Jul 28, 2011

Renters Insurance FAQs

If you rent a home or apartment, you may have questions about renter’s insurance. Many landlords now require their tenants to have renter’s insurance, and even if yours does not, it’s important to be informed about the various policy options for so you can make the best decision for you and your family.



What is renter’s insurance?

Renter’s insurance is a form of property insurance that covers the renter’s property and offers liability for accidents that occur inside a rental property. Renter’s insurance also generally covers the cost of a temporary move due to extensive damage to the rental property.

Who needs renter’s insurance?
Obtaining a renter’s insurance policy is a good idea for anyone who is currently leasing or subletting a property.

What if the landlord already has property insurance?
Although your landlord almost certainly has coverage for the rental property that includes damages and liability, your landlord’s insurance does not cover your belongings (electronics, appliances, furniture, etc.) or accidents that are caused by your negligence.

What types of accidents are covered with renter’s insurance?
Renter’s insurance policies generally cover damages that result from vandalism, theft, fire, smoke, explosions, falling objects, or problems with hot water heaters. Check with your specific insurance provider to check what coverage is offered.

What are the differences between renter’s insurance policies?
There are two main types of renter’s insurance policies: actual cash value or replacement cost coverage for your belongings.

An actual cash value policy generally has lower premiums than a replacement cost policy because the payout in the event of an accident is less. Actual cash value policies will pay the cost of the market value for the property insured at the time it was destroyed - in other words, you will get the money to cover the cost of what the items were actually worth rather than the money needed to replace them.

A replacement cost policy, on the other hand, does pay the cost needed to replace the covered items regardless of what they were actually worth. A replacement cost policy, then, is a good idea for anyone who owns a lot of expensive electronics or furniture because the cost of replacing these items would most likely be much higher than what the market value of the items actually was.

How much does renter’s insurance cost?
How much you’ll pay per month will depend on how much coverage you take out, what type of policy you choose, and what types of damage the policy covers. Renters usually pay anywhere from $10-30 a month.

Renter’s insurance, like errors and omissions insurance, is a wise investment for renters, even if they don’t own much personal property. To save money, see if you can group a renter’s policy with your car or other insurance.

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