Tuesday, 10 December 2019

How Much is Your Stuff Worth ?

How Much is Your Stuff Worth ?. Did you know that less than 45% of American renters have insurance? That may be a head-scratcher to those in the know, but to the majority, HO4 insurance is a non-essential.

Digging a bit deeper, a number of reasons for this phenomenon arise. From not knowing the benefits of insurance or how much insurance coverage they really need, to overestimating the actual cost of a policy, the consensus is this issue is rooted in a lack of awareness more than anything else.

One of the main reasons people pass on protection is they don’t know enough about renters insurance in the first place.

Even if they do go through the process of getting a quote, there’s a basic lack of understanding around the question of personal property; most renters get stuck on really basic questions like “how much is my stuff worth” and “how much insurance do I need.”

With the average two-bedroom apartment in the US containing around $30,000 worth of electronics, clothing, jewelry, bikes, and more (US News) it seems now is the time for renters to reclaim peace of mind and get educated so they can better protect their stuff.

documenting the stuff in your apartment

You have way more stuff than you think
Still not convinced? Take a quick look around your place.

It’s pretty clear that you have tons of personal property you care about: there’s your iPhone, and your laptop of course; but there’s also your TV and bike. Maybe you have a nice camera sitting around along with a sweet new sound system. Oh, and that fancy watch you got for graduation but you never really wear? That stuff all has value, and it adds up pretty quickly.

You want to make sure you don’t undervalue your personal property when getting renters insurance because otherwise, you could be left high and dry when disaster strikes.

Knowing how much your stuff is worth and how much coverage you need not only makes sense for your wallet, but also goes a long way in providing a little peace of mind for the future. You’re going to want to make sure your stuff – from your couch to your laptop – is covered by Lemonade.

How to estimate the value of your stuff
Go over these three simple steps that will save time (and money!) later:

1. Take 2 minutes, walk around your apartment, and take a video (or pics) of everything you care about

2. Make a list of the stuff of everything you just filmed / snapped and estimate how much each thing costs:

a. If you have receipts, take pics in case you ever have to replace the stuff under warranty or if you have to make a claim

b. For electronics and more expensive items, it’s important to know the make and model as well as when and where you bought them

3. For your shoes, non-electronic kitchen items, and other stuff in bulk, just estimate what it would cost all together

4. Add this up and voilĂ , that’s the value of your stuff (i.e. how much personal property coverage you’ll need)

While basic policies start with $10,000 of personal property coverage, aka contents insurance, everyone is different and luckily, you can tailor your coverage to your lifestyle. We’ll go into exact numbers in the next section.

zero everything by lemonade (zero deductible)

How much renters insurance do you need?
Okay, remember amount you calculated above? Add $10,000 on top of that for each member living in your home (including yourself). This should cover furniture, clothing, and smaller stuff. If you love brand names, expensive cookware, and fancy electronics, you may want to consider going with $15,000 rather than $10,000.

This is the amount of coverage you’ll need for all of your stuff.

Example A:

Let’s say you’re a young professional living in the city… you own a $1,500 sound system, a $5,000 engagement ring, and a $1,500 bike. Your partner also owns a $2,000 bike and you guys love brand name stuff. The amount you’d want in personal property coverage would look something like this:

$1,500 + $1,500 + $5,000 + $2,000 + ($15,000 * 2) = $40,000

Example B:

Let’s say you’re a college student… you probably think you don’t have so much stuff. Think again! Your laptop ($1,250), smartphone ($850), bicycle ($1,500), and clothing add up. Your personal property coverage amount would look something like this:

$1,250 + $750 + $1,500 + ($10,000) = $13,500

While some financial planners will recommend rounding whatever number you got to the nearest $10K, just remember that at the end of the day, you should be realistic.

Best practice here is to pay a monthly premium you’re comfortable with but also take into account how much you can afford to pay out of pocket later.

This little trick may help: if you lost everything today (worst case scenario, we know!), how much would you be able to pay out of pocket? If the answer is lower than the number above, you may want to think about more coverage. If it’s more, go lower.

Extra Coverage - Lemonade Blog

A note on high-value items
Sub-limits are one of the biggest (unknown) things people miss when signing up for a renters insurance policy.

What’s a sub-limit? Well, basic insurance policies will cover around $1,500 or $2,000 worth of valuable items such as fine art, some jewelry, bikes, cameras, musical instruments, etc. However, it’s most likely your high-value items will be worth more. That’s fine – it just means you need to schedule your items (aka add on some Extra Coverage) to take into account the full value of those items.

As add-ons to your renters insurance, these usually translate into a few extra dollars (or less) on your premium each month.

You know how much your stuff is worth… now what?
So how much time can you spare? Three minutes? That’s all it takes to get at least some peace of mind.

The cost of renters insurance each month is actually less than what you might spend on coffee each day. It’s less than your Netflix subscription! Really.

Be proactive and don’t wait for a bad reason to start thinking about something that could save you thousands of dollars and a whole lot of headaches.

And while we’re talking… about that retirement plan…  How Much is Your Stuff Worth ?

Monday, 9 December 2019

9 Real Life Situations Covered by Renters Insurance

9 Real Life Situations Covered by Renters Insurance. When’s the last time you talked about renters insurance at a party? If you’re like most, the answer is probably never. Renters insurance, also known as HO4 insurance, isn’t the sexiest of topics. It’s that thing you have in case something bad happens, or that you keep putting off getting even though you know you shouldn’t.

But the thing is, renters insurance can have your back in a bunch of situations that are all-too-common. We’re talkin’ about those klutz or bad-luck moments that can happen at a coffee shop, music festival, house party, or even on a trip. And that’s underrated.

Before we dive into this, let’s do a quick refresher. Renters insurance is there to reimburse you if something bad happens to you or your stuff (read: phone, laptop, watch, bike, etc.) – minus your deductible, of course. What does ‘something bad’ mean? Things like theft, fire, vandalism, some types of water losses (ex. burst pipes), windstorm, etc. 

(Aka, ‘named perils’ in insurance speak.) Fun! It also covers temporary living expenses if your place becomes unlivable due to one of those bad things listed above, and also certain medical/legal fees for others if you’re liable.

Okay, that’s great and all, but what does all of this actually mean for you? In what real-life situations can renters insurance actually come to the rescue?

1. Your phone’s stolen at a music festival
phone stolen renters insurance

In this day and age, it’s pretty rare to leave the house without a phone. We bring our phones everywhere: to work, a friend’s house, and a cross-country trip.

So naturally, some of the most common Q’s we’re asked at Lemonade are: Does renters insurance cover cell phones? and, Does renters insurance cover theft outside the home? 

Our answer? It sure does!

And luckily, renters insurance doesn’t only cover your stuff at home – it has your back when you’re on-the-go. So if your phone is stolen at a music festival, or on your commute home from work, renters insurance can reimburse you.

2. Your laptop’s swiped while traveling
laptop stolen renters insurance

Renters insurance doesn’t only cover loss inside the country – it has your back when you’re abroad, too.

For example:

Let’s say you’re gearing up for a trip to Europe, and decide to bring your laptop with you. You pack your stuff, jet off to your destination, and unpack your things in your hotel room before you begin to explore. You come back to your room, only to realize your laptop’s missing.

If you have renters insurance, you can relax knowing your laptop’s covered, and enjoy the rest of your vacay.

Bonus: With Lemonade, making a claim takes just a few seconds, so you can get on with your trip abroad. You might even get reimbursed in three seconds.

[Get a Lemonade policy in 90 seconds for the price of a latte]

3. Your bike’s stolen (even though you locked it)
stolen bicycle and renters insurance

One last note about theft (we promise!): one of the most common claims we see is stolen bikes.

Even if you take the time lock up your bike, sometimes you still get unlucky. And lucky for you, renters insurance covers stolen bikes!

P.S. – if your bike is on the pricey end of the spectrum, you may need to get ‘Extra Coverage’ for it, which will also cover you in the event of accidental damage or mysterious disappearance, with no deductible (score!).

Adding Extra Coverage is easy – after you get a Lemonade policy, you’ll just have to follow a few quick steps, and you’re done!

4. Your neighbors leave their faucet on, and it floods your apartment
accidental flooding renters insurance

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, your neighbors can sometimes make mistakes. And if those mistakes damage your stuff, your policy may have you covered.

For example:

Let’s say your neighbors leave their kitchen sink running, or forget to turn off their bathroom faucet, and the water comes dripping down into your apartment. You come home from a long day at work, only to find your stuff soaking wet. Joy. No fear – renters insurance can pay you back for the damage caused to your things.

5. Your friend slips and falls at your house party
liability, parties, and renters insurance

Picture this: You decide to host a house party for your BFF’s birthday, and your klutz-y friend suddenly slips in your kitchen and twists his ankle. Ouch. He heads over to the hospital, receives his medical bills, and decides to sue you. Double ouch.

Luckily, renters insurance can cover the costs to get you out of this jam. Your personal liability coverage will kick in, and pay for both his medical and your legal fees. Crisis, averted!

6. Your plumbing leaks, damaging your stuff

Leaky plumbing is one of those things you never think will happen, until it does. And when it does it can lead to a whole lot of flooding in your apartment or home. So if you ever have that sinking feeling realizing this happens, and your stuff is damaged, renters insurance has your back.

When this happens, you might be wondering, ‘does renters insurance cover carpet damage?,’ or, ‘does renters insurance cover water damage to a laptop?’ Luckily, it does!

So you can rest easy, knowing your stuff is covered.

7. Your apartment catches on fire, wreaking havoc on your things
fire and renters insurance

Picture this: it’s Sunday night, which means a quiet night in. You light some candles, start cooking, and suddenly, the oil in the pan catches fire, help! Your roomie rushes over to help, only to tip over your burning candle. Double whammy.

Luckily, renters insurance has your back in either (or both!) of these situations.

If your stuff goes up in smoke, you can call your insurance company (or, in Lemonade’s case, open the Lemonade app) and file a claim right away.

8. Your neighbor’s apartment catches on fire, forcing you to relocate
fire and renters insurance coverage

And back to those neighbors. If it’s them who had this Sunday-night-gone-wrong, and the fire spreads to your apartment, your renters insurance will have your back.

And to imagine the worst-case-scenario, let’s say this fire spreads through your own apartment, damaging your entire place. But here’s the good news (yes, there is good news!): Renters insurance can cover not only the damages to your stuff, but also your temporary living costs – this type of coverage is known as ‘loss of use.’ It may even cover the extra $$ you have to spend on food and laundry. Renters insurance, to the rescue.

As you read through these 8 things, you may have been thinking, ‘these kinds of things can happen to other people, but I don’t think they’ll ever happen to me.’ (Yes, we’re psychic!)

And while any of these things could happen when you least expect it, there’s also a chance that they never will. And we hope that’s the case!

But that doesn’t mean your policy is useless. Regardless of whether you end up filing a claim, renters insurance can help you with one more super common scenario:

9. You’re worried that something might happen
reasons to get renters insurance
Pic @camiejuan

This may sound cheesy, but it doesn’t make it any less true. If you’re worried someone will snatch your phone at a music festival, or swipe your laptop when you’re traveling, your policy will make these worst-case scenarios much less stressful (and consequential). 

In fact, when we asked a few policyholders from our Lemonade Community what Lemonade does for them, none of them mentioned a claim:

“Lemonade lets me focus on the important things in life without having to worry.” – Danielle G., NYC

“Lemonade lets me travel and live anywhere without stressing about losing my main source of income, my things.” – Skye S., Austin

“Lemonade lets me focus on creating content for a living without worrying about rental emergencies.” – Justin H., San Francisco

So if it turns out that you never file a claim with your renters insurance company (ideal situation!), it doesn’t mean you didn’t get any use out of it. Renters insurance is there to make you feel safe and calm at the thought of something happening. It’s there to let you focus on your experiences, not your things. 

And if you ask us, the value of that is priceless. 9 Real Life Situations Covered by Renters Insurance. 

Sunday, 8 December 2019

Five (Unknown) Reasons To Buy Renters Insurance

Five (Unknown) Reasons To Buy Renters Insurance. Why buy renters insurance? It’s chock full of benefits that every renter should know. For instance, did you know if your phone is stolen outside your house, renters insurance has your back?

Turns out, a lot of renters wonder, ‘Do I need renters insurance?’ Sound like you? Read on.

You aren’t alone. American households need renters insurance now more than ever. U.S. homeownership rates are at their lowest point in 51 years!

Want to hear another stat that’ll blow your mind? According to the Insurance Information Institute:

Only 40% of renters have policies, versus 95% of homeowners who have home insurance.

It makes you think: if there are so many reasons to buy renters insurance, why don’t more people get it? Why don’t most people know about these benefits? And, why are the stats drastically tipped in favor of homeowners?

When it comes to protecting yourself, your stuff, and your peace of mind, you’ll want to make sure you have the best coverage at the best price. You should also know what you are getting in return. So for those asking, “Do I need renters insurance?“, the answer is yes, yes you do!

Renters insurance coverage perks - Lemonade Blog

Why buy renters insurance?
Is renters insurance worth it?

Consider this: 1) your landlord’s insurance doesn’t cover your apartment and 2) insurance is way cheaper than most of you think.

Now, simply put, the main reason to buy renters insurance is that it buys you peace of mind for all of those “oh s!@#” moments. Like when you check your bag and realize your phone was stolen on the subway, or you come home to find that someone took your bike.

The problem is, most people don’t know what isn’t covered by renters insurance and vice versa! Even if renters insurance was free, it’s not worth much if you don’t know how it applies to you and your stuff.

So, we rounded up some of the lesser known reasons to get renters insurance. It’ll surprise you how comprehensive these policies actually are!

Reason #1: Renters insurance covers your stuff when you’re at home, and out and about
Renters insurance coverage outside of the home - Lemonade Blog

Who knew, right? So if your phone is stolen from your local coffee shop, or your laptop is picked up from your co-working space – your policy has your back. Yep, that’s right – even if your stuff is stolen outside of your home, renters insurance will reimburse you.

Plus, if your kitchen goes up in flames or your sprinklers go off accidentally and flood your apartment, you’re also covered. Talk about peace of mind!

Reason #2: Renters insurance covers dog bites
If you have a furry BFF and were wondering, “Does renters insurance cover dog bites?“ you’re in luck. If your dog bites someone, your policy has you covered. The cool thing about this one is that it applies both when you are at home or at the park.

There are two exceptions though: You’re not covered if your dog has a history of biting, or if your dog is categorized as high-risk.

Pet coverage and renters insurance - Lemonade Blog

Reason #3: Renters insurance may help you out if you’re forced out of your apartment
If a kitchen fire forces you out of your apartment, or your upstairs neighbor leaves their faucet running all day and floods your apartment – your policy may cover something called loss of use. It helps you out with temporary housing and some other basic living expenses until your pad is habitable again.

Reason #4: Renters insurance covers medical costs for injured guests
Let’s be real: Stuff happens all the time when you aren’t paying attention and your friends sometimes get hurt at your place. Whether your dog decides to take a chunk outta your bestie (see #2), or your neighbor cuts themselves while helping you prep dinner – been there, done that – their injuries are most likely covered.

If it’s something small (read: under $5,000), your medical payments to others will kick in, but if your friend decides to take some unfriendly steps and sues you, your personal liability coverage will have your back. We’ll discuss liability more in the next section!

Note: You can choose how much coverage you’d like, which will influence your monthly premium (the amount you pay each month for your renters insurance policy).

If you have Lemonade, you can adjust this amount at any time with the Live Policy feature.

Accommodations and renters insurance liability - Lemonade Blog

Reason #5: Renters insurance may cover the costs to get you out of a jam if you’re sued
This is what we call liability coverage in insurance speak. It protects you from non-physical things such as getting sued if someone claims to be injured due to your actions or negligence. Your renters insurance will cover legal fees if you need a lawyer to defend you, and will also pay to cover damages you’re found liable for.

So, that neighbor who cut his finger above? Say went to the hospital, got stitches, and then sued you for the cost – your liability may jump in to save the day.

Liability coverage normally starts at around $100,000, which isn’t a small chunk of change. It can make a huge difference when legal bills and medical fees start racking up! If you find yourself asking “How much renters insurance do I need?“ looking at your lifestyle is a good place to start. Are you a risk-taker? Do you have a dangerous profession? Be honest with yourself and choose what makes sense for you 🙂

Liability and Renters Insurance - Lemonade Blog

Other reasons to get renters insurance
There are some renters insurance benefits that come as add-ons to your basic renters insurance policy. They have to do with the things and people you value most!

Physical items such as expensive cameras, jewelry, and fine art can all be covered – they just aren’t part of your typical renters insurance policy. That’s because when you sign up for an insurance policy, you choose a coverage limit. But oftentimes, burglars will want to steal your most cherished and expensive things! We can’t let them get away with that.

Extra Coverage - Lemonade Blog

This type of coverage protects your valuables from almost anything, including loss! So let’s say someone breaks into your apartment and steals your favorite (and most expensive) watch. Once you add scheduled personal property coverage, renters insurance will have your back!

Will this extra coverage break the bank, you ask? Luckily, this add-on will only cost you a few extra bucks a month, depending on your insurer. And protecting the stuff you love most is definitely worth that extra peace of mind (and the cost of a large latte!).

You can also add other people to your policy. While a typical policy automatically covers any resident of your household related by blood, marriage, or adoption, your sig others are not. They need to be added to your policy as what’s called an ‘additional insured.’ There is a charge for that, so keep in mind that sometimes it is cheaper or easier for each of you to get your own insurance policy.

FYI – roommates aren’t covered by a typical renters insurance policy. You’ll have to tell them to get their own!

how to get renters insurance - lemonade blog

You’re a renters insurance pro, so here are the next steps
It may be a good idea to check what isn’t covered under your standard renters insurance policy.

If you decide that purchasing renters insurance is a good idea, before you buy, take time to document how much your stuff is worth. It’ll help you to ensure that your coverage amounts reflect the real value of your stuff.

Once you do purchase an insurance policy, take your time and look over your policy for all of these hidden gems as well as the “Exclusions” section. The language is a little tough, but it’ll pay off in the long term when it comes time to make a claim or adjust your coverage.

Five (Unknown) Reasons To Buy Renters Insurance Thank us later!

Saturday, 7 December 2019

Cheat Sheet: What Renters Insurance Doesn’t Cover

Cheat Sheet: What Renters Insurance Doesn’t Cover. Let’s face it: your belongings are important to you. If a house fire destroyed your favorite watch or a burglar snatched your cherished iPad, it would be a devastating blow. If you want to protect your things and your peace of mind, renters insurance is an excellent solution.

If your insurance policy confuses you, you’re not alone: 37% of millennials don’t have renters insurance because they don’t know how it works.

We’re here to put an end to the confusion. To clear things up, renters insurance covers stolen or damaged property (but accidental damage or breakage is not covered). Renters insurance also provides personal liability coverage, which protects you if you’re responsible for an accident or damage to another person or their property.

But what isn’t covered by your basic renters insurance policy, you ask? Wonder no more.

We’re here to answer your most common questions about what renters insurance doesn’t cover.

1. Does renters insurance cover natural disasters?

2. Does renters insurance cover car theft?

3. Does renters insurance cover undocumented items?

4. Does renters insurance cover my roommate’s stuff?

5. Does renters insurance cover damage by pests?

6. Does renters insurance cover property damage?

1. Does renters insurance cover natural disasters?  
Natural Disaster - renters insurance coverage
If you live in a place where flooding, sinkholes, or earthquakes are common, beware! Renters insurance typically does not cover items damaged by these types of natural disasters. Before you start to pack your bags, don’t fear – you can purchase an additional flood insurance policy that covers that possibility.

Pro Tip: if a volcanic eruption, wildfire, or tornado destroys your things, you’re most likely covered.

2. Does renters insurance cover car theft?
Cars and renters insurance coverage

If someone steals stuff from inside your car (which we hope never happens!), renters insurance has your back. However, we must warn you that renters insurance doesn’t cover damage to your car itself. In fact, it doesn’t cover any ‘motor vehicles’ – that’s insurance speak for electric bikes or scooters, too.

Here’s an example: if someone snatches your laptop inside your car, you’re covered. But if someone steals your car itself, renters insurance doesn’t cover you – that’s what auto insurance is for.

3. Does renters insurance cover undocumented items?
undocumented items and renters insurance coverage

If you can’t prove you own your items or prove the value of them, you may be out of luck. When you file an insurance claim, you’re often asked to provide a receipt. 

Here are two tips to help you avoid this scenario: Keep receipts of everything so you know how much your stuff is worth, and take pictures of your items and documents on your phone just to be safe. You’ll thank yourself one day!

4. Does renters insurance cover my roommate’s stuff?
roommate's stuff and renters insurance coverage

If your roommate’s things are damaged, lost, or stolen, your insured-self unfortunately can’t come to the rescue. It may be wise to recommend to your roommate that he or she invests in their own policy (and reads this article in case they are confused)! Renters insurance doesn’t cover roommates, or their stuff.

However, if your roommate happens to be related to you by blood, marriage, or adoption, you’re in the clear.

5. Does renters insurance cover damage by pests?
renters insurance and pests - coverage

As if rodents, pests, and bugs aren’t irritating enough, renters insurance does not cover any damage done by these creatures. And for some more pesty news, the cost of an exterminator will not be covered either.

So, consider these creepers a liability (if you don’t already), and invest in some preventive measures to avoid an infestation.

6. Does renters insurance cover property damage?
physical damages to a building and renters insurance coverage

Renters insurance covers your stuff, but it doesn’t cover the physical building that holds your stuff. That’s the job of your landlord’s insurance. So, if your building has roof leaks, your landlord owes you a dry roof over your head. We suggest that you check with your landlord to make sure they have the right coverage for your building.

Hopefully, this cheat sheet has cleared things up about what is not covered by renters insurance. And, fortunately, the average cost of renters insurance is pretty low, starting at $5/month. Don’t let your hesitation become a liability.

Cheat Sheet: What Renters Insurance Doesn’t Cover

Friday, 6 December 2019

How Much Does Homeowners Insurance Cost ?

How Much Does Homeowners Insurance Cost ? No matter where you are in the home buying journey, we bet you’re at least a little familiar with homeowners insurance. Buying a house is no picnic, and getting homeowners insurance is a must — for peace of mind as a homebuyer, but also for meeting your mortgage lenders’ requirements.

You might also be wondering how much homeowners insurance actually costs. It’s a great question, especially if you only have experience renting. 

Homeowners insurance is different from renters. Think of it this way: you now own your own walls, so naturally, a homeowners insurance policy will cost more than a renters. 

But don’t get too worked up about the cost of your insurance yet. The final price of your premium will depend on a whole host of factors. 

Here’s how to figure out how much you should be paying for your homeowners insurance.

The average cost of homeowners insurance
The average cost of homeowners insurance is $1,083 annually, or approx $90 a month, according to Value Penguin.  

What factors impact your homeowners insurance rates?

The price of your insurance can vary significantly, depending on factors like your home’s condition, location, deductible, and the amount of coverage you need. Let’s dig a bit deeper into this. 

Here are 5 factors that can determine the cost of your homeowners insurance:

1. Your state 
Homeowners insurance differs from state to state. States with a higher chance of natural disasters generally have higher premiums than states that don’t. For example, Louisiana, Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, and Kansas have the highest premium for homeowners insurance. It’s no coincidence that Florida, Texas, and Louisiana are coastal states and can encounter some pretty crazy storms, and Oklahoma and Kansas are bang in the middle of Tornado Alley.

The states with the cheapest insurance rates are, (with the exception of Wisconsin) in the west, where natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, and hail are generally less frequent.

2. Condition of your home 
The condition of your home will impact your homeowners insurance premium. For instance, how old is the house you live in? When was the last time the roof was replaced? What kind of renovations has it been through? Those pre-war hardwood floors may be your favorite thing about your home, but are the pipes as old as the carpentry? The older your house is, the more prone it is to damage. So older homes = higher premiums.

3. Your deductible
An insurance deductible is the amount of money you choose when purchasing a policy that will be subtracted from any future claims payouts. So if a fire destroyed a part of the structure of your home costing $30,000 and your deductible was $1,000, your insurance company would pay you $29,000. Think of a deductible as your participation in the damage or loss. You’re saying, “I commit X dollars to any claim, and my insurance company will cover the rest.”

Relationship between insurance deductibles and premiums

The higher your deductible is, the lower your premium could be but keep in mind that a high deductible also means you’ll pay a lot more out of pocket in the event of a claim. Different people have different preferences – you’ll have to decide what’s right for you at the end of the day.

4. Your zip code 
Not only will your state come into play when it comes to your insurance premium, but also your address. For instance, if your home is close to a Class 1 fire department, or you live in a gated community, you’ll pay a lower premium. On the other hand, if your home is in an area that has a higher crime rate, your premium will go up.

5. The amount of coverage you choose
The amount of coverage you choose in each category has an impact on the final price of your premium. To find out how much coverage you need, let’s break down your homeowners insurance into categories.

Now for the million-dollar question (maybe literally!). How much coverage do you need for your home? And is it just your home, or more? Hint: it’s much more.

Dwelling coverage

When it comes to setting a dwelling coverage amount for your home, you don’t want to choose the purchase price or current market value. This should be the amount that it’d take to rebuild your home (as it was before it needed to be rebuilt – no upgrades!), known as “reconstruction costs.” This is, after all, what your insurance company will be reimbursing you in the worst-case scenario that you have to rebuild. The higher the dwelling coverage, the more expensive your premium.

FYI — If you the amount you picked isn’t at least 80% of the house’s total replacement value, your insurance company might not cover the full cost of the damage to your home. This is commonly referred to as the ‘80% rule.’

Personal property coverage
To price out your personal property, most experts will say you should choose a limit between 50% – 75% of your dwelling coverage amount. If you think this isn’t enough to cover all of your stuff – say you have fine art, lots of expensive jewelry, a collection, or other valuable items – look into the Extra Coverage option with your insurer. 

Extra Coverage also provides additional coverage in general, so it’d definitely be something to look into. Although increasing your personal property coverage won’t be as impactful on your premium as your dwelling coverage, it will still bump it up a little.

Loss of use coverage
Similar to personal property, loss of use is also based off of dwelling coverage. Most advise to choose an amount that’s around 30% of your dwelling coverage. 

Also, take your lifestyle into consideration, as this covers what you’d usually spend on stuff like food, temporary storage of property, moving costs, etc. So let’s say you eat takeout every day, you’ll most likely want to select an amount that’s more than someone who buys groceries and prepares their meals.

Personal liability coverage
Your personal liability coverage is meant for situations where you’re found liable for Bodily Injury or Property Damage to a third party. However, it wouldn’t apply for a liability related to your business (i.e. a therapist who sees clients in their home)

You can up your personal liability coverage to 1M in most states except California which has a $500,000 maximum. Upping your personal liability coverage will also impact your premium rate. 

Medical payments to others coverage
Let’s say a guest sprains her wrist after tripping on a rug in your living room – she has hospital bills to pay. This is where your medical expenses coverage may kick in. Coverage can range between $1,000 – $5,000, but this really depends on you. Try looking at how often you host and the safety of your home. You cannot really go wrong here.

How to save on homeowners insurance

If this is your first time buying a home, you might not have factored in the price of homeowners insurance into your monthly payments. In which case, you might be looking for ways to bring your premium down slightly. 

Your home doesn’t need to be ‘smart’ in order to install some devices that will help to lower your insurance premium. Start with a standard fire alarm and burglar alarm, and you’ve already lowered your risks. And lowered risks equals lowered premiums.

If where you live is closer to potential bad weather, check with your insurance company what sort of reinforcements you can add to make your home more weather-proof. For instance, you may be able to save money on your premiums by adding storm shutters or adding laminated glass windows. You could also replace your heating, plumbing, and electrical systems to cut down the risk of fire and water damage.

Lemonade has its own ‘Get Discounts Now’ feature where you can help lower your premium price by answering a series of questions about your home’s characteristics and safety measures like home renovations, or whether you live in a gated community.

Lastly, if you want your premium to go down, you can increase your deductible. The higher you’ll pay on your deductible the lower you’ll pay on your premium and vice versa. 

Find peace of mind 
Poring over a homeowners policy can be a headache, but working with a tech-savvy insurance company like Lemonade can make things simple and straightforward. Using AI and chatbots, Lemonade has made buying policies and paying claims a walk in the park. The seamless experience also includes sending your quote to your lender, so you don’t have to worry yourself with the never-ending back and forth.

Purchasing a new home will be one of the most expensive and important decisions of your life, and making sure you have the right amount of coverage will give you the peace of mind you need to get on with your life—worry-free.

How Much Does Homeowners Insurance Cost ?

How do I Insure My Phone With Renters Insurance?

How do I insure my phone with renters insurance? If you decide to protect your phone (and the rest of your stuff) with renters insurance, getting a policy with Lemonade is easy!

All you need to do is get a basic insurance policy, which takes less than 2 minutes: Download the Lemonade app, answer a few questions about your home, and get insured in seconds.

To make sure you’re getting enough coverage for your phone (and everything else), double check your ‘personal property coverage’ (insurance speak for coverage for your stuff) is sufficient. Otherwise, you could be left high and dry when disaster strikes.

Here’s how to estimate the value of your stuff:

1. Take 2 minutes, walk around your apartment, and take a video (or pics) of everything you care about

2. Make a list of the stuff of everything you just filmed/snapped and estimate how much each item costs

– If you have receipts, keep a pic in case you ever have to replace the stuff under warranty or have to make a claim

– For electronics and more expensive items, it’s important to know the make and model as well as when and where you bought them

3. For shoes, non-electronic kitchen items, and other stuff in bulk, just estimate what it would cost all together

4. Add this up and voilĂ , that’s the value of your stuff (i.e. how much personal property coverage you’ll need)

Best practice is rounding up to the nearest $10K. So if your laptop ($1,250), phone ($1,000), bike ($1,000), furniture ($5,000), and clothing ($7,000) add up to $15,250, you’ll want to get at least $20k in personal property coverage.

Insure your phone in a jiffy. Phones are expensive, and after shelling out serious $$ for your sidekick, the last thing you’ll want to do is replace it if things go sour.

Insuring Your Phone? Here’s What You Need To Know

Insuring Your Phone? Here’s What You Need To Know. Here’s an all-too-common situation: You’re finishing up happy hour with a friend, and call a Via home. It arrives much earlier than you thought, so you scramble your stuff together and jump in the car. When you’re all settled in your seat, you reach to grab your phone, and realize it isn’t in your bag. Uh oh.

In panic mode, you sign into Find my iPhone, only to find your precious phone is already halfway across the city. “It must have fallen out of my bag on my way to the car, and someone picked it up,” you realize.

Will you have to shell out $800 to replace your precious phone? Well, that depends on whether you have phone insurance, and what kind you have.

Getting coverage for your phone is probably one of the last things you want to deal with- because phone theft happens to everyone else except for you, right? But it only takes one snatch to make you wish you had the right coverage.

Considering whether to get phone insurance raises tons of questions. Is it worth getting phone insurance for things like screen cracks? What about water damage? And which plan is right for you?

We’re here to answer your biggest questions around phone insurance – here’s what we’ll cover:

1. Does renters insurance or homeowners insurance cover phones?
2. What’s the difference between mobile phone insurance and renters/homeowners insurance?
3. Which phone insurance plan is worth getting?
4. How do I insure my phone?

Does renters or homeowners insurance cover phones?
Most people don’t realize this, but renters and homeowners insurance cover your phone, and everything else you own. Your phone (and other stuff) is automatically covered for things like theft, vandalism, fire, and other damages (‘perils,’ in insurance speak) under your base renters policy.

So if your phone was snatched while you were dancing at a concert, or pickpocketed while you were traveling abroad, you’re in luck: your home insurance will cover you.

When Lemonader Phil W. was traveling in Italy, his phone, backpack, and camera equipment were stolen from the trunk of his car:

“The lock on the car was popped, and everything was stolen- including all of the footage from my trip. My travel insurance denied the claim, but my Lemonade renters insurance came through and reimbursed me for everything that was lost, including my phone.”

But understanding when your home insurance kicks in, over what’s called ‘mobile phone insurance,’ is crucial.

What’s the difference between mobile phone insurance and renters insurance?

There are a few different types of phone insurance plans, aside from your renters policy, including plans from:

Your phone’s retailer (i.e Apple)
Your phone carrier (i.e. AT&T)
While AT&T’s offering is slightly different from Verizon’s, there are a few consistent differences between these phone insurance plans and your renters policy.

First off, nearly all of these plans cover accidental damage (such as cracked screens or water damage), while renters insurance does not. On the other hand, retailers (such as AppleCare+) don’t provide insurance for phone theft in their base plan, while phone carriers and renters insurance policies do.

Another difference is price. Renters insurance is typically more affordable than the other phone insurance plans. While the price of renters insurance start at $5/mo, mobile carrier insurance starts at $9/mo, and retailers’ insurance starts at $11/mo.

Here are a few other key differences to consider:

  • Renters insurance typically has a $250 deductible while other phone insurance plans have lower options.
  • Most carriers and retailers require you to buy a plan within a set amount of time (usually 30 days) after buying your phone
  • While renters insurance policies do not limit the # of claims you can make per year, these other plans typically limit you to 2-3 claims per year
  • Renters insurance covers all of your stuff (bike, laptop, headphones, etc), while carrier and retailer plans focus solely on phones
  • Which phone insurance plan is worth getting?

Choosing a plan really depends on your lifestyle, habits, and how much you could pay upfront if something happened to your phone.

Read on, as some types of damages or losses are more costly than others.

For example, let’s say your iPhone 8 cracks once while you have phone insurance. Since iPhone screen repairs cost around $290, and each plan has a deductible, here’s how much money you’d lose if you had each plan:

  • Renters insurance – $150 (assuming you don’t make any claims on other items)
  • Carrier plan – $140
  • Retailer policy – $170

On the other hand, if your iPhone 8 is stolen while you’re insured, here’s how much you’d gain or lose with each plan:

  • Renters insurance – gain $430
  • Carrier plan – gain $385
  • Retailer policy – lose $572

So as you decide which plan is right for you, ask yourself these questions:

  • How much $ would you be able to shell out if something happened to your phone that wasn’t covered by your plan – $50? $100? $250? $600?
  • Are you more likely to have klutz-y moments (ie spilling water on your phone), forgetful ones (ie leaving your on a coffee shop table, only to have it stolen), or both?
  • Are you looking to protect all of your stuff, or just your phone?

Bottom line: If you’d like to protect your phone against multiple incidences of accidental damage (ie cracked screen), getting covered through your phone carrier makes the most sense. But if you’d like to cover all of your stuff, including your phone, at a lower price, renters insurance is the way to go.

 Insuring Your Phone? Here’s What You Need To Know.