Whether you are a young professional renting a condo in a Des Moines high-rise, a newlywed renting a house in Sioux City, or a student leasing an apartment in Ames near the Iowa State University campus, if you rent your home, you can benefit from having renters insurance.
Unfortunately, too many tenants in Iowa don’t discover the importance of having this coverage until it is too late.
Local independent insurance agents can help you find an ideal renters insurance policy. These agents do not work for a particular insurance provider, so they are free to shop around to find the coverage you want at a price you can afford. Contact an independent insurance agent near you to get started.
Is Renters Insurance Required in Iowa?
Unlike car insurance, renters insurance is not required by law. Sometimes, landlords may require their tenants to carry this coverage as one of the terms of their lease, but most of the time, it is fully optional.
Whether or not you are required to have it, however, renters insurance can prove extremely beneficial if the unexpected happens.
How Much Does Renters Insurance Cost in Iowa?
In a state where the average rent is $789 a month and 38.6% of renters spend more than 30% of their income on rent and utilities, it is understandable why some people do not want to add to their housing costs by purchasing an optional insurance policy. But renters insurance is surprisingly affordable.
The average renters insurance policy in the Hawkeye State costs just $144 a year. That’s only $12 a month. You can spend that much on a couple of corndogs at the Iowa State Fair.
Here are some factors that can make your actual renters insurance cost higher or lower than this average rate.
- The amount of property coverage you are buying
- The crime rate and weather risks in your ZIP code
- Your payment method (Paying annually or electronically can earn you a discount)
- Your claims history
- The size of your deductible
If you have other policies like car insurance or ATV insurance through the same insurance provider, you can save money on all your policies by purchasing them together in what is referred to as a “bundle.”
Take the time to contact a few competing insurance companies and request customized quotes so that you can be certain you are getting your coverage at a fair price. At your request, a local independent agent can do the comparison shopping for you.
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What Does Iowa Renters Insurance Cover?
Renters insurance can provide you with protection through three different types of coverage. All three are a standard part of every renters insurance policy.
- Contents coverage: This can cover repair or replacement costs if your personal belongings are lost or damaged by a covered hazard like:
- Property crimes, including burglary, theft, and vandalism
- Fires, including wildfires and accidental fires
- Severe weather events, including thunderstorms, derechos, lightning strikes, windstorms, tornadoes, snowstorms, and ice accumulation
- Loss of use coverage: This can cover your temporary living expenses if you are displaced from your rental home due to damage caused by a covered event like a fire or tornado. It can continue until your landlord has made repairs and it is safe to return to your home.
- Liability coverage: This can cover your financial responsibilities if you accidentally cause injuries, property damage, financial losses, or other harm to someone outside of your household. It can also cover the cost of legal representation, if necessary.
When you buy your contents coverage, you will need to choose between replacement cost vs actual value coverage.
- Replacement cost coverage: This can cover the cost to buy a new item similar to the one you lost.
- Actual cost coverage: This can reimburse you for the actual, depreciated value of your lost property.
Whichever type of coverage you choose, you will want to be sure that you purchase a high enough amount of insurance so that if all of your personal property is destroyed in a disaster like a fire, you will have the funds necessary to replace it.
What about Coverage against Floods in Iowa?
Renters insurance does not cover property damage if it is caused by floods. Fortunately, only about 13% of the properties in Iowa have a greater than 26% chance of sustaining serious flood damage over the next 30 years.
If you rent an apartment on the second floor or higher, you probably don’t need to worry about flood damage. However, if you are renting a house, a mobile home, or ground-level apartment in a flood prone area, you may want to consider purchasing flood insurance.
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is a program run by FEMA. It was created to ensure that all Americans have access to affordable flood insurance for their homes. As a renter, you can purchase a contents-only policy through the NFIP at a very reasonable price.
How Can an Independent Agent Help Me Find the Best Renters Insurance in Iowa?
If you are ready to buy a renters insurance policy, be sure to ask a local independent agent for help. These agents can answer all of your insurance-related questions and can shop around to find you the coverage you want at the most competitive price.
Best of all, it doesn’t cost a thing to get information from an independent agent. Arrange a consultation with an experienced independent insurance agent near you and you can soon be comparing customized quotes from some of the best renters insurance companies in Iowa.