Many people staying in rental properties believe that they need not think about insurance because they assume they’re already covered by their landlord’s property insurance. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
If you are a renter, it’s important to know that landlord insurance includes damage to the building, but it does not cover your personal belongings. Only renters insurance can cover your personal property and shield you from certain liabilities.
A recent poll from the Insurance Information Institute showed that while 95% of homeowners or landlords have property insurance, only 41% of renters have renters insurance. If you are still unsure about getting renters insurance, we think you will reconsider after reading these tips below.
Based on information sourced from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the average renters insurance premium in 2018 was $179 a year. Of course, there are factors that can affect the premium, like how much coverage you need, the coverage type, how much your deductible is, and the location of your residence. However, this average could give you some idea of ballpark premium figures.
Your personal belongings are insured
A renters insurance policy would normally cover your clothes, electronic devices, appliances, furniture, jewelry, linen, kitchen utensils and cookware, and practically all the furnishings in your home. You may not think it is much, but replacing all these in case of loss will amount to several thousand dollars. Your laptop alone is worth much more than the annual premium.
The insurance protects against a good number of incidents, including theft, fire, smoke, explosion, damage from burst water pipes, and many more. There are situations not covered by the standard policy but may be included with a rider. There is one clear situation when losses cannot be covered by the policy — damage arising from your own negligence or intentional act.
It provides liability coverage
If someone trips in your home, your dog bites someone, or someone gets hurt from a party that was a little too rowdy, you could be sued in court. A renters insurance policy will cover court judgements and legal expenses up to the limit of the policy coverage.
It may cover additional living expenses
In case your home becomes uninhabitable because of one of the perils covered by the insurance policy, you may need to stay in a hotel while the home is being repaired. A renters insurance would cover your “additional living expenses”. Let’s say your monthly rent is $800. Your policy will cover anything above that amount that you will spend to stay in a hotel or inn, plus the cost of meals, and more.
Even belongings away from home are insured
Your personal belongings are covered, even if you are away from home, including in your car, traveling, or in the office. For example, if your laptop was stolen in a cafe or while you were waiting to board a plane in the airport, your policy could cover that loss. Of course, policies normally have a deductible provision, or a fixed amount that you still have to pay toward an insured loss. Ask your insurance agent what is included under “other covered losses”.
Many times, we do not appreciate what insurance coverage can do for us until disaster strikes. With a very affordable premium, you can insure all your personal belongings so that if a disaster does occur, you still have peace of mind that a good part of your expenses to repair or replace them will be covered.