One of the best benefits of renting is that it isn’t your responsibility to insure the building you’re living in and make renovations or repairs when needed – it’s your landlord’s! However, as a tenant, keep in mind that your landlord isn’t liable to replace your personal belongings if a natural disaster damages the building. Similarly, if there’s a break-in and your belongings get stolen, you’re the one responsible. But if you want to have complete coverage against personal property and damages, a renters insurance policy is one of the best decisions you will ever make.
What is Renters Insurance?
A renters insurance policy provides compensation against factors like personal property theft and damage and offers liability coverage when you’re living in a condo, house, or apartment. It’s also known as tenant insurance and is quite similar to homeowners insurance as it also covers a majority of similar scenarios – for example, fire and theft. However, renters insurance is more affordable as it only covers the things you own and not the structure or building itself.
This is What Your Renters Insurance is going to Cover
Standard renters insurance policies come with theft coverage – which means you may potentially be able to replace stolen items. This coverage can help replace your belongings after a break-in to your car or rental property. So, for instance, if your phone is stolen from your car, you can file a claim to replace your phone. However, your insurance will not cover any damages to the car. Also, keep in mind that after you file a claim, you’re going to have to pay a deductible towards the stolen or damaged item before your insurance company replaces it – Lemonade has more on deductibles on your renter’s insurance policy.
Identity Theft Coverage
You’ll also find some insurance companies offering coverage against identity theft. This mainly includes the costs associated with recovering your personal documents, legal fees, and credit monitoring services.
This coverage helps protect you against expenses associated with damaged valuables or in case an unexpected or unpleasant event occurs. This means that the furniture that you brought with you is protected, as is are your books. A traditional renters policy will include named perils – these are harrowing circumstances like a deadly windstorm, kitchen fires, lightning strikes, theft, vandalism, riots, smoke, etc. So, if a kitchen fire destroys your apartment or if there’s a break-in and valuable belongings are stolen, your insurance policy will cover everything. However, keep in mind that the furnishings and other things like appliances belong to the landlord and will not be covered in your renter’s insurance.
Expenses Associated with Temporary Living
In the unforeseen circumstance that a named peril destroys your home, rendering it unliveable, you’ll need to arrange for a hotel until your apartment gets renovated. Fortunately, your renter’s insurance will cover miscellaneous costs associated with food, laundry, and your hotel room fee.
Medical Bills and Personal Liability
Your renter’s insurance is also going to cover personal liabilities. For example, if someone is hurt in your apartment or if there is an accident – and if you’re legally held accountable, your insurance is going to pay for medical bills and legal fees.
How Much Personal Property Coverage Do You Need?
Make a list of everything you own. Then attach a dollar value to your belongings and add everything up. Now think about how much money you would need to replace every item you own in case it is stolen or damaged? When getting renters insurance, there are a couple of different things you will need to consider when it comes to personal belongings coverage. Here’s what you should keep in mind:
- Decide on a coverage limit that suits your situation. As mentioned, the best way to go about it is to compile a list of things you own and figure out the total value of those things. This way you’ll have a ballpark figure to apply as coverage for your insurance policy.
- Decide what type of personal property coverage you want. There are policies that only provide a cash value for damaged or stolen items up to the current market value, also adding depreciation. Then there are policies that offer a cash value for your belongings at the current retail value after accounting for a covered loss.
- Keep in mind that your personal property coverage might not cover each and every item you own. For example, jewelry or an antique coin collection, etc. These items have very limited coverage under a traditional renters insurance policy. However, you can add additional coverage if you deem fit, but for that, it’s important to consult with your insurance agent.
Renters insurance is an excellent way to relieve the stress and burden of having to pay for everything in case your personal belongings get stolen, or if your rental property sustains damage due to an unforeseen consequence.