The Basics of Renter’s Insurance

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Written By Bryan Cunningham

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When renting a home or apartment, tenants need insurance to cover their belongings. A landlord’s policy covers damage and loss of the structure itself, while personal property and some liabilities are covered by a renter’s policy. Here are some basic facts and several answers to the question do I need renters insurance?

Who Needs Renter’s Insurance?

Tenants who need insurance include:

  • Those with significant financial assets. When a high-value tenant has enough liability insurance, they don’t have to use their savings to pay for others’ injuries and losses.
  • People with animals. The liability portion of a renter’s insurance policy pays medical bills if a tenant’s pet causes injury. For instance, a renter’s insurance policy protects owners from dog bite liability.
  • Renters with no savings. If a person has no money set aside, renter’s insurance may help them stay afloat when losses occur.
  • College students living in apartments. If a student lives in a dorm, their belongings are covered under a parent’s homeowner’s policy. Those living off campus, however, need separate policies.

Covering the Loss of Personal Property

Renter’s insurance protects tenants from losses to their personal property, including furniture, clothing, jewelry, and electronics. Even if one doesn’t own much, the cost of replacing things adds up quickly. Renter’s policies offer protection from:

  • Lightning
  • Fire
  • Wind
  • Civil unrest
  • Aircraft
  • Vandalism
  • Theft
  • Volcanic eruptions

Losses from earthquakes and floods aren’t covered by standard policies; a rider or a separate policy is needed. Furthermore, renters may have to pay a deductible before coverage takes effect. Insurance agents can provide additional information on coverage limitations and exclusions.

Fulfilling the Landlord’s Requirements

While a homeowner’s policy covers the home and the land upon which it is built, it doesn’t cover a tenant’s belongings. Today, many property owners ask tenants to buy their own insurance policies—and they need proof. Whether it’s required by the landlord or their insurance company, renter’s insurance is a vital purchase.

Protection From Liability When Others Are Injured On the Premises

Most standard renter’s policies include liability coverage that offers protection if someone is hurt in the home. Legal expenses and court judgments are paid up to the coverage limit. Renter’s insurance does not cover losses arising from intentional or negligent acts.

Covering Belongings During Travel

Renter’s insurance covers personal belongings, whether in the home, a vehicle, or on the road. With the appropriate policy, a tenant’s belongings are protected from losses due to covered perils. Check the policy documents or ask an insurance agent for more details.

Coverage of Living Expenses

If a rented home becomes unlivable because of a covered peril, a renter’s insurance policy might cover living expenses including temporary accommodations, food, travel, and more. Read policy documents to learn the depth and extent of coverage for living expenses or consult a local insurance agent for additional information.

Renter’s Insurance is a Good Investment

If its affordable, renter’s insurance is a wise investment. It protects belongings, provides liability coverage, and may cover personal items during travel. Renter’s insurance protects tenants from many circumstances, and it’s a worthy addition to a buyer’s insurance portfolio.

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