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IPS / Lighthouse Insurance Group Blog: renters insurance

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When selecting renters insurance, your policy should reflect the type of property you live in. Apartments are the most common type of rental property. However, many people rent condominiums and town homes as well. image of couple moving into condo

In all cases, renters insurance is a valuable investment. Your policy should reflect the differences in these spaces.

What Is the Difference?

Consider the difference in ownership here. Those living in a condo only own what is in the condo. They don't own the building itself.

Your renters insurance policy should reflect coverage for what is within the property’s walls. In a town home, the owner owns the land outside of it as well. He or she also owns the walls and roofing system. If you are renting a town home, you may need more coverage, including structure protection. It should cover risks outside of the walls.

Ownership itself does not matter to renters. However, it does provide some insight into what your insurance policy should offer to you.

When Does This Matter?

Let’s say a person visiting your condo comes inside and falls on a rug. He suffers significant head trauma. Your renters’ insurance liability policy may cover the losses associated with this injury. If it occurs outside of the condo, this may not be the case. The accident didn't occur on property owned by you.

In a town home, the insurance policy should represent your responsibility outside of the property as well. In all townhouses, you will be responsible for anything that occurs inside and outside on the property. It provides more coverage across the entire property..

Clarification with Your Owner

It is important to discuss risk with your condo owner. If you live in a larger development, clarify what type and amount of renters insurance you should have. Determine what your responsibilities are.

Many renters in these larger spaces have assets outdoors, too. Be sure your policy reflects these assets. It could mean purchasing more coverage. You may need a policy with more protections for your liability risks. Every policy should be specific. In doing so, it gives you the policy you need.

Discuss your needs for renters insurance with an insurance agent at 734-421-9900 or 800-220-5582. You can also discuss them with the property management company. This information can give insight into your responsibilities. Even if you rent a single family home, proper coverage is essential. With a plan in place, you do not have to worry about risks. This includes losses of your assets. It also includes losses associated with injury to another person. A comprehensive plan safeguards your financials no matter what type of property you live in right now.

Also Read: The Costs Associated with Renting

Renting a home comes at a cost, even though this is often lower than ownership. So, how do you make ends meet? For many of us, one step in that process is to know what prices we regularly face. This knowledge can help us plan our budgets. image of for rent sign in front of a house

Many people think that renting is only the cost of the rental check. However, this isn’t true. Renters usually owe more than the cost of occupancy. Take some time to understand what costs you might have to expect when you sign a lease.

1. Basic rent has supplementary costs

You don’t want to face penalties, or even eviction, because you can’t pay your rent. Therefore, you should always know what your monthly invoice will contain.

  • Your basic rent is the price you will pay to occupy the property.
  • Supplementary rental costs might come from a variety of special cases. These might include fees for housing a pet, or pest and trash removal fees.

Landlords will usually have to list the base rent and additional fees on your lease. This will help you know exactly how much you will pay per month. Many experts recommend paying only about 1/3 of your monthly paycheck for your rental costs. Take a close look at rental options to make sure you can always afford your lease.

2. Utility costs

These are fees like your lights, gas and water bills. They are critical to keeping your home habitable. Sometimes, you pay for utility costs in your rent. In other cases, you pay them as separate bills.

A good tip is to keep a record of how much you pay per period for these costs. Over time, you can often begin to anticipate upcoming utility bills. Some suppliers provide ways for customers to track their anticipated costs as well.

3. Renters insurance premiums

Many landlords require their renters to carry this form of coverage. It can cover liability costs renters might pose to others on their property. It can also protect the value of the personal possessions belonging to the renter.

Usually, it’s quite easy to afford these policies. Work with your agent to establish a policy so that you never over pay for your coverage. They can help you tailor your coverage so that you always pay a fair price. They can also help you ensure that you never default on your premium payments. You therefore won’t run the risk of losing eligibility to rent.

Keep in mind, you might face other bills related to the cost of upkeep on your rental. Make sure you set aside a nest egg to pay for additional costs that might pop up from time to time.


Posted 4:09 PM

When renting a home, you walk a fine line between personal ownership and leasing. The homeowner owns the property, and likely has a lot to do with its upkeep. However, you live in the rented space, and probably put a lot of work into keeping it nice. Not only that, the property’s owner likely won’t take anyimage of girl in new apartment responsibility for your own possessions.

When you move your belongings into the rental, they still belong to you. You want to protect these items in case they sustain harm. Usually, you can do so with your renters insurance's possessions protection.

Determining What to Claim on Possessions Protection

Your renters insurance policy will likely come with possessions coverage. This protection can cover your personal items in case perils like fire, theft or weather hazards damage them.

Many insurers will allow you to declare an approximate value of your personal items. Your insurer will likely use this value as your policy’s limit. This is the maximum compensation you might receive from a claim.

So, to make sure you get appropriate limits, take a close look at the value of your possessions. The key here is to get enough money to replace your most valuable possessions. However, you might be better served to keep certain possessions off your estimates. If you can keep your limits as low as practically possible, you might be able to keep your renter insurance premiums lower. However, don't cheat yourself and neglect getting coverage that might make replacement easier.

Items to include in your value estimate might be:

  • Furniture
  • Clothing
  • Food values—about 1-2 weeks of grocery bills
  • Electronics—computers, tablets, cell phones
  • Medication or medical device costs (even if you have health insurance)
  • Appliances owned by the renter (not by the homeowner)
  • Tools
  • Novelties like toys, books or movies

Items you might be able to leave off your possessions coverage includes easily replaceable items like toiletries, undergarments or other items of lesser value.

Keep in mind that your policy will likely come with a maximum limit on possessions coverage. Furthermore, possessions coverage might exclude particularly unique items. For example, you might not be able to cover jewelry or artwork within standard possessions coverage. You might have to invest in policy riders to extend coverage to these exceptionally valuable items.

Therefore, when looking for renters insurance, talk to your insurance agent. Ask them to help you determine the adequate value of your possessions coverage. Keep documentation of your possessions’ values, such as appraisals or receipts, to help justify these claims. Let Insurance Planning Services help you with your renters insurance and possession coverage, get started today by calling 734-421-9900 or 800-220-5582.

image of girl in new apartmentRenters insurance is one of the most important investments for those who live in properties owned by someone else. It provides a wealth of financial protection. Its aim is to protect you, the renter.

However, it often does not protect the property owner. It does not protect any of the property owner's possessions either. In this way, most policies do not cover appliances. There are some limitations here. You should read through your policy to know the specific coverage you have.

Understanding Personal Property Coverage

Renters insurance includes personal property coverage. It can cover the cost to replace your belongings in the instance of a covered loss. Losses may result from fires, theft, vandalism or storm-related loss. That does not mean your policy includes all of the items within your rented space. Typically, appliances and other furnishings owned by the property owner will not have coverage under your policy.

Here are some examples. James home starts on fire due to a faulty appliance. The property owner provided the stove. The property owner bought and maintains the stove. When James moves out, he cannot take the stove with him. In this case, the renters insurance policy paid by James does not cover the stove. The property owner's coverage will cover not just the appliance but other losses James incurs since the owner is likely liable.

However, down the hall, someone steals Liz's microwave from her home. Liz purchased and maintains the microwave. She will take it with her when she moves. This is part of her personal property and possessions. In this case, the renters insurance policy will often cover the microwave loss. The policy will pay Liz based on the value and terms of the policy. She will not need to file a claim with the property owner's insurance.

It is important to remember that renters insurance has limits. These policies usually have a maximum amount of coverage per item (such as the value of the microwave). It also has a maximum total payout for the incident. You can adjust how much this is, though.

Work with your renters insurance agent to learn more about your policy. Clarify which appliances you own. Be sure your policy offers enough coverage to reduce the risks of loss regarding appliances. A clear policy is important in every case when it comes to renters insurance and property ownership.

Talk to an insurance agent with Insurance Planning Service at (800) 220-5582 about how we can help you get appliance protection. They can help you determine how to best structure your policy.

Rental Property Seasonal Maintenance

Choosing Appropriate Renters Liability Coverage

Monitor Your Changing Renters Insurance Needs

house for rent

Many renters occupy their properties for several seasons. Long-term leases often run for around one year, and many renters choose to extend them. Long-term occupancy of a property means a renter often becomes very familiar with their home.

As summer prepares to end, the oncoming autumn and winter may bring seasonal changes that could place stress on rental homes. Therefore, the renter and property owner should do what they can to reduce seasonal damage risks in the home. This includes examining their existing property insurance policies.

1.      Review Your Renters Insurance

Once or twice per year, renters should review their renters insurance policies. These policies often cover a variety of hazards that may damage a rental property and the renter’s property within.

Should weather conditions damage the home or renter’s property, the policy may help repair damages and replace lost items. However, policies may limit the amount of money, or the weather damages they cover. For this reason, policyholders should review their policies to make sure they protect them from common seasonal hazards in their area.

2.      Review Your Lease Responsibilities

Renters often share the responsibility of home maintenance with the property owner. Therefore, as the seasons change, renters should talk to the homeowner about various home maintenance tasks that may come up. A renter may be easily able to prepare the home for seasonal changes.

However, the owner may wish to handle some of the projects on their own. As the property’s owner, they have a right to make sure that modifications are done to their specifications. Therefore, when beginning seasonal maintenance, talk to the owner. A lease may stipulate which parties handle maintenance. If it does not, the parties should take legally binding steps to enumerate these expectations.

3.      Preparing a Rental for Winter

Both the homeowner and the renter can take proactive steps to get the home ready for seasonal changes. Starting while the weather is still nice may help avoid hassles later on.

  • Inspect the home’s roof. Extended exposure may weaken the roof, leading to collapses or other damage. Roofs generally have about a ten year lifespan. Therefore, homeowners should replace the roof as needed.
  • Inspect the home’s doors, windows and ventilation systems to ensure they have proper seals. Also check the basement and attic. Sealing a home can keep pests and cold air out. It might even reduce your energy costs.
  • The renter should request that the homeowner service the HVAC, chimney and electrical systems at the start of the season. Cold weather may overburden these systems, leading to breakdowns. Additionally, damaged electrical systems may increase fire risks.

As always, renters should use caution when using utility and structural systems in their home. If you notice problems in your rental, immediately notify the property owner.

Ready for Michigan renters insurance? Call Insurance Planning Service at (800) 220-5582 right now. We can help you get a fast, free policy quote.

Posted 6:13 PM

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Lighthouse Group Main Office in Grand Rapids, MI
Mailing Address | P.O. Box 530009, Livonia, MI 48153

Phone: 734.421.9900 | Toll Free: 800.220.5582 | Fax: 734.421.9911

Also serving these Detroit area communities in Michigan: Livonia, Farmington Hills, Ann Arbor, Southfield, Plymouth, Canton, Westland, Northville, Novi, Dearborn, South Lyon & Walled Lake