Why do I need renter’s insurance? This is a common question and many do not understand what renter’s insurance even covers. I mean, isn’t the landlord responsible for anything that happens when I rent an apartment? Simply put, renter’s insurance is not just there to bundle with your auto insurance to get a discount. It protects you in the event you are liable for damage to your rented apartment or house, provides you with protection in case your belongings are destroyed or stolen, and provides shelter while the whole mess gets sorted out.
There are four main sections to a renters policy:
Personal Property Coverage covers your personal property in the event of theft or damage. Unlike a traditional homeowner’s policy which is based on a percentage of the replacement cost of the structure, you may choose how much coverage you want for your personal property under a renter’s policy. Most companies will allow you to go as low as $15,000 and some even lower.
Personal Liability Coverage protects you and those in your household in the event you are responsible for bodily injury and/or property damage.
Loss of Use is a coverage which provides money to cover your indirect living expenses due to a covered loss. It is not coverage to replace the building materials or the labor to fix your home.
Medical Payments to Others is just like it sounds, coverage for injuries to guests at your home or apartment.
In short, it provides all the protection that you expect from a homeowner’s policy except the coverage for the building itself. Besides it likely being a condition in your lease, a renter’s policy is a homeowner’s product and can lengthen the positive insurance history to lower your homeowner’s rates when and if you do purchase yourself a house.