3 Things You Didn’t Know About Renter’s Insurance

new apartment

What is renter’s insurance really all about? Renter’s insurance is protection intended for anyone who rents an apartment, home, or other live-in arrangements. Many tenants tend to think their landlord’s insurance will cover the damages to their personal possessions, but it won’t. Your landlord’s insurance only covers the building you live in. Purchasing a policy protects you if your items end up in the hands of criminals and more importantly, if there’s a disaster like a fire that ravages your home.

 

Do you need more information on renter’s insurance before you decide on purchasing a policy? Here are 3 things you may not know about your homeowners or renters coverage.

 

1. Personal Liability

 

Renter’s insurance does not just cover your property. It can protect the tenant from personal liability if someone hurts themselves while in the property being rented or if someone else’s personal property is damaged while at the rental property. The liability coverage in a customer’s policy can protect them from being sued for medical bills and other costs.

injury on property

2. Alternate Living Expenses

 

Renter’s insurance can also cover alternate living expenses if there is an accident. Everyone knows that accidents can happen. A tornado could tear down your home or a fire could burn it down. In any of these scenarios, it is obvious that you cannot move back in the very next day. You have to wait for everything to be repaired. Because of this you will need to find somewhere else to stay. Renter’s insurance can cover a portion of your living expenses, most of the time, while you wait for the repairs to be finished. This type of policy is a safety net for these types of situations. fire insurance

3. Replacement of Important Items

 

It’s no fun if you lose a suitcase while traveling and is extremely frustrating.  Most airlines will only reimburse a customer up to a limited amount, which in most cases are far less than the lost items were worth.  Fortunately, renter’s insurance may cover the remaining cost of the lost items, which makes these policies all the more valuable to renters who frequently travel. What happens if your car is broken into and a large quantity of personal property is stolen? Most auto insurance policies have a limited coverage for property stolen in the vehicle, but your homeowner’s insurance can pick up the slack. In fact, your homeowner’s policy can cover your personal property anywhere in the world.

travel lost luggage

Renter’s insurance may seem unnecessary until you are subject to an unfortunate event. Only then you realize you should have it.  You’d be surprised to know that purchasing a policy is relatively inexpensive. The right renter’s insurance policy is a smart investment of your time and purchasing a good policy is a smart use of your money.  Renter’s insurance can vary widely, be sure to check out PYB’s Renter’s Insurance page to see the full coverage details of our protection plan.

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5 Moving Tips That Make Professional Movers Envious

overloaded moving truck

Moving Like A Boss

Moving is one of the biggest household tasks there is and it can be an overwhelming, stressful hassle. By knowing what you need to get done in advance will keep the moving chaos at arm’s length and help put your mind at ease when the actual big moving day arrives.

 

Moving doesn’t have to be an unpleasant activity. Below are 5 pro moving tips to ease the pain and stress of moving. To keep the moving ruckus at bay, utilize these tips to prepare yourself for moving day.

 

juggling moving boxes

Juggling moving boxes like a boss

1. Get Organized in Advance

 

Leaving anything until the last minute is a disaster waiting to happen. If you plan accordingly, you should have at least 30 to 60 days to come up with a plan to ensure that moving day runs smoothly. A great idea would be to create an itemized list of what needs to be accomplished each week prior to the big day. Protip: Prior to moving, you should sell unnecessary items, get packing supplies, prospect professional movers, and purchase a 12-pack of Coors Light which will reduce stress during moving.

 

Grandpa drinking

Grandpa chugs a beer for every box he loads onto the truck

2. Label All Boxes

 

This is a very important step in your moving process. Although it can be a little tedious, it will prove to be advantageous because it will help ease the burden of unpacking later. By labeling each box, you won’t have to guess what’s in each box as if you were playing the game Clue. With labeled boxes, you will know which item goes where in your new home. Protip: For fragile items, make sure you label the box FRAGILE! with an exclamation point!

 

unmarked boxes

It took this couple 2 months to find their shake weight

3. Clear a Path to Success

 

Make it safe and easy for the movers and yourself to get in and out of your house by getting rid of all obstacles. Remove low hanging items such as hanging plants and wind chimes. Clear out all doorways, floor mats, potted plants, and planters. Disconnect the spring on your screen door so that it can stay open during the entire loading process. Protip: Attach a convenient store, doorway sensor that makes an alarm sound when someone enters.

 

blocked doorway

This won Gold at the 3rd Annual Obstructed Doorways Competition

4. Prepare Your Movers

 

Before the driver leaves for your new house, ensure that you completely understand all the paperwork. Don’t sign it if there is something there that you are confused about. Note down any information the driver has to keep the communication lines open, like a mobile number or satellite tracking details. Also provide the driver with your contact information. Prior to the driver’s departure, try to get as many details as you can about his/her plans for delivering all your stuff. With due diligence, you can properly confirm that your driver will be able deliver your goods intact. Protip: Make sure the driver has a valid driver’s license and no vehicular manslaughter charges on his or her driving record.

 

ryder-truck-accident

Ironically, this Ryder driver was previously a bus driver

5. Take One Last Sweep

 

Take one last sweep of your old house before leaving. Look through all closets, cabinets, shelves, attic, storage unit, garage, basement, and under the stairs. This is a critical step because you do not want to find out later that something was left behind like your dog, Rufus. Protip: If you accidentally left Rufus behind, find a window to crack open and pour Kibbles N’ Bits through the crevice.

Rufus lost and found poster

Moving doesn’t have to be a burden. It can be fun and memorable experience. Minimize the stress of moving day with these pro tips!  If you’re moving into a new rental home or apartment, make sure your renters insurance has the coverage you’re looking for.

 


 

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The Rise of Rent & Renting in America

The economic downturn that began in 2008 severely affected many people across the nation.  The consequences have been long lasting as the gradual recovery continues 6 years later.  With the onset of high unemployment rates, home foreclosures, diminished wages, and rising student loan debts, more Americans have resorted to renting during the recession and its slow recovery.  The demand for rental units has sent shockwaves throughout the rental market and has caused the number of single-family rental units to elevate accordingly.  In the face of unprecedented demand, rental prices continue to increase as American families struggle to recover from the Great Recession.

 

During the recession, the unemployment rate skyrocketed as American workers from all sectors of the economy lost their jobs.  In a matter of a year, the unemployment rate rose from 5% to over 10% during 2008-2009.  To make matters worse, the percentage of the long term unemployed peaked at 45% of the total unemployed population in 2011 and still remains high today at a rate of 37%, which is more than double the pre-recession level of 18%.  These bouts of elongated unemployment detrimentally affect US families permanently as current financial equity and future potential earnings plummet with each passing week.

 

Foreclosure SignForeclosures became rampant in 2009 and 2010 as homeowners could no longer make payments on their mortgages, many of which were considered subprime.  There were 4 million foreclosures during the period from 2008 to 2012, resulting in an average rate of 83,000 foreclosures a month.  From 2000 to 2006, that rate was only 21,000 a month.  These massive losses effectually wiped out home equity for millions of Americans.  This has driven Americans to rent like never before.   Some analysts predict that foreclosures could rise again in 2014 as the tax exemption passed in 2007 on mortgage debt forgiveness expired at the end of 2013.

 

During the recession, older Americans were hit hard and the economic effects subsequently reached the young adults of our country in a domino-like fashion.  Often referred to as Millennials or Gen-Y, young Americans endured an unrelenting struggle as youth unemployment spiked to a rate 19.6% in 2010.  While the youth unemployment rate has improved, it still remains high in 2014.  Underemployment is another issue that is often overlooked when talking about the state of the job market.  Many young college graduates have taken part-time jobs that don’t require a degree (think baristas and retail clerks) as the stagnating economic recovery continues to hamper job growth.  The level of student loan debt rises each year as the cost of higher education continues to expand like the Big Bang.  According to the nonprofit organization, Institute for College Access & Success, 71% of recent college graduates took out student loans last year.  The average debt of those loans totaled $29,400 per borrower.

 

Student Loan DebtAs expected, young Americans have become saddled down in student debt and stuck in low wage limbo to afford a house any time soon.  First time homebuyers represented only a third of housing purchases last year, well below the historical norm.  Many Americans have realized that the cost of owning a home is out of their grasp and have accepted their fate of renting.  The rapid rise in home prices and mortgage rates in 2013 certainly has not helped potential home buyers.  More Americans have delayed purchasing a home as the unsustainable jump in home prices do not reflect the economic reality for most Americans.  According to the Census Bureau, 18% of single family homes are considered rentals, an increase from 15% in 2006.  Housing markets that suffered near meltdowns in foreclosures during housing crash seemed to have the highest rates of rental occupancy.  Las Vegas has a rental rate of 29% for single family homes, a large jump from 19% in 2006.  Stockton, CA has a share of 32% (the highest in the top 100 metro areas), up from 24% in 2006.

 

Not only has the popularity of renting risen, the cost of rent has surged upwards too.  According to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, more than 50% of US renters spend more than 30% of their income on housing for the first time ever.  This is frighteningly clear for two reasons.  Real median income has fallen 13% from 2000 to 2012 and the demand for rental units has spiked causing rental prices to rise.  In 2011, 11.8 million low income renters vied for 6.9 million rental units considered affordable at that income threshold, equating to a shortfall of 4.9 million units.  On top of monthly rental payments, renters are also subjected to rising utility costs such as water, electricity, sewage, and natural gas.  Additionally, most landlords require their tenants to purchase renters insurance to reduce financial risks for both parties.

 

Although the economy is gradually recovering to its pre-recession levels, many Americans are still reeling from the devastating effects of the recession in 2008.  The economic and social landscape for both old and young Americans has been altered irrevocably.  Unemployment and underemployment remain at unacceptable levels, pre-recession equity has been wiped out, wages have diminished and become stagnant, and student loan debt is being called the next bubble.  Welcome to the era of renting in America.

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