Despite the low price of home renters insurance very few renters actually take it up. Nobody knows the real reason for this, but one of the reasons is bound to be that renters do not understand how the insurance covers them. So our aim here is to provide you with all of the important details that you need to know.
What is Home Renters Insurance?
When you take out home renters insurance you are protecting yourself and your things. If something happens in your rented home to cause damage to your stuff such as burst water pipes, fire, vandalism, theft pr some other peril then you will have cover for this.
In some cases you may have to move out of your rented home because the damage to the property is so severe. In this situation a lot of renters insurance policies provide cover for temporary accommodation and living expenses.
There are a number of myths surrounding home renters insurance and we will dispel the most common ones here. The worst possible scenario is that you believe that you have coverage for something with your renters insurance only to find out that you are not covered.
So let’s get into these misconceptions about renters insurance:
Most rental insurance policies will provide cover for relatives who are connected to you through marriage, blood or adoption. This is not going to include your room mate so they need to arrange their own insurance.
Your landlord will have insurance which covers the building structure and appliances or furnishings you have. This insurance will not provide coverage for your personal possessions.
A lot of people do not believe that it is worth covering their stuff but they forget about items such as your laptop, your bicycle and your smart phone.
It is not as expensive as some people will tell you to get home renters insurance. You can obtain cover starting from around $5 per month.
It is not difficult at all to obtain renters insurance despite what you may have heard. It does not take a long time to arrange either.
You may believe that you don’t require renters insurance because you are hardly ever at home. But you will have cover for your possessions even when you take them on the go with you so it is certainly worth it.
What coverage do you get with Home Renters Insurance?
A typical renters insurance policy will cover three main areas which are your personal possessions, personal liability including medical bills and temporary living expenses if you have to move out of your rented home.
A typical renters insurance policy will assist in the cost of replacing damaged or lost items when certain scenarios occur. If you go for a standard renters insurance policy then certain events will have coverage such as:
- Strong winds
- Freezing temperatures
- Civil unrest
- Vehicle or aircraft damage
This is not an exhaustive list and you need to check with your insurance company. You should certainly have coverage if there is a break in and a thief takes your laptop. Similarly if a fire damages your possessions then you have coverage for this.
If you keep particularly valuable items in your home such as expensive watches and jewelry, fine art, antiques etc then your insurance company needs to make an appraisal of the items. They may provide cover at no additional charge or raise your premium a little to cover these things.
If you use your possessions on the go they will normally have coverage too. A lot of people take their laptops to coffee shops and if you suffer a theft then your policy should cover this. If you cause damage to another person’s laptop in the same coffee shop then you should have the coverage available for this as well.
Renters insurance usually provides liability coverage. So if someone comes to your home and has an accident they could sue you. In this situation your renters insurance will help you. If a fire starts in your apartment and spreads to a neighboring apartment then your insurance will provide coverage here too.
If you cannot stay in your home because of a specific event such as fire then your home renters insurance should cover you for staying in a hotel while the problem is fixed.
What does Home Renters Insurance not cover?
You knew this was coming didn’t you? To be realistic no insurance policy is going to cover every eventuality no matter how much you paid for it. Here are some of the things that you will not have cover for when you take out renters insurance:
- You lose a vital utility in the middle of winter such as heating, electricity or water
- If your apartment has bedbugs then you will not have coverage to stay in a hotel
- Earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters
- Wars, nuclear accidents and terrorism
- Items that are of very high value (if you have not told the insurance company about these)
Again this is not an exhaustive list. Check all the “perils” stated in your policy.
So is Home renters Insurance worth it?
In most cases yes it is. You just never know what can happen and it can cost you a lot of money to replace items such as smart phones and laptops if damaged. Then there is the liability cover with home renters insurance. Sometimes a friend is only a friend until something goes wrong!