Even if you rent an apartment or home, a mishap can still cost you money or make you the target of a lawsuit. Protect yourself and your property with renters insurance.
When it comes to your clothing, jewelry, furniture, stereo, TV and other personal belongings, renting an apartment or house is no different than owning a home. You could still face the cost of repairing or replacing these items because of fire, theft, wind and other hazards.
Similarly, your exposure to lawsuits isn’t that much different from that of a homeowner. You could still be held legally responsible for an accident, whether it happens at your residence or elsewhere.
Here are some common misconceptions regarding renters insurance.
- My landlord’s insurance will cover my personal possessions and liability.
- Most landlords do not provide insurance that protects you. In fact, many leases require you to have some form of renters insurance. You need your own coverage.
- I don’t have much stuff and it’s not worth very much.
- You may not realize how much they have invested in their personal belongings. While you may have picked up used items, if they were destroyed in a fire, you would have to buy new ones. Think about it. What would it cost you to replace just the clothes in your closet, or your CD collection? Replacing all of your belongings could cost tens of thousands of dollars.
- I can’t afford renters insurance.
- Renters insurance is relatively inexpensive. The cost averages about $125 annually for a basic policy.
“Renters insurance is relatively inexpensive. The cost averages about
$125 annually for a basic policy.”
What does renters insurance protect?
Similar to a homeowners policy, your renters policy will cover your furniture, clothing, TV, stereo, appliances and other personal property subject to the policy deductible. Protection is worldwide — if your clothing is stolen from your car while you’re on vacation, you’re covered. But this protection is limited to losses resulting from perils listed in your policy. Some of the typical perils are fire or lightning; windstorm or hail; explosion; riot or civil commotion; aircraft; vehicle damage; smoke damage; vandalism or malicious mischief; theft; falling objects; and artificially generated electrical current.
How much renters insurance do I need?
Take an inventory of your possessions, listing each item, when you acquired it and the current replacement cost. Totaling up the amounts of these items will give you a rough idea of what your property is worth. Once this is done, put your inventory in a safe place away from home — for example, in a bank safe deposit box, at work or at a relative’s home. Consider adding photos or taking a video of your inventory – they can help if you have a claim.
Something to keep in mind :
Coverage for certain types of property has a dollar limit. Here is a typical list of the types of property that may have “special limits” in a renters policy (these may vary among insurance companies) :
- Money, bank notes, coins
- Business property (on and off premises)
- Securities, negotiable instruments
- Watercraft, including trailers, furnishings and equipment
- Trailers (other than boat trailers)
- Jewelry and furs
- Firearms (limitation applies to theft only)
- Silverware and goldware (limitation applies to theft only)
If you have this type of property, you may need special coverage – either an endorsement or a personal articles policy. Ask us about these items.
A package type of insurance that includes coverage similar to a homeowners policy to cover the personal property of a renter or tenant in a building.