1. The landlord's policy will not cover your personal belongings
Contrary to popular belief, policies carried by landlords typically cover structural damage to the building and not your personal property, so don't expect to have your sofa or cloths replaced if the living room catches fire.
Your renters policy will also cover theft of your belongings, whether they're stolen from your apartment or from anywhere else; including your car. And will pay for another place to rent if your home is not habitable for an extended period of time.
2. Your coverage likely extends beyond your personal possessions
Your renters policy likely will cover your legal costs if someone sues after having an accident at your place, and it will cover a certain amount of their medical bills.
It also will cover costs if you are responsible for damage to other people's property. A common example offered is when you (or your child) throw a baseball that breaks someone's window. Or perhaps you allowed the bathtub to overflow, causing damage in the apartment below.
3. Renters insurance isn't as expensive as you may think
Thinking the cost of coverage outweighs the benefits? Think again. While the price will vary depending on where you live, the averages we've seen range a $10 to $20 a month, much less than you'd spend to replace your belongings.
4. Furry friends may hike up the premium
For all you pet lovers out there, especially those who own "aggressive breeds," don't be surprised if you're quoted a higher premium or denied coverage, depending on the dog.
5. Luxury items may not qualify for standard coverage
Insurance providers often place limits on the replacement cost of luxury items such as jewelry, an art collection and other high-end items you may own. You can ask to schedule these items to be sure they are insured to their full value.
How to evaluate policies
When selecting coverage for your possessions, you'll be choosing from two options: Replacement Cost, or Actual Cash Value. Actual Cash Value is how much your property is worth after depreciation and is the least amount of money of the two types of policies. Replacement cost will give you money to replace the same like/kind item brand new. i.e if you bought a 50’ Samsung TV your insurance would give you money to buy the same like or kind new 50” Samsung TV.
Once you determine which form of coverage best suits your needs, here are some other important considerations:
- Do added safety features, including fire extinguishers, alarm systems and deadbolt locks, reduce the premium?
- Are bundle discounts available to those who carry multiple policies with the company?
Bottom line: If you skip renters insurance to save money, it could backfire and cost you more in the long run. For more information or a quote, contact Lallis & Higgins Insurance.