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Dear Penny: Should We Use Our Emergency Savings to Pay for a New Roof?

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Dear Unicorn,

It isn’t often that I get to mediate when two unicorns disagree. So here goes.

I’m with you about when you should spend emergency savings. Ideally, you only use your rainy-day fund for expenses that are necessary, unexpected and urgent. Yes, it’s necessary to replace the roof at some point, but it’s definitely not unexpected or particularly urgent, at least as you describe it. 

Of course, this would be a different situation if, say, the roof was already caving in, or it were in such bad shape that it could put your safety or belongings at risk.

But with the average new roof costing $7,753, according to Home Advisor, you could expect the replacement to eat up about a quarter of your emergency savings — money that’s supposed to be there for something catastrophic, like an illness or a job loss. 

Without knowing your monthly expenses, I can’t say whether that would leave you with sufficient reserves. But keep in mind that financial planners typically recommend that you have enough savings to cover at least three to six months’ worth of expenses for emergencies.

So does that mean the tie is officially broken? Well, not exactly.

In a perfect world — as in, the land inhabited by financial unicorns — you wouldn’t take out a loan or refinance to pay for an expense you know is coming. You’d estimate how much time you have and work a line item into your monthly budget to save up for it. 

So, for example, if you plan to replace your roof in two years, you could each start putting $150 to $200 per month in a separate savings account, known as a sinking fund, designated for a new roof.

But if you need to replace the roof before you can save for it, I vote for leaving your emergency funds intact and financing the cost. 

Because your credit score is, as you put it, a beautiful 836, you could probably qualify for a personal loan at just 5% or 6% interest. You mentioned the option of refinancing, but I’d advise against that. Considering that when you refinance, closing costs typically add up to 2% to 4% of your total mortgage, a loan would likely be a better way to pay for this expense.

A final thought: If you’re truly committed to keeping your finances separate, this could be a situation where you don’t really need a tiebreaker. You could simply agree that you’re each responsible for paying for half of the roof. So if the roof will cost $8,000, you could take out a $4,000 loan, while he withdraws $4,000 from his emergency fund.

But I don’t think this will be necessary. You are both financial unicorns, after all, so I think you can work out a single solution — and maybe use this as an opportunity to have a larger conversation about your philosophies surrounding money.

Ultimately, though, this is a problem where you have plenty of decent options. Better yet, you’re planning plenty in advance for this inevitable expense. That makes you a financial unicorn in Dear Penny’s eyes.

Robin Hartill is a senior editor at The Penny Hoarder and the voice behind Dear Penny. Send your questions about budgeting to AskPenny@thepennyhoarder.com.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.



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The 20 Best TV Shows of All Time (and Where You Can Watch Them Online)

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Naysayers call it the “boob tube,” but that small box of entertainment known as the television has surprised us over and over again.

Throughout the years, small screen programming has continued to improve at the exponential rate, getting to a point where we can barely tell the difference between TV and movies. Some of the best storytelling, acting, and production values are to be found on the boob tube.

As such, Your Money Geek presents some of the 20 Best TV Shows of All Time.

Not only that, but we also have the 4-1-1 on where you can watch them all.

20 – Billions (2016 – )

Courtesy of Showtime

IMDb 8.4 – 4 Seasons, 48 episodes (with more on the way)

Drama

Cast: Paul Giamatti (Chuck Rhoades), Damian Lewis (Bobby Axelrod), Maggie Siff (Wendy Rhoades), Toby Leonard Moore (Bryan Connerty), David Costabile (Mike ‘Wags’ Wagner), Condola Rashad (Kate Sacker)

Billions is a drama that explores the world of high finance in New York City. Having premiered on Showtime in 2016, the show’s fifth season debuts this May. Giamatti plays Chuck Rhoades, a U.S. attorney going after big-time hedge fund manager, Bobby Axelrod (Lewis). Billions is worth watching for the plethora of twists and turns you won’t see coming.

The first four seasons can be streamed with Showtime’s Hulu add-on.

19 – Halt and Catch Fire (2014-2017)

Courtesy of AMC

IMDb 8.4 – 4 Seasons, 40 episodes

Drama, History

Cast: Lee Pace ( Joe MacMillan ), Scoot McNairy (Gordon Clark), Mackenzie Davis (Cameron Howe), Kerry Bishé (Donna Clark), Toby Huss (John Bosworth)

This series follows a group of techies from the personal computer boom of the 1980s, up until the growth of the worldwide web in the early ’90s. Created by Christopher C. Rogers and Christopher Cantwell, this period drama aired on the AMC Network for 40 episodes across four seasons.

Throughout its original run, viewership numbers were always low despite receiving high scores from both critics and viewers. A good amount of credit goes to AMC for sticking with the show and giving it a proper two-hour series finale.

All four seasons are currently streaming on Netflix.

18 – Friends (1994-2004)

Courtesy of NBC

IMDb 8.9 – 10 Seasons, 236 episodes

Comedy, Romance

Cast: Jennifer Aniston (Rachel Green), Courteney Cox (Monica Geller), Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe Buffray), Matt LeBlanc (Joey Tribbiani), Matthew Perry (Chandler Bing), David Schwimmer (Dr. Ross Geller)

A sitcom based in New York City, Friends, revolves around six friends in their 20’s and 30’s. It aired for a whopping ten seasons on NBC, having first premiered in 1994. The series finale aired in 2004. Relative unknowns before their starring roles in the show, Friends featured an excellent ensemble cast, including Courtney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer.

The show was recently taken off Netflix but will be exclusively available on Peacock, NBC’s upcoming streaming service, which launches this summer.

17 – Dexter (2006-2013)

Courtesy of Showtime

IMDb 8.6 – 8 Seasons, 96 Episodes

Crime, Drama, Mystery

Cast: Michael C. Hall (Dexter Morgan), Jennifer Carpenter (Debra Morgan), David Zayas (Sgt. Angel Batista), James Remar (Harry Morgan), C.S. Lee (Vince Masuka)

Dexter aired on Showtime for eight seasons between 2006 and 2013. The series stars Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan, a blood-spatter analyst for the Miami police also living a double life as a vigilante serial killer who targets other murderers that have escaped justice.

Throughout its four seasons, Dexter was indeed one of the best shows on TV, although many agree that the series finale left something to be desired.

All seasons are currently streaming on Netflix.

16 – Sherlock (2010 – )

Courtesy of the BBC

IMDb 9.1 – 4 Seasons, 15 Episodes (with more hopefully on the way)

Crime, Drama, Mystery

Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock Holmes), Martin Freeman (Dr. John Wattson), Una Stubbs (Mrs. Hudson), Andrew Scott (Jim Moriarty)

Sherlock is a BBC crime drama with a modern-day twist on the famous Sherlock Holmes novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This brilliant update follows Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as his partner Dr. Watson as the duo solves crimes in 21st century London. With sharp dialogue, the series is well-acted.

Four seasons (or “series” as they’re known in the U.K.) of Sherlock have already aired along with a one-off Christmas special in 2015. Fans are currently holding out hope for more episodes from creators Mark Gattis and Steven Moffat.

All episodes are currently on Netflix

15 – The Office (2005-2013)

Courtesy of NBC

IMDb 8.8 – 9 Seasons, 188 Episodes

Comedy

Cast: Rainn Wilson (Dwight Schrute), John Krasinski (Jim Halpert),
Jenna Fischer
(Pam Beesly), Leslie David Baker (Stanley Hudson), Brian Baumgartner (Kevin Malone), Angela Kinsey (Angela Martin), Phyllis Smith (Phyllis Vance)

Based on the U.K. show created by Ricky Gervais, this American mockumentary sitcom aired on NBC for nine seasons between 2005 and 2013. It follows a group of employees of the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Company in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Some of the notable stars of its main cast include Steve Carell, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, and Rainn Wilson.

The Office is currently on Netflix, but will eventually leave the streaming service for Peacock.

14 – Lost (2004-2010)

Courtesy of ABC

IMDb 8.3 – 6 Seasons, 118 Episodes

Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

Cast: Jorge Garcia (Hugo ‘Herley’ Reyes), Josh Holloway (James ‘Sawyer’ Ford), Yunjin Kim (Sun-Hwa Kwon), Evangeline Lilly (Kate Austen),
Terry O’Quinn
(John Locke), Naveen Andrews (Sayid Jarrah),
Matthew Fox
(Dr. Jack Shephard), Daniel Dae Kim (Jin-Soo Kwon)

From the minds of J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof, Lost is a drama that follows 48 survivors of the jet airliner Oceanic Flight 815, which ends up crashing on a mysterious island. It was broadcast on the ABC Network from September 2004 – 2010. Over the last few years, the series producers have hinted at a possible reboot.

Lost can be streamed via Hulu

13 – Luther (2010 -)

Courtesy of the BBC

IMDb 8.5 – 5 Seasons, 20 episodes (with more hopefully on the way)

Crime, Drama, Mystery

Cast: Idris Elba (DSI John Luther), Dermot Crowley (DSU Martin Schenk), Michael Smiley (Benny Silver)

Created by Neil Cross, this BBC-produced crime drama stars Idris Elba as DCI John Luther. He is both brilliant and self-destructive as he hunts down criminals. As with other shows on this list, fans are hoping for more Luther content in the future.

All five seasons of Luther are now streaming on Starz

12 – The Americans (2013-2018)

Courtesy of FX

IMDb 8.4

Crime, Drama, Mystery, History – 6 Seasons, 75 Episodes

Cast: Keri Russell (Elizabeth Jennings), Matthew Rhys (Philipp Jennings), Keidrich Sellati (Henry Jennings), Holly Taylor (Paige Jennings),
Noah Emmerich
(Stan Beeman)

A spy thriller set in the 1980s during the waning days of the Cold War, The Americans centers on Elizabeth and Philip Jennings, two Russian spies posing as an American couple in Washington, D.C. This is an insanely suspenseful show with solid performances from leads Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys. The Americans lasted six seasons on the FX Network between 2013 and 2018.

The Americans will be available to stream in March when FX on Hulu goes live

11 – Justified (2010-2015)

Courtesy of FX

IMDb 8.6

Action, Crime, Drama – 6 Seasons, 78 Episodes

Cast: Timothy Olyphant (Raylan Givens), Nick Searcy (Art Mullen), Joelle Carter (Ava Crowder), Jacob Pitts (Tim Cutterson), Erica Tazel (Rachel Brooks), Walton Goggins (Boyd Crowder)

This crime drama ran for six seasons on the FX Network from 2010 – 2015. It stars Timothy Olyphant as U.S. Marshal, Raylan Givens, who enforces justice in his hometown of Harlan, Kentucky. Justified excelled with character development thanks to outstanding performances by its cast, which also featured Walton Goggins as Boyd Crowder, Margo Martindale as Mags Bennett, and Damon Herriman as the unforgettable Dewey Crowe.

This show will be another FX on Hulu exclusive

10 – Hannibal (2013-2015)

Courtesy of NBC

IMDb 8.5

Crime, Drama, Horror – 3 Seasons, 39 Episodes

Cast: Hugh Dancy (Will Graham), Mads Mikkelsen (Dr. Hannibal Lecter), Caroline Dhavernas (Dr. Alana Bloom), Laurence Fishburne (Jack Crawford)

A psychological-horror series based on the Thomas Harris novels Red Dragon and Hannibal. The show focuses on the relationship between FBI Investigator Will Gragam (played by Hugh Dancy) and Dr. Hannibal Lecter (played superbly by Mads Mikkelsen). Hannibal only lasted for three seasons on NBC from 2013 – 2015. Due to its subject matter, one may be surprised that it lasted as long as it did on an over-the-air network like NBC. Season 2 and 3 are absolute works of genius.

Hannibal can be streamed on the NBC website, although it’s sure to move over to Peacock once the summer arrives

9 – Seinfeld (1989-1998)

Courtesy of NBC

IMDb 8.8

Comedy – 9 Seasons, 173 Episodes

Cast: Jerry Seinfeld (Jerry Seinfeld), Michael Richards (Kramer),
Jason Alexander
(George Costanza), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Elaine Benes)

Yadda, Yadda, Yadda…a sitcom created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, this iconic show aired for nine seasons from 1989 – 1998 on NBC.

It follows stand-up comedian Jerry Seinfeld and his neurotic group of friends living in New York City. For a “show about nothing,” Seinfeld managed to explore many things, from big salads to laundry cooked in pizza ovens to—ahem—shrinkage.

All of Seinfeld is currently streaming on Hulu

8 – Game of Thrones (2011-2019)

Courtesy of HBO

IMDb 9.3

Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy – 8 Seasons, 73 Episodes

Cast: Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister)

Perhaps the most popular recent show on this list, Game of Thrones is based on the sweeping Song of Ice and Fire novels by George R.R. Martin. Although the series evolved a lot across its eight seasons, the fantasy drama is really about powerful families vying for control of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.

It features a great ensemble cast that includes: Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, and more. While Season 8 let a lot of fans down, no one can deny that GoT changed the way that television is made and consumed.

All eight seasons can be streamed via HBO’s various online platforms

7 – The Sopranos (1999-2007)

Courtesy of HBO

IMDb 9.2

Crime, Drama – 6 Seasons, 86 Episodes

Cast: James Gandolfini (Tony Soprano), Lorraine Bracco (Dr. Jennifer Melfi), Edie Falco (Carmelo Soprano), Michael Imperioli (Christopher Moltisanti), Dominic Chianese (Junior Soprano),
Steven Van Zandt
(Silvio Dante), Tony Sirico (Paulie ‘Walnuts’ Gualtieri), Robert Iler (A.J. Soprano), Jamie-Lynn Sigler (Meadow Soprano)

The Sopranos aired on HBO from 1999 – 2007 for 86 episodes over six seasons. The story revolves around New Jersey-based Italian-American mobster, Tony Soprano. Played by the late great James Gandolfini, Tony deals with personal and professional issues that lead him to seek professional psychiatric counseling. The colorful characters and solid writing will keep pulling you back in for more.

All six seasons can be streamed via HBO’s various online platforms

6 – The Wire (2002-2008)

Courtesy of HBO

IMDb 9.3

Crime, Drama, Thriller – 5 Seasons, 60 Episodes

Cast: Dominic West (Det. James ‘Jimmy’ McNulty), John Doman (Dep. Comm. for Operations William A. Rawls), Deirdre Lovejoy (Asst. State’s Atty. Rhonda Pearlman), Wendell Pierce (Det. William ‘Bunk’ Moreland), Lance Reddick (Lt. Cedric Daniels), Sonja Sohn (Det. Shakima ‘Kima’ Greggs), Seth Gilliam (Sgt. Ellis Carver), Domenick Lombardozzi (Det. Thomas ‘Herc’ Hauk)

Often considered to be the greatest TV show ever made, this HBO crime drama ran for five seasons on HBO from 2002 – 2008. Set in Baltimore, Maryland, it explores the city’s drug scene from the perspective of both the drug dealers and law enforcement.

The Wire is not one of those shows that should be judged based on one episode. Instead, It takes its time to fully explore each detail with captivating storytelling that will leave you satisfied at the end of each season.

All five seasons can be streamed via HBO’s various online platforms

5 – Fargo (2014 -)

Courtesy of FX

IMDb 8.9 – 4 Seasons 40 Episodes

Crime, Drama, Comedy, Thriller

Cast: Allison Tolman (Molly Solverson), Billy Bob Thornton (Lorne Malvo), Colin Hanks (Gus Grimly), Martin Freeman (Lester Nygaard),
Russell Harvard
(Mr. Wrench)

This dark comedy crime drama/anthology was inspired by the 1996 Coen Brothers film of the same name. Set in South Dakota and Minnesota, each season tells a different story with mostly new characters, all of whom are portrayed by an all-star cast.

If you enjoy bizarre characters with odd story twists, Fargo is the show for you. Three seasons have already been broadcast on the FX Network, since its premiere in 2014. A fourth season starring Chris Rock premieres this April.

The first three seasons can be streamed on Hulu

4 – Peaky Blinders (2013 -)

Courtesy of Netflix

IMDb 8.85 Seasons 30 Episodes

Crime, Drama, History

Cast: Cillian Murphy (Thomas Shelby), Helen McCrory (Aunt Polly), Paul Anderson (Arthur Shelby), Joe Cole (John Shelby), Tom Hardy (Alfie Solomons)

This BBC-produced crime drama takes place in England after World War I. It stars Cillian Murphy as Tommy Shelby, an ambitious crime boss that leads the notorious Peaky Blinders Gang. It is a bloody, violent show with fantastic writing, acting, and outstanding cinematography.

All five seasons are streaming on Netflix

3 – Westworld (2016 -)

Courtesy of HBO

IMDb 8.7 – 2 Seasons, 20 Episodes

Drama, Mystery, Sci-fi, Thriller

Cast: Evan Rachel Wood (Dolores Abernathy), Jeffrey Wright (Bernard Lowe), Ed Harris (Man in Black), Tessa Thompson (Charlotte Hale), Anthony Hopkins (Dr. Robert Ford)

Based on Michael Crichton’s 1973 movie of this same name, Westworld is a science fiction Western drama that has aired two seasons on HBO to date. It takes place in Wild West-themed amusement park populated with android hosts who begin to revolt against their human masters.

The series is known for having complex, multi-layered storylines, stunning visuals, top-notch performances from cast members like Evan Rachel Wood and Thandie Newton. Aaron Paul joins Westworld for its third season, which premieres on March 15.

The first two seasons can be streamed via HBO’s various online platforms

2 – Deadwood (2004-2006)

Courtesy of HBO

IMDb 8.6 – 3 Seasons, 36 Episodes

Crime, Drama, History

Cast: Timothy Olyphant (Seth Bullock), Ian McShane (Al Swearengen), Molly Parker (Alma Garret), Brad Dourif (Doc Cochran), W. Earl Brown (Dan Dority), John Hawkes (Sol Star)

This Western drama aired on HBO from 2004 – 2006 for 36 episodes across three seasons. It follows the inhabitants of a settlement in Deadwood, South Dakota during the late 1800s. The fantastic ensemble cast is led by Ian McShane, who plays saloon owner Al Swearengem. Co-starring is Timothy Olyphant, who plays a U.S. Marshall and shop owner by the name of Seth Bullock. Deadwood is a rough-and-tumble-type show with a good amount of vulgarity depicting the lawlessness of the era. The long-awaited Deadwood movie aired on HBO last spring.

All three seasons, plus the movie, can be streamed via HBO’s various online platforms

1 – Breaking Bad (2008-2013)

Courtesy of AMC

IMDb 9.5

Crime, Drama, Thriller – 5 Seasons 62 Episodes

Cast: Bryan Cranston (Walter White), Anna Gunn (Skyler White),
Aaron Paul
(Jesse Pinkman), Dean Norris (Hank Schrader), Betsy Brandt (Marie Schrader), RJ Mitte (Walter White Jr.) Bob Odenkirk (Saul Goodman)

This is our absolute favorite TV show of all time. This crime/drama/thriller was created by Vince Gilligan and aired on the AMC Network for five seasons Set in Albuquerque, New Mexico Breaking Bad stars Bryan Cranston as Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher diagnosed with lung cancer, who takes up a new career as a meth producer in the hopes of earning enough money to take care of his family after he dies.

The outstanding supporting cast includes Aaron Paul, Bob Odenkirk, Giancarlo Esposito, and many others. The acting, writing, cinematography, and overall production values are superb. If you want more from the Breaking Bad Universe, the spin-off prequel, Better Call Saul, has aired for four seasons on AMC with a fifth season next month. The sequel movie to the series finale, El Camino, was released on Netflix last fall.

All five seasons can be streamed on Netflix.

It’s a Wrap

And there you have it, folks. Your next binge awaits.

There are so many good shows out there and if we tried to rank them all, we’d probably be typing away until the next century. This list is by no means definitive, so if we missed your favorite show, let us know on social media!

The post The 20 Best TV Shows of All Time (and Where You Can Watch Them Online) appeared first on Your Money Geek.



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Son buying pre-forclosure home from parents

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Hey everyone, this may not be the right thread to post but wondering if anyone had advice on parents messy situation. Advice pertaining to CA would be ideal. I live in CA (Central coast/bay area).

My dad and his 2 brothers started a business which eventually went bankrupt. My dad (stupidly) listed our current home as collateral for a business loan at the inception of the business. During bankruptcy in 2013 or so, due to some odd reason, the bankruptcy attorney that assisted my dad was unable to strip the lien from our home and didn't advise us that he was unable to. In fact he switched the bankruptcy from a Ch.13 to a ch.7 midway through the case. Idk why, but at the time I was a young kid and didn't understand what was going on. My dad of course trusted the attorney and didn't second guess it.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, we had no idea that the lien was still attached, the loan payments defaulted and eventually matured. We received a notice of trustee sale notice on our door which was extremely surprising and frightening. My dad and I immediately spoke to another bankruptcy attorney who said that we are SOL and that another bankruptcy would not solve this anymore. My dad and I then visited the creditors who held the lien and pleaded to delay the foreclosure bc we had no idea bc our attorney never advised us. They eventually agreed to give us 12 months.

Today, my 3 other siblings and myself are trying to purchase my parents home for $674K for the amount of the total debt owed including the lien (value of the home sits at $685K). Situation on the home debt is the following (in order from principal to junior)

•~$211K mortgage (current, never missed a payment) •~$84K line of credit (current, never missed a payment) •~$375K creditor lien (defaulted by my dad, home listed as collateral, notice of trustee sale issued)

However, after visiting several lenders, we were told that we couldn't purchase the home bc we were family members of my dad (non-arms length sale) and it is technically considered a bailout loan. Is this true? I did some research and I thought that a bailout loan scenario was in a short sale situation and when the whole debt was actually defaulted, in this scenario the first two mortgages are current and I'm trying to buy the home for the total amount owed, not just the defaulted amount. Idk if it makes a difference but my mom isn't in default, she was in no way connected to the business loan other than being a homeowner who's home is listed as collateral with my father.

At this point, buying a different home is tough given that homes are going for about the same price of our current home. The value of our home is only going up and it is in a desirable location where it would hold its value so purchasing this home makes sense.

Any insight here? Feel free to ask questions, apologies for the long post. Thank you all in advance!

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The Cheapest Renters Insurance Companies Arizona 2020

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If you rent your home or apartment, having renters insurance is important. Although it’s not legally required in the state of Arizona, having insurance will give you peace of mind in knowing that your personal belongings are covered if they get damaged or stolen.

Renters insurance is among the least expensive types of insurance you can get. In fact, the average cost of Arizona renters insurance is just $178 per year, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). That breaks down to about $15 each month.

Before you purchase renters insurance, there are a few things you should consider. First, have an inventory of all your personal belongings and their original value. That will help you determine how much coverage you need.

You should also decide if you need to get special coverage for high-value items, like jewelry, and determine how much you can afford to pay for your deductible.

Find the Best Renter Insurance

Enter your ZIP code below and be sure to click at least 2-3 companies to find the very best rate.

Best renters insurance companies in Arizona

Renters insurance in Arizona tends to be pretty affordable for most people. But with so many different renters insurance providers on the market, it can be difficult to determine which one is best for your needs and your budget.

To simplify your shopping journey, we put together a list of the best Arizona renters insurance companies based on J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Renters Insurance Study. Here are the four providers that made our list:

  • Allstate: Allstate received mostly average ratings from J.D. Power, but the one area where the company really shines is its claims handling process, which was rated “among the best.”
  • American Family American Family earned the top spot in J.D. Power’s study, getting five-star ratings across the board for overall satisfaction, policy offerings, price, billing and customer service.
  • Nationwide: Nationwide is a good option for renters looking for flexible policy offerings, however, Nationwide is not known for providing the lowest prices.
  • State Farm: State Farm earned impressive marks in J.D. Power’s study for price and policy offerings, but it received a poor score for its claims handling process.

J.D. Power’s ratings only give one opinion of these renters insurance providers. To compare, here are the company’s ratings from AM Best and the Better Business Bureau (BBB):

J.D. Power AM Best BBB
American Family 5 out of 5 A A
State Farm 5 out of 5 A++ A+
Allstate 2 out of 5 A+ A+
Nationwide 2 out of 5 A+ A+

Each of these insurance companies have their strengths and weaknesses, and they’ll benefit different people. We collected quotes and analyzed what situations each company would be best for.Each sample quote accounts for $20,000 in personal belongings, $100,000 in liability coverage and a $500 deductible.

Cheapest Arizona renters insurance for students: Allstate

Based on our research, Allstate is the cheapest renters insurance option for students. In fact, the company’s website has an entire page dedicated to the benefits of renters insurance for college students. We got a sample quote for a 20-year-old female student living in Tempe, AZ, which came out to be $235 per year.

Cheapest Arizona renters insurance for extended coverages: Nationwide

Nationwide is well-known for offering a variety of add-on coverages at an affordable price. Some of the most popular optional coverages are for valuables, water backup, theft extension, earthquake and brand new belongings. Our sample quote for a 26-year-old female living in Phoenix, AZ, came out to about $360 per year with those add-on coverages included.

Cheapest overall Arizona renters insurance: State Farm

Overall, State Farm seems to offer the cheapest rates for most Arizona renters. Our sample quote for a 26-year-old female living in Phoenix, AZ, came out to just $208 per year, which was much cheaper than the other providers. State Farm also offers a number of discounts that renters can take advantage of to save even more on their annual premiums.

Frequently asked questions

Is renters insurance required in Arizona?

No, renters insurance is not legally required in the state of Arizona. However, most landlords encourage their tenants to purchase renters insurance before moving in.

How much renters insurance do I need in Arizona?

To determine how much renters insurance you need, create an inventory of your personal belongings. Catalogue each item by taking a picture, writing a description and noting the original price. The total value of your items is the minimum amount of insurance you should get.

What is the best renters insurance company in Arizona?

There isn’t one insurance company that is best for every renter in Arizona. However, our research determined that State Farm offered the cheapest rates for most people. However, the actual amount you’ll pay is based on a variety of factors, including your zip code, the size of your home, your age, your credit score and your deductible.

How do I save money on my renters insurance?

Most insurance companies offer discounts to help customers save money on their renters insurance premiums. Some of the common discounts include bundling your policies, raising your deductible and installing home safety features, like fire alarms and anti-theft systems.

The post The Cheapest Renters Insurance Companies Arizona 2020 appeared first on The Simple Dollar.



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