TenantsTips / USA / What You Need to Know About Renter’s Insurance

What You Need to Know About Renter’s Insurance

People who own a home must have comprehensive insurance, and there are similar options for renters as well.

Although damage that is caused to a rental property because of an accident is going to be the responsibility of the landlord in most cases, the actual property that is yours within your rental unit is only going to be covered if you obtain renter’s insurance.

For some renters the value of their possessions may make renter’s insurance unnecessary, but if you do want to safeguard the items in your rental property, there are a few things to consider before purchasing a renters’ insurance policy.

 

  1. Renters’ insurance is a good way to protect your own property, but it’s also important because it provides third party liability coverage. This is one of the most common reasons many people get a rental insurance policy. This means that if someone visits your home and they are injured, or their property is damaged, you’re covered against the costs that may arise.
  2. You can protect your valuables. Despite the protection offered by renters’ insurance, it is important to remember that items lost in a flood are not covered, although many other emergency and accidental situations are covered, which can help you replace lost items.
  3. You may have protection from situations that occur outside of your home if you have rental insurance. For example if you have a computer that’s stolen while you’re at a coffee shop, your renters insurance may cover the cost to replace it.
  4. If a rental property becomes unlivable, for example as the result of a fire or some other emergency situation, rental insurance can be used to cover the costs of moving to a new property. Many insurance policies will provide up to one year of rent at a similar property, as part of their coverage.
  5. There are several different types of rental insurance—and a renter should compare the types of coverage carefully to find one that’s going to provide the things they need, but at a cost that they can afford. For example, some policies only cover third party liability, whereas others may cover both third party liability and personal property.
  6. Most rental insurance policies do place limits on the items they’re willing to cover—for example fine China, antiques or extremely expensive jewelry may not be covered. You should read the fine print of your agreement with the insurance company, so that you’re not surprised down the road if an unforeseen situation does occur.
  7. As a note, many rental insurance companies won’t insure renters who have a pet, and in particular a dog. Having a dog, especially an aggressive breed, may make you uninsurable in the company’s opinion, so you should always ask this up-front before making a purchasing decision.
  8. As with homeowners insurance, as a renter, if you do obtain insurance, you’ll need separate policies for earthquake and flood protection. The biggest benefit of getting these separate policies is that if your rental property does become uninhabitable, you may be able to receive money for a temporary living situation.
  9. Decide whether or not it’s worth it to cover the items you have. Many people overvalue their possessions without realizing it, and it may not be worth it, from a financial standpoint, to pay for insurance coverage if they don’t have very expensive items in their home.
  10. Rental insurance costs are going to vary based on your location, and you may be eligible for various discounts, so do thorough research before selecting a policy.


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