Aside from a good lease, tenants need renter’s insurance. You should check with your car insurance company because they usually offer renter’s insurance. But first what the heck is it? What does it cover? How much does it cost? Why should I bother? Is it required? I’ll answer all of these questions and more after the jump. And don’t forget to check out the additional information links at the end. Disclaimer: we do not endorse any one renter’s insurer over another. This is just an informative post and we recommend you do plenty of research to find the plan that best fits you.
First let’s define it.
Renter’s insurance (ren-ter-s in-sure-ants) – coverage for personal property and vehicles of tenants and their guests; policies vary by insurance company.
Okay that’s our own VERY general definition. But let’s get a little more specific. Examples of personal property of tenants and guests that is covered typically includes furniture, clothing, computers, and bicycles. Renter’s insurance also covers damage to the property that renders it uninhabitable such as flooding. Many landlords will require renter’s insurance.
Here’s an ugly scenario: Your tenant has a dog. the dog bites a neighbor. You tenant doesn’t have renter’s insurance. The neighbor sues you, the landlord. You kick your tenant out. The tenant has no place to go. Now that may seem extreme, but hey, anything can happen.
Next, what specifically is covered and what is it protected from?
I researched the answers to these questions on several insurance sites including Nationwide (“is on your side” try NOT singing that), Geico, Allstate, and so on. Although many insurers vary by company and policy these are generally what will be covered:
- Personal property – furniture, electronics, computer equipment, clothing, jewelry, musical or sporting equipment, and sometimes firearms
- Personal liability – injuries that occur on your property and the medical and legal expenses incurred
- Damage to the home/apartment cause by a covered loss (things that are beyond control or unplanned)
These are the things your stuff is protected against:
- Earthquake and volcanic eruption
- Windstorm or hail
- Smoke damage
- Vandalism or malicious mischief
- Collapse of building due to weather
- Water leakage or overflow
- Freezing of plumbing, A/C, etc.
These are the things your insurance does NOT protect:
- Injury or property damage expected or intended
- Ownership, operation, use, or maintenance of aircraft, motor vehicles, and certain watercraft
Like I’ve already said, every policy is different – especially when it comes to price. Esurance estimates the average cost at $17.07 per month or about $205 per year. Consider this cost when estimating the value of your personal property. Now do you see the value in it?
I hope I’ve answered any general questions you may have when considering renter’s insurance. The resources below are information from actual insurance agencies. Again, we’re not endorsing any one company, but we need you to see the value in it and how coverage and cost vary.
If you have any questions or need help determining what the best policy is for your needs, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or even firstname.lastname@example.org (that’s me!).