Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Renter's Insurance Important for Base Residents

By Wm. Cullen James, Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs

MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- Hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and wild fires have all recently impacted the lives of Sailors and their families.

Navy leaders are reminding Sailors about the importance of being prepared by having renter's insurance.

"We have learned a number of very valuable lessons from both Hurricane Katrina and our flood here in Millington," said Rear Adm. Don Quinn, commander, Navy Personnel Command. "One important lesson is that our Navy families own more things than either the government or our PPV Housing partners are prepared to replace. Renter's insurance is cheap and great for peace of mind. I strongly encourage all our Navy families who are renting or in base housing to invest in this very important safety net."

Sailors renting homes off-base generally purchase the amount of coverage they require to cover the potential loss of personal effects. Some residents of base housing mistakenly believe that they are provided full insurance coverage from the government. That is not the case.

Residents of public/private venture housing are generally provided limited insurance coverage under the terms of the rental agreement.

"Residents should check their leasing agreement to determine the extent of that coverage because it is location dependent," said Virginia Eilmus, head, Personnel Claims Unit Norfolk. "In addition, residents of base housing may be entitled to compensation for damage or loss under the Military Personnel and Civilian Employees Claims Act (Personnel Claims Act). The Personnel Claims Act (PCA) allows for limited compensation for active duty service members and DoD civilian employees whose personal property is lost, damaged or destroyed because of their military service. Members who desire to submit a claim are required to first file a claim with their insurance carrier."

The maximum value of a claim filed under the PCA is limited to $40,000 and service members who file claims will only receive a depreciated value on their lost or damaged property.

"Renter's insurance is important, it is the best way to protect your personal property," said Navy Personnel Command Force Master Chief (AW/SW/NAC) Jon Port. "And when you're busy dealing with all the various issues that happen during and after a disaster, having one less thing to worry about is a blessing."

Just like other insurance policies, there are limits to what renter's insurance will cover, what kind of deductibles may be required and policy costs.

For advice about renter's insurance, Port suggests Sailors visit www.cnrc.navy.mil/insurance.htm.

Some basic tips from the site include:

• Take an inventory: Before purchasing insurance itemize your belongings with price estimates, serial numbers, receipts (if possible) and purchase dates.
• Make an informed decision: Ask your insurance company about theft limits, cash or replacement value, deductible options and discounts.
• Shop around: Call a variety of insurance agents, and keep track of the coverage and costs.
• Read the policy: It's a contract; ensure you understand the obligations spelled out.

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