Are You a Renter? Make Sure Your Belongings are Protected with Renters Insurance

Published in Personal Insurance News & Insights on Friday, October 16, 2020

It's that time of year again! College students have already moved back into the dorms and started their fall semester for 2012. Some college students may have chosen to live in apartments or a rental home and for those who have made this choice should carry Renters' Insurance. If you've never heard of Renters' Insurance, here is some quick information and why it is important to have this coverage.

Just like a home, you are expected to carry insurance coverage to ensure the things that hold a value to you are protected in case of an accident. But how is homeowner's insurance different from renters' insurance? What is covered under renter's insurance? Can a college student afford it? Who should carry this coverage? And, what if there are roommates?

Homeowner's vs. Renters Insurance  

With a homeowner's insurance, you want to make sure the structure of the house and all of your personal belongings inside are covered. It's also important to carry “loss of use” coverage in the event of an accident that leaves you unable to live inside your home. Personal liability and medical payments is carried in the event you are responsible for injury or property damage to others. You may have a garage that is covered under your homeowner's policy as well.

With Renters' Insurance, you are not responsible for the structure of the apartment building or rental house to be covered; this is in care of the apartment building or home owner. Renters' insurance is to make sure all of your personal belongings are covered. This includes everything from clothing to furniture to electronics, and more. Loss of use, personal liability, and medical payments are also coverages you will have on your renters' policy.

What is covered?
Property Protection: Renters' Insurance will cover all your possessions against damage for things such as fire, smoke, lightening, vandalism, theft, and water damage (excluding flood). This may also be extended beyond on-premise theft and hazards, covering property stolen from your car, lost property, or damaged property anywhere you may be. It is also helpful to keep an inventory of some sort of any large ticket items you might own, even if it's just a saved receipt.
Liability Coverage: Renters' Insurance will also protect you in the event you are responsible for injury or property damage to others, for example if someone slips and sprains their ankle at your birthday bash. This also provides coverage for any legal defense costs and judgments in a lawsuit, whether the incident occurred in your rented residence, or elsewhere.

Is coverage affordable?  Because Renters' Insurance only covers the value of your belongings, and not the building, the premium is relatively inexpensive. For about the same cost as going to the movies once a month, you can gain a peace of mind…regardless of life's unexpected mishaps.  

Who carries this coverage, and what if there are roommates?
If you, or your college student, are renting an apartment or house, the one residing in the rental is the one who should hold the policy (their name listed as the named insured). If there are roommates, each unmarried, unrelated person should carry their own renter's policy. Your Renter's Insurance policy will only cover your belongings, no one else's.

Conduct a home inventory. It may be surprising how much your belongings are worth. Furniture, DVD's, laptops, iPods, clothes, books and moveable appliances can really add up in value. Without renters insurance,replacing these items can be a major financial hardship.

We know accidents happen and all of us at PDCM Insurance want you to be prepared. Contact your agent at PDCM with any questions or concerns you may have about Renters Insurance, and any available discounts.