Know Before You Rent

Should You Have Renters Insurance? Yes. Here are Some Tips.

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When it comes to apartment living, landlords traditionally handle property maintenance both in the apartment and outside. And if extreme weather or a broken pipe causes damage, again, traditionally it’s the landlord’s responsibility to fix the damage.

However, the landlord’s responsibility stops when it comes to the belongings inside the apartment. Renters may want to purchase renter’s insurance to protect them financially if damage or theft to personal property occurs.

Renter’s insurance comes in many forms, and renters should do some research to figure the best cost and coverage for their property.

Here are some things to pay attention to when getting renters insurance:

  1. Renters Insurance Coverage – Most renter’s insurance policies will cover damage to personal belongings caused by rain, hail, wind, fire, lightning, broken pipes and theft.
  2. Establishing a personal property value – How much you pay for coverage will depend on the value you assign your personal property. Use personal property calculators or checklists found online to get an estimate of how much money you would need to replace all your belongings if they were destroyed by a fire or stolen.
  3. Additional renters insurance options – Many policies will allow renters to add on other coverage items, like bodily injury or property damage. These coverages can financially protect renters if a visitor to their apartment were to be hurt on the property and sue the renter for medical bills. Or if damage were caused to the apartment – either by the renter or a visitor – and the landlord starts requesting funds to make the repairs.

Because renter’s insurance only covers belongings, and not the structure of the building, it’s priced cheaper than homeowner’s insurance. Renter’s insurance is not a requirement, so for renters who are not concerned about financially being able to replace belongings if they were to be destroyed in a natural disaster, purchasing a policy might not be a big deal.

Before applying for apartments to rent, contact some rental insurance agents and ask for estimates. They will want to know the neighborhood you’re planning on moving to, but should be able to give you ballpark figures without a street address established yet.