Moving to a new apartment? Take your renter insurance with you

November 30, 2020 by PEMCO Insurance

Here's a who-knew: Just like your car insurance, your renter insurance can follow you when you move to a new place in Washington or Oregon. Just let us know by updating your account, talk to your local PEMCO agent or call 1-800-GO-PEMCO.


We hear these questions most often from renters on the move:

If it's a new place, how can my coverage just "follow" me?

Unlike homeowner insurance, renter insurance doesn't cover the structure – it focuses on your personal belongings and liability – so it's simpler. If you're making big changes (like getting all-new furniture or moving in with a significant other) your coverages may need to change, and a PEMCO representative can help. If you're unsure what your belongings are worth, a move is a great time to create a personal property inventory.

The key is to let us know before you move. That way, you'll be protected from the very first day in your new place.

Will the price change?

It could change slightly, up or down. Part of your rate is based on location (the same is true for your car), but the change probably won't be dramatic. For most people, renter insurance costs only about $16 a month – a bargain, especially when you bundle it with your auto policy.

Will it cover my stuff if the movers break it?

Unfortunately, no. You'll want to choose your movers carefully and check what kind of insurance they have (or what third-party options they offer so you can buy coverage) in case something goes wrong.

I've never had renter insurance. Why get it now?

More than half of renters don't have insurance, often because they believe the many myths about renter insurance. The biggest one is they think their landlord's policy will cover them. It doesn't. It only protects the landlord's interest in the building. People also tend to underestimate what they own (the average renter has more than $30,000 worth of stuff).

Renters are at higher risk of having a loss than someone who owns a home. For example, you can't control how careful your neighbors are about things like fire prevention or making sure their bathtub doesn't overflow and flood your place downstairs. It also protects you in a lawsuit if you're the person with the overflowing tub!

You're also more likely to suffer a car break-in as a renter. If personal belongings are stolen out of your car, your car insurance can't cover it (it's only good for equipment attached to the car). Your renter insurance would pay to replace your stolen property.

My landlord asked to be listed on my renter policy. Can they do that?

It's more common than you'd think! They're interested because renter insurance helps you if you're held accountable if someone is hurt in your home or if something of theirs is damaged. Some landlords may even ask for proof of insurance before they hand over the keys to your new place.

PEMCO Customer Service can help by emailing or faxing proof of insurance or adding your landlord as an "additional interest" on your policy. When they're added, they'll automatically receive confirmation when your policy renews, so you won't have to hassle with it every time you renew your lease. The notice they get only contains information that pertains to them – like liability limits and policy start and end dates. Your personal information is protected.

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