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Apartment Decorating Home

Does Renters Insurance Cover Bedbugs?

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You bought renters insurance to protect you against life’s what-ifs. So if you wake up with a row of small bites, you might be wondering: Does renters insurance cover bedbugs?

America’s top-rated renters insurance

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  • Sign up in seconds, claims paid in minutes
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Bad news. In most cases, you can’t get renters insurance to cover bedbugs. You’ll be on the hook for paying for extermination or the other treatment of your choice — provided you can’t prove your landlord is responsible for the situation. 

(This doesn’t mean you should drop your renters policy. It still covers you against a whole bunch of risks.) 

Long story short, renters insurance bedbugs coverage is pretty much nonexistent. Let’s find out why.

[ Read: Is Renters Insurance Worth it?]

In this article

Does renters insurance cover bedbugs? 

No. 

But your renters policy is supposed to protect you against unexpected disasters, so why doesn’t renters insurance cover bedbugs? 

Your renters insurance safeguards you against sudden, unavoidable disasters. Bedbugs disqualify you for coverage in two ways. First, insurers don’t see them as a sudden peril. Secondly, they’re generally seen as avoidable. In fact, most insurers will argue preventing and dealing with bedbugs is a maintenance issue. 

Beyond that, most renters policies — both cheap and pricy renters policies — specifically exclude bedbug coverage. Even all-perils policies usually list bedbugs as a policy exclusion. (The same is generally true for home insurance policies, too.) 

Some companies offer renters insurance bedbugs endorsements, meaning you could add bedbug coverage to your policy. But these endorsements are increasingly hard to find. And as far as insurance policies designed specifically for bedbugs, those are usually reserved for landlords and business owners (e.g., hotel owners). You’ll probably have a pretty hard time finding renters insurance with bedbugs coverage. 

[ Read: The Best Renters Insurance of 2021 ]

Is my landlord supposed to take care of bedbugs? 

Does renters insurance cover bedbugs? No. But does that mean you definitely need to pay out-of-pocket to deal with them? Not necessarily. In some cases, the infestation is your landlord’s responsibility. 

Legal rights as a tenant 

In most states, landlords have to provide their tenants with a safe, habitable living space. If you can prove that the bedbugs are your landlord’s fault — not yours — you have a leg to stand on here.

It’s easiest to lean on your legal rights as a tenant to have your landlord handle the infestation in two cases:

Bedbug laws 

In some states, landlords are legally required to get rid of bedbugs at their property. In Arizona, California and other states, for example, a landlord can’t knowingly rent a unit that has bedbugs. In Florida, landlords are explicitly required to exterminate bedbugs any time they show up on their property.

Ultimately, bedbug laws vary from state to state. But that doesn’t mean you have to delve into your state’s statutes and codes to find out if your landlord is on the hook. The EPA has a handy, alphabetically organized spreadsheet summarizing all bedbug laws in each state, as of September 2019. 

[ Read: How Much Renters Insurance Do I Need?

How do I prevent bedbugs? 

Since you know you’re lacking renters insurance bedbugs coverage, you want to avoid this infestation, for sure. Steering clear of bedbugs comes down to checking items before you bring them into your house. 

After travel

If you travel somewhere you suspect had bedbugs, launder any clothes you’re wearing and shower right away. Then, leave your suitcases outside until you can launder everything in them (on hot) and vacuum them out thoroughly. Make sure you hit any seams with extra care. 

After buying second-hand 

If you thrift for furniture or clothing items, check anything you bring home really well before you bring it inside. 

Tips at home

Additionally, you can do a few things around the house to make it harder for bedbugs to thrive there:

America’s top-rated renters insurance

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  • Sign up in seconds, claims paid in minutes
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How do I get rid of bedbugs? 

You have a few options you can explore to nix those pesky pests:

Hire an exterminator

Your best bet for ditching bedbugs is to bring in a pro. Costs to treat your bedbug infestation can vary based on the extent of your infestation and the treatment you choose, but you’re probably looking at somewhere between $500 and $1,500. 

Launder what you can — and seal up what you can’t

Run all your clothes through the laundry on a hot cycle for both the washer and dryer. Do the same with your bedding and literally anything else you can launder, including bedskirts, drapes, towels, rugs and stuffed animals. 

If something can’t go through the wash, double bag it in a trash bag and be prepared to stash it for a while. Bedbugs can live for months without feeding. 

Vacuum, then empty your vacuum carefully

Vacuum the crevices of your mattresses and furniture. Vacuum all of your floors, focusing particularly on the areas around the legs of your bed, too. 

Immediately after finishing vacuuming, take the vacuum outside. Dump the contents into a trash bag and seal it. Place that bag in an outside trash — don’t bring it inside or you risk undoing all of your progress. 

[ Read: How to Buy Cheap Renters Insurance Online ]

We welcome your feedback on this article. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.

Source: thesimpledollar.com

Apartment Decorating Home

How Does Renters Insurance Work?

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If you want to know how renters insurance works, you’re in luck. Renters insurance is not only one of the most straightforward types of insurance to purchase, but it’s also quite affordable. Renters insurance protects you in a wide variety of circumstances, from coverage if your laptop is stolen out of your car, to medical payments for your friend who manages to fall and hurt themselves in your kitchen. 

America’s top-rated renters insurance

  • Policies starting at just $5/month
  • Sign up in seconds, claims paid in minutes
  • Zero hassle, zero paperwork

While renters insurance is generally clear-cut, there are basics you should understand as you begin shopping for premiums. And knowing what isn’t covered by renters insurance is as important as knowing what is.

In this article

Do I need renters insurance? 

Obtaining a renters insurance policy makes sound financial sense. Yet an alarming number of renters choose not to obtain one. It could be because there is confusion surrounding the need for a policy. Renters commonly assume landlord’s insurance covers property damage, but this is false. Landlord’s insurance only covers the physical structure of the property, whereas renters insurance covers all the belongings located inside and personal liability.

Many landlords require you to carry renters insurance, but even if they don’t require it, the coverage is not very expensive. For an average cost of $180 per year, your belongings are covered if there’s damage from a wide variety of events. Your belongings can be replaced and your property repaired with help from a policy, not to mention the liability protection a policy provides. 

If you have any items worth protecting, or have pets and visitors, then a renters policy is worth the investment for your financial protection.

What does renters insurance cover? 

Renters insurance covers your personal property. But the policy goes further and also provides personal liability and medical payments in case someone is hurt inside your rental or as a result of an accident you caused. 

Another essential coverage category is the additional living expense (ALE) or loss-of-use. This coverage kicks in if you have to vacate your rental due to damage such as water or fire damage. It provides reimbursement if you have to live elsewhere and incur expenses for hotel bills, temporary rentals, meals and other living expenses. 

Renters insurance provides coverage for several major categories, but there are a few more areas a policy provides greater protection.

[Read: Does Renters Insurance Cover Storage Units?]

What renters insurance doesn’t cover 

There are situations when renters insurance does not provide coverage — and you don’t want to be caught assuming you’re covered. The good news is, even if something is excluded, there are typically policy add-ons available to make your policy more comprehensive.

[Read: Defending Against Porch Pirates: What to Do about Package Thefts]

America’s top-rated renters insurance

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What to look out for when shopping for renters insurance 

Like other insurance products, there are specific items you should look for to ensure you’re getting the best policy for your financial situation. For starters, confirm the limits of the renters insurance payouts. Each category has different payout limits, which is the maximum amount paid for a claim. Make sure these limits aren’t too low or too high, and provide the right amount of coverage. 

The liability coverage should provide enough protection to equal your net worth. Your net worth is the value of your assets — such as retirement accounts, savings, cars you own free and clear  —  minus your debt. So if your net worth is $300,000, then your liability coverage should be at least this amount. The reason is to protect you in case of a lawsuit from an at-fault accident. If your net worth is higher than $300,000, the Insurance Information Institute recommends obtaining an additional liability policy.

Your property damage limit should be high enough to cover replacement of your belongings.

Comparison shopping is a smart tactic to make sure you get the coverage you need. Comparing renters insurance policies not only gives you the most competitive cost on your policy, but your agent can guide you to get the most comprehensive coverage.

[Read: 3 Reasons Why You Should Get Flood Insurance] 

We welcome your feedback on this article. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.

Source: thesimpledollar.com

Apartment Decorating Home

What are the different types of renters insurance?

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Renters insurance protects individuals against common losses and liabilities they face when renting a home or apartment. A standard policy offers three types of renters insurance coverage, each for different situations.

America’s top-rated renters insurance

  • Policies starting at just $5/month
  • Sign up in seconds, claims paid in minutes
  • Zero hassle, zero paperwork

Although renters insurance is not legally required, it’s beneficial for anyone who rents. Having a renters insurance policy covers your legal and financial responsibility in the event of a covered claim, like a fire. Compared to other types of insurance, renters insurance is typically very affordable, with an average premium of $179 per year.

In this article

What does renters insurance cover?

Standard renters insurance policies include coverage for your personal items, your liabilities and temporary accommodations if your home becomes uninhabitable. Most renters insurance policies include named perils coverage, and cover your personal belongings at their actual cash value (ACV).

[ Read: Is Renters Insurance Worth It? ]

Renters insurance coverage is comprehensive, but it does not cover everything. You might need to purchase more coverage in the form of add-on policies to fill gaps in your coverage. Some common renters insurance endorsements are flood insurance, earthquake insurance and valuables coverage for jewelry, art and electronics. Adding these policies will increase your premium, and some endorsements have a separate deductible. 

What are the types of renters insurance? 

There are three types of renters insurance included in a standard policy. Here’s a brief overview of each coverage and its purpose.

Personal property coverage

Personal property coverage protects your personal belongings, like furniture, small appliances and clothing, from certain losses. Most renters insurance policies cover your belongings against named perils, which are listed in your insurance policy. Named perils typically include the following losses:

One of the biggest perks of renters insurance is that it will cover your personal belongings anywhere in the world. So if you’re on vacation in Europe and your backpack gets stolen, your renters insurance policy will reimburse you for the cost of a new one. It also covers your items at work and in your car. 

Renters should keep in mind that this type of policy offers limited coverage for valuables. If you own a fine jewelry collection, have furs in the closet or keep a large amount of cash on hand, your renters insurance probably won’t cover it if something happens. In this case, you would need to purchase an endorsement to raise your policy limit, or schedule your valuable items. 

[ Read: How to Buy Cheap Renters Insurance Online]

Liability coverage

Accidents happen, often unexpectedly, which is why having liability insurance is valuable. Renters insurance policies include two types of liability coverage — personal liability coverage and medical payments coverage. Personal liability coverage protects your financial responsibility if a guest gets injured in your home, or if you accidentally cause damage to someone else’s property. 

Here’s an example. Say that you bought a brand new washing machine, and during the installation process, the water hose unexpectedly burst and water began to seep through the floor and into the apartment below yours. In this case, your renters insurance liability coverage would pay to repair the water damage and replace your downstairs neighbor’s personal items that were affected. 

Medical payments coverage is the other part of liability insurance. Imagine that you have a friend over and they slip on a loose floorboard that you had been meaning to fix. They end up breaking their ankle and need medical attention. In this situation, your personal liability insurance would cover the costs related to their injury, whether it’s an ambulance ride, X-rays, surgery and rehabilitation.

Renters insurance liability coverage also protects you in legal situations. If you were sued and summoned to court over a claim that you caused, liability insurance would pay for your lawyer fees, court costs and a settlement with the plaintiff.

Loss-of-use coverage

Loss-of-use coverage is the third policy included in renters insurance. This coverage, sometimes called additional living expenses, pays for things like lodging, restaurant bills, laundry and parking if your home is damaged by a covered claim and you have to temporarily move out. 

Loss of use coverage only applies when your home is affected by a covered loss. That means it doesn’t cover temporary accommodations if your home is being voluntarily remodeled or has a rodent or bug infestation. 

[ Read: The Cheapest Renters Insurance Companies of 2021 ]

Loss of use coverage can be a huge benefit if you ever need to use it. However, this policy won’t grant you a free vacation. Your loss of use policy has a coverage limit, which is the highest amount of money the insurance company will pay.

To get reimbursed for lodging and food bills, you’ll need to get the expenses approved by your insurance provider. If you book a five-star hotel in another country or spend hundreds at expensive restaurants, it probably won’t be covered. When you’re using loss-of-use coverage, it’s important to keep your receipts to submit to the insurance company. 

America’s top-rated renters insurance

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Replacement cost renters insurance policies

Most renters insurance policies cover your personal items at their actual cash value (ACV). That means if an item is damaged or destroyed, depreciation is factored into your payout. For example, say your mattress cost $500 brand new, and five years later it gets destroyed by water damage. Your insurance company might give you $250 to replace it, because the item has depreciated over time.

[ Read: Actual Cash Value vs. Replacement Cost: What’s the Difference? ]

If you want a higher payout, some insurance companies give you the option to upgrade your policy to replacement cost value (RCV). With an RCV policy, your payout does not include depreciation. That means you would receive $500 to replace your damaged mattress. However, it’s important to note that upgrading to an RCV will raise your premium.

We welcome your feedback on this article. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, many insurance companies provided relief in the form of percentages back on monthly bills as well as a freeze on coverage cancellations due to inability to pay. While it’s not recommended, you could technically stop your coverage to save money if absolutely needed — but again, it’s strongly advised against.

See below for more details on how you can benefit from the recently approved economic relief act:

Who can benefit from this?

To qualify for rental assistance under the CARES Act at least one household family member must qualify for unemployment or have a significant income lost due to the pandemic. Income must fall at or below 80% of your county’s average income. You must also be a risk of homelessness. 

Who’s getting how much?

If families fall below 50% of the average income they’ll be given priority for rent relief funds. Families can get up to a year of rent covered, and three months in the future with the CARES Act rent relief assistance.

How to apply

If you need to apply for assistance, the way you do that will vary depending on where you live. If your city or town has an existing rental assistance program, you’ll likely use that to apply for new aid.

You can contact your local housing authority, nonprofit groups or reach out to your local representatives to find out where and how to apply. Your landlord may also be able to apply for you — but they’ll have to get your approval and signature before doing so.

Source: thesimpledollar.com

Apartment Decorating Home Insurance

Renters Insurance vs. Condo Insurance

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Whether you own your condo or you rent, condo owners insurance or a condo rental insurance policy is a must. Experience a cold snap and the pipes burst? Don’t count on your landlord to spring for your new Alienware laptop or to replace that sheepskin rug Mom gave you. We’ll walk you through the difference between condo owners policies and condo renters insurance and what is protected — and not.

In this article

What’s the difference between renters insurance and condo insurance? 

It’s pretty straightforward: If you rent your condo, you need renters insurance. If you own your condo, you need a condo policy. 

Renters insurance is used to protect your personal belongings in a rental from property damage and theft, and liability protection if someone is injured in your rental unit. Renters insurance includes numerous other benefits including loss-of-use, which is reimbursement in case you’re displaced from your rental. 

Renters insurance is not legally required in any state, but your landlord can require you to purchase a policy. Your landlord is required to carry insurance on the property, but it only insures the structure. All contents inside your rental are covered by your own renters policy.

A condo insurance policy includes dwelling coverage and renters insurance does not. Your condo association’s master policy covers the structure of the building.

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What does renters insurance cover? 

Renters insurance provides protection with four major components:

Renters insurance goes beyond these main areas and provides other benefits. For instance, you can choose Replacement Cost versus Actual Cash Value for your belongings. This means if you are willing to pay extra on your premium, your personal belongings are replaced at what it costs to replace them with new items, and not the depreciated value. 

If you have high-value items, usually an item over $1,500, you can add separate coverage. This is particularly important for items such as jewelry, art, antiques or similar items. 

[Read: Renters Insurance for College Students]

What does condo insurance cover? 

Condo insurance provides similar protection as a renters policy. A standard policy would include the same major components:

Your condo insurance should cover whatever is not included in your condo association’s master policy. 

Since you own your condo, you need dwelling coverage, and a condo insurance plan provides this. As a condo owner, you own everything from the walls inward. So if there is damage to your walls due to a covered peril event, your dwelling coverage kicks in. 

Loss assessment is another unique coverage to a condo policy and you can add this to your policy. This provides additional protection for any costs associated with damage caused to the condo, including with the building, the shared areas within the condo complex or an injury in the shared areas, that the condo association is passing onto all individual unit owners.

You should note that it’s important to review your condo association’s master policy thoroughly because you could obtain a condo policy to fill in the gaps of your master policy, and your limits might not be as high. It all depends on how comprehensive the master policy is.

[Read: What is Loss Assessment Coverage?]

Best discounts for your renters or condo insurance 

The good news is, there are several ways to save on your renters or condo insurance. One of the most effective tactics is to use as many discounts as possible. Working with an agent is one of the best ways to confirm you’re getting every possible discount, since there are some you may not be aware of. A few popular discount options include:

America’s top-rated renters insurance

  • Policies starting at just $5/month
  • Sign up in seconds, claims paid in minutes
  • Zero hassle, zero paperwork

How to pick the right insurance 

To pick the right policy, comparison shopping is the first step. Compare quotes and policy details side by side. Many carriers offer this option online for added convenience. Look for details on coverage limits and rates and make sure you’re comparing apples to apples among the policies.

Plus, look at the number of discounts available in case one carrier provides more than another. 

Above and beyond price, customer service is important. You want your carrier to make it easy  should you need to file a claim. You’ll find this out by reading the reviews and checking out the customer service ratings among the companies.

Lastly, if you need additional coverage for high-value items or other special items, look for a policy that fits your unique coverage needs. 

Choosing the right condo insurance or renters policy takes a little research. But you’re rewarded for your efforts by getting competitive pricing and a comprehensive policy. 

[Read: Does Renters Insurance Cover Storage Units?]

We welcome your feedback on this article. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, many insurance companies provided relief in the form of percentages back on monthly bills as well as a freeze on coverage cancellations due to inability to pay. While it’s not recommended, you could technically stop your coverage to save money if absolutely needed — but again, it’s strongly advised against.

See below for more details on how you can benefit from the recently approved economic relief act:

Who can benefit from this?

To qualify for rental assistance under the CARES Act at least one household family member must qualify for unemployment or have a significant income lost due to the pandemic. Income must fall at or below 80% of your county’s average income. You must also be a risk of homelessness.

Who’s getting how much?

If families fall below 50% of the average income they’ll be given priority for rent relief funds. Families can get up to a year of rent covered, and three months in the future with the CARES Act rent relief assistance.

How to apply

If you need to apply for assistance, the way you do that will vary depending on where you live. If your city or town has an existing rental assistance program, you’ll likely use that to apply for new aid.

You can contact your local housing authority, nonprofit groups or reach out to your local representatives to find out where and how to apply. Your landlord may also be able to apply for you — but they’ll have to get your approval and signature before doing so.

Source: thesimpledollar.com

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How To Make a House A Home: Creating Memories

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There are so many ways to make a house a home. A house is simply a physical structure.

A home is a place where you create meaningful memories with loved ones. It is a place for watching first steps, celebrating birthdays, and enjoying family dinners.

These activities will help you to create memories at home.

1. Plant a garden: Your family will love choosing flowers, herbs, fruits, and vegetables to plant in your garden. It will become a fun activity that you can do together. Watch the plants grow from season to season and year to year. We recommend also having each family member choose a plant that is uniquely theirs – they’ll have fun watching it grow and change, and it will be a great way to encourage responsibility.

2. Hang photos and art: Create a gallery wall with your children’s art and family photos. Hang holiday photos, first day of school photos, and photos from choice moments. Your kids will feel special when they see their art up on the wall.

3. Start a collection: Start a family collection. You will all get excited when you find something new to add. Collect salt and pepper shakers, vases, or something else that you all enjoy. Display the collection throughout your home, and each piece will remind you of the time you found it.

4. Make a height chart: Mark your children’s height on the door. You’ll love seeing how much they’ve grown, and they will get excited each time you make a new mark.

5. Make a “library” area: You don’t need a library to make a library area. Make a designated part of the home where your kids can curl up with their favorite books or, if your kids are pre-reading level, an area where you can read to them. You’ll make memories when you read together.

These ideas will help you to create new family traditions and memories. As they say, home is where the heart is! Write on our Facebook wall to let us know how your family creates memories at home.

Source: century21.com

Apartment Decorating Home

Does Renters Insurance Cover Earthquakes?

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If you’re thinking about purchasing a renters insurance policy, you might be wondering, “does renters insurance cover earthquakes?” It’s a good question to ask yourself, especially if you live in a state that experiences earthquakes. The short answer is no, earthquake damage is not a covered peril under most renters insurance policies.

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Although renters insurance doesn’t cover earthquakes, there are other types of insurance that do. Renters can purchase a separate earthquake insurance policy to fill the gap in coverage. Earthquake insurance for renters is available from most major insurance providers, but adding this policy will increase your premium. 

[ Read: Earthquake Insurance – Is It Worth It? ]

In this article

Do I need a separate policy to cover earthquake damage? 

Yes, if you rent your home or apartment, you’ll need to purchase earthquake coverage separately. Some insurance companies sell standalone earthquake insurance policies, while others sell earthquake endorsements, which get added to your basic renters policy. 

Earthquake damage is almost never covered by renters insurance, or home insurance for that matter. The most notable exception is USAA, which includes earthquake insurance in its renters insurance policies. But for the majority of providers, renters are required to buy separate coverage.

[ Read: How Much Renters Insurance Do I Need? ]

If you don’t want to buy traditional earthquake coverage through your renters insurance provider, you might be able to get a policy through your state. For example, California residents can purchase coverage through The California Earthquake Authority (CEA). 

How do earthquake endorsements work and what do they cover? 

If you live in an area that experiences earthquakes or you live near a fault line, it’s a good idea to consider buying an earthquake endorsement. Earthquake insurance for renters covers losses stemming from earthquakes. As a renter, earthquake insurance will cover your personal belongings that get damaged or destroyed due to seismic activity.

Say, for example, a major earthquake strikes your area and it knocks over your refrigerator, which leaves a big crack in the floorboard. In this case, your earthquake insurance policy would pay for the floor repairs and the cost of a new refrigerator, plus any structural issues caused by the falling object.

However, earthquake insurance usually doesn’t cover anything that your renters insurance policy already covers. Here’s an example. Imagine that you were cooking on the stove when an earthquake hit, and in the frenzy of the moment, you accidentally started a small fire. In this case, your renters insurance policy would cover the fire damage, not your earthquake policy. 

[ Read: What Is Personal Property Insurance? ]

In addition to property damage coverage, earthquake insurance also includes loss of use coverage. This policy, also called additional living expenses, will pay for hotel bills, meals, parking and laundry if your home gets damaged and you’re forced to temporarily move out. 

Can I combine renters and earthquake insurance claims? 

Having earthquake insurance is important for certain renters. But the reality is, there is overlap between renters insurance and earthquake insurance. If you add an earthquake endorsement to your renters insurance policy, you will double up on personal property coverage and additional living expenses coverage. 

Typically, you can file a single claim if the earthquake causes multiple losses. For example, if an earthquake affects your home’s electrical system and it starts a small fire, you would be allowed to file one claim because the losses are related. Depending on the terms of your insurance policy, you might only have to pay one deductible. 

If your earthquake and renters insurance policies are underwritten by two different providers, it’s likely that you will need to file two separate claims. It’s a good idea to check with your insurance company to understand the protocol for filing earthquake claims and to understand how your renters and earthquake coverage differ.

America’s top-rated renters insurance

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How much does earthquake insurance cost?

The cost of earthquake insurance varies. It depends on where you live, how much coverage you have, your deductible and the provider you choose. According to CEA, earthquake coverage for California renters can cost as little as $35 per year. However, renters who are located in close proximity to fault lines should expect to pay the highest rates.

The good news is, earthquake insurance for renters is much cheaper than it is for homeowners. Because renters don’t own the building they live in, renters earthquake insurance does not include dwelling coverage, which makes up a big portion of the cost.

That being said, earthquake insurance for renters does have a required deductible. The deductible is usually calculated as a percentage of the policy’s personal property coverage limit. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), most renters earthquake insurance policies include up to $200,000 in personal property coverage. So if the deductible was 8% on $150,000, for example, your deductible would be $12,000.

When should I get a stand-alone earthquake insurance policy? 

Most earthquakes cause very little damage. But if a major earthquake strikes your area and you don’t have coverage, you’ll be on the hook financially for any damages. The best time to get a standalone earthquake insurance policy is right now. Earthquakes strike unexpectedly, and you shouldn’t wait for an earthquake to hit before buying a policy.

If your home or apartment does not meet local construction guidelines, having earthquake insurance is especially important. Homes that don’t meet building codes could face greater damage, especially if large items are not properly secured to walls and floors. Find out if your home or apartment meets local earthquake regulations, and if not, it’s a good idea to buy insurance. 

Keep in mind that earthquake insurance will only cover your personal items and loss of use when you have an active policy at the time of the earthquake. So if an earthquake strikes and you purchase a policy the day after, the policy won’t retroactively cover the damage. If you think your home might be at risk, trust your intuition and invest in earthquake insurance.

We welcome your feedback on this article. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, many insurance companies provided relief in the form of percentages back on monthly bills as well as a freeze on coverage cancellations due to inability to pay. While it’s not recommended, you could technically stop your coverage to save money if absolutely needed — but again, it’s strongly advised against.

See below for more details on how you can benefit from the recently approved economic relief act:

Who can benefit from this?

To qualify for rental assistance under the CARES Act at least one household family member must qualify for unemployment or have a significant income lost due to the pandemic. Income must fall at or below 80% of your county’s average income. You must also be a risk of homelessness. 

Who’s getting how much?

If families fall below 50% of the average income they’ll be given priority for rent relief funds. Families can get up to a year of rent covered, and three months in the future with the CARES Act rent relief assistance.

How to apply

If you need to apply for assistance, the way you do that will vary depending on where you live. If your city or town has an existing rental assistance program, you’ll likely use that to apply for new aid.

You can contact your local housing authority, nonprofit groups or reach out to your local representatives to find out where and how to apply. Your landlord may also be able to apply for you — but they’ll have to get your approval and signature before doing so.

Source: thesimpledollar.com

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How to Turn Your Bathroom into a Spa-Inspired Escape

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Your home should feel like a calm and comfortable space where you can unwind, relax, and recharge. Here are tangible ways to let the soothing qualities of a day at the spa inspire your bathroom decor.

1. Aromatherapy: Choose scents that match your desired mood and intention. If you are stressed, nervous, or can’t sleep use scents like bergamot, chamomile, cinnamon, lavender, clove, rose, sandalwood, or vanilla. If you are feeling a bit melancholy, use scents like clary sage, cypress, or marjoram. Tired and fatigued? Try cinnamon, cypress, eucalyptus, fennel, lemon, peppermint, sage, or spiced apple. Learn more at Underground Health, then set up a collection that makes scents for you!

2. Vanity: You’ll feel like a celebrity when you do your makeup at your vanity. As an extra perk, you can keep all of your beauty products and jewelry organized and accessible.

3. Mood Lighting: Skip the florescent bulbs. Your lighting affects your mood. Take some cues from the New York Times article, LEDs Change Thinking About the Light Bulb.

4. Calm Colors: Use the principles of color psychology when you choose your paint colors. In an interview with WebMD the color consultant Leslie Harrington recommends painting the bathroom in shades of blue, green, or turquoise. These colors, “give a sense of being clean and fresh — and calm.”

5. Little Luxuries: Incorporate little luxuries like, fresh flowers, a heated towel rack, pretty soaps and storage containers, a bath pillow, bath salts, fluffy bathrobes, and an additional shower head.

6. Storage Space: Keep your bathroom clean, open, and clutter-free. Recent studies have shown that clutter causes stress. Don’t let a mess ruin your at-home oasis.

Now the only thing left to do is to draw a bath, pick up a good book, and relax.

Source: century21.com

Bank Accounts DIY Home

6 Natural Home Decor Ideas

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Contribution by Andrea Davis, HomeAdvisor

6 Natural Home Decor Ideas image 1

Can’t get enough of the outdoors? If you want more of it in your home without maintaining a jungle, then consider alternatives. Here are some top ideas for homeowners wanting that extra touch:

1. Add natural elements: One of the easiest ways to incorporate the outdoors indoors is literally to add it to your home decor. It might be pebbles, wood, straw, leaves and other pieces in smaller amounts throughout your home. You could also add photographs, paintings and framed pieces of wood or leaves to the walls of your home.
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2. Assemble flowers and plants in pots: If you are willing to do the maintenance and manage the upkeep, you can add potted plants to your home. This adds elements of color and natural fragrance to your home. You might avoid real plants if you have severe allergies and do plastic versions to be safe. You should also be aware of any plant varieties that are poisonous to your pets.

3. Install natural flooring: If you have tile, laminate or vinyl floors, you can have a flooring installer replace them with hardwood, cork, bamboo or other natural flooring materials. They feel warmer underneath your feet, and they are organic and biodegradable compared to what might have been in your home before.

4. Make the most of your windows: Your windows are for more than a beautiful view. You can let in natural light by opening them or replacing heavy curtains with light, see-through drapes. You can also let in fresh air and the scents of the outdoors. If you’re worried about pests or debris, install new screens.

6 Natural Home Decor Ideas image 3

5. Use outdoorsy colors: Another option is painting parts of your home with naturally-inspired colors. Some color options include green, blue, yellow and brown. There are also neutral tones like white, tan and beige to evoke cleanliness. Whether you paint an entire room or just a wall, you can complement the room with elements like plants to make it seem more outdoorsy.

6. Consider stenciling: You can also stencil outdoor-related images onto your walls. Maybe it’s trees, leaves, the sun, moon, stars or an entire landscape. You can do random stenciling or theme it by room. The end result will be a design that attracts visitors and complements the outdoor landscape.

Your interior can get closer to the outdoors depending on how much money or time you want to spend bringing the elements indoors. The end result will be a natural, seamless transition from the beautiful landscape outside to the same relaxing feel inside.

Photos courtesy of DesignMine

Source: century21.com

Apartment Decorating Home

What Affects Renters Insurance Premiums?

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Renters insurance premiums are more affordable than many other types of insurance. However, the cost of renters insurance can vary significantly between individuals. Renters insurance companies use factors like your state, age and credit score to determine policy rates. That means you and your best friend across town might pay different prices.

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If you’re in the market for renters insurance, it’s important to know what factors will affect your premium. Keep in mind that you can change some of these factors to get a lower premium if you are shopping for renters insurance on a budget. 

[ Read: How To Buy Cheap Renters Insurance Online]

In this article

What is a renters insurance premium?

A renters insurance premium is essentially the cost of your insurance policy. It includes the price of standard coverage, like personal property coverage, plus any endorsements you add, like flood insurance. Renters insurance premiums are typically calculated as an annual or biannual rate, but many people choose to pay their premium in monthly installments.

Renters insurance premiums get paid to the insurance company that underwrites your policy. Your renters insurance premium will stay the same for the duration of the policy’s term, usually that’s one year or six months. But when the policy is up for renewal, your premium can increase or decrease. 

What are the main factors that affect renters insurance cost?

There are a variety of factors that will affect your renters insurance price. Here are some of the most common ones.

Location

Your location has a huge impact on your renters insurance premium. Renters insurance is more expensive in some states, and cheaper in others. You’ll see that in the next section when we look at the average cost of renters insurance for each state. Additionally, your ZIP code will impact the price. Renters insurance tends to be the most expensive in areas with a high crime rate and theft rate. Insurance can also be pricier in areas that experience severe weather.

Age

Your age will impact your renters insurance premium to a certain degree. Younger people tend to pay higher rates for renters insurance than older people. So if you’re a recent college grad who just moved into the city, expect to pay more than a retiree who’s renting an apartment in Florida. Insurance companies believe that age is linked to risk, so young renters are charged higher premiums to offset potential claims and losses.

Credit score

Almost every insurance company will look at your credit score to calculate your renters insurance premium. The higher your credit score is, the lower your renters insurance costs will be. The opposite is also true — renters who have a poor credit score will pay higher-than-average premiums. Improving your credit score is one of the best ways to get a cheaper premium and save some money on your policy.

Claims history

Renters who have filed insurance claims in the past — even small personal property claims — will pay a higher rate for their renters insurance. Renters who have never filed an insurance claim, or have no claims on the record within the last several years, pay the lowest rates. From an insurance company’s perspective, renters who have a history of claims are more likely to file additional claims in the future, so they offset their risk by charging a higher price.

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Type and amount of coverage

Renters insurance is worth it for most people, but it doesn’t cover everything. You might need to customize your policy with endorsements to fill gaps in coverage. If you buy endorsements, like flood insurance, valuables coverage or earthquake insurance, you’ll pay a higher rate. Similarly, the amount of coverage you purchase will affect your rate. The higher your coverage limits are, the more expensive your premium is going to be.

Deductible

Every renters insurance policy has a deductible, which is the out-of-pocket cost you pay toward a covered loss before the insurance company will reimburse you. The higher your deductible is, the lower your insurance premium will be. Many renters choose a higher deductible to save money, but remember that you are responsible for the deductible. If you do need to file a claim, you should be able to comfortably afford the out-of-pocket cost.

[ Read: Raising Deductibles to Save Money on Insurance: Does It Work? ]

Discounts

Discounts are another factor that impact renters insurance costs. Most insurance companies offer discounts that can help you save money on your policy. The more discounts you qualify for, the cheaper your premium will be. If you’re looking for a cheap renters insurance policy, search for insurance companies that offer multiple discounts you can qualify for. Common renters insurance discounts are being claims-free, paying your premium in full, having good grades and bundling your policies.

[ Read: Here’s How to Bundle and Save on Your Insurance ]

What’s the average cost of renters insurance for each state?

As mentioned, the cost of renters insurance varies by state. The average cost of renters insurance in the United States is $179 annually, which breaks down to just under $15 per month. The table below includes the average annual renters insurance premium in all 50 states plus Washington D.C.

State Average Annual Premium
Alabama $222
Alaska $175
Arizona $175
Arkansas $211
California $178
Colorado $164
Connecticut $188
Delaware $157
Florida $185
Georgia $214
Hawaii $181
Idaho $152
Illinois $166
Indiana $172
Iowa $144
Kansas $172
Kentucky $166
Louisiana $234
Maine $149
Maryland $161
Massachusetts $191
Michigan $185
Minnesota $140
Mississippi $252
Missouri $179
Montana $147
Nebraska $149
Nevada $182
New Hampshire $148
New Jersey $160
New Mexico $186
New York $189
North Carolina $158
North Dakota $126
Ohio $169
Oklahoma $236
Oregon $161
Pennsylvania $157
Rhode Island $185
South Carolina $184
South Dakota $127
Tennessee $195
Texas $225
Utah $155
Vermont $153
Virginia $152
Washington $160
Washington D.C. $157
West Virginia $189
Wisconsin $143
Wyoming $146

We welcome your feedback on this article. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, many insurance companies provided relief in the form of percentages back on monthly bills as well as a freeze on coverage cancellations due to inability to pay. While it’s not recommended, you could technically stop your coverage to save money if absolutely needed — but again, it’s strongly advised against.

See below for more details on how you can benefit from the recently approved economic relief act:

Who can benefit from this?

To qualify for rental assistance under the CARES Act at least one household family member must qualify for unemployment or have a significant income lost due to the pandemic. Income must fall at or below 80% of your county’s average income. You must also be a risk of homelessness. 

Who’s getting how much?

If families fall below 50% of the average income they’ll be given priority for rent relief funds. Families can get up to a year of rent covered, and three months in the future with the CARES Act rent relief assistance.

How to apply

If you need to apply for assistance, the way you do that will vary depending on where you live. If your city or town has an existing rental assistance program, you’ll likely use that to apply for new aid.

You can contact your local housing authority, nonprofit groups or reach out to your local representatives to find out where and how to apply. Your landlord may also be able to apply for you — but they’ll have to get your approval and signature before doing so.

Source: thesimpledollar.com