responsible for the property. Home insurance is designed to insure a home that is being used as the owner’s primary residence. Therefore, it is not a good option for those who want to insure a home they own but do not live in, as a claim may not covered if the home is rented out.

Though not all homeowners need to have a home insurance policy, those who purchased their house through a loan or mortgage might be required by the lender to purchase home insurance.

Homeowners insurance coverage depends on what the owner of the home would like covered, as well as the value of the house and any risk factors that are involved. While there are different levels and amounts of coverage, homeowners insurance covers damages to the property and most of the contents on the property.

Some insurance policies may even cover liabilities for those named on the policy whether it involves the property in question or if the liability is a result of actions taken elsewhere.

Consulting with an insurance agent is the best way to determine the value of a home and what coverage is needed. Insurance agents can calculate the replacement value of a home and give you an estimate of the cost of insurance.

In the event that you do not agree with the agent’s home value estimate, you have the option of hiring a private home appraiser to more accurately gauge your home’s value.

Insuring Your Manufactured Home

Manufactured homes, also known as mobile homes, are unlike regular homes in that they are not built on site. These homes are manufactured and assembled at a factory and then delivered to the site where it will be placed, making them an affordable home-owning option for many. Just as mobile homes differ from regular homes, manufactured home insurance is different from standard homeowners insurance.

One main difference between regular home and standard manufactured home insurance coverage is that manufactured home insurance offers coverage for the transportation of the home, either from the factory or to a new location.

Standard home insurance does not offer this coverage since homes with foundations cannot be moved. Some mobile home insurance companies also offer coverage for certain risks involved in owning a mobile home, such as coverage for windstorm and natural disaster damages, damages caused by wild animals and coverage for sewage back-ups or water damage.

Working with a manufactured home insurance agent will help you look at your options and determine what kind of coverage you need for your mobile home.

How to Save on Insurance Premiums

While having home insurance and making sure you have enough coverage is important, there are ways to save money on your policy.

Below are some tips on how to save money on home insurance:

  • Ask about discounts – Most renters and homeowners insurance providers offer discounts, like home safety features or home inspection discounts. Some even offer discounts for being claims-free or for being a loyal customer. Ask your home insurance representative about any discounts you may qualify for.
  • Bundle your insurance – Sometimes bundling your home insurance with your car insurance costs less than paying for both policies separately. Though each insurance might cost more individually when bundled, the discount provided might make the total cost less than if purchased separately.
  • Purchase only what you need – Buying more coverage than you need happens easily when looking at potential risks. Being realistic about what coverage you need might help save you money on unnecessary coverage. For example, if you have flood coverage and you do not live in a flood risk area, you might be paying more for your insurance policy than you should.

Purchase only what you need – Buying more coverage than you need happens easily when looking at potential risks. Being realistic about what coverage you need might help save you money on unnecessary coverage. For example, if you have flood coverage and you do not live in a flood risk area, you might be paying more for your insurance policy than you should.

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