If you are one of the millions of Americans who rent their home instead of owning, you probably have considered renters insurance. While most people have heard of renters insurance, many do not fully understand what it covers.
Whether you rent by choice or necessity, rental coverage is vital to protect your belongings. You might not be responsible for the building, but you want to be sure all of your personal items inside have protection.
At Lake Region Insurance Agency, we have years of experience providing insurance coverage to our neighbors throughout Greater Minnesota. We have the plans you need at reasonable rates. Call us today for a quote.
What is Renters Insurance?
Renters insurance plays a few roles. It provides coverage for the cost of replacing your belongings after damage, theft, or other incidents. Renters insurance also covers expenses if someone sustains injuries in your home.
While the landlord is responsible for the structure, you need protection for your things. For example, if there is a fire that damages your belongings, renters insurance can cover the cost to replace the items you lost.
Or if someone sustains an injury in your home, and you are at fault, this policy could pay for their medical bills. Renters insurance may also cover legal expenses if they decide to bring a lawsuit against you. Without renters insurance, the costs could be excessively high in any of these situations.
Although the law does not require renters to carry this specific policy, many landlords and leasing agents do. And even if it is not a requirement, it certainly is a wise investment for the peace of mind it gives you.
How Does Renters Insurance Work?
It’s critical to work with an independent agent when you set up your renters policy. You want to be sure you have sufficient coverage for all your belongings. An independent broker can search for plans from many companies to find the right fit.
When you put your policy into place, you may have to declare certain high-value items, like jewelry or collectibles. If you have an extensive collection of valuable items, ensure your plan adequately covers them, and ask your agent about an additional valuable items policy.
When an incident occurs, you will start a claim, just as you would after a car accident. Depending on the policy, your insurance company will either pay you the “actual cash value” or the “replacement cost” of your items. The actual cash value is the depreciated amount based on the age of an object. Replacement value is the amount it costs to purchase the item today.
Just like with auto or homeowner’s insurance, you will choose the amount of coverage you need, which is the amount you can claim in a loss. Your premium is the amount you pay to own the policy, and your deductible is what you have to pay before insurance coverage kicks in on a claim.
What Does Renters Insurance Cover?
Renters insurance covers your belongings inside your rented home, condo, or apartment. When you lose items to damage, vandalism, or theft, you can usually file a claim. This type of policy also can cover living arrangements and expenses if you cannot live in the rented home due to a covered event.
There is no one-size-fits-all renters insurance policy, so your coverage will depend on how valuable your items are. It is critical that you have sufficient coverage for all of your belongings. Often, people underestimate the value of what they own, and they end up underinsured. Then, if a tragedy happens, they may not receive payment for everything.
Work with your agent to be sure you purchase the right amount of coverage. That way, if you own something, and it is on the property you are renting, your insurance will likely cover it.
Renters insurance typically covers items lost due to:
- Smoke Damage
- Lightning Strike
- Wind and Hail
- Water Damage (from broken pipes or appliances)
- Falling Objects
- Snow and Ice Damage
What Does Renters Insurance Not Cover?
While renters insurance offers significant protection, it doesn’t cover losses under some circumstances. As with homeowner’s insurance, policies generally exclude certain things.
Floods and Earthquakes
Extreme natural disasters such as floods or earthquakes generally don’t fall under a renters policy. Landslides and mudflows are other excluded events in most plans. So a traditional renters insurance policy will not cover damage or loss to your items in the event of a flood or earthquake. However, some companies offer these coverages for an extra fee.
If you live in a floodplain or an area prone to earthquakes, these are additional coverages you should consider.
Bed Bugs and Pests
Unfortunately, bed bugs do not fall under most renters insurance policies. Bed bugs and other pests are considered maintenance issues and do not qualify for a claim on your rental coverage.
Damage to Your Car
Although your belongings inside your car may have coverage under a renters policy, the vehicle itself does not. You will need a separate auto insurance plan for that.
Your Roommate’s Things
If you have a roommate, it’s important to know that your policy will not cover their things. And their plan, if they have one, will not cover your belongings. You could choose to list them on your policy, but this will likely increase your premium and deductible.
And if you have friends who store things at your place, your plan will not cover their stuff if damage or theft occurs. So make sure they know that!
Call Lake Region Insurance Agency Today
If you are renting your home and have no insurance in place, call Lake Region Insurance Agency today. Or if you’re not sure if you have sufficient coverage, let’s talk. We will go over your needs in a free insurance review to be sure you have the right protection.
As an independent insurance agency, we do the heavy lifting for you. We research the best policies for your situation so that you have just what you need. With multi-line and multi-policy discounts available, we can find the right fit for you.