According to Neighborhood Scout, Rhode Islanders have a 1 in 65 chance of becoming a victim of a property crime. Fortunately, your Rhode Island renters insurance can help reimburse you if your belongings are stolen, provided you have sufficient coverage.
Understanding Personal Property Coverage
Your renters policy includes several sections, including personal property, personal liability, loss of use, and more. It is the personal property coverage that can help pay for stolen or damaged personal belongings, providing the loss is caused by a peril included your policy such as theft.
Coverage includes inside and outside of your home, which may include items stolen from your car or a hotel room, even if you are abroad. However, every policy differs and you need to purchase enough coverage to protect you well.
How Much Coverage is Enough?
Every renters insurance policy includes a personal property coverage limit. As an example, your $10,000 policy represents a maximum of $10,000 paid by your insurer as compensation for theft, less your deductible.
Regrettably, most people don’t know the value of the things they own. Our sample $10,000 might seem like a great deal of money, but what happens if a thief clears out your apartment?
Insurance experts suggest you start with a home inventory to properly align coverage with needs. At the very least, take photos or videos of everything you own and then make a rough estimate by searching for each of the items online.
Special Limits on Specific Items
Your policy has an overall limit on loss, but it also has special limits on specific belongings. These are generally high-ticket items such as jewelry, antiques, collectibles, musical or photographic equipment, electronics, and more. However, special limits may also apply to what you might consider everyday items such as bicycles.
The special limit on these items is usually low. For instance, jewelry coverage is typically around $5,000. If you own a costly engagement and wedding ring, this isn’t enough coverage. The limit on bicycles can be as low as $1,500. If you own an expensive racing or mountain bike, you’ll need more coverage. E-bikes may not be covered at all.
Preparing a home inventory helps pinpoint these items which require additional attention. Your insurance agent can “schedule” this valuable property on your policy to increase your coverage for a reasonable fee. Alternatively, they can direct you to insurance products that can protect your belongings.
Actual Cash Value vs. Replacement Cost Coverage
Renters insurance policies can differ greatly. Actual cash value (ACV) coverage includes depreciation. If a thief steals your property, the insurer will pay you a lower amount due to wear and tear over time. Depreciation rates vary, but are highest for objects such as computers and electronics.
Alternatively, you can buy replacement costs coverage. It costs more, but it also offers funds to replace your stolen item with a new, similar item. You will still pay your deductible.
Surprising Inclusions & Exclusions
Your renters insurance policy may cover stolen cash up to your policy limit. However, this limit is usually only around $250. It could also compensate you if your cellphone is stolen from your local coffee shop.
However, items in your luggage after you check into an airline usually aren’t covered, because they’re considered in possession of a third-party. You would need to file a claim with the TSA and airline.
Your insurer will not compensate you if they believe the theft occurred due to your negligence either. As an example, they would not pay for your stolen bicycle if you left it unlocked.
All and all, a renters insurance policy provides amazing protection when you align your coverage with your needs and you use common sense when caring for your belongings. Prepare a home inventory and give us a call so that we can help you get the best protection at the most reasonable rates.