Whether you've just purchased your first home, or you're only renting an apartment, everyone who owns even just a few expensive things should always consider protecting those belongings with cheap home contents insurance.
Places to Find Contents Coverage Quotes
Here are some websites to get you started on your home contents insurance search:
- The Netquote website not only has home contents insurance quotes, but also has lots of options and brands of insurance for comparing quotes. The best way to find the right plan for you is to consider all of your options and this website allows you to do just that.
- Budget Direct's website allows you to get combined quotes with good coverage at a lower price than you might expect.
Contents Coverage that Meets Your Needs
Contents Coverage for Homeowners
Basic home insurance policies typically cover the contents of the home up to about 40 percent of the value that you've insured the home for. So, for a home that is insured up to $250,000, the contents of the home are insured for up to $100,000. This is an estimate, so check with your specific policy for the exact values.
When you are looking for cheap home content insurance, you'll want to make sure that you don't over-insure.
- Take inventory of the most expensive items that you own.
- Add the cost of replacing those items with new items in today's market.
- Add a buffer of about ten percent to that total.
The value that you end up with should be the bare minimum coverage for your home contents. If you don't want to spend a lot for home content insurance, then consider whether the basic policy provides sufficient coverage. Even if your overall coverage is slightly less than the value of your items, this may be an acceptable risk to save money on home content insurance.
Contents Insurance for Renters
One of the most common mistakes many renters make is that they forget to insure their possessions when they rent an apartment or a home. As a renter, you should be aware that the landlord's homeowner insurance covers the value of the building itself. You are responsible for insuring your own possessions, and that is exactly what renters insurance is for. Renters insurance is another form of home contents insurance that targets people who are not homeowners, but still have valuable items that require protection.
Ordinarily, home contents insurance for renters is very inexpensive, but you can save even more by shopping around for the best rates. Usually, you'll discover the best deal by obtaining the renter's insurance from the same company that you get auto insurance, and asking for a multi-policy discount.
Determining the Appropriate Coverage Level
In order to determine what level of coverage you need, go through the following steps:
- With a video recorder, walk through every single room in your house and visually record every object that you own.
- Scan every shelf, ever table, and the contents of every drawer and cabinet.
- When you come across something that is worth a lot, make note of it in a notepad, and try to estimate the value if you would have to go out and buy a new one.
- Once you're done recording, sit down with your notepad and playback the video. Jot down estimated replacement values for everything that you see passing by on the screen. Your estimates don't have to be exact; just come up with a ballpark figure.
- When you're done, add up all of the estimated values for your total coverage need.
When you talk to your insurance agent for a quote, ask what maximum amount the most inexpensive renter's insurance policy covers. If the coverage of the cheapest policy is close to or slightly higher than your total estimate, then go with the cheapest policy.
If the basic policy doesn't cover enough to protect your most expensive items, then ask about the cost of supplemental insurance for those items. However, if the basic policy coverage is only slightly below your total estimate, the annual premium savings might offset the risk.