Recently, renter's insurance has become a real "hot topic"-- with good reason. 35% of U.S. households are renter-occupied according to the NMHC (National Multi Housing Council) and if you live in a large city like New York, where 50% of all housing is rented, those numbers can be even higher. If you are among those who rent, you may not have the proper insurance. It is estimated that nearly 60% of renters don't have a renter's policy.
Many renters erroneously think that the landlord is financially responsible when fire, theft or other catastrophe happens. While the owner or landlord may have insurance that protects the building you live in, your landlord’s policy won’t replace your personal possessions or help pay for living expenses if the rental unit is damaged or destroyed and needs repair. The only way to protect yourself financially against disasters is to buy a renters insurance policy. Renters insurance covers the possessions in your rented unit, liability and additional living expenses. A closer look at these three types of protection:
Standard renters insurance protects your possessions against damage from smoke, fire, water, windstorm, lightning, theft, vandalism, explosion and other disasters listed in the policy. Flood and earthquake are not included. When making the decision how much insurance to buy, it is necessary to know the value of your personal possessions. This includes your furniture, electronics, appliances, kitchen utensils and even towels and bedding. To figure this out you'll need to create a "home inventory", a detailed list of all your possessions and their estimated value.
Two types of renter’s insurance policies exist for your possessions:
Actual Cash Value: Pays to replace your possessions minus "depreciation" (the reduction in value of an item due to age and use) up to the limit of your particular policy.
Replacement Cost: Pays the full cost to replace your possessions with no deduction for "depreciation", up to the limit of your policy. This type of policy costs, on average, around 10% more than Actual Cash Value coverage.
Its worth to note that a standard renter's policy offers limited coverage for possessions like: jewelry, silver, furs, etc. Your policy can be supplemented with a "floater", a separate policy that provides additional insurance coverage for your valuables.
Additional Living Expenses
If the home or other dwelling you are renting is destroyed or damaged and you are unable to reside there while repairs or rebuilding happen, this type of coverage can help pay for your additional living expenses, the additional costs incurred by having to live away from home. This can be things such as: temporary rental units, hotel bills, restaurant meals and more.
This protection is provided in the event you or members of your family cause injury to others or damage to their property, as well as damage your pets cause. In the unfortunate event you are sued, the liability portion of your renter's policy may pay for both the cost of your defense in court and for court awards up to the limit of the policy. Your policy may also provide "No-Fault Medical" coverage, so if a visitor is injured at your home you could submit their medical bills directly to your insurance company-- regardless of fault. It does not pay medical bills for your own family or your pets.
If you need help deciding what coverage is best for you and your household, contact us toll-free at 1-800-247-9889 or click here to begin your renter's insurance quote. One of our agents will find the right policy for you and be there for you in the unfortunate event you would have to make a claim.