When you own a home, you do everything in your power to protect it. And insurance is at the top of the list of ways to protect it. It should be the same for renters. Renters should want protection for their possessions and to be protected in case of injury to guests. Granted, renters don’t need to protect the actual dwelling, but shouldn’t they want to protect everything they own that’s inside their residence? You bet they should.
Renters insurance is a low-cost way to ensure that your belongings can be replaced should something unforeseen happen. Take a moment and think about just your high-tech belongings… your computer, tablet, smart phone, HD TV, digital camera, etc. How much would it cost to go out and purchase all of them? Now factor in your clothes. What if there was a fire and you only had the clothes on your back? How much would it cost to build a wardrobe from scratch? Now you’re getting the picture. The price tag associated with any disaster could, and most likely will, be staggering.
As a long-time member of Chuck’s team here at ARCW, I lived in a brand new apartment complex a couple years ago, and lightning struck the building next to me. The lightening strike took out not only the unit on the 4th floor, but three units beneath it due to the water damage from the fire fighters. I was rest assured ARCW has my back in case that was my beautiful apartment.
That’s why renters insurance is a “must have”. And it covers more than you might think. It also has liability coverage that protects the renter from guest injuries that are deemed the fault of the renter. For example, if you have a guest who is injured in your rented home or apartment and you are at fault, that person can file a claim against you for expenses related to the injury. If you have renters insurance you’ll be covered up to the limits of your policy. If you don’t, well, it will come out of your pocket and depending on the severity of the injury, it could be very costly.
There are many benefits of having renters insurance. For example:
- Temporary housing costs after a disaster
- Liability to cover expenses for injured guests
- Liability to cover injuries or property damage you cause others
- Legal costs if you are sued because someone was injured in your residence
- Items you’ve rented or borrowed
- Off-premises coverage when away from home
Here’s another personal story that happened a couple of years before the apartment fire. While I was renting a house near the beach (lucky to live in Florida!) we were pulled out of our beds at 4am by firefighters! Check out this photo, my house was on the right and that window on the corner was my bedroom window. Fortunately, when the firefighters showed up, they put their hoses on my house FIRST before focusing on the burning house. My house wasn’t hurt at all while the house next door burned to the ground. We did have water damage.
Even though renters insurance isn’t required by law, we are seeing a spike in renters insurance requests lately as more and more property management companies and landlords requiring it. Fortunately, renters insurance is priced very reasonably and is worth the expense. It will reimburse you for lost or damaged items due to fire, theft or vandalism, and liability in the case of an accident if you’re at fault. Another plus most renters insurance policies offer is that it can provide compensation if you have to leave your damaged residence and find temporary lodging elsewhere.
As with most insurance policies, you will be responsible for a deductible. And, certain valuable or collectible or irreplaceable possessions will require additional coverage. Do your homework before you find an insurance agent to put together a quote. Remember, the cost of the policy is directly related to the value of your possessions. Prepare by doing the following:
- Put together an inventory of your belongings
- Determine the dollar value of the items in your inventory
- Decide if you want an:
- Actual cash value policy that covers items up to their current market value after taking depreciation in account
- Replacement cost policy that covers the actual cost of replacing items
Don’t take chances with your possessions. Contact your insurance agent and talk about getting renters insurance today!
This information is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice. Should you have any questions or would like to discuss your risk exposure with your renter’s insurance, please contact the insurance pros at ARCW Insurance. We are here to help.