What should you consider when selecting renters insurance?
Deciding to buy renters insurance puts you in an exclusive club. Renters insurance, also called tenants insurance is taken up by only 37% of Americans. For the average Oregonian, one can expect to pay about $163 per year.
Renters insurance is an H04 policy and covers personal responsibility and personal liability within the four walls of the house or apartment you call home. Rental insurance requires you to take a hard look at the things that are important to you, such as your flat screen TV, antique furniture, grandmother’s ring or perhaps your signed Ducks football.
In the event of damage or loss of your belongings, renter’s insurance will either pay you the actual cash value or the replacement cost. The actual cash value is the current value of the item as appraised by the insurers. So while your ultra-thin plasma display TV might have been worth a fat stack of cash around 2007, getting it replaced today would not net you all that much money, especially after your deductible. Something like this would better be covered by a replacement cost value policy which would pay you the cost you paid originally after your deductable. With this in mind, take an inventory of all your belongs and figure out which of your belongings would appreciate or depreciate in value over time.
You may also be interested in reading about what happens when you can’t use your condo any more due to an incident in our loss assessment coverage policy article.
What should you consider when selecting rental insurance in Oregon?
Like much of the US, Oregon contains large urban areas and smaller rural communities. Oregon is divided by the Cascade Mountain range which extends through the state borders to Washington and south through California. All areas west of this range experience frequent snow, rain and cold snaps. There’s a reason why movies only feature Portland while it’s raining. Other urban areas, especially those on the I-5 (such as Salem, Eugene and Medford) will experience this sort of climate and therefore we recommend your rental insurance provisions for flood damage. Rental insurance usually already convers rain, hail, high winds and snow but check your providers to see.
Towns to the east of this range such as Bend still experience heavy rain but less so than those to the west.
Another thing you have to take into consideration is that smaller towns along the I-84 will have less apartment blocks and more detached homes. Both are similar, yet both are slightly different. In an apartment, you share your space with a number of other households. They might well have flooded sinks, kitchen fires, break in, short-circuits or any number of the sort of domestic worries life throws at you that may affect your dwelling.
In a detached home this is much less of a problem (unless your next-door neighbor has an extremely leaky sink). Here you are responsible for your home. Problems here include but aren’t limited to: flooding, blackouts, termites land contamination and natural disaster. Do note that renters’ insurance does not cover the dwelling or structure, just your personal property – as you are simply renting. In many cases however, renter’s insurance will pay for your expenses if your dwelling becomes uninhabitable.
Unless specified in our renter’s insurance recommendation section, all rental providers have experience in covering all types of dwellings.
Oregon has some interesting laws, like it being against the law to box with a kangaroo in Myrtle Creek or on a more serious note being the first state to legalize physician-assisted suicide in 1994. But on the topic of this article, there is no provision that requires landlords to buy rental insurance to cover their losses or their tenants’ losses, however tenants may require a tenant to obtain and maintain renter’s liability insurance in a written rental agreement. This has to be done in writing. Landlords may not require tenants in publicly subsidized housing or those with a household income that is less than 50% of the median income. More details about this can be found here on the Oregon Laws page and is worth reading through if you’re seriously considering buying rental insurance.
As for renters themselves, there is no law to buy rental insurance.