People who rent a house, apartment, or other type of dwelling sometimes make the mistake of believing that they do not deserve the same financial protection as homeowners. Renting a home or an apartment doesn’t mean that your belongings will be a lost cause in case of a fire, theft or flood damage. However, you can protect your belongings just the same as families who own homes, by investing in renters insurance.
Renters insurance is designed to safeguard many types of belongings inside a rented home, including electronics, clothing, and jewelry, from unforeseen disasters like flooding, lightening, fires, and theft. Even with this protection, however, some renters may still be left fighting for their financial futures when their claims are denied by their insurers. Rather than submit yourself to such monetary losses, you can fight a denial by knowing your renters insurance rights and by taking these proactive actions.
Make A List of Your Belongings
Insurers may deny you by simply saying that the items for which you filed the claim were never protected in the first place. After you buy a policy, it is vital that you make a thorough list of these items, take pictures and write down their full descriptions, as well as serial numbers for future reference. You should give a copy of the list to your insurance agent and then store your copy in a safe place, such as in a safe deposit box at your bank, in one of your email folders, in a cloud storage account, or at the house of a trusted friend or relative. If you need to file a claim at some point in the future, you can reduce the likelihood of being denied by using this list to prove what items you had insured.
Document Valuable Items
Your insurer might deny you as well by saying that your assets were not that significantly damaged or valued at less than your appraisal. Rather than settle for less money than you are entitled to, you should take pictures or videos to document the full extent of the damage to solidify your claim or submit your copy of an appraisal report if you have this proof on hand. With substantiated documentation, your insurer may be less likely to deny you and instead give you the financial help you need to rebuild your life.
Get Legal Help
Many people forget that they can hire an attorney to help them fight a denial. When your insurer refuses to back down, you should consult with a legal professional to guide and advocate for you. Once you have an lawyer by your side, your insurance company may be more willing to compromise. Most insurers do not like going to court and would rather settle if possible. With a lawyer to fight for your rights, you can close your case sooner and get back to living your life with the insurance money you need to replace your valuables.
Do You Know Your State Laws?
With an attorney to counsel you, you can know your rights as they pertain to your state. For instance, the tenant and landlord laws in Pennsylvania may be totally different than say, Washington state. Being a renter does not mean that you have less legal standing or importance in the eyes of the law.
The law recognizes that you have the same right to housing and assets as anyone else. You also have the right to make a claim against a policy for which you have been paying regularly. Your lawyer can make sure your rights are protected and advocated for throughout the legal process.
Renters insurance can be an invaluable asset when you rent a house or an apartment. However, when your claims are denied, you can get the money you need to move forward and protect your belongings by taking these assertive steps.
Knowing the importance of documentation for insurance policies enables Nadine Swayne to offer these tips. If you unfortunately have a fire in your home, it is vital to have an existing list so you can take stock of your damaged items when filing a claim with your insurer. Whether you rent or buy a home or apartment, know your rights!