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Buying Renter's Insurance

For many reasons, the rental market has been hot in recent years. The market for renter's insurance, however, is still ice cold. Despite the fact that some 96% of homeowners have insurance, as compared with only about a third of renters, renters are half again as likely to be burglarized as are homeowners.

Many renters (especially new ones) falsely assume that the landlord's insurance also covers them. Typically, it does not. Others assume that they cannot afford renter's insurance, but the truth is that rates are fairly low. Because a renter's policy does not cover the cost of the building itself, rates are usually far less than they would be for a homeowners policy on the same structure.

Before buying renter's insurance, determine how much you need. Value your belongings and decide whether you want to insure them for their actual value or the amount it would cost to replace them, which is often far higher. Determine what risks to cover and the level of deductible (the higher the deductible, the lower the policy cost).

Then call an agent or shop online. Some insurers will give you discounts if you bundle policies, buying renter's insurance, for example, from the same insurer who covers your car.

The time to buy renter's insurance is before disaster strikes, so if you are renting, don't be caught short.

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