With 35% of the U.S. population in rental units, it’s a no-brainer that those individuals should get some rental insurance. Yet according to a recent survey, more than half of renters between the ages of 23 and 29 do not have insurance, which puts them at a huge risk. There are a lot of things that are beyond your control even if you are within your own space. In any situation, you want to secure your property and belongings.
Renter’s insurance provides financial protection for loss or damage of properties. The type of insurance product would vary depending on the kind of property you are occupying and perhaps even the belongings you want to be covered. In the case of a rented property, the tenant will have to purchase what is referred to as renter’s insurance. Luckily for tenants, it is convenient to get insurance quotes online these days.
What You are Held Liable For
While the owner of the property or the landlord has the obligation to provide insurance coverage for the structure and other common areas of your rented property, the tenant will have to make provisions for his own personal belongings and anything that happens within the confines of his rented space. Accidents, misdemeanors, and crimes committed inside your unit are also your liabilities.
Choose a Coverage that Best Fits Your Needs
Renter’s insurance is one of the most affordable types of property insurance, and it’s coverage is specifically designed for tenants. It provides coverage for the tenant’s personal belongings, as well as for accidental injuries sustained within the confines of his rented space.The basic coverage, of course, would include coverage for loss or damage of property due to fire.
According to a personal injury attorney, typical hazards that a landlord could be liable for are uneven staircases, poor lighting, lack of snow and ice removal, lack of working fire alarms, faulty wiring, and blocked emergency exits. Landlords may or may not choose to require renter’s insurance from their tenants.
Whether or not the law requires it, it would be to the tenant’s best interest to purchase renter’s insurance. Websites focused on renter’s insurance make it really easy to compare insurance quotes online.
Top 10 Reasons to Purchase Renter’s Insurance
On the average, renters pay only a few hundred dollars a year for an insurance policy that gives $500,000 for liability coverage and $20,000 for property coverage. Here are some of the reasons why you should seriously think about getting renter’s insurance:
1. Protection for your guests.
This is especially applicable if you have pets. You are liable when your guests are accidentally bitten by your pet while they are in your premises. There are states with dog-bite statutes that require you to compensate your guest in such instances. Renter’s insurance financial benefits for such personal accidental injury as well as for any other accidental injuries sustained within your rented property.
2. Provision for the repair or replacement of stolen items.
According to this insurance study, in a typical two bedroom apartment, the total value of clothing, electronics, jewelry, appliances, and other possessions comes to around $30,000 or $40,000. In case of theft or burglaries, your renter’s insurance policy will give you cash benefits to allow you to replace the lost items. However, it must be shown first that the landlord was not lax with security and that you meet the coverage limits stated in the policy.
3. Provision for the repair or replacement of items damaged due to natural disasters.
The landlord would have to shoulder the cost of repairs for any damages to the property’s structure in case of a natural disaster like a tornado, hail storm, or wildfire. You would have to shoulder the costs of restoring or replacing your damaged personal belongings.
If your rented property is likely to be hit by any of these risks, check if they are covered by the policy. Some insurance policies allow policyholders to purchase riders to cover damage due to hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and volcanic eruptions.
4. Coverage for fire damage due to short-circuits.
Electrical issues leading to a fire are usually not covered by landlords. If the culprit is the electrical wiring and not your misuse of the electrical system, your landlord can be held liable. Negligence on your part can make you liable not only for your belongings but also for the damaged part of the house.
5. Coverage for extended fire.
If the damage due to a fire that started from your own unit spreads to other occupants of the building, the more liability you will incur. Sometimes, it surely pays to have more expensive coverage.
6. Coverage for damage you caused.
It can’t be helped. Renters also cause unintentional damage to their properties. Water overflowing from the wash room, falling items because they were not properly secured, and breaking glass fall under this category. If these happen and they ruin the sofa or the carpet, you can call in your insurance company to shoulder the cost of repair or restoration.
7. Coverage for sewer drainage damage.
Overflowing sewer drainage may be caused by clogged items inside. You can get additional coverage for this, for an additional cost.
8. Coverage for extended theft.
This special coverage is applicable to stolen items that were not placed inside your rented space. You need this if you have items that are stashed away in storage areas outside your rented property, in your car, or in a trailer.
9. Provision in case you need to look for temporary lodging.
Certain events can force you to leave home and temporarily stay in a hotel and eat in some restaurants. If that happens and you have purchased this special coverage, your insurance company is liable to give you a refund. Note, however, that there could be limits to the maximum amount that you can get.
10. Provision for frozen plumbing, water sprinklers, heating, or air conditioning system.
Low temperatures can get any of these systems to freeze. When that happens, any of your valuable appliances is vulnerable to damage. You can get coverage for this contingency in your renter’s insurance policy.
The bottom-line is that you never really know what could happen. Being caught unprepared can mean huge expenses on your part. Prepare wisely by purchasing ample renter’s insurance coverage. It will save you from a lot of headaches and financial worries.
Featured photo credit: Multicolor apartments/Esteban Chiner via flic.kr