If you have health, auto, and life insurance, you’re on the right track. However, if you’re an apartment dweller without any renter’s insurance, stay tuned to learn why you should consider renter’s insurance and what it covers.
What is Renter’s Insurance?
Just as car insurance protects you in case of an accident, renter’s insurance protects your personal belongings when renting. Most renters won’t get it since they think it’s the landlord’s responsibility to cover their property. That’s not true. The only thing landlord’s insurance covers is damage to the actual building itself. So, getting renter’s insurance can save you from unexpected costs.
What Does Renter’s Insurance Cover?
There are three things renter’s insurance generally covers: personal property, temporary living expenses, and personal liability and medical bills. Personal property coverage includes paying to replace your belongings if they’re damaged or destroyed due to a fire, or stolen, in the event of theft.
Liability coverage insulates you from needing to pay out of pocket for damage that you, a family member, or a guest may cause to the apartment. It can also help pay medical bills if a guest injures themselves in your apartment. If damage results in you having to leave your apartment for a time, most renter’s insurance policies provide coverage for additional living expenses for a hotel or restaurant.
What Doesn’t Renter’s Coverage include?
Standard renter’s insurance usually doesn’t cover:
- Property damage caused by natural disasters, such as flooding, earthquakes, and sinkholes (check to see if companies sell additional coverage for these scenarios)
- Accidental loss – If you lose a phone or laptop, renter’s insurance won’t cover the costs of replacing it.
- Roommates – if something happens to their stuff, it’s not covered under your policy.
How Much Coverage Do You Need?
It would be hard to total up the cash value of all your personal belongings, so it’s hard to figure out how much coverage you might need. When you fill out information from an insurance company, they will ask questions to help you gauge just what you need. You can cover valuables like expensive jewelry, artwork, or camera equipment with a rider that provides additional coverage. Also, if you live in an area prone to flooding, you can get additional flood coverage.
When you do get coverage, go through your apartment and perform a thorough inventory check. Write everything down and make a recording of it, as well as take pictures. Having this evidence helps prove what possessions you owned, should you ever need to file a claim. Take note that you don’t need to document every little thing you have, but a good panoramic photo of the damage should suffice.
Regarding more expensive items, including electronics and furniture, keep the receipts on what you had to replace. You can also go through your bank statements if you threw away your receipts. It’s important to note the make and model of your items and their cost. Ensure you keep a record of your inventory somewhere besides your apartment, in case something happens to the apartment itself.