Whether you’re renting a mobile home, a studio apartment, an entire house, or sharing a residence, renter’s insurance is versatile and covers a host of issues, such as guest injuries, stolen property, and even hotel bills (when you can’t live in your place).
Getting a renter’s insurance policy is a smart investment, even if you’ve already been living in a place for a year or are just starting out. After all, replacing your belongings after a disaster can be a real burden, but can be done quickly with the right insurance in place. Insurance cover is an inexpensive and typically easy-to-obtain product to manage the renter’s risks and give you peace of mind.
When you’re ready, here’s how to get renter’s insurance in Orlando.
Steps Required to Get Renter’s Insurance in Orlando
First, it’s important to understand the basics about renter’s insurance, including what the basic coverage components are:
- Your possessions—The coverage is for the contents in your rented dwelling against named perils, including some weather-related damage, electrical and plumbing malfunctions, vandalism, fire, and theft.
- Liability—This coverage protects you up to a specified amount in case of lawsuits against you for damages or injuries incurred in your home by other people. Liability also covers damage your family, pets, or yourself cause to others.
- Additional living expenses (ALE)—Coverage for when the unit is uninhabitable due to any of the covered perils. You will get some money to pay for temporary housing, including hotel bills, rentals, and restaurant meals.
However, you should note that there are also many things that Florida renter’s insurance doesn’t cover as standard, including “acts of God” and sewage backup into your unit. Such things can be included under an additional premium.
High-end electronics, musical instruments, important collections of antiques and art, and fine jewelry are some of the other things not covered too. You may also require a separate rider to get cover against wind damage. Renter’s insurance policies also don’t cover losses due to intentional acts or negligence.
Now that you know what’s covered, here is how to get renter’s insurance in Orlando.
Check Your Orlando Lease Requirements
It’s a common requirement that tenants must take out renter’s insurance in Orlando that meets the lease minimum level of protection. Your first step in considering insurance should thus involve checking what’s required by the lease.
While it’s not a legal requirement for tenants, some landlords require residents to purchase Orlando renter’s insurance. This strategy can help you and the landlord reduce out-of-pocket costs if something were to happen to your belongings.
However, renter’s insurance is different from rental property insurance in Orlando. The latter, also called landlord insurance, covers the unique risks a landlord takes when renting out their units for long periods. Typical coverage includes liability costs, loss of rental income, and property damage.
Renter’s insurance also helps reduce the likelihood of the landlord ending up in court. Tenants without the financial protection of such insurance may look into alternative funding methods to replace damaged or lost items, including suing the landlord.
Some leases require a renter’s insurance policy to weed out not-so-ideal tenants. For example, if an applicant can’t afford to purchase coverage, it’s a red flag showing they may have other financial problems that might cause issues in the future—including perhaps not paying the monthly rent on time.
Your lease will also mention how much renter’s insurance needs to be purchased if the property owner requires coverage. The coverage limit, typically ranging from $5,000 to $500,000, should usually be high enough to replace your everyday possessions. However, the lease should explicitly spell out the amount.
Find Orlando Insurance Firms that Offer Renter’s Insurance
You can modify coverage to ensure you get cover for the amount required, and most renter insurance companies offer similar options. But the biggest difference you’ll see is the price.
Price is an obvious consideration when shopping for the best Orlando, FL, renter’s insurance company, but there are other things to consider too, as discussed below.
Renter insurance policies have maximum coverage limits for different coverage types, including liability, belongings, and expense reimbursements. Look at the limits when comparing policies and see if they’re the same.
Policies may cost the same, but one policy may have a lower coverage limit. You want to maximize your coverage for the rate you pay.
Area of Coverage
Renter’s insurance may not be available from all insurance firms in all states. So, start by finding out if Florida is in a particular firm’s coverage area when shopping around. If not, move on to the next firm quickly to save you wasting time.
The Quote Process
Like other insurance firms, those offering renter’s insurance provide various ways to get quotes. Some require you to call a toll-free number or a local agent for a representative to offer a customized quote. Other firms will have an online quote process.
Find companies offering the quote through a process you prefer to use to narrow down the choices.
Ask the firms about any discounts they’re offering on renter’s insurance. One popular strategy is bundling renter’s insurance with a car insurance policy. You may be able to get a discount for loyalty, or by enrolling in automatic payments, installing alarm or smoke detector systems, or by signing up for paperless billing.
The Firm AM Best Rating
Many companies will mention their AM Best rating. This is a credit rating agency that’s also a credible source for evaluating the financial strength of an insurance firm. The ratings range between A+ for superior and D for poor. Firms with a B+ rating and above are a solid choice for renter’s insurance.
Get Your Orlando Rental Property Quoted
Take an inventory of your belongings and estimate the value to include this in the quote request. Take pictures of items in each room you’d want cash value for if anything were to happen to the unit. Also, record serial numbers to identify items after a covered peril occurs.
Get the cost of each item by looking it up online. You can include any appraisals or receipts you have for the items. Use an inventory smartphone or online home inventory app to store the information.
Next, gather quotes from three to five renter’s insurance providers in Orlando to compare coverage and pricing. Most quotes will include information on the coverage depending on your preferred policy.
Purchase a Policy
The last step is to pay for the policy. You might choose the firm with the lowest rates if the price is important to you, or you may value special perks and coverages to match your requirements. Most renter insurance firms allow applying for a policy through their websites.
Some landlords require proof of insurance, but there’s no standard benchmark. The landlord may ask for proof as an interested party, and the insurance firm will contact them when the policy lapses or terminates unexpectedly.
A few ways to prove you have renter’s insurance in Orlando include:
- Provide the declarations page of your policy, which outlines the details of the coverage
- Ask your renter’s insurance provider to send proof to the landlord
- Upload a digital copy of the declarations page to the property owner’s management system
- Provide verbal confirmation
What Does Renter’s Insurance Cost in Orlando?
Each firm weights the rating factors differently when determining premiums, but the average rate for Orlando renter’s insurance is $97 per year, or about $8 a month. The figure for Orlando is $62 less than the nation’s average of $159 annually.
Factors Influencing the Cost of Rental Insurance in Orlando
Insurance for renters is not a one-size-fits-all policy. The price and benefits of the policy depend on various factors, as described below.
The cost of renter’s insurance fluctuates from one area to another. High crime rate areas tend to attract higher insurance costs. The insurance costs in such areas may be more because you’ll typically require a separate or rider policy for events in addition to the standard policy.
Actual Cash Value (ACV) Vs. Replacement Cost Value (RCV)
The insurance type you choose determines whether reimbursements are on an ACV or RCV basis. An ACV policy offers reimbursement depending on the value of the items with depreciation considered, whereas an RCV policy reimburses the equivalent amount needed to purchase a replacement.
Note that RCV policies cost more because they pay out more than ACV policies.
Coverage Amount and Limits
Insurance firms set general limits on how much they can pay out in case of loss. Undervaluing your possessions and the limits can lower your premium, but at the risk of lower pay outs should a loss event occur. Conversely, you may get an option to add an endorsement for some high-value items than a policy would pay out for.
These endorsements will cost more upfront because they increase the payout. Consider adding such endorsements if you have items that would represent a genuine devastating personal and financial loss.
The deductible is money you’ll pay for a loss before the insurance coverage starts. Paying more reduces your premium costs. However, be sure you can afford the deductibles in case of a loss.
Type of Building
Renter’s insurance firms love buildings with integrated sprinkler systems, smoke alarms, smart alarm systems, and other up-to-code modern options. Since the owners of the buildings take monumental steps to reduce potential losses, the firms are more likely to reduce the premium.
Conversely, insurance firms see the charming quirks of living in older buildings as risks. Such buildings seldom have safety systems that meet current standards, so the insurance rates are higher.
Summary of How to Get Renter’s Insurance in Orlando
Your landlord may provide you and your family protection in terms of property damage, but you are responsible for covering your belongings. Renter’s insurance is critical if you can’t afford to replace your belongings after a disaster, such as theft.
Renter’s insurance coverage can also provide funds for temporary housing, liability coverage, and may even cover storage. The policy is a worthy investment that will protect you and your belongings if a covered event damages them. It never hurts to request quotes from reputable firms.