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Why Renters Insurance is a Good Idea

If you rent your home, your belongings are not protected from loss unless you are covered by a renters insurance policy.  While your landlord probably has insurance for any structural damage to the building, this coverage does not extend to your personal property, nor does it protect you from being liable for damage you may cause to the building inadvertently (e.g., a kitchen fire or a plumbing mishap).  Renters insurance policies can cover everything from your electronics to clothing and household appliances.  Some landlords will require you to obtain renters insurance in order to rent the property.

When considering whether to purchase a renters insurance policy, the first step is to prepare a detailed inventory of all the items in your home.  This inventory will help determine the amount of coverage you need to purchase.  For example, if the value of all your possessions is $25,000, this may be the level of coverage to consider purchasing.  Further, by taking a detailed inventory – which includes photographing the articles and assembling other proof of ownership, such as receipts, owners manuals, etc. – filing a claim after a loss becomes much easier.  It is a good idea to store inventory information electronically on a computer, flash drive or CD, and keep a duplicate offsite in case the dwelling is destroyed. To determine what has been lost and document that loss, you can pull out the inventory and transmit the information to the insurance company.

Many renters insurance policies extend protection to your belongings even when they are not located in your house or apartment.  For example, items you have insured often are covered if they are stolen from your car or if they are damaged while not on your property.

A renters insurance policy insures your household contents and personal possessions, provides for additional living expenses if a covered loss makes your dwelling uninhabitable, provides liability coverage for injuries to others and/or their property while they are on your property, and provides for medical payments to others.

The average renters insurance policy costs between $15 and $30 per month.  Replacing all of your possessions or being liable for an accident on your premises likely would cost much more.  In addition, many insurers will reduce your premiums if you have fire or burglar alarms, fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems and/or deadbolts on exterior doors.  Some companies also may offer discounts if you have more than one policy with them.

Click here to view our brochure, Why Renters Insurance Is a Good Idea.