Five Reasons You Need Renters Insurance

It might be tempting as a renter to think that you don’t need an insurance policy if you’re renting an apartment or home, but not having one could cost you more than you think. A 2016 poll by the Insurance Information Institute found that only 41 percent of renters have their own renters insurance policy. Here are a few reasons why it’s important to have your own insurance policy as a renter.

  1. To cover your belongings.

In the event that a fire, break-in or other incident occurs that results in the damage or loss of your personal belongings, your landlord’s insurance policy will not pay for their replacement. Consider how much it could cost to replace your clothes, furniture, electronics and other household items. In order to make sure you have the coverage to replace your lost items, it’s critical to have your own renters insurance policy.

  1. To cover people who come to your residence.

If someone were to visit your home and become injured, you could be held liable for their injury and any related medical bills and costs. Having renters insurance helps protect you against this liability, and can help pay for legal expenses in addition to medical bills.

  1. To cover things that might be stolen outside of your home.

Your renters insurance may actually help cover you in incidents that happen away from your home. For example, if some of your personal belongings are stolen from your vehicle, it is unlikely that your auto insurance will cover the theft. However, it’s much more likely that your renters insurance will cover it.

  1. Your landlord might require it.

Agreeing to purchase a rental policy might be a requirement of your landlord. But even if it isn’t, having renter insurance may help your rental application get accepted and it helps show your landlord that you’re a responsible renter.

  1. It won’t break the bank.

Rental policies are usually pretty inexpensive. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the average rental insurance policy costs $190 per year. That amounts to less than $16 per month.

If you’re wondering whether or not you need a rental insurance policy, talk to your insurance representative or reach out to the professionals at Long & Foster Insurance. They can help guide you to the right policy for your needs so you get the right amount of coverage at the right price for your budget.

This blog was reposted with the permission of Long & Foster.

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Stage Your Home to Impress Holiday Guests

A few tricks used by professional home stagers can make your home holiday-guest-ready, even if you’re preparing for a visit from your in-laws, not potential buyers.

While friends and family might be more forgiving than a home-shopper would be, you’ll still want to create a clean and uncluttered atmosphere for making holiday memories. A major difference is, for friends and family, you don’t need to depersonalize. Tastefully placed photographs and kids’ hand-made masterpieces can help make a house a home, after all.

But you do want to make your place look and smell clean, and you might even want to evoke a sense of holiday magic and warmth. Michele Graham, a Long & Foster regional administrator and accredited home stager who works with agents in the greater Philadelphia area, offered these tips:

Cleanliness first. Make bathrooms sparkle and shine, since these are rooms every guest will probably see. Add fresh cut greens on top of the window treatments, and set out festive holiday hand towels or napkins. Keep small caddies of cleaning supplies in the bathroom and kitchen, or at least on each level of the home, to make clean-ups faster. In the kitchen, run a piece of fresh lemon through the garbage disposal and wipe off the splash guard, which can collect grime.

Clip an automobile air freshener to your shower curtain in a hidden spot to keep the bathrooms smelling good. You can use dryer sheets to do a quick dust job or polish up chrome faucets. Baby oil will make stainless steel appliances shine.

Add sparkle. Put something shiny in every room, whether it’s mirrors, mercury glass, silver or gold candlesticks, picture frames, or a string of white lights. The light will bounce off eye-catching shiny and metallic surfaces.

Bring in some green. Liven up your mantle or table with evergreen branches, holly boughs with berries, dogwood, and other décor provided by nature. You might find the perfect accents right in your own backyard.

Layer and add depth. A few silver and gold accessories add formality, while plaids and burlap are more casual. Embrace the palette of the season, with its gray sky, snow and evergreens. Even after the holidays, you can use white and silver accents around the house. You can add a pop of color using throw blankets and pillows.

Festive curb appeal. Greet your guests upon their arrival with window boxes filled with fresh-cut greens or even fake ones. Holly branches, pine cones and shiny round Christmas ornaments catch the eye.

Graham said you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get your home ready for the holidays. Most of the items she recommends can be found at dollar stores and thrift shops.

And one of the best ways to brighten your space is free. “Keep your window treatments open to let in as much natural light as possible,” Graham said. “It will add a wonderful glow to accent your décor.”

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