Let’s Talk Insurance

Renters-insurance

As a Travel Nurse, you have many things to think of before you take that first assignment. Among the things you need to consider is insurance.  Most of us will think about our health insurance as we look for a recruiter and nursing agency. Do you consider your belongings as you travel?

You will be residing in a rental for a period of time while you are away from your permanent residence.  Do you think about what might happen if a disaster strikes and you lose everything? What if there is a building fire or flood from a broken pipe?  Are you in an area known for tornadoes?  Theft of your property in or out of your residence.  Do you believe that the landlord of your dwelling is going to cover your belongings?

The answer to that question is no.  They will not be responsible for replacing your stuff.  If something happens can you afford to replace your items? Most landlords today require you to carry renters insurance.

Fortunately, there are insurance policies that will cover renters.  This type of insurance will cover you when you are on assignment in a rental that is paid for by you or your agency. This type of insurance is inexpensive and worth the price if you have to use it.

Can you get off-premises coverage from your homeowners?

If you own a home you more than likely have homeowners insurance.  The question is does this insurance cover your home away from home? Most of them will and it is called off-premises coverage.  But you should know there’s a slight catch.

When you are at your permanent residence your personal belongings are usually insured at 50 to 70 percent of the insurance you have on your home’s structure.  If you are traveling your off-premises belongings more than likely max out at 10 percent of the amount you have for your personal possessions.

It is a good idea to review your insurance policy with your agent to understand how your coverage works.

What does a renter’s policy cover?

  • Damages to your furniture
  • Clothing and other personal items
  • Your personal belongings either in or out of your home
  • Personal liability for someone’s injury or their property, if damaged
  • Hotel expenses, if your rental home becomes unlivable due to a fire or disaster

Personal possessions  covered

There are two types of renter’s insurance coverage.  The first is called replacement cost coverage.  This coverage is a little more expensive because it pays the actual cost for the replacement of items lost.

The second is a cash value policy.  This policy costs less because it will the actual cash value which includes a deduction for depreciation as items lose value over time.

Liability

This is helpful to protect you from allegations of negligence for injuries or property damage. It is possible for you to be held financially liable for the medical bills of someone injured on the rental property while you are residing there.

This policy would pay for your legal defense if it came to litigation. Renter’s policies often includes a no-fault medical coverage as part of the liability protection. If someone was injured inside your residence while you are a tenant there he or she can send medical bills directly to your insurer.

Additional living expenses

I know you have seen the tragic events when an entire apartment building goes up in flames.  What do you do? Where do you go and do you have the money to pay for it?  Your renter’s insurance will cover the cost of a hotel or temporary residence.  The insurance will also cover your restaurant meals, clothing, and any other essentials to allow you to continue to work while you get your life back to normal.

What’s not covered?

As a travel nurse, you may not know what disasters await you at your temporary residence.  Typically flooding and earthquakes are not covered unless you get a supplemental policy for those natural disasters.  You are usually covered for loss from fire, smoke, lightning, tornados, vandalism, theft wind and some types of water damage.

What is a deductible?

As with most insurance plans, your renter’s insurance will have a deductible.  The amount of the deductible is the cost you will have to pay if you file a claim for loss of property.  If you have a $500 deductible and your loss is for $5000 then the insurance would give you $4500 and you pay the $500.

Generally the higher the deductible the lower the premium cost for the insurance.  Make sure you keep the deductible reasonable so you can cover it if you have a claim.

What is the cost for Renters Insurance?

It is possible to get short term renter’s insurance.  You will need to shop around and find companies that offer it.  The cost generally will range from $15 to $20 a month for about $30,000 of coverage according to the Insurance Information Institute (III).  My auto insurance company gives me a discount since I bundle my auto and renters insurance with them.

Where do you get renter’s insurance?

First, check with your auto insurance company to see if they offer it.  Secondly, if you have a homeowners policy see what they can do for you.  Lastly, research all the companies out there that offer renter’s insurance. Get and compare quotes from the agencies you find.

Once you find a company you answer a few questions, there you have it.  You can move to your next temporary home and know you are covered.

If you have valuable jewelry, electronics or collectibles that you plan to take on the road check with your insurance company to see what extra coverage you may need for those items.

 

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Cheryl Roby, RN

Cheryl J. Roby is a Registered Nurse and retired US Army Reserve Nurse Major. She has more than 30 years of nursing experience and 26 years of military experience in the Army Nurse Corp. During her nursing career, she has traveled as part of her military experience visiting many of the 50 states and to South Korea. She was trained as an Army Medic during the Vietnam era and later as an OR tec. She went on to become a Licensed Practical Nurse and then completed her nursing training as a Registered Nurse. She was then commissioned as an officer in the Army Reserves. She appreciated the challenge of working in various specialties and expanding her clinical and professional skill sets. Her time in the Army Reserves and California National Guard gave her the opportunity to travel to most of the 50 states and work in other medical facilities. During her career, she had the opportunity to work in several specialties to include, OR, Occupational Health, Hospice, Sexual Assault Team, Forensic/ Correctional Nurse, Nurse Case Manager for developmental disabilities, Parish Nursing as well as a Nurse Entrepreneur.

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