Renters Insurance

It is important to have renters insurance, also commonly referred to as “tenants insurance”, if you want to protect your personal property and valuables while renting an apartment, house, condominium, or duplex.  Many tenants have the misconception that their personal property is covered against loss through their landlords insurance – most of the time there is no coverage to tenants.

The difference between tenants insurance and homeowner’s insurance is that it provides some of the benefits of homeowners insurance, minus coverage for the dwelling and structure, with the exception of any small alterations the tenant makes to that structure.    Depending on your tenants or renters insurance policy, it may provide liability insurance and personal property coverage against fire, theft, and vandalism.  In situations where your rented or leased dwelling becomes uninhabitable, some of your expenses may be covered through your renter’s insurance policy.

Most medium-sized and large rental properties require renters insurance in their lease.  The reason for this requirement is so that the property owners or landlords may recover costs of damage to property caused by the tenant.  The great news is that renters insurance is significantly less expensive than a homeowner’s policy.  

When it comes to renter’s insurance, there are three types of coverage:

Loss of Use – Also referred to as “additional living expenses coverage”, covers your expenses should your existing residence become temporarily uninhabitable due to a covered peril such as fire, smoke, vandalism, and water damage (flooding excluded).  Coverage may include:  a hotel stay and the increased cost of eating out versus cooking at home.

Personal Property – These are the things you own.  Your personal property coverage may include: a stolen computer, television or even fishing equipment and furniture or clothing destroyed in a fire.

Personal Liability – This type of coverage may help to protect you from lawsuits and from paying certain out-of-pocket expenses if you are found legally responsible for injuries to others or damage to their property.

Personal liability may become necessary in a multitude of situations.  For example:  You forget and leave a broom right outside your door, and one of your elderly  neighbors doesn’t see it an accidentally trips and falls and breaks a hip due to your negligence.  You could be sued for the medical costs associated with this fall – in this case, your personal liability may help cover the costs.

As you can see, there are many good reasons to have renter’s insurance.  The amount of coverage you need will depend on your own unique situation.  

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