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Renting an Apartment? Why Renter's Insurance is Necessary

Many renters think that their personal possessions and liability is covered by their landlord's insurance policy. However, the landlord's policy only covers damage to the building itself! Renter's insurance is important because it provides coverage for your lost, damaged, or stolen personal possessions. It also provides coverage for injuries to another person that might occur in your rented home or apartment should they choose to sue you. If you do not have renters insurance, you are not protected and these costs would come out of your pocket. The law does not require you to carry renter's insurance, but a landlord can require it in your rental agreement or your lease. Carrying renters insurance protects you and the landlord by ensuring that no matter what happens on the premises, either your renters insurance or the landlord’s insurance will cover the loss.

What Does Renters Insurance Cover?

Renters insurance provides financial reimbursement to cover a tenant’s lost or damaged possessions. It also covers a tenant’s liability in the event that a visitor is injured on the premises. Whether the renters insurance or the landlord insurance pays for the costs associated with the injury will depend on the circumstances of the incident, the location where the injury occurs, and who is at fault. Renters insurance can also provide compensation for alternative living arrangements in the event that your rental unit or rented home becomes uninhabitable due to storm damage or a fire.

How Does Renters Insurance Work?

The amount of coverage depends on the type of loss and the policy limits you have in place. You can buy “actual cash value” (depreciated) coverage for your personal property, or you can buy replacement cost coverage for your personal possessions. Certain items such as jewelry, collectibles or other valuable items may have a specific limits or require additional insurance coverage to provide full coverage for loss, theft or damage.

How Much Is Renters Insurance?

The cost of renters insurance is generally quite affordable. You can typically expect to pay between $100 and $250 per year on average, depending on where you live and the coverage amount you carry on the insurance policy. If you have a car insurance policy, bundling a renter's insurance policy with the same carrier may qualify you for a multi-policy discount. Sometimes, the savings on the car insurance premium covers the cost of the renter's insurance premium.

How Much Renters Insurance Should I Have?

When you choose a renters insurance policy, you will need to choose coverage amounts for three basic types of coverage:

  • Personal property

  • Liability

  • Additional riders: Coverage you may need for your collectibles or personal items of value.

The best way to determine how much insurance you should carry for your personal property is to create an itemized list of your belongings and their replacement costs. This should give you a ballpark figure for the total amount of insurance coverage you should carry.

Does Renters Insurance Cover Flooding?

Most renters insurance policies do not cover damage caused by floods. Like home owners, renters must purchase flood insurance separately to be covered for damage from flooding. However, you will likely be covered if there is a water leak within your rental unit that causes water damage to your belongings. Be sure to read your renters insurance policy carefully so you know what is and is not covered.

Call on your independent agent for help deciding what type and amount of coverage you need.

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