Renters insurance is often looked past by most because it’s common to think that due to the fact that you don’t own the home, you are not responsible for anything that may happen to it. While it is true that as a renter you aren’t necessarily liable for damages done to the property itself, renters insurance covers you personally. If you are a renter currently searching through Seattle, Texas, or Toronto real estate listings, keep the following questions in mind as you search for renters insurance.
What Does it Cover?
As previously mentioned, the insurance for the property is not your responsibility, it’s up to your landlord. However, your personal belongings are your responsibility and that’s where renters insurance plays a big part. A key component of tenants insurance is to cover for any damage done to your belongings in the home, or if it gets stolen.
Renters insurance also covers your liability to the guests of your home, should they happen to get injured while they are there. This can mean paying for any medical or legal bills that may arise if an accident does occur in your home.
If you do happen to make a claim for damaged property, it’s also worth knowing whether you are covered for an actual cash value or a replacement cost value. The first will compensate you for the full purchase price you initially bought the item for whereas the latter will factor in depreciation since the time you purchased it.
What Perils are Covered?
As you take a look at your insurance policy, it’s important to note which perils are covered and which are not. Those most commonly included are electrical problems, fire, water damage, and some weather incidents. It would also be good to check and see if your policy will cover your expenses for temporary living situations should you be unable to reside in your home due to one of the covered perils occurring. If you live in an area prone to natural disasters, such as earthquakes and hurricanes, it may be worth adding extra coverage as these major events are not usually included in common policies, though it will likely cost you a little bit extra.
How Much Coverage Do You Need?
For personal property coverage, a good way to figure out how much you’re going to need is to get an estimate for how much your belongings cost. If you find your belongings totaling to about $25,000, you should aim for a policy with coverage of that much or more to avoid not having enough to cover claims that may exceed it.
Who Does It Cover?
While renters insurance will usually cover you and your immediate family living there, it will often not cover other people like roommates or even your partner if you are not legally married. If your policy does not cover the others who live with you, but you would like to add them on, you can ask your insurance agent what options you have.
If you have a furry friend running around, you may also be wondering if they are covered in your policy. This will vary between different providers so it’s imperative to read all the terms and conditions carefully. Animal related incidents, dog bites being the main one, are not usually covered so you may also want to speak to your agent about additional options you have to add extra coverage for those situations.
As you can see, renters insurance is able to protect you from a variety of things, and while it is not mandatory, it’s a good safeguard to have as you never know what accidents may occur. Whether you are looking at New York, Atlanta, or Toronto real estate prices as you hunt for your next rental, make sure you are properly insured to provide a safe and stress-free time during your stay.
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