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If you’re a renter and you are under the assumption that you’re protected by your landlord’s insurance policy, think again.
Your landlord’s policy likely covers damage to the structure of the building and very limited coverage for negligent situations, but if you want true protection from theft, fire or storms for your personal belongings you’ll need to carry your own insurance policy.
Injuries that occur to your guests, and even damage caused by other renters, such as an overflowing sink leaking through your ceiling on to your sofa, may not be covered under a landlord’s insurance policy. However, these situations would be covered under a renters’ insurance policy.
Every renters’ insurance policy will vary depending upon the company that provides coverage, how much coverage is purchased and the exact situation — but the following are some examples of situations where renters insurance will prove invaluable:
1. Coverage for theft of personal belongings
Renters’ insurance will provide coverage to help replace the items that were stolen.
Some renters’ insurance policies will also provide coverage if the personal belongings are not in the home. For example, if you go on vacation and your laptop is stolen from your hotel room, renters’ insurance may provide help replacing that laptop if you file a claim.
2. Protection against fires from your clothes dryer
Failure to clean the lint trap is one of the leading causes of dryer fires, and they’re more common than you think. (There are approximately 3,000 dryer fires a year.)
Renters’ insurance will provide compensation for loss of personal belongings, damage to other renters’ belongings, replacement of the dryer and other damaged appliances, and any structural damage that may have occurred as a result.
3. Help with living expenses when displaced by a storm or other natural disaster.
If you become a victim of a tornado, hurricane, fire or other natural disaster you may be able to seek help from your renters’ insurance.
Renters’ insurance may provide compensation that can help you find temporary lodging. If relocation services are needed because the building is uninhabitable or not able to be restored, your renters’ insurance policy may help with that, too.
Since there are many types of renters’ insurance and not all provide the same level of coverage, here are some things to look for when signing up for a policy.
– Make sure personal liability is included
– Make sure coverage includes unexpected actions such as storms, neighbors causing damage, theft, etc.
– Realistically determine how much coverage you will need to cover the replacement of your items. Make a list of all your big ticket items and their current cost if you had to replace them. This is a good starting point for the amount of coverage you should carry.
-Look for a policy that provides for replacement cost value (RCV).
If you think your monthly premium is too high, or you can’t fit it into your budget, think of how costly it will be to replace an entire apartment full of furnishings and personal belongings. Many insurance companies offer discounts if you purchase more than one policy from them. If you have auto insurance, contact your agent and start a conversation about renters’ insurance. You might be surprised at the amount of coverage you can receive for a low monthly premium.
Renters’ insurance can be invaluable should the unexpected happen. It will protect not only the landlords/apartment owners, but all tenants who live in the building or on the property.