Ask the Experts: What You Need to Know About Renters Insurance
Renting your own apartment or house can be the first step toward independence, but independence has its own anxieties. For many, high rent costs are a constant source of concern. While renters insurance may seem like just another financial drain, it could actually save you from homelessness or financial ruin. In today’s blog, we answer some frequently asked questions about renters insurance. Here’s what you need to know so you can make informed and thoughtful insurance decisions.
What is Renters Insurance?
Generally, renters insurance provides financial reimbursement in the event that a tenant’s possessions are lost or damaged as a result of a fire, theft, vandalism, or another named peril. Many policies also offer loss of use coverage, which means that if something makes your home untenable, your insurance would provide some additional housing and living expenses while repairs were being made. Renters insurance policies also tend to include liability coverage, which means that if you or a household family member is responsible for causing injury or damage to the property, coverage could be available to pay for the injury or damage. This often includes guests who might be injured while on your property.
How Much Rental Insurance Do I Need?
It depends. Most renters insurance is split into different categories with different total amounts of coverage. Personal property coverage, for example, tends to cover $15k to $30k. If you have more expensive items, including high-end furniture, televisions, laptops, etc., you may want to opt for a higher personal property minimum. Some high-cost possessions like engagement rings, photography equipment, ATVs, and other expensive equipment may require additional riders for protection. You’ll also want to consider your liability coverage. If you tend to have lots of house guests, throw large parties, or own a dog, it might make sense to increase your liability limit to account for the extra risk.
Does Renters Insurance Cover Dog Bites?
Usually. Most renters insurance policies cover dog bite liability up to liability limits for most dog breeds. That said, many providers require that the dog in question be listed on the coverage before a claim can be made, so it’s important to check with your insurance agent to make sure all the necessary information is provided and that you are covered. Otherwise, you could be financially responsible in the event of a dog bite. Additionally, some dogs are ineligible, so you may not be able to get coverage if you have an aggressive dog.
Does Everyone in an Apartment Need Renters Insurance?
Yes. While landlords typically require only one renters insurance policy per unit, most policies will not cover a policyholder’s roommate. Even if your insurance provider allows you to do so, it may not be in your best interest, as the risk for trouble can be high in the event of a claim.
Does Renters Insurance Cover Moving?
It depends on the situation. In general, renters insurance covers your items, regardless of where they are, which means that you would have coverage while items were in transit. That said, the damage or loss MUST be caused by a named peril on the policy to be covered. Most Renters insurance, for example, would not cover items damaged by a mover, so it’s important to check your policy before a move and to consider third-party insurance through any moving company you might use.
Don’t leave your life up to chance! Contact an independent agent today. They can walk you through the renters coverage you need to keep you protected!