What is renter’s insurance and what is covered in it? All answers are available in this guide.
You’re off to a new city because of your job, or because you’re married now, you leave your old home and the comfort of living under a roof you weren’t paying for. But the circumstances for you have now changed; you’re moving to a place that you have rented and have to pay for your living every month.
The rent can be expensive depending upon the apartment and the location, and even if you have a roommate sharing the expense with you, it could still be heavy on your pocket. In such a case where you’re already having a hard time meeting expenses, a break-in happens, and you suffer a loss of all your valuable possessions. Now you have to pay a sum to replace all those items!
Chances are you won’t be able to afford it, because all these assets were purchased over time using savings and whatnot, and suddenly you can’t afford to purchase everything again all at once. What do you do?
To free people of such worries, insurance companies give the option of Renter’s Insurance. Let’s see what these are.
Renters Insurance Definition
A renter’s insurance policy protects the policyholder’s personal belongings within a rented property. This can be an apartment, condo, loft, duplex, or even a studio; if a person is renting it and living there, they can be covered under the renter’s insurance policy.
This policy covers the cost of personal belongings if they have been stolen or damaged due to theft, vandalism, or natural hazards. The list of belongings with their actual cash value and receipts is submitted to the insurance company, and then they offer a check to the policyholder to revive all those things back.
Renters Insurance Coverage
There are mainly three types of coverage options with renter’s insurance.
- Personal possessions
- Renter’s liability
- Loss of use
Explained with Examples
Personal possessions: If the policyholder has faced any loss of personal possessions and assets due to reasons beyond their control, the insurance company will cover for the loss.
For instance, there is a break-and-enter in the rented apartment, and your TV, laptop, and camera was stolen. The insurance company will cover the cost of the lost items and give the policyholder a check. Having receipts of the actual cash value helps speed up the process and proves that you’re a genuine case.
Renter’s Liability: This is usually done to cover the policyholder’s negligence if it affects any third party. Liability during negligence doesn’t cover personal losses.
For instance, your dog gets loose and runs around the neighborhood, bites your neighbor’s son, and now he has stitches. You will be asked to pay for his medical bills.
Loss of use: This is usually when the rented property gets damaged or contaminated that you have to relocate until it is fully repaired. So while you’ve been relocated, the insurance policy will cover your hotel, food, and clothing.
For instance, fire breaks in your apartment, and it’s fully damaged. You can’t move back in unless it is repaired, and in the meantime, you live in a hotel. The insurance coverage pays for your hotel stay and food during the time you’ve been relocated.
Renters Insurance Benefits
Imagine you’re out on vacation, and you come back to your apartment to see that your assets have been stolen along with your roommate’s laptop and her items too.
A renter’s insurance benefits you by giving you the peace of mind not having to bear the financial burden all by yourself. Just apply to the insurance company, and they will issue a check to you to revive all those expenses.
This is great if you’re planning on living in a place temporarily. Because if, in that brief period, something happens, you will be able to bounce back from that financial burden. Moreover, sometimes the location also plays a role while deciding if a person should buy renter’s insurance. Some neighborhoods stand a high chance of theft and vandalism, so if you’ve had the unfortunate chance of living in one of those neighborhoods, you should apply for renter’s insurance.
Renters Insurance Cost
Renter’s insurance cost varies significantly in every State. This is an average rate of the annual and monthly cost of renter’s insurance.
|State||Annual average||Monthly cost||Daily cost|
|District of Columbia||$158||$13||$0.43|
States with the most expensive renters insurance
|Rank||State||Annual average||Monthly cost||Daily cost|
States with the cheapest renters insurance
|Rank||State||Annual average||Monthly cost||Daily cost|
Note: Sample rates have been extracted online, courtesy of Business Insider.
Factors affecting Renter’s Insurance
Many factors may influence the cost of Renter’s Insurance that a policyholder is liable to pay. Some of these factors may increase the cost because they pose a higher risk for the insurance company to invest in.
Dog ownership: Even though owning a dog may not increase the number of premiums; you might need more coverage to pay for the liability that comes with it.
Credit History: This is an essential factor because people with a good credit score are likely to receive better coverage options. Your insurance company will invest in someone with proper insurance and credit history. A lower credit score may result in higher premiums.
Fire alarm: Having such precautions will affect insurance coverage because such things limit the chance of damage or theft. So the insurance company will consider the precautions that you take and offer you a cheaper plan.
Other than this, the coverage amount you want for each of the options in renter’s insurance will decide what amount of premiums you have to pay each month. So you have to keep in mind that a full coverage option will result in higher premiums.
Here is a basic breakdown of what premiums you should expect with each coverage option.
|Personal property limit||Personal liability limit||Annual renters insurance premium|
Note: Sample rates have been extracted online, courtesy of ValuePenguin.
How long does it take to get Renter’s Insurance?
Luckily, renter’s insurance is one of the policies that have the least complicated process and takes very little time to confirm. When a policyholder wants to apply for renter’s insurance, all they have to do is contact their insurance agent and fill out an application.
The application is simple; it asks only a few personal questions that are important to determine what sort of policy is needed, and the process takes less than fifteen minutes. Once the application is fully approved, you can go back home and sleep in peace because now you’re covered under the policy.
All you have to do now is pay your premiums on time to keep the policy in force and make a list of all your possessions and their actual cash value. Keeping a proper record is very important, and it would be great if you would have receipts of the valuables as proof too.
If you feel a particular insurance company is expensive, the best way is to shop around and look for more companies and policies until you find the right one.
Having a renter’s insurance is indeed a necessity, especially for people who can’t afford to bear losses. The insurance company will cover any loss or damage to the policyholder’s possessions on the rental property, so this policy gives people peace of mind that their belongings are at least financially safe.