Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Do You Know What Is Covered in Your Rental Apartment's Insurance Policy?

Picture this:  Two laptop computers sitting opened on a desk.


The wall shelf above the desk falls, smashes the screens of both laptops.

Then you call your insurance company.   They say, "Sorry, you are not covered for this damage under your policy."

Why?  It is so simple: breakage is not covered under your basic apartment insurance policy.  For the computer to be covered, it has to be put on a "schedule" or "rider" for which there is an additional cost.

I called my favorite insurance agent at www.nilesinsurance.com for advice.  I was told  that under a general policy, your computer could be covered if, for example, water from a leak from another apartment, or even a leak in your own apartment, got onto your computer and messed it up. Anything covered is subject to your deductible.

Items which are not too expensive can be listed on your policy under blanket coverage. When you do this, you have to make sure that your insurance company has your list of items to be included.  Let's say you have a few jewelry items worth $500 or a guitar worth $700.  You tell your agent to include these on the policy. Usually blanket coverage is good for up to $10,000 total, but please check with your insurance agent for your specific policy limits. Remember, these items are still not covered for something like breakage.

More expensive items, or items which are of a certain nature which you may not be able to replace, have to be put on a "schedule" or "rider."  A ring worth $5,000 for example, could be separately insured.  These items which you put on a "schedule" are covered for the value you give them whether stolen or damaged.  Also, items on a "schedule" most likely are not subject to a deductible. You have to discuss all parameters of your policy with your agent as not all policies are the same.

Make sure you have the actual value for those scheduled items.  Sometimes your insurance policy will need an appraisal to be sure the value is correct .

Please check with your insurance agent to see what monetary value your apartment is insured for, including all contents and special items and see if it is enough.  Then take into account your real valuables, whether it is a computer, jewelry, IPhones etc. Discuss it all with your agent.  A good one will make sure you are doing the right thing. Not every insurance company's policy is the same.

Always expect the unexpected when it comes to protecting your most prized possessions.

Where you might shop for insurance:  www.nilesinsurance.com

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