John Sundling joins the program to discuss renters insurance. From the various areas it protects to what can happen if you choose not to have it, we cover it all in this episode!
Below is a transcript of the episode, modified for your reading pleasure. For more information on the topics discussed in the episode, see the links at the bottom of this post.
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Grant FINLEY: Hello and welcome to another edition of Your Insurance Connection Podcast. I'm your host, Grant Finley and back on the program today is John Sundling. John, thanks for joining us.
John SUNDLING: Thanks for having me.
FINLEY: Today I wanted to talk about renters insurance. It's one of those things that is often overlooked but is certainly important and before I get too deep into the details, I figure I'll let you talk about what exactly renters insurance is.
SUNDLING: Well, renters insurance is very important on many different levels. It offers coverage for a few different occurrences. A lot of people think of renters insurance just for theft of their belongings and so forth and obviously it does, in fact, cover that but there are other components in which will be covered as well and we can definitely get into some of the specifics.
FINLEY: Well, let's just jump right into that then. So, what exactly does it cover? You mentioned theft, but what are some of the other elements?
SUNDLING: Some of the other elements that it will, in fact, cover is personal liability. If something were to happen - a dog bites someone, it's going to kick in in that regard. Obviously your personal property, theft and so forth, which we spoke of and sewer and drain backup. That's also involved, and then of course fire, and then one of the most unique situations where, if there is, in fact, a fire in that building and it is inhabitable, Grant, there's a loss of use component that would kick in and that would provide you with living expenses while you have to live somewhere else until the property is remodeled and so forth. It's actually a pretty extensive little plan all together.
FINLEY: What about - this sounds very similar to homeowners, and I know with homeowners if I had something in my car, I think was the example we used, and my property was stolen out of my car, that would be covered under homeowners. Is renters similar where my personal property is stolen outside of my residence it's still covered?
SUNDLING: It is. It actually follows you because we are insuring your personal property and affects, so whether you're on vacation in Paris and your $1,000 camera gets stolen from your backpack, or what have you, that, in fact, would be covered as well.
FINLEY: So then, how much - it sounds like it covers a lot, but how much does it cost a typical person to get renters insurance?
SUNDLING: Renters insurance is very, very inexpensive as a whole. Obviously that's predicated on how much coverage you want, your personal affects, and that sort of thing but basically it is a very, very inexpensive coverage to own across the board.
FINLEY: How much insurance should a person carry? How do they value their property? If I'm a young, single guy out of college living in my first apartment and I don't have a - maybe I bought a sofa off of Craigslist or something like that that's not worth anything. Am I supposed to be valuing the replacement cost of everything so if there were a fire and I had to get a new sofa, I had to go out and buy one, it was going to cost a few hundred dollars as opposed to the $50 sofa I bought on the internet... I'm curious how much people should value their assets at?
SUNDLING: People sometimes don't realize how much things add up and how much they add up very quickly. The average renter typically pays between $15-20,000 in personal property. They just don't quite realize once you start adding up belongings how quickly it does add up. Something along the line of $15-20,000 renter policy would really be anywhere from $15-20 a month. It's a very inexpensive plan but very, very important as we've talked about.
FINLEY: I think it's understood, but it probably shouldn't go without being said that if your landlord has insurance, your property is not protected by that, right?
SUNDLING: That's correct. Some landlords actually require this particular coverage prior to you actually moving in, but others don't. It just all depends on the particular situation, but it doesn't matter how big or small your apartment is, it's a very, very wise protection to look into.
FINLEY: So, we've talked about some of the advantages of carrying this coverage. It seems - I think the overwhelming perception is that, "it's not a big deal, I don't have a lot of stuff, it's probably not worth it," but is there an instance where if I don't have it, it can really come back to bite me in the rear end?
SUNDLING: Absolutely, you could leave to go to work for eight or nine hours and forget to blow out a candle but your adjacent neighbors do, in fact, have renters insurance and then they are forced to file a claim with their insurance company. Well, they're going to in turn seek to cover their damages and who do you think they're going to go after? It's very important with that in mind as well.
FINLEY: So, if I start a fire and I'm responsible and I don't have renters insurance, then anybody else who's damaged can come after me?
FINLEY: That doesn't sound fun at all.
SUNDLING: No, and that's why it's just a wise situation too because like I mentioned, it's very inexpensive but very, very important as well.
FINLEY: Alright, well one of the other big things that I think people generally think is covered, whether its a homeowners or whatever and it turns out it usually isn't, is flood insurance and so I'm just going to hazard a guess that renters is the same way where it might no protect against a flood or water from the outside?
SUNDLING: Not necessarily from a flood, however it will, in fact, cover a sewer or a drain backup. That is certainly a component of a typical renters plan. So, not so much flood, but sewer and drain backup.
FINLEY: Well, what about if I'm on the bottom floor and my neighbor's toilet is leaking or something and it seeps through the ceiling, now it's running down my walls and now I've got a big water damage problem in my apartment because of the person above me. Is my renters insurance going to be able to cover that expense or how does that work?
SUNDLING: That's a great point. Yes, in fact, it would and as a matter of fact, if something were to happen and a pipe burst and all of your personal affects and belongings were damaged, that's again, what it would be there for. So, yes, absolutely.
FINLEY: Alright, good information so far, John. I think if anybody was on the fence about whether or not to pull the trigger on this, maybe they will have decided one way or the other, but assuming they haven't decided, what do they need to do to get coverage? I'm assuming they can give us a call at 636.391.0700 ask for you and get set up, or what does that look like?
SUNDLING: Absolutely, it takes minutes. Like I said, it's a very easy policy to put together and heck, for that matter, I'd be happy to see if, in fact, we can save some folks some more money and have a look at their auto too and bundle it all up and put a very good, comprehensive package together.
FINLEY: Wonderful. Well, I think - renters is pretty basic but certainly, as you've alluded to is very important, but unless there's any final thoughts from you I think that might just take care of it for today?
SUNDLING: Appreciate it. Thanks, Grant.
FINLEY: Alright, thank you, John.
Your Insurance Connection podcast can be heard on iTunes and Stitcher or by visiting clhins.com/content/podcast. If you like what you’ve heard you can support this podcast by rating and/or sharing it on your social platforms. CLH Insurance is a “Trusted Choice”, independent agency servicing Missouri, Kansas and Illinois. For more information on CLH Insurance, visit clhins.com or call 636.391.0700 to speak with an agent. Until we connect again, thanks for listening.
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Show Notes - Where you can learn more about the people and ideas discussed in this episode.