Questions to Ask When Buying Renter’s Insurance for Your Apartment

Let’s talk renter’s insurance. If you’re renting an apartment in New York City, your landlord is legally required to insure your apartment—as in, the structure itself. This, however, does you no good, seeing as how any payout for damage goes to the said landlord, not to you. If you want to protect your stuff—and of course, you do—you need renters insurance.

But how do you know you’re getting all the coverage you need at the best price? You’ll want to shop around, and you have to ask the right questions.

1. Who and what is covered?

Writing for the Brick Underground, broker Jeff Schneider suggests you determine specifics, like:

  • Is all my stuff covered? If you work from home, you might need extra coverage for your business equipment. Jewelry might also require additional coverage.
  • Is my roommate’s stuff covered, too?
  • Suppose somebody gets hurt while visiting? Is that covered?
  • How about if my bathtub overflows and damages the ceiling in the apartment below me? Is that included?

For these issues, Upside Insurance Agency suggests going beyond just basic coverage. Ask your agent about adding personal liability coverage (to protect you from lawsuits), temporary living expense coverage (while they make repairs from the overflowing bathtub), or a rider for your bling.


2. What catches do I need to know about?

Once you know your stuff is well covered, you may think you’re good to go. This is not necessarily so. Certain circumstances can affect your ability to collect on damages. According to Consumer Alert and MintLife:

  • Damage due to natural disasters like flood and earthquake aren’t usually covered.
  • You may need extra coverage if you get a pet.
  • If you sublet your apartment, your insurance coverage is probably null and void.
  • If you don’t have a detailed list of what you own and what it’s going to cost to replace it, you may be out of luck.

3. What breaks can I get?

Certain factors can help lower rates, but you have to ask to find out what they are. Consumer Alert suggests you bring up possible discounts like:

  • burglar alarms
  • fire extinguishers and sprinkler systems
  • deadbolts on exterior doors

4. What can you tell me about this company?

Deciding on the right company involves more than price. Jeff Schneider recommends you try to deal with a company that’s been doing your kind of business in your area for years. In addition to finding out how long the company has been in business, you should ask:

  • Can I have a list of references to contact?
  • Will I have a personal agent, and will he/she answer questions quickly?
  • How easy is it to submit a claim?
  • If I make a claim, how long will it be before I get paid?
  • If I make a claim, will my rates go up?

At this point, you may be thinking renter’s insurance isn’t worth the trouble. That would be a mistake. You need it, and knowing which questions to ask will help you get it. Still, if it all seems way too confusing, feel free to check with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners or InsureU. They’ll either answer your questions or put you in touch with your state insurance department.

Moving from West to East Coast | Long Distance Move Tips

So you are packing up your life on the West Coast and getting ready to move to the East Coast. As you prepare for the adventure of a lifetime, you will probably wonder about how to plan your move. Long distance moves are a major undertaking, but this guide will go over some tips to make the experience easier for you.

1. The Bustle Will Be Familiar

Unlike if you were moving to a sleepy town in the Midwest or the South, the East Coast has just as much going on as the West Coast does. You will already be used to living among many different people, and the East Coast will be very similar in that regard. People of all different cultures and walks of life live in the crowded metropolises of the East Coast, so don’t worry about fitting in. In no time at all, you will feel right at home. Nonetheless, you still might run into culture shock, and it’s best to be prepared for it – though do recognize that it is normal.

2. Look Into Your Moving Options

There are some ways in which you can move. You can pack up all your things and ship them. You can hire movers to pack everything into a truck and drive. If you’re looking for the cheapest way to move long distance, you can rent a truck or, you can move with vehicles you already have at your disposal. Your decision will largely depend on the number of things you need to be moved as well as your budget. Availability of helpers or physical limitations might narrow your choices as well.

3. Decide Whether You Will DIY Or Hire Movers

Making moving arrangements with professional movers well in advance is to your advantage because availability can be an issue. If you decide to do it yourself, you won’t have to worry about scheduling with the professionals but you will need to make sure that you have enough time off to make the move and that any friends or family you need to help you are available.

4. Downsize As Much As Possible

Right before a move is the best time to go through your possessions and get rid of anything you no longer need. Excess items can be donated, sold, given to friends or thrown away. This is a good thing. It not only leaves you with less stuff to move but also forces you to cut down on things you don’t want or need.

5. Label Your Boxes

Labeling your boxes as you pack them up will make unpacking much easier and keep you organized during your move. Be detailed – put little lists on the side of each box. Labeling the boxes will also make it easier on movers to put boxes in the correct rooms when you reach your destination.

6. Measure Everything And Create Your Floorplan

Deciding where furniture is going to go ahead of time will make everything much easier. By creating a floorplan ahead of time, you can tell movers exactly where to set things down and you will not have to be moving furniture around until you have it where you want it. Having the furniture settled in will also leave you more room to stack boxes and other belongings.

Getting your move figured out will help relieve some stress as the big day approaches. Take a deep breath and follow these tips. Your move will go smoothly and you will be ready to begin your new life.

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