Today, more and more people are choosing to rent, with millennials and Americans over the age of 55 leading the way. And, of course, college students living off campus also make up a significant number of the rental market.
And yet, according to a 2016 Insurance Institute poll, only 41% of renters actually have renters insurance!
That could be due to incorrect assumptions. In the case of renters insurance, you might think that since you don’t own the building, you don’t need insurance…that your landlord’s insurance will cover you. Rest assured, it will not. Think of it this way. With homeowners insurance, you’re insuring your property and the contents of your home. With renters insurance, your landlord’s insurance will cover the building and the property; renters insurance covers your possessions.
Renters insurance is relatively inexpensive…less than a couple hundred dollars a year. After a loss, you don’t want to find out the hard way that you are not covered! Our licensed insurance professionals at Nicholas / Tobin Insurance in New Milford, Connecticut, can review your renters insurance needs with you and advise you accordingly. You may also want to consider an umbrella insurance policy.
WHAT’S COVERED UNDER RENTERS INSURANCE – AND WHAT’S NOT!
PERSONAL PROPERTY COVERAGE
Like homeowners insurance, typically damage or loss to your personal property as a result of theft, fire, smoke, lightning, windstorms, hail, or vandalism is covered under your renter’s insurance policy. Without insurance, replacing your possessions in the event of a loss could be quite cost prohibitive.
Should such a catastrophe strike, you’ll need a good inventory of what you own. Home inventory apps can be an excellent way to do this. You can document information there, such as a description of the item, model and serial numbers, and amount paid.
PERSONAL LIABILITY PROTECTION
If you are sued or a claim is made against you for an injury that that occurred as a result of your negligence, your renter’s insurance will cover the property damages as well as the medical bills (up to a certain amount) for bodily injury. It will also cover legal costs, in the event of legal proceedings. So, if your dog bites someone, causing them to seek medical assistance, your renter’s insurance would cover the medical expenses. If you left the water running in your sink and the overflowing water also damaged the apartment below yours, your renters insurance would cover the damages for that as well.
TEMPORARY LIVING EXPENSES FOR LOSS OF USE
If you have to leave your rental unit because of damage that renders it unlivable, your rental insurance will likely cover a hotel stay, food and other living expenses until the damage can be fixed.
COVERAGE OUTSIDE OF YOUR RENTAL UNIT
You have some coverage outside your apartment or rental unit as well. If personal property such as a laptop or expensive camera gear is stolen from your car or while you’re on vacation, you’re covered! If you spill your coffee on someone’s laptop in a coffee shop, you’re likely also covered.
OTHER THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
Keep in mind if you own expensive jewelry, electronics or sports equipment like golf clubs or skis, you may need an additional rider for those items. Your renter’s insurance policy will only cover up to a certain limit. Make sure to get any expensive items appraised or save your receipts for proof of cost.
Another consideration is the type of policy you have. A cash value policy will pay you what the item is worth today, not what you purchased it for. A replacement cost policy will cover the cost to replace it at the current price. A replacement cost policy will usually cost a little bit more, but it may be worth it financially in the event of a loss.
You’ll also want to read the section on your policy that discusses the “perils” covered. An “All risk” policy covers anything that isn’t specifically listed as an exclusion. A “Named peril” policy only covers the perils listed on policy.
WHAT ISN’T COVERED
Natural disasters such as earthquakes or floods are not covered, although that type of coverage is usually available as a separate policy if you think you need it.
If you live with someone who isn’t related to you, such as a roommate, they are not covered either…they need their own policy. If you’re renting and living with people who are related to you, be sure to add their names to your policy.
Additionally, intentional damage is also not covered.
Renters insurance premiums are very affordable. Don’t leave things to chance. Having renters insurance can give you peace of mind, in case of a loss. Call Nicholas / Tobin Insurance today for a quote for yourself or your college student!
Nicholas / Tobin Insurance, located in New Milford, Connecticut, provides its clients the highest quality insurance products and services available today to protect them, their families, and businesses. We offer homeowners insurance, renters insurance, car insurance, business insurance, travel insurance and more! Our commitment to service means our team of licensed insurance professionals is here to help with simple policy questions, consult with you to determine appropriate coverages and be available 24/7 when trouble strikes and you need assistance managing through the claim process.