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Renters Insurance: What It Is and Why It’s Valuable

Renters insurance

While unfortunate to note, many people think getting renters insurance is no different from getting alien abduction insurance—an unnecessary expense they can do without.

However, contrary to popular belief, investing in renters insurance is actually a smart investment. If you are renting a home or an apartment, you will need an insurance policy that will protect your belongings.

This is where renters insurance comes in. In essence, renters insurance is similar to homeowners insurance, but it is designed for those who are renting or leasing properties like apartments or houses.

Also known as HO-4 policy or tenants insurance, renters insurance is a form of property insurance that protects against personal property losses and protects you from liability claims. This includes injuries that can occur in your rental property that is not caused by a structural problem.

Why is getting renters insurance important? While your landlord’s property insurance covers the building itself, it will not cover the contents of your apartment nor the damages for which you could be sued when someone has an accident within your rented space. The Importance of Renters Insurance: Six Smart Reasons to Get One

Why is renters insurance important
Why is renters insurance important

1. It is affordable

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), in 2017, the average renters insurance policy will cost you around $180 annually. The actual cost will depend on several factors, including the type of coverage you have chosen, where you live, your deductible amount, and how much coverage you need.

2. Your landlord might require it

Nowadays, a growing number of landlords now require tenants to purchase a renters insurance policy. This can either order from their insurance providers or their own policy. Some landlords may even ask for proof. That said, if you are considering getting renters insurance, your landlord may be able to help.

3. It provides liability coverage

The standard renter’s insurance policy has liability coverage. In other words, it provides protection when someone gets injured in your rented space. It will also cover legal expenses and court judgments up to the policy limit. Most policies typically provide at least $100,000 in liability coverage. A smaller amount may also go to medical-payments coverage. Fortunately, you can request and pay for higher coverage limits if that is your preference.

4. It protects your belongings when you travel

This might not be common knowledge, but renters insurance protects your personal belongings regardless of whether they are in your car, rented space, or with you while you travel. Your possessions also have coverage against loss due to theft. It is recommended that you ask your insurance provider what constitutes ” other covered losses. ”

5. It can cover additional living expenses

If the space you are renting becomes uninhabitable due to one of the covered perils, your renters insurance might cover additional living expenses such as costs associated with living someplace else temporarily such as food, rent, etc.

6. It covers personal property losses

A renters insurance policy protects against personal property losses, including jewelry, luggage, computers, clothes, electronics, and furniture. Amazingly, renters insurance protects against a long list of perils. The typical renters policy covers losses to your
personal property from the following perils:

  • Explosion
  • Lightning or fire
  •  Explosion
  •  Damaged caused by aircrafts
  • Damaged caused by vehicles
  •  Malicious mischief or vandalism
  •  Falling objects
  • Civil commotions or riots
  • Theft 
  • Smoke
  • Volcanic eruption
  • Hail or windstorm
  • Weight of snow, sleet, or ice
  • Damage from steam or water from heating, air conditioning, plumbing, sprinkler
  • systems, and other household appliances

The Bottom Line

Renters insurance is one of the best investments you can make if you’re a renter. To make the most of your coverage, be sure you fully understand what your policy covers. You can also ask your insurance provider for deductibles, coverage limits, and discounts.

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Author

Rachael Harper

Rachael Harper is the Content Marketing Strategist of Bennett & Porter, a wealth management and insurance firm based in Scottsdale, Arizona. When not writing, she makes use of her time reading books and playing bowling with her family and friends.

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