Apartment Living BlogApartment Living › The Complete Guide to Renter’s Insurance

Renter’s insurance, like all insurance, is a simple concept with complicated steps. Some landlords will require it and some will leave the decision up to you, which is a big choice to make. Sure, you want your personal property to be protected, but on the other hand, do you really need it? How much does it cost? How much will it actually cover when you go to cash it in?

Rather making a knee-jerk decision right before signing the lease, or signing up for insurance only to find it disappointing in the end, here are the ins and outs of renter’s insurance.

What Does it Cover and Why Do You Need it?

Renter’s insurance, like homeowners insurance, covers the cost of your personal property. While your landlord or the company you’re leasing from will be responsible for repairs to anything wrong within your home, such as a bad refrigerator or a broken light, when it comes to your personal items, they’re in your hands. If water damage floods your TV, a fire takes out your family heirlooms, or a robber swings through to take your valuables; that is all your problem. Unless you have renter’s insurance. While the landlord may repair the water damage or the results of a fire, it’s the only way to be compensated for your items.

What Does it Cover Against?

Weather-related damage, electrical fire, burglary, water damage, and the like are all covered under renter’s insurance. While policies are different from company to company, most basic plans will also include liability coverage. So if someone is hurt in your home, due to a nasty fall or because your dog took a bite out of them, you don’t have to worry about paying these costs yourself. Advanced medical payments coverage can take care of any medical expenses that develop; in some cases, even if the accident happens off your property.

What Won’t it Cover?

Some companies pick and choose what they see as essential to cover, and many will stay away from extremely expensive items. Furs, jewelry, family heirlooms, antiques, and things such as hearing aids will not be available on all plans, especially if you stick with the most basic insurance. However, you can upgrade to have these items covered, if you believe the need is high enough to outweigh the price.

How Much Does it Cost?

Of course every insurance company is going to be different, based on the area, your past relationship with the company, and the items you want covered. If you’ve shopped with them before or have been referred by someone else, they may cut you a unique deal in order to earn your lifetime business. However, the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America rounded up the cost to an average. If you’re looking for $100,000 of liability coverage and $30,000 of property coverage, you can expect to pay $144 per year, which is incredibly reasonable considering the cost of replacing a stolen or damaged TV.

You Will Need to Document Items

Renter’s insurance isn’t as easy as signing and forgetting about it. In the event your valuables need replaced, your insurance company will require proof of what was destroyed or stolen and how much it’s worth. This is because some shady characters will try to get away with insurance fraud, by claiming something was stolen that wasn’t, or insisting it’s worth more than it is. Be sure to take photos and write down the details of items you’d like covered, and if you can, get them appraised. This will be all the proof necessary to get them replaced smooth, and if they’re appraised, you’re sure to get their precise value and nothing less.

Some Apartments Demand You Have Renter’s Insurance

Some landlords are willing to leave the risk and rewards of not using renter’s insurance in your hands. So long as they aren’t held liable, and their lease will state this, they don’t mind. However, some ritzier apartments will require their tenants to have renter’s insurance, as an added measure against displeased residents and potential legal backlash in their direction. When you’re shopping around, be aware that, the higher the rent, the more likely it is for them to require insurance.

Renter’s insurance is a valuable asset in case of emergency, and on average, is a small price to pay for peace of mind. Now that you know what it is, find out if you need it.

About :

Amber is the Director of Content Marketing for ForRent.com and has been with the company since April 2007. In her role, Amber strategizes, executes and optimizes a content and social media plans across multiple channels and platforms. This includes blogs, social networks, video sharing sites, and other conversational media. She spends a great deal of time building relationships with consumers, social media influencers, and bloggers to generate awareness of the ForRent.com brands. In her free time, Amber loves running, #hashtags, and DIY projects.

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