What is Renters Insurance and Do You Need it?
Anyone renting a residence long-term — an apartment, condo, single-family or home,— should strongly consider purchasing a renters insurance policy. It’s a common insurance myth that landlords will insure renters’ belongings or that renters insurance isn’t worth it. Truth is, landlords are only responsible to cover the building structure itself, it is entirely up to you to be sure you have the proper coverage to protect yourself and your personal belongings in the event of an accident.
To help understand why you need renters insurance, we’ve broken down what renters insurance is, who needs it, and what it does and doesn’t cover.
What is Renters Insurance?
Renters insurance protects renters from the costs of unforeseen personal property damage or theft and legal liability. A good renters insurance policy will be streamlined to fit your unique needs and cover you and your belongings, whether you live in a house, an apartment, or a condo. A renters insurance policy can also protect you against personal liabilities, much like a homeowners policy protects a homeowner. Your renters insurance cost is based on the personal assets you want to protect and the level of liability you would need to cover.
How Much Does Renters Insurance Cost?
Renters insurance is often more affordable than you would think. Renters policies often range from $10 to $23 per month. Rates are inexpensive and generally won’t vary as much as home insurance rates. You may also qualify for a discount if you bundle renters insurance with your auto policy bringing the renters policy price down even more.
Who should buy Renters Insurance?
Renters insurance can be bought by anyone renting an apartment, condo, home, or other living space. This includes the rental property you may have moved into during the pandemic for a change. Younger renters often tend to skip the renters insurance coverage because they assume their possessions are not worth insuring in the first place. Even if you may not consider your possessions to be all that valuable, renters insurance protects more than just your stuff.
What Does Renters Insurance Cover?
Renters insurance comprises three different types of coverage: personal property coverage, liability coverage, and loss-of-use coverage. We’ve broken down each type of coverage here:
Personal property coverage protects your personal belongings if they are stolen or damaged by a covered peril (like fire, vandalism, or short-circuit damage). Renters insurance can also cover property when it’s not even in your home, like if your laptop is stolen while you’re on vacation. Since it’s considered insured property, it’s still protected whether it’s inside your residence or not.
Liability coverage protects you if someone is injured at your home. If someone slips, falls, and is hurt on the premises, or if your enthusiastic dog or cat bites a visitor and sends them to the ER, your policy’s personal liability and medical coverage could cover the cost of potential medical bills.
Loss-of-use coverage covers the cost of living elsewhere if your home becomes temporarily uninhabitable. For example, say there was a fire in your apartment, and it needs to be repaired, your loss-of-use coverage should cover the cost of a hotel. Or, if your hotel room doesn’t have a kitchen and you need to order food delivery frequently, your renters insurance can reimburse you for the cost of your meals.
What Renters Insurance DOES NOT Cover
Renters insurance does not cover the structure or dwelling of where the tenant lives. Damage to the building is the landlord’s responsibility, who will likely cover these risks with a landlord insurance plan. While your landlord is responsible for damage to the building, don’t expect your landlord’s insurance to cover damage you cause.
Still unsure how much renters insurance you need? Call or contact your local Bearingstar Insurance agent. We know the Massachusetts and Connecticut rental market and will guide you through the process of selecting the coverage that covers your unique living situation.