You may have wondered if you needed renter’s insurance. You have probably made the assumption that your landlord is responsible for any damages or losses that occur at the property. This is generally correct when you are talking about the structure itself; but you are responsible for your own property.
A renter’s insurance policy will cover loss or damage to your personal belongings. You may not think you have enough invested in your personal property to warrant the cost of renter’s insurance, but you should consider the amount of personal property you have and how quickly the cost of replacing it would add up. When you think about replacing your television, computer, stereo, DVD player, clothing, furniture and other items it becomes apparent that you need insurance. A total loss of all your belongings would be a rather sizable out of pocket expense to replace without insurance coverage.
There are many perils that your policy would cover. You should check with an agent to find out just what they include at their agency. Common perils would include fire or smoke damage. Windstorms, lightning and hail are common natural occurrences that should be covered. Volcanic eruptions are more uncommon, but you may find that listed as well.
Whether or not you are in an area that has harsh winters, your policy could include coverage for the weight of ice, snow or sleet. Other common wintertime events could include freezing of your plumbing, air conditioning, heating, sprinkler system or an appliance.
Some of the damage coverage you could have on your renter’s insurance policy seem very unlikely for you to ever have happen, but they happen, or there would not be insurance to cover them. These include explosions, riots, civil commotions, damage caused by aircraft and damage caused by a vehicle.
Other perils are theft, accidental discharge of water or steam, accidental damage from an electrical current and vandalism. What is not usually covered is flood and earthquakes. In some areas you may also need to purchase additional coverage for hurricane damage and wind caused by hurricanes.
You could also be covered for reimbursed living expenses if you are temporarily displaced from the housing. Liability protection will cover you if someone is injured inside the home and files a suit in which a judgment is awarded. You may want to check with your landlord to see if they carry liability protection that would cover these events.
Basically, your renter’s insurance will cover your personal possessions and liabilities of yours, and your landlord will cover their own property. A last word of caution: don’t assume because you are safe you don’t need insurance. Attached apartments are at risk when neighboring dwellings are affected by some perils and standalone structures are at risk from natural and manmade hazards.