Leaving your parents’ home and moving into an apartment of your own is perhaps the most exciting aspect of going away to college. You’re free to make your own rules, come and go as you please, and decorate your living space with your own personal décor. But what happens to your brand new laptop when a tornado rips the roof off your top-floor apartment, a flood soaks your 52” plasma flat screen television, or a fire burns up your iPod? As unlikely as these circumstances seem, it’s important to protect yourself and your personal property by purchasing renters insurance in case the unthinkable happens to you in your new rented home.
What is renters insurance?
Renters insurance is a type of home insurance that protects you against damages, losses, and accidents that take place in a rented residence, such as a college apartment, condo, duplex, or home. The insurance provides coverage for your personal belongings, such as stereos, televisions, mp3 players, computers, and cell phones, in the event that they are damaged or lost in the event of a fire, tornado, hurricane, flood, or even theft. In addition to protecting against such losses, renters insurance also covers the insured for any liability that may result from an accident or injury in the residence or on the property.
Doesn’t my landlord’s insurance cover my apartment?
While the landlord of a rented apartment, condo, or home must have insurance to cover damages to the residence itself, this coverage will not protect the personal belongings inside your home or contribute to the cost to replace them should they be lost or damaged. For example, if the roof of your top-floor apartment is damaged by high winds and needs repair, or the carpet and drywall in your home need to be replaced after a fire or a flood, your landlord’s insurance will only cover the damage to the residence itself – not the cost to rent a hotel room while repairs are made, or to replace a couch, computer, television, or other damaged property.
Renters insurance also covers you in case an accident occurs on your property and results in the bodily injury of another person. For instance, if a visitor slips and falls on a patch of snow you forgot to remove outside your door, your renters insurance coverage will help pay any medical expenses the injured person may require, as well as a lawyer should they file a claim or lawsuit against you.
How do I get renters insurance?
Once you’ve made the decision to purchase renters insurance in order to protect your belongings and yourself in your rented home or apartment, contact an agent to determine what particular level of coverage is right for you. Compiling a list of personal items that will be kept in your new residence and discussing with your insurance agent which policy will best protect your property in the event of a natural disaster, accident, theft, or other event is the best way to protect yourself against liability for injury and the damage or loss of your most prized possessions.