If you’re renting your home and haven’t heard this already, know it now: renters insurance is a great thing to have. If you’re thinking your landlord’s policy will cover you if something tragic happens, think again. The landlord’s coverage will rebuild or repair the building, but if your personal possessions are affected, you’ll be on your own.
Said simply, the best renters insurance policy is the one you get before you need it. Now, with that said, if you have it already and you’re simply moving apartments, here’s how to handle renters insurance.
Usually, all you need to do is update your address when you move within the same state. Just get in touch with your agent, or go online and change your address. Your policy will remain in effect as long as your premiums are up to date. However, you might find your rate will adjust somewhat depending upon the location of your new place and the nature of the risk factors surrounding it.
If your move takes you to a new state, you may have to get a new policy in keeping with its regulation. In most cases, the process is simple and can be handled with a simple phone call or online search. Either way, moving is a good time to inventory your possessions to make sure your coverage has kept pace as you’ve acquired new items.
No Coverage During Moves
Renter’s insurance won’t cover your items while they’re in transit between apartments, so choose your movers carefully. If they lose something or break something, it will be up to their insurance to repair or replace the item. Movers typically offer two forms of coverage: Full Value Protection (FVP) and Released Value Protection (RVP).
FVP (offered at extra cost) will repair, replace or remunerate you for broken items or stolen property—up to a point. Moving company limit their liability in these situations. They also exclude high value items such as antiques, fine jewelry, high-end silverware and dishes.
RVP (usually provided free of charge) values items at a certain price point per pound. This could be a significant issue in the case of an expensive flat screen TV. Light in weight, but high in dollar value, a RVP payout wouldn’t come close to covering the cost of its replacement.
Ultimately though, neither will make you completely whole if you have an issue, so you might want to consider going with a third-party insurer to make up the difference.
The Bottom Line
When you’re moving between apartments, the good news is the best renters insurance policies usually transfer quite readily. However, they won’t cover you while your things are in transit. To handle renters insurance during that circumstance you’ll have to rely on your carrier’s insurance, which is quite limited. If you have a lot of valuables, third-party moving insurance is a good idea.
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