One of the best ways to protect not only yourself as a renter, but your visitors and personal belongings as well is to buy a renter’s insurance policy. Many Hampden property managers require their tenants to have renter’s insurance before the day they move into a property. But if the idea of renter’s insurance is new to you, you may not know what to expect. This includes a renter’s insurance coverage, cost, and possible options. This article will take you through these topics.
What is Renter’s Insurance?
The simplest definition of renter’s insurance is that it is an insurance policy that covers personal liabilities, belongings, and sometimes living expenses in case of injury, damage or loss. Do note that these are items not included in the property owner’s insurance policy. That insurance is for the rental house itself and excludes you or your personal property.
What Does Renter’s Insurance Cover?
Some losses typically covered under a renter’s insurance policy include theft, fire, and damage or injury arising from natural disasters. Depending on the type of policy you buy, yours may also cover things like vandalism, losses due to civil disturbances, and damage caused by malfunctioning systems in your rental homes, such as the plumbing, heating, or air conditioning, and so on. If the extent of the damage is bad enough, your policy could even pay for the cost of alternative housing, meals, and other living expenses while your rental home is being repaired.
One great feature of renter’s insurance policies is its coverage of accidental injuries to other people while visiting your rental home. For instance, one of your visitors injured themselves or experienced damage to their personal property while they were at your rental home, renter’s insurance will cover you in the event of a civil or personal injury lawsuit. Your insurance may even cover the cost of legal representation you will need to help defend yourself in court. It could also cover any damages (up to your coverage limit) awarded to the other party.
What’s Required and How Much Does It Cost?
While it is not a requirement by law, a lot of landlords and property owners require proof of a renter’s insurance policy before leasing their home. But even if a renter’s insurance policy is not required, you should still get one. These policies don’t cost too much but offer extremely valuable protection.
Before shopping around, you should know the required liability limit of your policy. Some landlords indicate the required liability limits in their lease and you might need to have specific endorsements like floods or earthquakes. These endorsements are usually location-dependent and can either be optional or required. You must know what you need since every situation and policy will be different.
The cost of your renter’s insurance policy, as well as monthly premiums, will depend on the type of policy and coverage you choose. According to a recent analysis, the national average cost of renter’s insurance was $14 a month. But most renters pay a monthly premium of between $5 and $30. That is a really small price to pay for the kind of protection and peace of mind a renter’s insurance policy will afford you.
Shop Your Options
Given the many options and rates in the market, it is good to shop around before deciding on an insurance company for your renter’s policy. If you already have car insurance with a big company such as State Farm, Allstate, or Progressive, you can ask how to add on a renter’s insurance policy. But it won’t hurt to compare a few quotes, including some from newer insurance platforms. That way, you will be assured that you got the most affordable coverage for you, your guests, and your belongings that offer the protection you need.
If you are an owner looking for someone to take over the day-to-day tasks of your investment property, contact our team of Hampden property managers for more information. Don’t forget to ask about our FREE rental market analysis.
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