You finally found your dream home! You paid your deposit, signed your lease, and have a move-in date. Your property manager gives you a checklist of things to take care of prior to moving in. On that list, likely near the top, is purchasing renters insurance and providing them a copy of the policy. Does this sound familiar?
At one point or another, most renters likely are wondering why they need renters insurance for a property they don’t own. Insurance can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. When an investor owns a property, they have a separate policy protecting the structure of the home itself as well as providing liability coverage. Renters insurance is financial protection for the tenant and their belongings.
There Are Three Main Components Of Renters Insurance Coverage
When applying for renters insurance, you will choose a dollar amount that will cover to replace all of your belongings inside your home. Personal property coverage will cover replacing your belongings such as furniture, clothes, appliances, etc. in the event that a covered claim situation has arisen. Covered claims will be instances such as fire, theft, vandalism, windstorm/hail. Coverage for your personal belongings will also be in effect even when you are not at home. For example, if you are on vacation or moving and you have something stolen, your policy coverage would kick in.
If you have friends over and someone gets injured at your home, who is responsible? In instances such as a trip and fall, or a dog bite, you would be responsible, or liable. Your policy would help pay for some of their medical bills up to the dollar amount listed on your policy. What if this person decides to sue you? Well, good news. Your policy has liability protection to help assist with legal expenses.
Here is another scenario: you left a candle burning and it caught your apartment building on fire. What happens next? Your liability coverage protects you against lawsuits and expenses from unintentional damage to your rental property. Liability protection within a renters insurance policy can protect a renter from financial disaster and ruin. Most property managers require at least $100,000 in liability coverage, some requiring $300,000. Be sure to read your property’s requirements to ensure you have adequate coverage.
Loss Of Use
If your home has become uninhabitable, you have protection for that as well! Loss of use coverage provides you with a temporary place to live above and beyond your normal monthly expenses, up to a certain dollar amount that is predetermined in your policy. If your hotel doesn’t have a kitchen, your loss of use coverage can also help to cover meals at restaurants. Your loss of use coverage can even cover the additional cost of gas if you are driving further to work or doctor’s appointments.
Other Coverage Considerations
There are a few other things that you may have not thought about, that your renter’s insurance policy may provide coverage for. Certain items such as jewelry, firearms, business equipment, and electronics have different coverage limits than the blanket coverage your personal property provides
- Identity Theft
- Property that belongs to others on your property
- Your property in a storage unit
- Monetary replacement of food due to a mechanical breakdown or power outage
It is a good idea to check your policy to ensure that there are no gaps.
What Is Not Covered?
We have discussed what is covered, but now it’s time to go over what may not be covered so that you may avoid any surprises.
- Damage caused by pests
- High-value items such as artwork, expensive pieces of jewelry, collectibles
- Your vehicle
- Earthquake (this typically can be added as an endorsement)
Before Purchasing Renters Insurance
It is always a great idea to take a detailed inventory of your personal belongings, with photos. In the event that your home is damaged or even deemed a total loss, it will be difficult to try and remember everything you’ve lost. Also, read the fine print on your renter’s insurance policy. There are two types of policies: replacement cost and actual cash value. While an actual cash value policy may be more affordable on the front end, claim payouts will be depreciated. Replacement cost policies will pay what it costs to replace with like and kind in today’s dollar.
We take managing properties very seriously from onboarding to exit for investors and tenants alike. If you would like more information about our services visit our website or give us a call! Less Hassle. More Happy.