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A recap of what I’ve learned and a few more nervous questions (renters, auto)

Hello reddit. This is literally my first post ever on reddit, so please be kind and do let me know if I can do anything better when posting. Ok, so. I’ve clicked around here and clicked around the general net looking for wisdom on car and renters insurance which I need to buy now. I would LOVE to get a cheaper rate by bundling but I’ve heard that isn’t always the case. Mostly, I just want great coverage for my modest life & possessions (details below) as I am seriously so unlucky and, at this stage in my life, just paranoid. (Every insurers dream, yay!)

Anyways, what I’ve learned... Generally: Can potentially pay less if I pay all at once J. D. Powers and other consumer reports are good indicators

Renters: $300,000 minimal liability, got it There is a difference between Replacement and Actual Cost There are limits on certain items, like jewelry and furs Water/sewer back up are often additional

Car: Definitely spend a little extra to make sure I’m protected against other uninsured drivers Collision coverage is expensive but I probably want it anyway Roadside assistance is pretty cheap to add and GREAT to have

My questions:

  • Please correct me on anything I have wrong above. Am I missing anything crucial?

  • For the consumer reports, which category, at the end of the day, is the most important? I’m thinking “claims” should outweigh “service” (because how often am I going to call them up just to chat), but maybe I don’t understand the definitions.

  • I live in the basement of a single dwelling house. For renters insurance purposes, do I call this an apartment or a household? I’m not trying to ensure the whole house, just my very small studio downstairs.

  • I do not own easily replaceable items. I put a lot of my energy and time and money into travel and cooking and my possessions reflect that. So, while my KitchenAid stand mixer is fairly easy to buy again (actual cost preferred here, correct?), the keepsakes, jewelry, and general possessions that I’ve collected from all around the world are incredibly difficult (and some impossible) to replace despite their actual cost of purchase at the time not being extremely high. Does replacement cost include/consider buying and shipping from another country? Or is it just “You paid $20 for this in the outskirts of Argentina, so you only get $20”? Which (actual or replacement) should I get?

  • Does “actual cost” account for inflation? I have some /old/ pieces.

  • Is it reasonable to increase the maximum payout for jewelry if I really only have one or two nice pieces? They aren’t thousands of dollars, but they are pretty old and I don’t think I could find anything like them anymore.

  • What is the general recommendation for sewer/water back up coverage? Worth it? I do live in the basement below ground level if that makes a difference.

  • So, DOES bundling usually save $? How do I get quotes for this? Every website has prompted me to pick a single type of insurance.

  • Does my state protect me already from uninsured drivers? In the future, how do I find out basics like this in the least complex way (google brought up way too much info to process).

  • What range should I be in, reasonably, for individual renters and car insurance? I have a few quotes, but I don’t know which ones fall within the expected price range.

  • I would love to just be able to discuss all of this with a professional. I noticed some companies displayed maps of agents in my area as well as general company hotlines to call. Since I don’t wanna call 20 different agents this week, nor do I have time, this is probably best saved for after I choose a company, right? Should I make sure that I have a physical person I can go and talk to? Is that actually important?

  • At the end of the day, how incredibly different is the coverage from company to company? If I pick one of the recommended companies from one of the consumer reports, will I likely be OK? I could spend weeks obsessing about this, but that is not preferred and I have to buy it ASAP anyway.

  • How do I make my final decision? Just the cheapest rate after all else is said and done? I don’t think my situation is unique enough to eliminate any major players.

  • Is there anything very simple that I can do to make my payments/policy decrease? I’m considering installing a low-tech, low-cost camera that streams to my phone.

Some facts: 23 y. o. Female No previous claims Living in VA (22205) 2000 Honda Accord 105,000 miles, but lots of life left No accidents I have decent income for a 22 y/o and am willing to pay a little more to get great coverage... but I’m not trying to OVERSPEND

Thanks to anyone who pitches in, I’ll take any wisdom I can get!

2 comments
67% Upvoted
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Get quotes from different companies and find the average price. You should be able to compare quotes and figure out what you should be paying for your car and renters.

Yes you want sewer and drain backup since you live in the basement. If the jewelry you have is valuable to you, you may want to insure it on a separate policy (personal articles policy it’s called with some companies).

You want to speak to an agent before going through with anything. They are the professionals and will be able to tell you what you need in terms of coverage.

[deleted]
1 point · 4 months ago

excellent advice.

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