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understanding renters insurance in three minutes

07/06/2020

By: Liz Froment

When it comes to moving into a new apartment, you most likely have a lot of to-dos on your mind: unpacking, getting the WiFi set up and finding all the best local restaurants that deliver—you know, the important stuff.

Yet, there's one big thing that often falls through the cracks: renters insurance. Ignoring this could end up leaving you paying for all sorts of unexpected costs—the last thing you want after a stressful move.

Many renters are not aware about this type of insurance and wonder if it's worth it. As you look into renters insurance benefits, here's what you need to know.

What Is Renters Insurance?

You might think that, because you're renting, you don't have to worry about insurance—that's the landlords problem, not yours, right? Think again. Renters insurance is meant to help protect you and your things from damage, robberies and accidents.

Unfortunately, while homeowners almost universally get homeowners insurance, the numbers for renters insurance are stark in comparison; the Insurance Information Institute found that just 46 percent of renters have renters insurance.

If you're someone who doesn't have renters insurance, you might be assuming a lot of potential risk that will come out of your pocket—not your landlord's.

What Does Renters Insurance Cover?

The exact coverage from renters insurance can vary depending on the policy, but in general, it covers these main areas.

Personal Property *

This covers the loss of your items from covered damage. If a fire broke out in your apartment building and your clothes and electronics get destroyed, your renters insurance would help pay to replace these items

Theft Coverage*

It's not just houses that catch a burglar's attention—plenty of apartment dwellers come home from work or vacation each year and find they've been the victim of a break-in. When that happens, your renters insurance policy can help cover the costs of replacement—again, up to a specified limit.

Additional Living Expense*

Sometimes the unexpected happens: a fire destroys part of your apartment building or a tree crashes through it and it's not safe for you to live there during repairs. Renters insurance provides coverage for the necessary increase in living expenses to maintain you and your family’s normal standard of living. 

Medical Pay Coverage*

Accidents can happen. If you have a friend over and she sprains her ankle and needs to go to the doctor, your rental insurance can help pay for your guest’s associated medical costs. 

Liability Coverage*

Sometimes, you might be the reason for damage in your apartment or somewhere else. A common example of this is an overflowing bathtub that causes water damage to the unit below. Your renters insurance can help protect you if your landlord or the tenant in that apartment sues for damages. Similarly, your renters liability coverage would be there if your dog bites someone visiting your apartment,

 *NOTE: Coverage limits and/or deductible applies

What's Not Included in Rental Insurance?

Keep in mind that while renters insurance often covers a lot, there are some things that aren't covered. Depending on the policy you choose, these include:

  • Some natural disasters such as floods or earthquakes;
  • Highly valuable items;
  • Your car; and
  • Your roommate's stuff.

As you look through policies, read them carefully so you know exactly what is and isn't covered. It's also possible to add supplementary insurance for high-ticket items and bundle your automobile and renters insurance under one policy. Your independent agent can help you identify and purchase the coverages you need.

How Much Coverage Do I Need?

The best advice is to speak with your independent Westfield agent. Your agent can help you sort out your best options for policy needs, based on your personal situation Your agent will discuss the expectations landlords have today for liability coverage limits. The amount of property coverage you need will depend on how much personal property you have and its value. Your total policy cost is based on your specific needs and the coverages you purchase.

Is rental insurance worth it? The answer is a resounding yes. Renters insurance can help protect you and your things from theft, damage and accidents without leaving a huge bill.

Learn more about the renters insurance Westfield offers right here.

Liz Froment is a content marketing writer and strategist with a focus towards insurance, real estate and finance.