Q: I rent my home. Am I covered for losses under my landlord’s homeowners insurance?
A: No. Your landlord cannot insure your personal property—your personal computer, clothes, stereo, television, jewelry, furniture, bicycle or artwork and other items—against destruction or loss. Renters insurance, however, will give you both property and liability insurance—and it’s very affordable, typically costing less per month than a cable TV bill.
Q: Is a renter’s insurance policy inferior to a homeowners insurance policy?
A: No. Renters insurance provides essentially the same coverage as homeowners insurance, but without coverage on the dwelling. It covers personal property, protecting the renter against many causes of loss, such as fire and smoke, lightning, vandalism, theft, explosion, windstorm and water damage from plumbing.
Q: Does renters insurance cover all of my possessions?
A: It depends. Some possessions—jewelry, firearms, silverware—are subject to a per-category theft limit. Most renters’ policies set a $1,000 total limit on jewelry that is stolen, a $2,000 limit on firearms and a $2,500 limit on silverware or flatware. Other items—money, securities, accounts, personal records, watercraft and other subject to special limits of liability. If your valuables exceed these limits, you may want to consider purchasing a “floater,” which provides additional coverage for some of your items.
Q: What if my family and I cannot live in our home because of damage caused by a fire?
A: Your renters insurance will pay for your living expenses that exceed those normally incurred before the loss if an occurrence renders your home or apartment unfit to live in. This is a true benefit if you are required to live in a hotel for any length of time or pay for meals at a restaurant while your place is being renovated.
Q: Will I be covered under my renters insurance if I am sued by someone who was seriously injured on my property?
A: Yes. If a lawsuit covered by your policy is filed against you or against a relative living with you, your personal liability coverage under a renters policy will pay for legal defense costs and attorney fees. It will protect you if you accidentally cause bodily injury to others or damage someone else’s property.
Q: What should I be on the lookout for in selecting policy or in checking my existing coverage?
A: When purchasing renters insurance, choose a policy wisely to be sure that all your possessions are covered. To begin, renters should take a home inventory, noting the description and value of their belongings. A copy of this inventory should be stored in a safe place outside of the home, such as a safe deposit box. The inventory will be of great assistance later if you need to file a claim.
Also, be sure to inquire about property not covered under renters insurance, theft limits and other special limits. We’ll provide you with a list of standard coverage limits so you know whether you’ll need to buy a floater.
If your apartment or home has a security system, smoke detectors or deadbolt locks you may be eligible for discounts on your renters insurance. Call us today—we’ll be happy to explain the many options available to you.
Don’t underestimate the importance of renters insurance. A fire, robbery or something as unexpected as a natural gas explosion could leave you without a home—and with great financial loss. If you rent your apartment or home be prepared for the unexpected by contacting our agency today to discuss this important coverage.