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Renters Insurance

Having the proper insurance is important no matter where you live, be it an apartment, condo, townhouse, or single family home. Insurance protects your assets from some sort of disaster. Many renters do no understand that their landlord’s insurance policy does not cover their personal property. The landlord or company that owns the property has an insurance policy that protects their structure. You are responsible for obtaining renter’s insurance in order to protect your personal property.

A renter's insurance policy, or tenant's policy, will provide protection for your personal property (furniture, electronic equipment, jewelry, etc.) in case of theft or a disaster such as fire or wind damage from a hurricane.

Most rental insurance will also provide liability protection in case someone is injured while in your home. The verbiage commonly used in the policy is “unintentional bodily injury or property damage.” This refers to anything that you may directly or indirectly cause to others that could hurt you financially, much as a fire would also hurt you financially. This type of protection against accidental incidents is usually standard with renter's insurance policies.

Renter’s insurance is not expensive, especially when compared to the amount of money you could lose in the event of a disaster in your home. Even if you have a great deal of square footage inside your home, your renter’s policy will likely not be that expensive, since you are not insuring the structure of the building.

This form of insurance is very important in protecting yourself from a potential financial hardship in the event of a disaster or accident in your home.

There are a few things to consider before you purchase condo insurance or a rental insurance policy. Carefully consider all aspects before you even begin shopping for a policy, and remember to obtain insurance quotes from several different companies to obtain the best rate. Some other things to consider are:

  • Amount of Coverage. The dollar amount you estimate your property is worth directly relates to how much your premium will cost. This is an overall amount for all of your possessions within the property.
  • Deductible. The deductible is another big factor in how much your premium will cost. Basically, you need to determine how much you could afford to pay out of pocket before your insurance will kick in. If you think you can pay $1,000, your premium will be substantially less than if you were willing to pay $500. This does not include medical expenses.
  • Actual Cash Value vs. Replacement Cost. The important difference here comes when the insurance company actually gives you money to replace your possessions. Basic renter’s insurance policies will pay for the value of the property at the time of the loss, but replacement cost will give you the amount of money it would cost to actually replace the item, not how much it is worth. For example, it would give you the amount it would take to replace your TV, not the value of your five year old TV. If you have expensive items such as jewelry or artwork, it may be wise to get a separate policy for those items, called a rider.
  • Location. If you are in an area prone to thefts, you will likely pay a higher premium. This is true for renters, homeowners, and car insurance.

 Renter’s insurance is a valuable protection, even if you do not believe your personal property is worth that much. The liability coverage alone would pay for the policy if something were to happen in your apartment or condo. Carefully evaluate whether or not you are prepared in the event that something were to happen. Contact several insurance agents before making a final decision and be sure to ask for a multi-line discount if you carry multiple policies with the same insurer.

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