Why You Need Renters Insurance (Article)
Why You Need Renters Insurance
“Oh, that will never happen.” These famous words seem so true until that one thing actually happens to you. Ask any renter who has endured water damage, a fire, or even a theft and they will tell you they wished they had renters insurance.
In general, a renter’s policy covers these three basics:
Personal Property: Yeah, it may seem silly to insure that ratty old sofa or dining table bought at the thrift store, but what about tech like that MacBook, flat-screen television with surround sound, fancy kitchen gadget, or even jewelry? These items can be very costly to replace, not to mention highly disruptive to your daily life. Renters insurance allows for replacement of that property.
The policies typically cover losses from a burglary, vandalism, fire, windstorms, and certain types of water damage – which is where things get confusing. Flooding that comes from outside your building isn’t covered, but your upstairs neighbor’s tub overflow should be.
Cost to Live Elsewhere: If your apartment can no longer be occupied, alternative housing can be pricey. Typically, landlords have insurance on their building in the event of a disaster. But, that policy will not likely cover a place for you to live while the building is being repaired. Renters insurance will typically cover your hotel expenses and meals if there is a need for you to move out of the apartment temporarily.
Liability: No one wants an accident to occur, but they do happen. If someone gets hurt in your apartment or you accidently leave a candle burning that causes a fire, you could be liable for the medical bills of an injured person or damage to the building. Your renters insurance will cover the cost of your injured visitor’s medical bills and repairs for the damage you may have caused to the apartment.
As with any other insurance coverage, renters insurance has deductibles and coverage limits that all factor into the cost of the policy and amount you’ll be reimbursed. Most policies don’t cost much for the peace of mind it provides.
You decide the amount of coverage based on what you own. You may want more coverage, for example, if you own a lot of tech or higher cost furniture. Before you decide which policy is best for you, take an inventory of the key items you would want covered. Then, you’ll have to decide whether to get replacement coverage that values your belongings based on what it would cost to replace them or their actual cash value. Many times those two numbers differ.
Do college students need renters insurance?
Typical policies cover your dependent children living in college dorms or off-campus housing. After that young adult child is no longer a dependent on your tax return, they should get their own renters insurance policy. As with all things insurance, check with your agent to confirm if your college student’s belongings are covered under your policy.
Where to buy renters insurance
Often, your best bet is to find out if the family’s current provider offers renters insurance. If they do, you can easily bundle it with your other payments. Typically, this extra coverage won’t cost much. Take the time to read the policy details to make sure you know what is and is not covered.
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