You may think property insurance is just for homeowners, but renters insurance may help people who rent protect their possessions. But do you really need renters insurance? Here are a few things to consider before taking out a policy.
Renters insurance is a type of property insurance available to people who live in a rented apartment, condo, or house. In this case, the term “property” refers to your belongings, not the residence itself. Your landlord's insurance doesn't cover your personal property, such as your electronics, bicycle, jewelry, or furniture, in the event that it is damaged, destroyed, or stolen. This is why renters insurance can be so important.
Most standard renter’s insurance policies offer protection for your belongings in case of damage due to water, fire, power surges, theft, vandalism, and other events out of your control. Most do not cover damage caused by floodwater, earthquakes, mudslides, or nuclear hazards. If you live in an area that has the potential for one of those types of events, it is best to talk with your insurance agent about additional coverage options. There may also be set coverage
limits for certain types of property. Electronics and jewelry are two categories likely to have coverage limits, but be sure to check with your agent about other limits your policy may have. It is usually fairly inexpensive to add additional coverage to protect those higher value items and well worth the few extra dollars per month!
It is becoming more and more common for landlords and building management companies to require tenants to have renters insurance, though, given the option, some renters decide to forgo buying a policy. Even if renters insurance isn't required by your landlord, the personal property, liability, and loss of use coverages the policies provide are valuable for reducing the financial impact of sudden or unexpected events that damage your personal belongings or leave you legally liable. Let’s consider a few situations where renters insurance may help:
● A tree crashes through your roof during a storm and the house needs roof repairs before you can continue living there. Loss of use will cover a hotel, food, and any other expenses you incur during that time that you are unable to live in the house.
● Your dog accidentally gets loose, bites the neighbor's kid and he has to get stitches. Your liability coverage pays for bodily injury and property damage caused by negligence.
● You borrow a friend’s laptop for a school project and a leaking pipe destroys it. Your “property of others” clause in your coverage replaces not only your belongings but others’, so your friend would get a new laptop.
The best part about renters insurance is it’s very inexpensive, costing around $17 per month on average. Even if your budget is tight, you can put away 50 cents a day to insure $30,000 to $50,000 worth of your personal property. It’s important to note that while some policies will cover roommates that are considered domestic partners, typically roommates are not covered under a single policy. So if your roommate has renter’s insurance, she has insurance for
her—not you. Make sure you get your own policy so your belongings are protected, too!
Zammito Insurance is always available to answer your questions regarding renters insurance as well as business, home office, and auto insurance. Give us a call at (781) 762-6732 to find out more.