Renting while you’re in the military is pretty much inevitable. You’ll move more times than you can count, and you most likely won’t be able to remember all the addresses of the places you’ve lived in the past 10 years. However, what you’ll most likely do is purchase renters insurance. Companies like USAA and Geico are great examples of insurance providers that attempt to give military members the best deal. Keep reading for our full USAA vs Geico renters insurance review.
USAA Renters Insurance
Let’s face it USAA seems to offer everything, one of which is Renters Insurance. Which is great as a military member, because you’re more likely to have your personal items in a rented place, storage unit, or in your car from all that moving you’re doing instead of in an owned home—although they do offer coverage for that too. And unlike a lot of USAA’s competition, they offer both earthquake and flood insurance with their policy. So, you don’t have to dish out any more money for a different type of protection.
How much is renters insurance-USAA
The price of your renters’ insurance will vary based on where you need coverage, the type of coverage you get, and how much of it you want. The amount you agree to be deducted in the case your insurance provider will pay out will also determine how much your coverage will cost. As of this post, USAA provides basic coverage for $12/month. Again, this will depend on a lot of different variables. So, if you’re in the market for renters insurance, the best option is to talk with an actual representative who can let you know what you need and how much.
What does USAA renters insurance cover?
If you’re worried about your valuables being stolen or ruined from fire and lightning, flood and water, windstorm or hail, collapse of building, volcanic eruption, earthquake, smoke, freezing, falling objects, explosion, aircraft, vehicles, vandalism and malicious mischief, riot and civil commotion, sudden and accidental tearing apart, cracking, burning or bulging, and sudden and accidental damage from artificially generated electrical current, then USAA will have you covered.
If in one of the incidents listed above you were to lose clothing, electronics, silverware, phones, military equipment, jewelry, storage, fine art, bicycles, sports equipment, cameras, coins, china or crystal, music equipment, guns—we like this one—furniture, stamps, antiques, computers, appliances, furs, hearing aids, they’ll replace them with new stuff, even if it’s old. They’ll also cover liability, so if it’s your fault that the next-door neighbor’s apartment caught fire, then USAA will take care of it.
Geico Renters Insurance
If you’re anything like me, when you hear someone talk about Geico or you see any of their commercials, you think car insurance. Chances are, renters insurance didn’t come to mind when you read Geico in the title. Even so, Geico seems to be one of the biggest competitors of USAA in most of these cases.
The downside to Geico insurance really is the fact that their flood insurance is sold separately, however, this is a pretty common theme with both renters and homeowners insurance.
How much is renters insurance-Geico
Geico is a competitor with USAA, so generally, they’re competing in price—if that’s your concern. Geico also provides basic renters insurance for $12/month—again this will depend on location, the amount of coverage you want, and your elected deductible. Your best option is to talk with a professional about your needs and let them help you determine your valuables and their worth.
What does Geico renters insurance cover?
Most people don’t realize how much they have. Those clothes you bought last winter, the new laptop you got your kid as a gift for making it into college—we knew you’d make it Johnny!”—the gun you have behind every door, etc., it all adds up. And if you were to lose everything, your furniture, appliances, and other personal items, the costs will add up. But, if you have renters insurance, even those old clothes, insurance from companies like Geico will replace them.
Geico renters insurance covers the following items (this is a non-exhaustive list):
- A television or entertainment system
- A computer
- An iPod
- Musical or sporting equipment
They also have a personal property calculator to help you get a better estimate on how much your stuff is worth.
While all Geico policies include liability, other options consist of:
- Fire or Lightning
- Vandalism or Malicious Mischief
- Accidental Discharge of Water
Examples of when your Geico renters insurance will kick in are:
- Your apartment building burned down
- A thief broke into your townhouse
- A guest slipped and injured himself in your kitchen
- The home you’re renting suffered water damage
However, and we can’t stress this enough, you have to get the right insurance coverage and the right amount of you want coverage. Basic typically means liability, but if you own a lot of valuables, you live in a flood zone, etc., you have to make sure this will be covered under your policy. Always read the fine print. If you don’t, you might be left with nothing and no way to pay for the replacements without spending an arm and a leg for it. Therefore, talk with your provider, discuss your needs, and let them help you calculate the cost of anything you’d want to be replaced if it were to get damaged.
What is renters insurance?
Renters insurance is like any other type of insurance. Renters insurance basically protects your valuables inside the home, even your car depending on the provider you go with. And if you’re planning on renting out an apartment, chances are high it will be a requirement. In most cases, landlords require that you have liability insurance at a minimum. Liability renters insurance works like liability insurance you can get for your car. If you cause damage to someone else’s property—because you don’t know how to boil water without burning the place down—then your finances are protected and maybe you won’t get sued—we can’t make that promise though.
What does renters insurance cover?
If you’re in the market for renters insurance, there are various types of coverage you can select. For example, Geico, at a minimum will give you liability—no, this isn’t Geico specific, just an example—meaning if your neighbor Bob comes over to borrow a cup of sugar and slips and falls in your kitchen, your liability will cover him.
Other benefits of having renters insurance, besides the insurance company replacing your stuff and medical bills, includes legal fees—if necessary—stolen items, accidental damage, and even flood and earthquake damage—not all insurance companies include this, meaning you might have to pay more if you want flood protection for your things.
How much renters insurance do I need?
How much renters insurance you need will depend on how much you have. Are you a huge stamp collector, do you have a lot of hi-tech equipment, clothes, antique clocks, china, etc.? If so, you probably want more coverage than an 18-year-old with less than $100 to his or her name.
With that being said, only you can determine how much renters insurance you need. But, keep in mind, most renters require a minimum amount of liability coverage, and you’re going to pay at least $12/month through USAA or Geico for that.
What doesn’t renters insurance cover?
Renters insurance covers a lot, so much that you might be wondering what it doesn’t cover. In most cases—not including USAA—damage caused by a flood is not covered. This is different than a pipe bursting and flooding your place.
Typically, renters insurance doesn’t cover natural disasters, property damage caused by your pet—sorry Fido, this is your fault—damage caused from a nuclear war or terrorism, and in some cases highly valuable items, such as jewelry or antiques. Again, this will depend on your policy, the amount of coverage you’re getting, and the company you’re seeking coverage through.
How to get renters insurance
Acquiring renters insurance is pretty easy. So easy, some companies don’t even require you to physically talk to anyone. You go online, click a few buttons, and the next thing you know, you’re covered.
Some insurance companies can also provide you with immediate coverage. For example, let’s say you want to go with USAA as your provider, and your apartment requires you have $20,000 in coverage to move in. But wait, it’s move-in day, and you completely forgot about the whole insurance bit. You can simply call a representative, tell them how much coverage the landlord requires, they’ll write up a policy for you, explain it, and then tell you your coverage starts “right now.”
With that being said, your first step is to look around and estimate how much your stuff is worth. Then shop around to find a company that will give you the policy you want. It really is that easy, so don’t stress yourself over the requirement—it’s typically not a huge sum of money and in some cases, you can get discounts for bundling or being a military member or veteran. Both USAA and Geico provide military discounts.
Keep in mind, everyone is different and so are your insurance needs. When you go comparison-shopping don’t just look at the price. There are cases where cheaper is better and then there are cases where it’s not. If you can get the same thing through someone else at a better price, then yes, cheaper could be the better option. However, if you need more, don’t be afraid to spend the money to get what you need, so long as you can afford it. Sometimes, you aren’t just paying for a product; you’re paying for the customer service. For example, some insurance companies provide all the things you need, but after you’ve been paying them for years, when it’s time to file your first claim, you never see a dime or have to fight tooth and nail for them to follow through on their policies.
So, while the pros and cons include cost with pretty much anything you purchase, don’t base your selection of renters insurance, or any product really, on that alone. Talk to your friends, co-worker, family members, etc. and see how their experiences with these different companies are going.
In fact, you should never base any of your purchases or policies on one fact alone. Don’t make your selection simply based on customer service, only based on price, only base on any one thing. However, base your selection on a combination that best suits your lifestyle and your personal needs.
If you’re currently in the market for renters insurance, you can read about some other providers here.