You’ve moved into a new place. In all the excitement of moving and decorating your new apartment, you can easily overlook an essential step in settling into your new home—obtaining renter’s insurance.
Being covered by renter’s insurance is a necessity that could protect you and your belongings in the future.
1 – What does renter’s insurance cover?
Renter’s insurance (also called tenant’s insurance) helps cover the cost of replacing your belongings in the event of a loss after a deductible. The loss could be damage to your building that destroys your possessions or results from a break-in. Ask your agent what is covered so you know what types of damage are included in your policy.
Policies also have some liability insurance. This type of coverage offers you protection if someone is injured in your apartment.
While you don’t want to be a pessimist as you move into your new apartment, planning for these tragic, unforeseen circumstances is essential to preparing for your financial stability.
2 – Are you required by your lease agreement to carry a renter’s policy?
Many landlords build a clause into the lease agreement mandating tenants to carry a renter’s policy.
You might be asking yourself, “But, why? Don’t they carry special landlord insurance?”
Yes, they do. However, if an accident happens, they may still be within their rights to file a law suit for damages. While law suits rarely occur, your liability coverage protects you either way. So, if you accidentally start a fire while burning your favorite aromatherapy candle, your renter’s insurance covers your lost belongings.
Your policy usually also carries both property and liability coverage for you. The liability portion of the plan closes this gap with the landlord.
If a landlord later finds out you did not meet this lease clause, you are opening yourself up to eviction or lawsuits.
3 – How much renter’s insurance do you need?
An epic mistake many renters make is not obtaining sufficient coverage in the event of a loss. Some renters genuinely don’t know the value of their possessions and others cheap out and deliberately underestimate the value of their goods to get the minimum rate.
Either one of these scenarios can leave you in a bind.
The best way to assess your items’ value is to go old-school—grab a pen and a notepad and create a physical inventory of all your goodies. Everyone remembers to cover their electronics and furniture, but there are a few easy-to-miss things.
Remember to include some often overlooked items: your clothing (you don’t need to list every sock, an overview will do), expensive handbags or luggage, and kitchen wares. Things that are stashed away in closets or cabinets also have value!
Assess a value for each item and add them up. Once you’ve established a total cost of replacement, your local insurance agent can guide you.
4 – What about your pet?
If you have a pet, your renter’s insurance might—or might not—protect you against liability if your furry friend bites a visitor to your apartment.
Most policies do include liability coverage for pets. Inform your agent if you have a pet and be sure to ask your insurance agent about how to ensure that you are protected in the event of a pet bite.
5 – Do you have vehicles?
In many cases, your renter’s insurance covers the loss of your possessions that are inside your car.
However, it doesn’t cover the physical damage that happens during a crime. Therefore, if a thief smashes in your windows to snatch your valuables out of the car, the physical damage to the glass is not covered.
While you’re chatting with your insurance agent about tenant’s insurance, ask him to do a check-up on your auto policy to be sure you have enough coverage.
One of the smartest things you can do to ensure financial recovery from an unexpected loss of your property is to purchase renter’s insurance before you move into your new home. Already moved in? Connect with your local agent; they can help you get the coverage you need today.