Why You Need Renters Insurance

As a renter, it is often assumed that you are protected by the landlord’s insurance policy; however, just because your landlord has coverage doesn’t mean that you do as well. In many cases, your landlord’s policy only covers damage to the actual dwelling. In order to protect your possessions in case of loss from fire, smoke, lightning, water damage, vandalism, or theft, you need your own renter’s insurance policy. Renters coverage extends beyond theft and hazards outside the property, covering belongings that are stolen from your car or lost or damaged off-premises. In addition to personal property protection, renters insurance also covers loss of use and liability, should you cause injury or property damage. However, it is important to note that most policies do not cover damage caused by flooding, earthquakes, mudslides, or nuclear hazards. If you reside near a fault line or in an area prone to flooding, you will need to get a separate policy for these risks.

Here are more details about what renters insurance covers:

Personal Property

Have you ever thought about how much your belongings might be worth? Conducting a thorough inventory might be an eye-opening experience – the value of your electronics, furniture, clothing, and jewelry can really add up. Also, considering that certain types of property will only be covered up to a specific limit set by your insurance company, valuables such as expensive jewelry or set of golf clubs will require an endorsement to be added on to your policy’s provisions, so that the amount of insurance is enough to cover the repair, replacement or cash reimbursement of the item covered in a loss. It’s a lot easier to plan ahead and less costly to pay in advance for the protection of your possessions, since replacing these items could pose a real financial hardship. Of the two personal property coverage options you can choose from – replacement cost value vs. actual cash value – choosing the replacement cost value is recommended. Since the value of your belongings decrease the longer you own your items, replacement cost value ensures that you can replace your past purchases at current prices. Be sure sure to take photos or videos of your important belongings, so that you’ll have proper record of your most valuable possessions in the event of a catastrophe.

Loss of Use

Renters insurance also covers living expenses, in the event you must leave your home after significant property damage. For example, if the pipes burst in the middle of winter and your residence needs repairs before you can live there again, loss of use will cover a hotel, food and any other expenses incurred during your relocation.

Liability

In the event that you are responsible for bodily injury or property damages caused by negligence, renters insurance would protect you. For instance, you are protected if someone takes a fall and breaks their ankle at your dinner party. Say you are found liable for damage caused by accidentally leaving the kitchen sink on and the water overflows into other units. Resultantly and rest assured, any legal defense, medical bill, or repair costs related to a lawsuit would be covered.

To determine how much coverage you will need, talk to a local insurance agent. You could also qualify for extra savings by bundling your renters insurance with your car insurance, so check-in with your auto insurer to determine how much of a discount you would receive. Typically, basic policies range from $30K – $50K for apartment renters vs. $100K for home renters, starting at a reasonable monthly cost of around $12 – a minimal price to pay for peace of mind!