You signed a lease on your perfect rental. Another important step before moving in is getting renter’s insurance. Here are the ins and outs of renter’s insurance and what you need to know to make sure you and your belongings are protected.
Renter’s insurance is important for a renter to have for many reasons. A policy includes two main kinds of coverage, property and liability.
Property coverage is to protect your belongings. While a landlord’s insurance covers the building you are renting, their policy will not cover your contents. This also includes Loss of Use, which covers increased expenses to live somewhere else temporarily while your rental is uninhabitable.
The other main coverage is liability. This is to protect yourself financially against costly claims and lawsuits. It may pay for injury and property damage caused to others by something that you are legally liable for. It can also provide medical payments to people who accidentally get injured on your property. State Farm renter’s insurance expert Marla Brummitt gave these examples of when liability insurance could be used:
If the insured left a pot on the stove and it catches fire, the fire damages their apartment, spreads to the apartment beside them, and leaves smoke damage to the apartment above. The insured can be held liable for the damages to the building itself, the personal property damaged in each apartment, as well as any injuries to the residents. If they do not have liability coverage, where will they come up with the funds to pay for these damages?
If an insured accidently left the water running in the tub and it overflowed and caused water damage to the floors of their apartment, water damage to the ceilings of the next apartment, and damaged some personal belongings, the insured can be held liable for those damages as well.
While Renter’s insurance is always highly recommended, many landlords require it, especially apartment communities. It makes sense, with so many homes sharing walls, an accident such as a fire or flood can quickly damage multiple units. With most premiums costing only $9-$12/month, renter’s insurance is something we can easily encourage!