Did you know that over 30 percent of housing in the United States is made up of renters? Being a renter myself, I had to learn the importance of Renter’s Insurance the hard way. In 2012 my home was broken into, but fortunately I was not home and no one was injured. Unfortunately, they took most of our easy-to-carry electronics like our game consoles and iPad. We called the police, they came and swabbed for DNA and then the case was closed 2 weeks later with no resolution. We were told they may have sold our electronics to pawn shops but if they had sold them, we would have to purchase them back from the pawn shop. Needless to say, all the belongings stolen was a total loss and there was no getting it back. Lesson learned! The next day I got a quote for Renter's Insurance and it was only $20 per month. If I had been paying that, I would have been able to replace several thousand dollars’ worth of belongings with a small deductible!
Renter’s Insurance is not only good for covering your personal property in case of a loss such as a fire or explosion, it also provides liability and medical payments. That means it will typically cover you in the event that a guest in the home is injured and tries to sue you for their injuries. This will also typically cover you for accidental damage to the property of others, such as playing catch with the kiddos and throwing a ball through your neighbor’s window (oops)! Also, many renter’s policies have an option to add animal liability, just be aware of the restricted breeds with that company. Lastly, most policies include Loss of Use coverage: if you are unable to stay in your home due to a covered loss it will reimburse you for your out-of-pocket expenses up to the limit on your policy. These expenses include, but are not limited to, the cost of a hotel stay and expenses for eating out. Renter’s Insurance deductible options range from $250 to $1000 depending on the company you go with.
If you are a landlord, it is a great idea to require your tenants to have insurance as this will reduce your liability exposure. If a tenant does not have liability, an injured guest can and will come after the landlord. If the tenant’s liability is not enough, the injured party can still come after the landlord but it will reduce the likelihood of that. Also, your personal property on your policy will not cover the property of your tenants. Lastly, if your tenant has an animal, they can typically get coverage on their policy for animal liability.
If you are a renter or a landlord and would like to look into Renter’s Insurance please contact us. We write with multiple carriers and we will be happy to go over options with you. Some companies even offer multi-policy discounts for Auto and Renter’s Insurance policies.