If you are like most renters in Virginia, you probably spent more time reviewing various floor plans than you did comparing renters insurance quotes. However, this very inexpensive insurance is the best way to protect your finances if you should suffer a major property loss in your rented home.
Whether you lease an apartment in Alexandria for an easy commute into Washington, DC, an off-campus house in the college town of Lynchburg or an Oceanside villa in Virginia Beach, you can benefit from the protection that a renters insurance policy can afford you. Best of all, when you contact insurance companies to request quotes for this coverage, you are likely to be pleasantly surprised.
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Virginia Renters Statistics
- Approximate number of Virginia homes (all types) that are renter-occupied: 950,000
- Percentage of Virginia homes (all types) that are renter-occupied: 32.8%
- Approximate number of apartments in Virginia: 940,000
- Percentage of Virginia homes that are apartments: 12%
- Average annual cost of renters insurance in VA in 2008: $131
Many renters are under the impression that renters insurance is unnecessary. They may mistakenly believe that this coverage is too expensive or may feel that they do not own anything worth insuring. However, most renters move into their homes with a lot of personal property. If you take the time to add up how much it would cost to completely replace all of your belongings, including clothing, electronics and cookware, you will see how valuable your belongings actually are.
Is Renters Insurance Required in Virginia?
There are no state laws mandating that occupants of rental properties carry renters insurance. A few landlords do require this coverage as a term of their lease. But in most cases, this coverage is optional.
When deciding whether to purchase a policy, think about what you would do if, suddenly, you were to lose all of your personal belonging to a fire or a natural disaster, such as a tornado. Your landlord may not be responsible for compensating you for your losses, and without renters insurance, you might suffer serious losses. Also, if the home you are renting becomes temporarily uninhabitable due to a disaster or a problem such as a non-functioning furnace in the winter, most policies will cover the costs associated with temporary living arrangements.
Virginia Burglary Statistics
- Approximately 29,500 burglaries occur in this state each year.
- The state’s burglary rate equates to 3.61 burglaries per every 1,000 homes.
- By comparison, the national rate is 7.02 burglaries per every 1,000 homes.
Renters Insurance Covers Losses Due to Burglaries
Overall, the crime rate in Virginia is far lower than the national average. This plays a role in keeping renters insurance rates low. Renters in cities like Norfolk and Richmond, where burglary rates are significantly higher, however, should expect to receive higher rate quotes. Nevertheless, because this type of insurance is quite inexpensive to begin with, the differences in rates will not be substantial.
If someone has burglarized your home or you have walked into your home in the middle of a burglary, the following steps can help you stay safe and file a claim:
- First ensure your own safety and the safety of your family by exiting the residence.
- Contact the police immediately from a neighbor’s phone or a cellphone, if possible.
- Go through your home with a police officer, and make an itemized list of your stolen property.
- Request a copy of the police report, as you will need it when you file a claim.
- Contact your insurance company or agent. They will send an adjuster to meet with you.
- In many cases, the adjuster will write you a check on the spot.
Being the victim of a property crime can be very stressful, but having an insurance company to back you up can make the ordeal a bit easier to cope with.
Renters Insurance Can Protect You from Liability Claims
An often-overlooked benefit of renters insurance is that is provides you with a degree of protection against many possible liability claims. If your children, pets or negligence on your part can be held responsible for a personal injury or property damage to a third party, you can often count on your renters insurance to assist you with the resultant expenses. Additionally, this liability coverage will cover you against charges of slander and libel.
If you need to retain legal representation for a covered event, your liability insurance coverage will also compensate you for any associated court costs and legal fees. This coverage can prove invaluable if you find yourself on the wrong end of a liability lawsuit.
Are Quotes for Renters Insurance High in Virginia?
When you contact different insurance companies to obtain quotes, you will see how low the costs for this coverage are in this state. With average premiums of only $131 a year as compared to the national average of $185, Virginia is one of the least expensive states in which to purchase a renters insurance policy.
For slightly more than $10 a month, many residents can enjoy the security that goes along with a solid insurance policy for less than what they would pay for a daily cup of coffee.
Some factors that have the potential to influence your policy costs include the following:
- The ZIP code where your rental home is located
- The amount of coverage you are purchasing for your personal property
- The amount of liability coverage you are purchasing
- Whether you are a pet owner
- Whether you permit smoking in your rental home
- The amount of your deductible
- Your credit score
- The insurance company you choose
Because rates for this coverage are so low, you are not likely to find significant differences in the policy quotes you obtain, but some policies may offer more coverage than others may, so it is still important to comparison-shop.
There Is an Easy Way to Compare Renters Insurance Quotes
Even an overpriced renters insurance policy in this state is likely to be inexpensive, but that is no reason to pay more than you need to for this important coverage. Comparison-shopping allows you to be sure that you are purchasing your policy at a competitive rate. An independent agent in the Trusted Choice® network can help by presenting you with a variety of policies for your review. A local Trusted Choice agent can also help you determine how much coverage is enough to adequately cover your belongings.
Contact a Trusted Choice agent with an office in or near your Virginia neighborhood to get more information. With your agent’s help, you can start comparing renters insurance quotes in no time.