10/15/2015 10:10 AM

When You Need to Call Your Insurance Agent – Part One – Renters Insurance

As an insurance agent, I tend to hear from people at big moments in their lives – when they buy a house, get married, or they get their driver’s license.  I also hear from them when the bad things happen – the beautiful home is destroyed, the young driver crashes the car, or a valuable item is lost.

The problem comes from the little things, or seemingly unimportant changes that I don’t hear about.  Unfortunately, we often don’t hear about changes until claim time, when it’s too late to fix the problem.

Unreported changes cause 33% of unpaid claims.

So if you’ve had any recent changes in your life that could affect your insurance, call your agent right away to double check. That’s what we’re here for!

To help spark your memory on when you need to call your agent, I’ve created this 3 part series with suggestions on times you should call your agent related to your renters insurance, auto insurance and home insurance.

So following in part 1 through 3 are some situations (not all inclusive) that if they apply to you, you should call your insurance agent right away.


Your Personal Property

  • You’ve purchased new furniture, electronics, or other items for your home that make the cost of your total contents higher than you carry on your policy.
  • You purchased an expensive, extremely important item and want broader coverage (including loss).
  • You bought a moped, golf cart, ATV, snowmobile, boat, trailer or other vehicle that you didn’t add on an insurance policy.
  • You bought jewelry valued over $500 per item, or your jewelry collection is valued over $1500.
  • You bought guns or equipment valued over $2500.
  • You purchased other high value items: special items, collections, coins or money, antiques, fine arts, grave markers hearing aids or over $2500 in silverware or furs.

People and Your Apartment

  • You are married and haven’t added your spouse to your policy.
  • Non-relatives moved in your home and need to have liability coverage.
  • Your child has moved away or gone to college.

Business Activities

  • You have a business or do other activities in your home that bring in money.
  • You babysit other people’s children for money.
  • You have more than $1,500 of your personal tools or equipment that you use for work.

Coverage Concerns

  • You purchased or started renting other real estate, land, farm land or business.
  • You are concerned about earthquake
  • You don’t carry life insurance, or what you carry is too low to pay final expenses and protect your family from unpaid debts, education expenses, and loss of your income.

Renters frequently purchase the coverage for liability, because their rental property requires it.  Liability is an extremely important part of the policy, because it protects you from people in other units, apartment owners, and others who may try to sue you for damaging their property.  

However, you shouldn’t ignore your contents coverage and deductible.  When the tornado hit here in Kokomo, apartment buildings in Kokomo were affected as well.  Even if you may feel you don’t own much, or your belongings aren’t worth anything, please consider the coverage you purchase instead of just buying the lowest amount offered.  See my blog article “Choosing a Value for Personal Property.”

An important thing to remember with your renter’s insurance policy: it likely doesn’t cover your friend/roommate who lives with you for liability.    

Don’t wait until the time of a claim to make sure you understand what coverage your renter’s insurance policy provides.

Continue with Part 2 – Auto to learn about changes in your life that can affect your auto insurance.



“The living room sofa, brightly colored pillows, table, lamps, and art, staged Craftsman house, U District Seattle, Washington, USA.” By Wonderlane. Not modified. Flikr. CC BY 2.0

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