renters insurance

Tips For Moving Day


Whether you’re moving into a condo, apartment, house, or dorm room, moving day can be an extremely stressful and taxing experience.  There’s so much to do, packing, labeling, hauling, unpacking, there’s a lot of room for error which is why we thought we’d pull together some helpful tips!

  • Be ready to start early!  Moving day will probably feel like one of the longest of your life, but it’s important to get up early and make sure everything is packed and good to go.  You’ll want to make sure everything is ready once the movers or family and friends arrive.
  • Map out your route and make sure that you, as well as any movers know how to get there all well.  You’ll also want to make sure there’s room for everyone to park and unload.
  • If possible, try and pre-clean your home before you move in.  That way everything will be ready to use such as the shower, toilet, etc.  You’ll still have to do some cleaning after you unpack everything, there’s sure to be a bit of a mess but at least you’ll already have a head start!
  • Enlist the help of friends and family if possible.  Not only will this save money, but it may also make the process more fun! Just make sure you have everyone’s tasks figured out so the process can be as seamless as possible, and that you’re ready to go as soon as they arrive!
  • Arrange for a charity organization to come pick up any goods you’re willing to donate about a week or two before the move.  Many charities will haul away furniture and other items free of charge as long as they have use for them.
  • Minimize the use of cardboard boxes by packing with items you already have such as suitcases, duffel bags, backpacks, etc.
  • Avoid packing in trash bags, they could be mistaken for trash and accidentally thrown out, and if you’re using a moving service some movers have rules against moving belongings in trash bags.
  • When labeling boxes, label which room they’re going to go in to make unpacking easier.  You’ll know where to put them when you initially bring them in, and can unpack by room, which may help the whole process seem less overwhelming.  You’ll also want to make sure you label boxes on the side instead of on top, that way you can still read them if the boxes are stacked.
  • Pack all of your valuables such as jewelry and important paperwork in a separate bag and bring them with you.  If you’re using a moving service or even getting help from friends, you won’t want to entrust those things to anyone but yourself.
  • Take an inventory of boxes and their contents, especially if you’re using a moving company.  It’ll come in handy if something goes missing.
  • Pack an overnight bag with all of the necessities you will need easy access to, such as toiletries, phone chargers, and an extra change of clothes.  You won’t want to have to dig through boxes to try and find your toothbrush after a long day of moving.
  • If you’re renting, take pictures of your cleaned out apartment when moving in and when moving out, this will make it much easier when trying to get your security deposit back and when you’re dealing with landlords who want to charge you for cleaning and repair fees that may be totally unnecessary.
  • If you have young children or pets, arrange for a family member or babysitter to watch them during moving day, otherwise they will more than likely get in the way and be an additional stress factor.
  • Make sure your utilities are in order and have been set up.  You’ll want your gas, electricity, and water to be working when you move in.
  • Reward your movers!  After a long day of hauling boxes and furniture, your movers are bound to be tired, and whether they’re hired or friends and family, it’s a nice gesture to have some food and drinks available.
  • Lastly, you’ll want to make sure that your new home and all of your property is properly insured, and that’s where we come in!  Whether you’re renting or own a home, we can help you find the policy that’s right for you, so call us today for a free quote!

We know moving will be stressful no matter how many tips you read, but hopefully these will help to minimize that and will make the day run a little bit more smoothly!

Photo By: Meathead Movers



Do College Students Need Renters Insurance Or Does A Homeowners Policy Provide The Right Coverage?

move in

Are you a parent sending your child back to college in a few weeks?  Whether they are living in the dorms or renting an apartment, we know they are going to need a lot of supplies and that you want them to be protected!  So, how exactly would you go about that?  Insurance is a great way to protect not only their belongings, but also their liability in case of a loss.   Insurance can be confusing though, when it comes to knowing what kind to get and how much it will cost you, there can be a lot of questions.  If you have homeowner’s insurance, it may extend the coverage to protect your child while they are away at school but that varies from carrier to carrier so call and find out for sure.  If your homeowner’s policy won’t extend their coverage, then you may want to consider renter’s insurance for your child.

If you’re not familiar with renter’s insurance, insurance expert Bill Suneson was nice enough to explain a lot of the things you need to know, which have been summarized  below.

When a student moves into a residence hall, typically the terms of the housing agreement make it clear that the school is not responsible for stolen or damaged person property.  Further, the student becomes personally liable for any damage caused to the dorm or residence hall. The same applies to most rental agreements if a student moves into an apartment off-campus.  Without the proper insurance, students and families can incur a significant financial loss if they cause unintended damage to their residence or suffer a loss to their personal property.  For example, if someone breaks a window or steals some of your child’s personal property from their dorm or apartment, without insurance they would have to replace those items or repair the damage with money out of their own pocket.

Renters insurance is an easy and affordable way to protect a student’s personal property against theft, water damage, fire, etc.  It is not uncommon for a laptop computer or bicycle to be stolen from a dorm and most low deductible renters insurance plans would provide a quick replacement.

Another benefit?  A renters insurance plan protects students if they are personally liable for causing damage to their residence.  Colleges or landlords will promptly bill students for their portion of the loss. Just think about how easy it is to inadvertently triggers a sprinkler system if there was a small fire from cooking in their kitchen.   These things happen all the time, and without the proper coverage, students may find themselves with a hefty bill.

Renter’s insurance is a great resource and will allow parents to sleep soundly knowing their child’s belongings, and financial future are  protected.  Yes, most homeowner’s insurance policies do extend coverage to students when they are away at college. However, parents should review their policies closely before a student leaves for college as some policies may have certain limitations.  For instance, policies may limit coverage to students attending college full-time or living on-campus.

However, most homeowner’s policies have high deductibles and families are unlikely to file claims such as a $500 bike theft because the payment would not exceed their deductible.  Also, home insurance rates are increasing and filing small property or liability claims generally result in higher rates for the family over time.

With deductibles as low as $100 and most premiums less than $150, renters insurance is usually both valuable and affordable for students even though some coverage may exist through their parents’ homeowner’s policy.  As a parent, spend a few minutes going through your homeowner’s policy and decide with your child if renters insurance is something you want to invest in.  You may decide that your homeowner’s policy is enough and you don’t want the extra coverage, but after thinking about how much your valuables actually cost, you may decide that renters insurance is right for you in which case be sure to give us a call for a quote!

Photo By: Nazareth College 

Renting Your Home Or Apartment? Find Out Why Renter’s Insurance Is So Important!

Renting a home or apartment can be extremely overwhelming and confusing for anyone.  A lot of tenants worry about what would happen should there ever be a loss in their building or home.  Many believe that their landlord’s policy would cover them, and in a sense it would, but only in terms of the dwelling.  Your landlord’s policy will cover the entire home, but it won’t cover any of your personal property inside the unit.  Getting renter’s insurance can provide tenants will some serious peace of mind.  Not only will their personal property be protected (as long as the loss is covered), but they will also be protected if they are responsible for bodily injury or property damage to others.  Who wouldn’t want that weight off of their shoulders?  Especially since renter’s insurance is relatively inexpensive (roughly a couple of hundred per month), and even less if you split the cost with a roommate.

So what exactly would be covered under renter’s insurance?  It varies from company to company but all renter’s insurance policies provide “named peril” coverage which means that your policy will specifically tell you what you are covered for.  If your personal property is stolen, damaged, or destroyed by certain types of “peril” including fire, lightning, windstorm, hail, explosions, smoke, vandalism, theft, electrical surge damage, water-related damage from home utilities, and even more, a renter’s insurance policy would likely cover you and repair or replace said property.  Many people believe that flood insurance is also included in renter’s insurance, however it is not.  You can add flood coverage to your policy for a reasonable price through most insurance companies.  Be sure to read through your insurance contract for explanations and exclusions regarding specific types of coverage.

Another suggestion would be to make sure you are covered for replacement cost content.  Replacement cost content does cost a bit more, but is definitely worth it in the long run.  This coverage ensures that if your property is damaged, you will be reimbursed for the actual cost that you originally paid for the item, whereas if you do not pay the extra for replacement cost content and your property is damaged, you will only be paid for what your property was worth at the time it was damaged or stolen.  For example if your computer originally cost $1000 but has depreciated in value over the past few years, you will not be reimbursed the $1000 that you originally paid for it unless you have replacement cost coverage.

In the long run, renter’s insurance is extremely affordable and will ensure that thousands of dollars worth of property are insured and will cover medical costs (up to a certain amount) should a guest get injured in your home.  How much would it cost to replace your computer, TV, any other electronics, clothes, furniture, cooking supplies, books, etc should your apartment burn down?  At least a few thousand dollars and who can afford that?  Not only will renter’s insurance repair/replace your property, many times it will also cover the cost of meals and a hotel should you be displaced from your home.

There are many potential threats to personal property, but renter’s insurance is the best defense and will ensure that you don’t have to replace your posessions from scratch should a disaster occur.  To get the best deal, bundle your renter’s and auto insurance together!  Most companies offer a multi-policy discount and that way you will get the most bang for your buck.  If you’re renting your own home or apartment and are looking for insurance in Massachusetts, contact MassDrive today for a quote!

Photo By: stevendamron


Check Insurance Before Driving Rentals

As the holiday season takes full swing many travelers find themselves in need of a rental car. When purchasing rental cars most businesses will offer the option of additional insurance. It’s important for a driver to check in with their current carrier  to find out what coverages would follow members of the policy.

Many drivers who already have an auto insurance policy will find their current coverage offers identical or better coverage than what rental companies offer. A number of drivers will decline the coverage without knowing what their own auto insurance policy covers leaving themselves under or uninsured. While on the contrary other consumers purchase the additional coverage which their current auto insurance would cover.

Not only is it important to consider current auto insurance, but other insurance policies held. For example someone with renters or homeowners insurance policies may cover burglary of things from inside the car. Also health insurance policies may cover the driver’s medical bills should an accident occur.

Another great alternative to checking with your current auto insurance policy is to check with your credit card company. Some credit card compaies will offer secondary auto insurance when you charge the rental. If they do offer secondary coverage, it’s still very important to call your auto insurance carrier to confirm between the two coverages damages would be paid for by them and not out of your own pocket.

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