Why You Need a Renters Insurance Policy
Renting a house, condominium, or apartment continues to be a popular lifestyle option, but the importance of renters insurance hasn’t been embraced by many renters. Some landlords require that their renters carry a renters insurance policy. Whether required or not, renters should realize how much they can benefit from having an insurance policy that can help protect their valuables in a life-changing event like a fire or theft.
Please do not make the mistake of assuming that damage to your property in your rental home or apartment will be covered by your landlord's insurance policy. Usually, the owners of rental properties purchase only enough insurance to repair or replace their structures. It is up to you to insure your personal property.
Your landlord probably will bear no responsibility for replacing your property in the event of loss from fire or theft. However, Renters Insurance offers the same general personal property coverage as homeowners insurance and protects against losses from theft, fire, lightning, vandalism, windstorms and water damage from broken water pipes.
The “Loss of Use” coverage typically will help address some of the costs for you to temporarily live elsewhere, if your rental house becomes inhabitable. This benefit also usually includes the cost of meals, over and above your normal expenses.
Please don’t assume that you don't own enough valuables to make buying insurance coverage worthwhile. The cost of replacing clothing, furniture, computers, TVs and books can easily add up to thousands of dollars.
Replacement Cost vs. Actual Cash Value
An important consideration when buying a renters policy is whether to buy an actual cash value renters policy or a policy that covers the full cost of replacement.
With actual cash value coverage, insurers depreciate lost or damaged items based on their age. For example, if you owned a 10-year-old couch that was stolen, the actual cash value would be the cost of buying a used couch of comparable age and condition.
If your policy includes replacement cost coverage, your insurer would pay based on the cost of a new couch of the same quality without applying depreciation.
Renters Liability Coverage
One of the most important coverages included with a renters insurance policy is personal liability coverage. Just like homeowners insurance, renters policies cover your liability for injuries or property damage that you, your family members or your pets may cause to others.
For example, if somebody were at your house and slipped and was hurt, you could be held financially liable for their injuries. However, the liability section of a renters policy would pay for your legal damages, up to your policy limits if you are found to be negligent and caused the injury. The policy would also pay for your legal defense.
Be sure to choose a renters policy with liability limits that are high enough to protect your personal worth.
How Much Will Your Renters Policy Cost?
Renters insurance policies are relatively inexpensive, considering the broad protection they offer. The cost is low because renters don't need to buy insurance to protect their homes, only the contents. At General Insurance Services we can write your renters policy with great companies like Mercury or Travelers for a premium as low as $125 a year. In addition, most companies give a multi-policy discount on your auto insurance if you also have your renters insurance through them.
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