What is renters insurance and why do you need it?
Renters insurance is coverage for your personal property and your liability at your home, whether it’s a house, apartment, or dorm. It also offers a stipend for loss of use, which means you will have funds to live elsewhere while repairs are made to your place if something happens.
You need renters insurance because if something happens (like a fire that ruins all of your belongings, or someone falls and breaks a leg on your steps), you probably don’t have the money to replace everything or pay for a legal settlement. Renters insurance gives you money to replace your belongings in case of a fire (or other perils), or pays (up to your limits) to settle the damages that the court rules you owe the plaintiff.
What is personal property and liability?
Personal property is the “stuff” that makes your place feel like home. This includes your clothes, your couch, your television, your bed, your computer – basically your life.
Liability is defined as “the state of being legally responsible for something” by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. When it comes to renters insurance, your liability coverage covers you when you’re legally liable for someone else’s bodily injury or property damage resulting from an accident, negligent acts by you or household members – on or off premises. This includes costs to resolve claims or defend lawsuits brought against you, and acts of your pets both on and off the property; however, pets that have a “vicious” history may be excluded from coverage.
What else does a renters policy cover?
Renters policies also offer you coverage for medical payments to others and additional living expenses.
The medical payments portion of your policy pays medicals costs for people injured at your residence (other than residents of your household), regardless of who’s liable.
The additional living expense portion of your policy covers additional living expenses up to 24 months (depending on the policy type) if a covered loss makes your home unfit to live in.
What optional coverages are available on a renters policy?
In case you aren’t the “standard” renter, we have some optional coverages that will better protect you and your things.
Floater policies provide extra coverage for specific items like art, jewelry, collectibles, and more – that “stuff” that has a little more value and falls outside the limits of your renter’s policy.
Replacement cost repairs or replaces lost or damaged items without deducting for their depreciation.
Identity shield® provides assistance in the resolution and coverage for losses due to identity theft, credit and public-records monitoring and identity r travel documents replacement.
Now that you’ve got the basics, here are some FAQ’s that you might consider:
Q: Do I need renters insurance if my landlord has insurance?
A: Yes, if you want to insure YOUR stuff (this goes back to your bed, couch, tv, computer, etc.). Your landlord’s insurance policy will only cover damage to the building. It won’t pay for the replacement of your belongings and it won’t cover your relocation costs, should you need to move out while repairs are made.
Q: I don’t have many valuables; do I still need renters insurance?
A: Quickly glance around your home and imagine how much it would cost to replace everything you have – again, computer, couch, tv, camera, jewelry, bike, etc. Could you afford to replace everything on your own? If not, here’s where your renters policy comes into play.
Q: Does renters insurance pay my rent if I can’t?
A: Renters insurance does not pay your rent. However, it may cover expenses related to temporary housing if you can’t live in your building while it’s being rebuilt or repaired after being damaged by a covered loss.
Q: Does renters insurance cover things stolen from my vehicle?
A: Yes, renters insurance is designed to cover your personal property lost or stolen from your vehicle. Typically, auto policies do not offer coverage for personal property.