June 27, 2013

Missouri Department of Insurance releases video promoting renters insurance

Consumers encouraged to prepare an inventory

Jefferson City, Mo. - The Missouri Department of Insurance is reaching out to consumers who rent homes and apartments with a new video about renters insurance. The video is an introduction to what renters insurance covers and why it's necessary.

"Consumers who rent shouldn't assume their landlords are responsible for the replacement of their belongings should something happen," said John M. Huff, director of the Missouri Department of Insurance. "Renters insurance is affordable and some auto insurers discount premiums if you buy both coverages together."

Most renters insurance policies, which costs on average of $8-21 per month for $20,000-30,000 worth of coverage, cover damage to your belongings caused by fire and smoke, windstorm, hail, lightning, vandalism, theft, weight of ice or snow, and damage from a vehicle. Renters insurance also covers the cost of additional living expenses while consumers are displaced from their residence and medical bills if a guest is injured on your property. As with all insurance, there are limitations and exclusions which may apply, so be sure to ask your agent about what is not covered. 

Huff encourages all homeowners and renters, including college students, to complete a home inventory, which is an itemized checklist of all possessions. An inventory of one's belongings can make the process of filing a claim much more efficient in the event of fire, storm damage or theft. It also gives consumers a good idea of how much insurance coverage they need to protect their possessions should disaster strike.

An easy-to-use home inventory checklist is available for free on the department's website, along with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' home inventory app for iPhone and Android smartphones.

Consumers can ask general insurance questions or file a complaint by calling the department's Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-726-7390 or by visiting insurance.mo.gov.