What Is Renter’s Insurance And Should I Get Some?
Written by Jonas Bordo
Renter’s insurance is a type of property insurance that takes into account your liabilities, belongings, and potential living expenses in case of a loss. You can avail it if you are renting or subletting an apartment, condo, duplex, loft, studio, townhouse, or single family home.
The policy covers loss to your property. Moreover, it takes into account liability claims like injuries on the premises that are not caused by a structural issue with the property.
A regular renter’s insurance policy includes the following coverages:
Renter’s insurance usually compensates for the loss of belongings, such as smartphones and clothing. It takes into account losses arising from the following events:
- Windstorm or hail
- Civil commotion or riot
- Damage by vehicles
- Damage by aircraft
- Vandalism or malicious mischief
- Volcanic eruption
- Weight of snow, ice or sleet
- Falling object
- Freezing of household appliances or systems
- Accidental release of steam or water from certain household appliances or systems
- Unintentional and sudden tearing apart, burning, cracking, or bulging of certain household systems
- Accidental or sudden damage from artificially generated electric currents
Not only does renter’s insurance cover your belongings while you are at home, but it also applies when you are away. For instance, if your bike is stolen outside a shop, the policy will offer compensation for the loss.
However, your deductible will apply first. Next, there will be a certain limit on the amount of coverage you have away from home.
Loss of Use
Renter’s insurance offers compensation in case a covered disaster makes your home uninhabitable. Renter’s insurance finances the cost of living at a different location while your rental is under repair. It can take into account expenses, such as hotel bills, restaurant food and others.
Liability coverage can protect you up to a certain limit if a third party files a lawsuit against you on the basis of injury or damage that took place at your home. Without renter’s insurance, legal expenses can leave a major dent in your pocket.
This policy also compensates for the damage that you, your pets or your family members cause to other people. For example, renter’s insurance can provide coverage if your dog bites a guest. However, some insurance providers exclude certain dog breeds from their policies. If you own a dog, it is best to check with your agent about the coverage.
Similar to liability coverage, renter’s insurance offers compensation if someone sustains an injury on your property. The only difference is that medical coverage will come into effect, no matter who is at fault for the injury.
In contrast, liability coverage is only applicable when you are found responsible. Moreover, liability coverage usually also has higher limits.
In addition to the regular coverage aspects, you can also avail some add-ons after a little extra payment. Here are some of the most common options to customize your renter’s insurance policy:
Replacement Cost Coverage
Renter’s insurance policy usually replaces your possessions on their actual cash value. For instance, if your ruined couch is 10 years old, you will only receive a claims check sufficient for purchasing a used couch. For a brand new sofa, you may have to pay the difference on your own.
If you have opted for the replacement cost coverage, your insurance provider will offer compensation for lost items, which is equal in value to new ones. In this case, if your 10-year-old couch is ruined, you will receive enough money to purchase a new one.
Scheduled Personal Property
Your renter’s insurance is likely to contain a cap on the amount of compensation you will receive for valuable possessions, such as firearms, jewelry and electronics. If you wish to acquire coverage for belongings worth more than this limit, opt for a scheduled personal property endorsement.
For instance, you have inherited a diamond ring. With the scheduled personal property add-on, you can get it professionally appraised and include coverage for the ring in your policy (with some added cost).
Identity Theft Coverage
Some insurance providers offer optional coverage for costs linked to identity theft. This can take into account coverage for legal fees, credit monitoring services and help with replacing your documents.
Why Should I Get Renter’s Insurance?
If you are renting a house or apartment, it is essential to protect your personal belongings. While your landlord’s property insurance will take care of the building itself, your belongings and liabilities will be covered through renter’s insurance. Here are top some reasons you should opt for this policy:
Renter’s insurance is typically affordable. The cost depends on factors like your location, the coverage you require, the coverage you select, and the value of your deductible.
Protects Personal Property
The policy acts as a safeguard against losses to your personal possessions, such as jewelry, clothes, luggage, furniture, computers, and electronics. Even if you don’t own many items, they can add up in no time and cost a lot altogether (if you ever need to replace them).
Your landlord’s insurance policy is likely to cover the building’s structure, but not your possessions inside. Many landlords require tenants to buy renter’s insurance along with proof.
Coverage While Traveling
Renter’s insurance takes care of your personal possessions whether they are inside your home, in your car or with you when you are traveling. It covers loss due to theft and other covered aspects no matter where you are in the world.
Renter’s insurance offers thorough protection for your personal possessions. Moreover, it also provides liability coverage if someone sustains an injury in your home or if you accidentally injure someone. Before opting for renter’s insurance, make sure you fully understand what it covers. It is a good idea to ask your agent about the details such as deductibles, available discounts, and coverage limits.
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