Home rentals are hot.
Whether you’re choosing a traditional house or an apartment in a large complex, more and more people are renting.
Some are renters by default. Some are renters because they are students living off campus. Perhaps more significantly, many people today prefer the flexibility of renting as opposed to the commitment of owning a home.
But if you have made the decision to rent, there is one decision that is strongly recommended: it’s called renters insurance.
Your landlord already has insurance, but it doesn’t cover you or your possessions. It only covers the building or house where you live and any liability the owner might face.
It does not cover your belongings or your liability for accidents.
If your home is burglarized and possessions are stolen or damaged by a fire or flood, a renter’s insurance policy can allow you to recover their value.
If someone is injured or has an accident in your home, renters insurance can help protect you in the case a liability lawsuit.
You may not be worried about these things, but you should know that accidents can and do happen to good people every day. You may not think you have enough possessions to insure, but you’ll find that you have more than you think if you ever need to replace them all.
Accidents do happen
Take for example:
You finish dinner and get ready for bed. The trees around the complex all look healthy and hardy. But overnight, there is a powerful thunderstorm.
A huge oak tree is blown onto the complex, nearly crushing it. While you escape unscathed, the house is almost destroyed. During the ensuing rain storm, many of your possessions are ruined.
To make the situation worse, while you are scrambling to find a place to live, someone steals your grandmother’s priceless diamond bracelet.
In addition, the repairs will take months, so the landlord terminates the lease and tells you that you can no longer live there for safety reasons. You move into a hotel, assuming your costs will be covered.
Without renters insurance, you are out of luck. Neither the owner nor the landlord has any responsibility to you whatsoever. Yes, you will likely get your security deposit returned, and if you have prepaid your rent, you’ll probably get back the unused portion.
But beyond that, you’re on your own.
The sad part of this story is that most rental insurance policies only cost a few dollars per month. And you can usually get a discount by selecting the same company you already use to insure your car. Just ask your agent.
If you rent, you need renters insurance because stuff happens. It just does.
The basic coverage you should have falls into four areas:
Personal Property Protection: This coverage protects your valuables, such as furniture, clothing, electronics, collections, and more.
Temporary Living Expenses: If your home is damaged by flooding or fire or made unlivable by an accident, this coverage pays for your increased living expenses, sometimes including food, while the property is repaired, often up to 24 months.
Liability Protection for You: If a guest or a visitor suffers an accident at your house or apartment, this coverage protects you against a lawsuit that might come as a result.
Guest Medical Coverage: If a guest suffers an injury while visiting, this coverage can cover their medical expenses.
Interestingly, more and more landlords require that prospective tenants show proof of renters insurance as part of the rental process. That’s because your renters insurance can keep the landlord out of a lawsuit caused by an accident or calamity.
For more information on renter’s insurance policies in Quincy and Weymouth, MA, contact Lallis & Higgins Insurance.