complete-guide-renters-insurance

The Complete Guide to Renters Insurance

by Kanopy Insurance

complete-guide-renters-insurance

Do you have a renters insurance policy? When you first move into a new apartment, renters insurance policy may not be the first thing you think about.

Well, you're not alone. Did you know that about 41% of renters still remain uninsured? If you're considering whether renters insurance is worth the monthly payment, we're here to tell you that it definitely is.

Here is a quick look at what we'll be talking about in this article:

What is Renters Insurance?

Many people avoid dealing with a new renters insurance policy because they think it's complicated. There are other investments that they would instead prioritize when moving into a new home. But getting insured for liability protection and replacements costs is essential.

Here is our definition of renters insurance: 

Renters insurance is a type of property insurance policy that provides financial compensation in the event there is theft or damage to assets held within the policy holder's apartment, duplex, house or other rental property. It can also include liability coverage to protect the policy holder from damages that result from injuries incurred by any other people visiting the rental property.

You may be wanting to save money, but is it really helping your budget in the long run? Bankrate.com tells us that the personal property replacement costs, if not insured, could set you back over $13,000.

It is a good idea to compare renters insurance quotes as preparation for your new home. Let's break this down for you in plain English. Here's what you should know about renters insurance.

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What Does Renters Insurance Cover?

It's not as technical or challenging as you may imagine. In fact, renters insurance is pretty straightforward. And we're here to break the basics down for you.

A renters insurance policy should cover three main things:

1. Your personal property

The correct classification of "personal property" is anything in your apartment or house which belongs to you and not your landlord. If a flood were to destroy the fridge in your kitchen, for example, you can't claim insurance on personal property for that. It's not yours. But, if your own television is stolen during a burglary, then it may be covered by personal property insurance.

Remember that different states have different laws for natural disasters. When you sign up for a renters insurance policy, double check which policy your state includes. Getting additional coverage in certain states may be necessary.

2. Your temporary living expenses

What does temporary living expenses mean? These are expenses you incur if you have to move somewhere else because your property was damaged. For example, if you are forced to book a hotel for the night because your landlord decides to build a new terrace on the property and it is disturbing your living arrangements.

3. Any medical bills which may occur

Some renters insurance policies cover the cost of medical bills and liability. Say you have a party in your house and in the event of the said party one of your guests has an accident and ends up going to the hospital. In some very rare cases, people are known to sue the host of the party. What would you do if this happened to you? It could turn out to be a big problem. But it may not affect you very much financially if those particular medical bills are covered by your renter's insurance policy.

In short, it's essential to find out any hidden benefits, scenarios and unnecessary coverage you may need your renter's insurance to include.

In addition to these three main coverage options above, renters insurance does cover some weird things:

1. Spoiled food: If a power outage played a role in your spoiled food scenario, then you may be covered by your renters insurance policy.

2. Death: This is not to be confused with life insurance. Renters insurance covers the accidental death of someone on your property. For example, if someone falls on a trampoline at your home, your renters insurance would cover the injury.

3. Dog bites: Dogs are really a part of the family when it comes to renters insurance. If your dog bites someone, your renters insurance will cover it. There are some breeds that are excluded.

4. Relocation: If you relocate because of damage done to your home, you may renters insurance company may cover some of the costs.

While these may come as a surprise to you, there are some major items not covered by renters insurance. Let's discuss!

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What Doesn't Renters Insurance Cover?

As you may have read above, renters insurance can be the saving grace of any renter. However, there are some major items that renters insurance does not cover. We’ve done the legwork and come out on the other side with a list of items not covered. Ahead, we dive into the list.

Here is a list of things a renters insurance won't cover:

1. Most natural disasters

If you have a basic policy, it usually won't cover damage incurred from natural disasters. This may be an extra additional insurance policy. Roommates or friends who are not family members.

Make sure that if you decide to rent a house to another person, they have their own renter's insurance policy. In normal circumstances, they will not be able to benefit from yours.

2. Undocumented items

Say you've made a significant purchase, such as a home computer, but cannot produce a receipt to prove the value of it. You won't get insurance for that item. Try investing in a safe for storing legal documents, receipts, and digital records on an external hard drive.

Another option can be to invest in a Cloud solution offline, where you store the receipts for purchases of expensive items. Imagine your home experiencing the damage of a fire, and then all of those crucial documents disappearing.

3. Pets and Pet Property

While dog bites are covered by your renters insurance policy, their overall health and well-being is not. If you own four-legged friends, ensure that they are covered by a pet insurance policy.

Now, let's debunk some common renters insurance coverage myths.

When buying renters insurance, friends and family are full of advice that they've picked up from everyone from our grandmothers to Jake from State Farm: Your landlord's insurance covers you. You can't get coverage if you live by the water. Your possessions aren't valuable enough for insurance.

But not every accepted bit of wisdom is true. In fact, all of those statements above are untrue. We've gathered some of the most pervasive renters insurance myths in one place to stop the misinformation once and for all.

Myth 1: Renters insurance is too expensive.

It's true insurance premiums are sometimes costly, but renters insurance compared to auto insurance or homeowners insurance isn't comparable. In fact, in many states, renters insurance costs less than $150 for the entire year.

Myth 2: My roommates has me covered.

We've heard it time and time again: my roommate's renters insurance policy covers my things. But, in reality, your roommate's policy covers their property, not yours.

Myth 3: I don't have enough stuff to insure.

We get it: Sometimes your IKEA furniture that's fallen apart after 2 moves doesn't feel like it's worth insuring. But, what about your 60-inch TV? Or, that new Macbook Pro? Renters insurance is worth it.

Myth 4: Renters insurance only covers my stuff.

Renters insurance only covers my stuff, right? Wrong. Your insurance policy covers personal property AND liability. If someone trips over your Christmas lights and breaks their arm, your renters insurance will cover those costs.

Suffice it to say, a lot of personal renting experiences have created these rumors about what actually is covered and not covered by renters insurance.

And while there are certainly exceptions to every rule, and we hope this unveiling of information above, put those myths to rest.

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Do I Need Renters Insurance?

The big question that everyone who rents a home or property asks: Do I need renters insurance?

The truth is — and you may have heard this in many tenants circles — that often, landlords do not even require renters insurance before leaving their home to you. There is a bit of truth to this, as some people who rent out their homes are only concerned with getting paid.

So renters insurance may not be something you think about right away. But, it's better to be safe than sorry! Having renters insurance will protect you in the case of any unexpected or unplanned disasters and situations.

On the other hand, some states require it from landlords. 

Last but not least: don't let the term "renters insurance" mislead you. What you need to understand is that even the best renters insurance policy will never prevent accidents from happening to you. It will only help you to recover some finances or loss.

Renters Insurance is Good for Everyone

Not all renters insurance policies are created equal, so you need to take the time to find one that's right for you.

If you are moving into a new home or considering renting a new property, take some time to research various insurance policies to find the one that suits your lifestyle best. Speak with others in the area you are considering living in and ask friends who have had to deal with insurance policies before.

Know what you are getting into and how you are covered. That way you will be ready and prepared for whatever life sends your way.


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