Should I purchase Renter's Insurance? And, if so, what type should I get?
It's a good idea for renters to purchase insurance to cover your personal property in case of fire, theft, water damage, natural disasters, etc. Renter's insurance typically costs between $10 and $20 per month depending on the level coverage that you want. You can usually get a deal if you puchase coverage through the same insurance company that you use for automobile insurance. Sometimes, you can also add it onto your parent's homeowner insurance plan for a reasonable fee. Cheaper insurances will typically have a larger deductible, or amount that you are responsible for paying before the insurance kicks in so consider this when choosing the plan that's right for you. When deciding on a plan, estimate about how much your belongings are worth (be sure to factor in computers, jewelry, etc.) and pick a plan that covers this amount. It is also wise to consider some of the additional coverage options explained below.
General Personal Property Coverage vs. Replacement Coverage
Personal Property Coverage, which is generally the cheapest option offered, will pay the depreciated value of any items that you own. For example, if you own a big screen TV that is 5 years old, it general personal property coverage will pay you the depreciated value of the TV whereas with replacement coverage, you will receive the cost of a new TV of similar type. If you have a number of valuable items, it is in your best interest to purchase replacement cost coverage.
Loss of Use Coverage
This type of coverage covers your living costs if you are unable to return to your home after a covered disaster such as a fire. Check your lease to see how long you have agreed to wait for your landlord to make your residence livable again before you would be released from the rental agreement. Calculate the cost of living (hotel bill, meals,etc.) for this amount of time and be sure to purchase a coverage that would cover this amount.
Personal Liability coverage
This type of insurance covers you if a visitor to your rental is harmed by an unintentional act. So if a friend or service worker gets injured on your property, their medical bills would be paid for.
The ASUM Off-Campus renter Center does not endorse any specific rental insurance providers. Below is a list of some local providers:
*all phone numbers have a 406 area code*
Allstate Insurance: 1228 West Broadway St./549-8080
Farmers Insurance Group, Rod Burwitz, agent: 2502 Brooks St./ 274-5279
Farmers Insurance Group, Douglas Reeves, agent: 715 Kensington Ave, Suite 13/543-1808
Farmers Insurance Group, Chris Hale, agent: 44 W Front St/721-1311
Floyd Insurance: 2108 Oxford St. / 721-0231
Mountain West Farm Bureau Insurance: 1900S. reserve St./ 728-6812
Mountain West Farm Bureau Insurance, Andy Smith, agent: 1802 Dearborn Ave. Suite 102/ 926-1065
Mountain West Insurance, LLC: 1821 South W Ave, Suite 102/ 532-6210
State Farm, Scott Lucier, agent: 534 North Higgins / 541-9050
State Farm, Mike Prescott, agent: 1501 S. Russel St/ 777-4678
State Farm, Nate Sanders, agent: 825 W Spruce St., Suite A / 721-5050