Types of Damage and Loss Usually Covered by Renter’s Insurance
Unlike homeowner’s insurance, the need for renter’s insurance isn’t always immediately apparent, but renters are often stunned to learn just how much risk they are taking on. Typically, they will receive little or no assistance from a landlord in the event of a fire, flood or burglary since the landlord’s policy only protects covers the buildings structure, all of the renter’s possessions are potentially at risk.
Renters are strongly advised to purchase insurance to protect themselves against as many as 17 major hazards. A standard HO-4, renter’s policy protects against all of the following:
Fire or lightning
Windstorm or hail
Riot or civil commotion
Vandalism or malicious mischief
Damage by glass or safety-glazing material that is part of a building
Weight of ice, snow, or sleet
Water-related damage from home utilities
Electrical surge damage
Not only will your policy pay for your things, but it will also make sure that you have a place to live while your dwelling is being returned to shipshape. Typically, the policy will pay up to 30-40 percent of face value for temporary lodging.
The liability coverage in your policy is also a major plus. Your renter’s policy is where to turn to for help if a guest slips while visiting, if Fido gets over-protective or if your painter take a header off his ladder. In fact, you are protected against some strange occurrences here. Has your waterbed turned your downstairs neighbor’s apartment into a lake? Call your agent fast. Your renter’s policy probably covers the damage.
How much will all of this set you back? According to Jayna Neagle of the Insurance Institute you may be able to get about $30,000 dollars of property coverage and between $100,000 and $300,000 in liability coverage for about $150 to $300 a year if you skip extra coverage for jewelry, electronics and other pricey extras. If you have a fortune in jewelry, electronics or rare coins, you will have to figure that into your costs and purchase additional riders to be safe.
Living in areas prone to floods, earthquakes or hurricanes will also require additional coverage since these are not included in the basic policy.
Renter’s insurance is an after-thought for most, but if you were one of the unfortunates who had a plane fly into their building as happened in the pricey East Side of New York City a few years ago or if your landlord’s overloaded electrical circuits set your apartment ablaze, you will be very happy that you opted for the insurance. Renter’s insurance provides invaluable protection at a reasonable price.