The majority of people have rented an apartment or home at least once during their lives. Renting is often an alternative to a home mortgage payment or a passing point between residences. The advantages of renting often include a lesser payment, lack of homeowner’s insurance, and property taxes. While choosing to rent an apartment or home, maintaining adequate renter’s insurance is a necessity for an abundance of reasons. Misconceptions of Renter’s Insurance Many individuals believe that their personal belongings are covered by the landlord or apartment’s insurance policy. This however, is generally not how it works. Typically the landlord’s policy only covers the structure, but not the renter’s property. For instance….if the property was to be destroyed by a fire, the landlord’s policy will pay for the cost of replacing the structure. The landlord’s will not pay for the tenant’s property that was inside the apartment or home such as clothing, televisions, furniture, cooking utensils, electronics, etc.
Another common misconception is that the landlord is responsible for housing the tenant in the event the apartment or the home is inhospitable due to fire or water damage. For example, if the apartment is under repair due to fire damage, the tenant must find their own housing at their own expense while the unit is being repaired. A third misconception is that the landlord’s policy will cover theft and vandalism to the tenant’s personal property. If you are renting an apartment or home and it is burglarized, the landlord’s policy is not responsible for replacing your personal belongings. What Renter’s Insurance Does! Having an adequate renter’s insurance policy will provide protection for your personal property and belongings. The coverage is based upon the value of your belongings and typically clients are surprised by the amount of coverage needed once they do quick cash analysis of the property. It is often very important to check with your insurance agent and see if there are any limitations on listed coverage. Typically policies will put limitations on coverage for jewelry, guns, computers, money, and furs. If you have items valued higher than the limitations is important to let your insurance agent know so that additional coverage can be added via an endorsement or an additional Personal Articles Policy. Base coverage begins at around $10,000 and can be increased to well over $200,000. Renter’s coverage also includes liability insurance (typically $100,000) to protect the insured in the event someone is injured inside the rental property. Renter’s insurance can also provide medical payments insurance to give the insured some protection against injuries to others while inside their rental unit as well. It is a good idea to ask your insurance agent what other options/endorsements are available.