Renters Insurance

What is Renters Insurance?

Tenants may not own the homes they live in, but they’re still exposed to some risks. For example, they may lose belongings in a fire or burglary, or they might be named in a liability lawsuit. Renters insurance helps tenants protect themselves from many of the risks they face.

Although it’s an important form of insurance, renters insurance is one of the more underutilized insurance offerings. According to the Insurance Information Institute, only 37 percent of renters have a renters policy -- which leaves many tenants dangerously exposed to the risks they face.

Is Renters Coverage Expensive?

Because renters policies don’t normally include structural protections for buildings, insurers are frequently able to keep policies’ premiums affordable. Most renters policies cost just a fraction of what a comparable homeowners policy would be.

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Renters Insurance

What Protections Do Renters Policies Provide?

Renters policies’ protections can vary, as every policy has its own terms and conditions. In general, though, renters policies offer three primary coverages:

  • Personal Liability Coverage, which usually covers certain incidents in which a tenant is held responsible for personal injury or property damage
  • Personal Property Coverage, which normally helps protect the belongings that a tenant owns (e.g. furniture, electronics and clothes)
  • Additional Living Expenses Coverage, which frequently helps pay for alternative accommodations if a tenant’s residence is rendered uninhabitable in a covered incident

When determining how much personal property coverage to select, tenants should carefully consider the value of all their belongings. People are sometimes surprised at how much their possessions are worth all together. A policy’s personal property coverage limit generally should be equal to or greater than the cumulative value of a tenant’s belongings.

For tenants who have particularly expensive items, such as computers, jewelry, or firearms, it’s also important to check whether a policy has any specific limits for those items. Some renters policies have set limits for these and other high-value items. Tenants who have items that exceed a policy’s particular limit for those items should work with their agent to find additional coverage through a higher limit, rider, or different policy.Renters Insurance

Does Renters Coverage Include Protections for the Building a Tenant Lives In?

A renters policy’s liability coverage might offer protection if a tenant is found responsible for (or simply accused of) causing damage to the building they live in. Most renters policies, however, don’t offer any other protections for buildings. It’s usually a landlord’s responsibility to insure any rented homes or apartment buildings they own against lightning, wind, fire, and similar perils.

Who is Renters Coverage For?

Most people who lease a residence could benefit from the personal liability, personal property, and additional living expenses coverages that renters policies typically afford. Therefore, anyone who rents a place for an extended period of time should consider getting renters coverage. This may include:

  • Tenants who lease their residence year-round
  • People who own a home but lease a secondary residence for part of the year
  • Employees who will be working in another state for an extended period of time
  • College students who rent a residence off campus

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How Can Tenants Get Quotes for Renters Insurance Policies?

While renters insurance is generally affordable, it’s still wise to compare the coverages and rates offered by different insurers. Tenants can easily do this by contacting an independent insurance agent, who can request quotes for renters policies on their behalf. With an independent agent’s help, tenants can have several renters quotes to look at in a short amount of time. If tenants need assistance comparing the different quotes, an agent can help with that, too.

Meet Your Industry Specialist

Cathy Saporito.png

Cathy Saporito

Mrs. Saporito joins World Insurance Associates as Principal, Senior Vice President, Head of Personal Lines. She joins the team from AIG, where she was a Senior Business Development Manager for AIG Premier with responsibilities for New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. Cathy has worked on the agency side and the insurance company side and has been successful throughout her career.

In her spare time, Cathy enjoys spending time with her family and walking trails with her hound dog Sadie. She is passionate about serving others, especially the homeless, through organizations like Feeding 5000 and the Sunday Breakfast Mission.

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