Did You Know? You Need Renter’s Insurance!

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Renter's Insurance

No one wants to think about something catastrophic happening in their home. Of course, it’s unlikely that something bad like a fire or a natural disaster would compromise the structure of your apartment or destroy your personal belongings, but it’s always a great idea to be prepared just in case.

As a renter, you may not be responsible for the actual structure or materials inside your apartment, such as the kitchen appliances and carpeting. However, you should know that your landlord is not liable for any of your personal possessions. That means that if your new electric guitar is sitting in the living room and a fire breaks out, your landlord isn’t obligated to replace it (even if the fire wasn’t your fault).

If you’re renting an apartment or a house for any period of time, you must get renter’s insurance. Some landlords will even require you to have it before agreeing to take you on as a tenant. Your landlord can and should have insurance on the property you are renting, but none of that insurance will be able to cover you or your things.

Here’s a quick rundown of how to obtain renter’s insurance and what you can expect it to cover.

What Does Renter’s Insurance Protect You From?

So now that you know you need renter’s insurance, you’re probably wondering what it’ll protect you and your things from. Does it only cover natural disasters, or is it also there in case of theft?

Here’s what a typical renter’s insurance policy will protect you from:

  • Fire or lighting
  • Windstorms or hail
  • Explosions
  • Riots or civil commotions
  • Damage caused by aircraft
  • Damage caused by vehicles
  • Smoke
  • Vandalism or malicious mischief
  • Theft
  • Volcanic eruptions
  • Falling objects
  • Weight of ice, snow, and sleet
  • Accidental discharge or overflow of water from a plumbing, heating, air conditioning, or automatic fire-protective sprinkler system or household appliance
  • Sudden and accidental tearing apart, cracking, burning, or bulging of a hot water heating, air conditioning, or automatic fire-protective system
  • Freezing of a plumbing, heating, air conditioning or automatic fire-protective sprinkler system or household appliance
  • Sudden and accidental damage from an artificially-generated electrical current (does not include damage to tubes, transistors, or similar electronic components)

Note that this list does not include earthquakes or flooding. You will need to contact your insurer to see what additional coverage is available to you in the event of an earthquake or flood. You should also note that this list includes things that insurers generally offer to renters. Be sure to check with your insurance company for more information on what your specific policy covers.

How Do I Get Renter’s Insurance?

Calling Insurance

Now that you know you need renter’s insurance and you have a general idea of what it protects you from, how exactly do you go about getting it?

First thing’s first: you’ll need to shop around for a good insurance company. Do you already have auto insurance? Many large insurance companies will offer both auto and renter’s insurance, which is a huge bonus if you already have a good working relationship with one.
Shop around online to see which company fits your budget and has good reviews. Before receiving a quote, you’ll need to provide the company with an estimate of how much your stuff is worth. Luckily, most major insurance companies have a handy personal property calculator for you to use, which should give you a better idea of your belongings’ monetary value. When you’re coming up with an estimate, be sure to add every single thing up. Think about all of your clothing, electronics, jewelry, furniture, etc.

In addition to covering your possessions, your renter’s insurance may also cover any injuries that people sustain in your apartment. This could potentially help pay for any necessary medical treatment or hospitalization. Again, it’s always good to check with your insurance agent to ensure you understand what’s on your policy.

Renter’s Insurance Gives You (And Your Landlord) Peace of Mind

You might be tempted to skip out on renter’s insurance altogether, but that would be a grave mistake. Not only will renter’s insurance protect the items and people in your apartment, but it’ll also give your landlord peace of mind. Securing renter’s insurance lets your landlord know that you’re serious about taking care of the property, and having a solid relationship with your landlord is never a bad thing. It signals to them that you aren’t going to be negligent or try to sue them if you get injured or get your things stolen or damaged while living in the unit.

The bottom line? Renter’s insurance is fairly easy to secure and doesn’t require a huge financial commitment. Think about the peace of mind you’ll have knowing that you and your belongings are completely protected at all times.

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