You May Have More Than You Think – Renter’s Insurance

“Why would I NEED renter’s insurance? I don’t own anything of value,” says the person who never added up the value of their stuff.

Have you ever stopped to add up the value of your personal possessions?  You may own a lot more than you think.  Take shoes alone, for example.  I own shoes that would take about $250 to replace.  Now, if my apartment burns down, and I don’t have renter’s insurance, I’ll have to replace them.  Worst of all, I’ll have to replace them quickly, which means it’s unlikely I’ll get the replacement shoes at good prices.

Some of you may be saying “Hah, stupid woman and her ridiculous shoes.  I don’t have that many.”  Well, I only have a few pairs: winter boots, galoshes, sport shoes, flip-flops, work flats and dressy sandals.  I’m not Imelda Marcos, yet I have a pretty substantial amount of money in shoes.  Add to that the clothes, furniture, computer and electronic equipment, and household goods, and it would be a pretty substantial loss if I were to lose the contents of my apartment.

So, here’s a project for this weekend: take a video or photos of all your possessions and create a detailed list in a spreadsheet.  This is called a home inventory.  There are a lot of resources on the internet to help you create your home inventory, so I won’t go into great detail on how to do it, since it would only be repetitive.

Once you’ve created your home inventory, talk with you insurance agent about your coverage.  Do you have any possessions that should have a rider but don’t?  Do you have enough total coverage?  Will your policy cover your electronics for full replacement value of contemporary equivalents?

Finally, when you’re done with your home inventory, don’t just store one copy of it in your home.  What happens if your apartment burns down?  You don’t want to lose you home inventory.  This is why I suggest you use computer files.  That way, you can make a copy that can be kept offsite, by emailing a copy to your webmail or by uploading it to your private cloud or server.

Also, make sure you check your liability limits with your insurance agent.  Increasing liability coverage is generally very cheap, but can save your bacon if there’s an accident in your home.

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