Think you don’t have to worry about insurance on your home and personal belongings because you’re a renter? Many renters mistakenly believe in the event of a fire or flood, the landlord’s insurance policy will help to replace their furniture and household goods. Your landlord will not reimburse you for your personal property in most cases, even if he or she has filed a claim on the building. Renters insurance is critical to protect your belongings and protects you in ways you may not even be aware of.
Renters insurance, first and foremost, provides for replacement of belongings like clothing, furniture, household goods, jewelry, media and electronics in the event of a catastrophe such as a hurricane, tornado, fire or flood. It also covers smaller emergencies, such as the broken water pipe that ruined all the clothes in your closet, theft and vandalism. It typically covers what would be covered in the “contents” of a standard homeowner’s insurance policy.
Most renter’s policies are based on the average dollar amount of furniture and belongings that would be found in a rental your size in your area, usually $25,000 to $50,000, depending on the policy. You may need to purchase a separate “rider” policy for particularly valuable items like jewelry or antiques, or unusual amounts of electronics. Be sure your agent is aware of these items at the outset of the policy so you can rest assured they are covered. And be sure to ask your agent for a policy that will pay claims at “replacement value.”
Homeowners insurance may also cover the loss of items in your car or taken on vacation with you in some cases, adding valuable and convenient protection.
But it’s not just your belongings you have to worry about. Did you know if someone slips and falls in your home, you could be held responsible for their injuries? You could also be held liable for damage to the landlord’s property if it is caused by your appliances or your perceived negligence. One accident could put your present and future earnings at risk. Renter’s insurance covers this liability. Should someone choose to sue you for injury or damages, renter’s insurance will cover the amount of a court judgment and, in many cases, provide representation or pay legal fees.
Your renter’s policy may also cover “additional living costs” if your current home becomes unlivable. This can help you with the expense of renting a hotel or temporary apartment while yours is being fixed, as well as additional meal or transportation expenses, and, in some cases, emergency clean clothes and toiletries until your home can be repaired or rebuilt or until another apartment becomes available.
Renter’s insurance protects not only your belongings, but also your financial stability and ability to survive a disaster, so don’t overlook this important safeguard. Contact a licensed insurance agent about a renter’s insurance policy today.