What You Need to Know About Renters Insurance

Renters insurance is an affordable way to protect the things you value most in your life. It covers your belongings from common causes of damage, like fire or theft.

It also provides liability protection in case someone is injured on your property or has their property damaged. It can pay for medical bills and legal fees.

Personal Property Coverage

Renters insurance provides personal property coverage for your belongings, which includes furniture, clothing, jewelry, electronics and more. This coverage protects your items from the common sources of loss such as fire, theft, water damage and other disasters.

Unlike the physical structure of your apartment or house (that is covered by your landlord’s policy), personal property is your responsibility, so it is important to have adequate coverage.

You can choose actual cash value or replacement cost coverage for your personal property. Choosing an actual cash value policy will reimburse you for what your items were worth in their current condition at the time of loss, minus depreciation and your deductible.

You can also add endorsements to your personal property policy that extend coverage on certain high-value items, such as jewelry, fine art, musical instruments and computers. These endorsements often require no appraisal or listing of insured items and are typically less expensive than adding a new personal property policy.

Liability Coverage

Most renters insurance policies include liability coverage that protects you against a lawsuit if you cause damage to another person’s property or harm them. This coverage can help pay for legal fees and medical expenses if you are sued or found to be at fault in an accident that occurs in your home.

Liability coverage also provides protection against damages to your apartment or rental unit that occur as a result of a covered loss, such as fire, water or vandalism. It usually includes coverage for additional living expenses, including hotel bills and meals while your apartment is being repaired or rebuilt.

Buying renters insurance often involves taking inventory of your possessions and choosing the best coverage limit for them. The limits are determined by the value of the items you own and how much they would cost to replace if damaged or stolen.

Additional Living Expenses Coverage

Most renters insurance policies include additional living expenses coverage, also known as loss of use, to reimburse you for your extra costs while you’re not home. This covers things like hotel stays, restaurant meals and other expenses that are above your normal household budget.

This benefit, which is typically found under Coverage D, or loss of use, in most homeowners, condo owners and renters insurance policies, helps pay for your extra costs if you can’t live in your home due to a covered loss, such as a fire or hurricane.

The coverage is available for up to 24 months, though it can be extended by an additional 12 months in the event of a state of emergency.

When it comes to claiming your reimbursement, closely follow the policies and procedures your insurer has put in place for making a claim. And don’t forget to keep a record of all your conversations with your insurer to help expedite the process.

Homeowner’s Insurance Coverage

While renters insurance does not cover the dwelling itself, it can help cover property damage and theft that occur while you are renting. It also provides liability coverage, which covers legal fees for lawsuits that may arise from injury or property damage caused by you or a member of your household.

Personal property coverage is one of the most popular features in a renters policy and will determine its price. It will reimburse you for loss, damage or theft of your personal belongings up to a certain dollar amount.

In addition, many policies provide additional living expenses, which will pay you if you must relocate after a covered disaster. This will be especially helpful if you have to move out of your rental before repairs can be made.

Before making a purchase, read all documents carefully and ask for an explanation of what you are getting. This will ensure that you understand what you are purchasing and the terms of your policy.

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