What Is Renter’s Insurance?

Renter’s insurance is a valuable and often inexpensive way to protect yourself and your belongings. It offers coverage for personal belongings, liability protection, and additional living expenses, making it a smart investment for anyone renting a home or apartment. Before purchasing a policy, compare coverage from different companies, assess your coverage needs, and choose a plan that best meets your insurance needs. Working with a local independent agent will make this process much easier than attempting to do it yourself. They’ll have contacts at each company to talk to, and insight and experience to be able to offer advice and help you make the best decision.

Home Ownership Trends

Since 2005, homeownership in Minnesota has decreased by 2.9%. Nationally, almost 35% of all households are rentals. With the housing market tighter than ever before, renting is the direction millions of Americans have taken. Alarmingly, 45% of all renters don’t have any renter’s insurance. Renter’s insurance is something nearly twenty-million Americans need but don’t currently have. Know what renter’s insurance is and if you need it! Take steps today to protect your future self.

Millions of Americans prefer renting for a variety of reasons. Reasons cited by renters opting to lease instead of buy are wide-ranging. Some of the most frequently mentioned include avoiding costly property repairs and upkeep, property maintenance, and property taxes. Approximately 44 million households are rentals but only 55% have a renter’s insurance policy! Nearly 54 million people rent without any coverage in the event of a loss.

Why Is Renter’s Insurance So Important?

  1. Protect Your Belongings
    Coverage includes theft, damage, or destruction of your possessions.
  2. Liability Coverage
    Legal liability can be devastating. Property damage or personal injury claims can result in costly court settlements. Renter’s insurance shields you from potentially devastating financial obligations.
  3. Lease Requirements
    Many landlords, especially in multi-unit facilities, require renter’s insurance by each tenant.
  4. Affordability
    Rates are based on many factors, but an average $30,000 renters policy may only cost between $18-$20 per month.
  5. Peace of Mind
    Not having to worry about your financial health in the event of a loss can do wonders for your psyche and mental health!

Typical Renter’s Insurance Coverage

  • Personal Belongings
    This coverage applies to losses or damage caused by various perils such as fire, theft, vandalism, water damage from burst pipes, or natural disasters like wind, ice or storm damage. Electronics, furniture and appliances, clothing and jewelry, sporting equipment, books and other personal items are all covered. Each renters policy can vary. Review your policy carefully and take inventory of your possessions to ensure you have sufficient coverage for the full value.
  • Liability Coverage
    As explained above, liability coverage is another critical component of renters insurance. This coverage can help pay for medical expenses, legal fees, and any judgements against you up to your policy limits.
  • Additional Living Expenses
    Fire or other severe damage to leased property can render it uninhabitable. In such cases, insurance can cover the living expenses while living elsewhere temporarily. Coverage may include hotel fees, meals, and other essential expenses until you can return to your rental or find a new place to live.

What is Typically NOT Covered?

Flood Damage

One of the most significant gaps in standard renter’s  policies is coverage for flood damage. Whether caused by rainfall, storm surges or overflowing rivers caused by snowmelt, floods can cause massive damage to the structure, your living space, and your belongings inside. But renter’s insurance likely does not offer coverage for this type of damage. Instead, you will need to get a separate flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) if you live in a flood-prone area.

Earthquake Damage

Similar to flood damage, if you live in a known earthquake zone, you are not covered by standard renters insurance policies. Speak to your insurance agent to ensure that your belongings and living space are covered properly.

High-Value Items

While renter’s insurance covers personal belongings, there are coverage limits. Items such as fine art, expensive jewelry and some collectibles will surpass your standard policy limits. In such cases, you may need to purchase additional, separate coverage to protect these items.

Intentional Damage or Negligence

Renter’s insurance protects against unexpected events and accidents only. It does not cover damage caused from any careless or intentional acts or any negligence that leads to damage.

Acts of War or Terrorism

Damage caused by acts of war, terrorism , or nuclear events is generally excluded. Here in the Northland, we are so fortunate not to have this as a constant worry like in other countries.

Business Activities

Operating or conducting business is likely not covered under these policies. Any business-related equipment, inventory, or any liability arising from the business activities can only be covered under a separate business policy.

Pet Damage

This insurance MAY cover personal liability for pet-related incidents, but coverage is generally not offered for damage caused by your pets.

Gradual Damage / Wear & Tear

Renter’s insurance covers sudden and accidental losses. Any gradual damage to your belongings or the property over time is typically not covered.

Simply put, renter’s insurance protects an individual while renting a house or apartment. Each carrier sets their own policy coverages. Please review these coverages carefully. Conversing with an insurance provider before adding a renter’s policy can help ensure you find one that fits your needs. Here at Reliable Insurance Agency, our Personal Lines agents are available to help you determine which policy is right for you. Call or email us today and start living more joyfully!

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