The following is a guest post was written by Barbara Waltz, one of the founders of 247QuoteUs.com, an insurance blog and insurance quote comparison guide.
Many renters, especially younger adults, either have no idea they can buy renters insurance, or they do not think that they need it. Since they do not own their own homes, but simply rent an apartment, they figure that they run little risk of loss. Others have never even thought about the kinds of losses that buying a renters insurance policy would cover, and they have never even looked into buying a policy at all!
Are Renters Protected By Landlord’s Insurance?
Your landlord buys a policy to protect themselves, and not you. Landlord’s insurance probably covers the building and any property that your landlord leaves at your home. It was probably not designed to protect your belongings at all, or to protect you against any liability claims. If you rent, you cannot rely upon your landlord’s insurance to cover you.
In fact, many prudent landlords require a renters insurance policy as part of the lease agreement. They do this to protect themselves, but it really protects you too. If a pipe breaks in your rented home, the landlord will probably try to fix it in a timely manner. But you may still need a temporary home, and some of your own possessions could be ruined. Your landlord will not be eager to help you, and you will both be relieved if most of your losses are covered.
What Does Renter’s Insurance Cover?
Policies vary, so make sure you check your own. But these are some common types of coverage that will be included in a renter’s insurance policy.
- Personal Property — If your TV, computer, and clothes get stolen or damaged, a renter’s insurance policy would cover them. Make sure you understand how your policy values the contents of your home. If your policy specifies the “replacement value”, you will be able to purchase replacements at a store. If not, you may only get “garage sale” prices when an insurer settles the claim.
- Personal Liability — If your coworker claims they broke their leg because they tripped over a roller skate when they were delivering some work, your renter’s insurance policy would protect you. Even if the claim is frivolous, it is good to have an insurer on your side if you need to defend yourself.
- Relocation Assistance — If your rented home gets damaged, a renter’s policy can provide money for you to move or find temporary housing while repairs are being made. This can be a huge relief if you need to find a place to live suddenly because of fire or storm damage. Could you really afford to stay in a hotel for a month while your roof is being repaired? Landlords are not likely to offer to pay to put you up, and even if you could make a legal case that they should, it would take lots of time to collect your money.
You Can Find Affordable Renters Insurance
You should be able to find plenty of cheap policies for renters, since they only have to cover the contents of a home, and not the whole building. Compare paying $20 – $30 a month vs. losing everything you own, or having to pay for a motel room for a month because your apartment was vandalized.
Make sure that you do understand your policy, and find out if it will also cover your roommate or domestic partner before you need to make a claim. As with any insurance policy you consider purchasing, it is best to shop around and compare quotes before making any decisions.