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Do I Really Need Renter’s Insurance?

No one ever wants to pay more bills than they have to, but one bill if you are a renter you should welcome is a renters insurance policy. The most significant benefit is that if you have a policy with the same insurance carrier as your car insurance, the multi-policy discounts you receive may make your renter’s policy seem free. The average in New York is $142, or about $12 per month – a renters insurance policy protects more than you think. Let’s look at a couple of examples.

The first example is the obvious one – a fire (or other covered loss) where you live. While your landlord may have insurance, that insurance is for coverage on the building, not your belongings. Renters insurance covers what you own, up to the amount you request on the policy. From your furniture, wall hangings, kitchen utensils, and clothes to your TVs, laptops/tablets, and cell phones…if damage occurs to your stuff, you pay out of pocket to replace your items when you don’t have a renters policy. When you have renters insurance, all you pay when you file a claim is the deductible chosen when a policy is set up, typically ranging from $100 to $1,000.

Protection AWAY from home

Another example – if your car is broken into. Many believe that if items are stolen from their car, their car insurance will pay to replace their stuff. Unfortunately, your car policy will pay for the damage to your vehicle but will not replace the Airpods in the cup holder, the laptop on the back seat, and the golf clubs in the trunk. If you are a renter without a renters policy, you are the one paying to replace what was taken. If you are one in the 57% of Americans that have renters insurance, you would only have your deductible to pay when filing a claim.

More than just your stuff

Other coverages on a renters policy that protects you are liability and medical payments to others. With liability limits that you can usually purchase from $100,000 up to 1 million and medical payment limits from $1,000 to $5,000, these coverages cover you if someone else gets injured on your property. Bites from pets and slips and trips are the most frequent claims that occur, and if the person injured sues you, the liability coverage may also pay for the legal costs.

Another coverage is Loss of Use Coverage. This coverage provides Additional Living Expenses if the home is inhabitable due to a covered loss. Part of these expenses can even cover staying in a motel or hotel while you cannot live in your own home.

You can also purchase coverage for sewer and water drain back-up, jewelry, furs, and other valuables you own. In fact, the right renter’s policy can closely resemble a traditional home insurance one; it just doesn’t cover the structures.

…but beware

What will renters insurance not cover? Your roommate’s stuff! Your policy won’t cover their possessions, whether it is your best friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, or someone else not related to you. It is best if they purchase separate insurance.

Click here if you have any questions about a renters policy or would like to purchase one!

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