Renter's Insurance

If you live in an apartment or a rented house, Renter’s Insurance provides important coverage for both you and your possessions. A standard renter’s policy protects your personal property in case of theft or damage and may pay for temporary living expenses if your rental is damaged. It can also shield you from personal liability. Your personal property is not the responsibility of your apartment management or landlord unless you can prove negligence. Proving negligence in court may be extremely difficult. That is why it is important to have renter’s insurance.

Types of Insurance Policies

There are several types of residential insurance policies. Read your policy information carefully and ensure you have adequate coverage. Policies should include the following items:

  • Fire or lightning
  • Windstorm or hail
  • Explosion
  • Riot or civil commotion
  • Aircraft
  • Vehicles
  • Smoke
  • Vandalism or malicious mischief
  • Theft
  • Falling objects
  • Sinkhole
  • Water-related damage from plumbing, heating or A/C units
  • Electrical surge damage

Flood damage is not covered and requires a separate policy.

A Renter's Policy Usually Contains Four Sections:

Personal Property

Provides protection for your personal property, such as furniture, clothing and electronics. When you purchase the policy, you will choose the coverage limit.

Loss of Use

That is the additional expenses you incur when your apartment cannot be used because of an insured loss. This part of the policy will usually only cover around 10–20% of your personal property value.

Personal Liability

Covers damages to others for which you are held liable except as limited or excluded by the policy.

Medical Payments to Others

Pays for medical expenses for minor injuries to others even if you are not at fault. The policy normally includes limits of $1000–$5000 per person.

Other Policy Considerations

Replacement cost or actual cash value options: Always choose replacement cost as it pays to replace or repair personal property without depreciation being taken from the value of the property. Actual cash value would only pay what your property was worth at the time of loss.

Make sure you read all of the literature provided by an insurance agency and ask lots of questions before agreeing to any policy. Shop around! Premiums are different from company to company, but make sure your policy covers your needs.

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