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What to Expect from a Renter’s Insurance Policy

Model Home with a Speech Bubble that Reads InsuranceAs a renter, getting a renter’s insurance policy is one of the ways you can protect yourself, your visitors, and your personal belongings. Many Westchase property managers now make it a practice to ask tenants for their renter’s insurance before move-in day comes. However, some renters are not familiar with renter’s insurance and do not know what to expect. This includes a renter’s insurance coverage, cost, and possible options. This article will answer these questions.

What is Renter’s Insurance?

The quick definition of renter’s insurance is an insurance policy that covers personal liabilities, belongings, and sometimes living expenses in case of injury, damage, or loss. Do note that these are items not included in the property owner’s insurance policy. That insurance covers the rental house itself, but not you or your personal property.

What Does Renter’s Insurance Cover?

The usual losses covered under a renter’s insurance policy include theft, fire, and damage or injury caused by natural disasters. Depending on the type of policy you buy, yours may also cover things like vandalism, losses due to civil disturbances, and damage caused by malfunctioning systems in your rental homes, such as the plumbing, heating, or air conditioning, and so on. If there is a lot of damage, your policy might even pay for the cost of alternative housing, meals, and other living expenses while your rental home is being repaired.

An important feature of a renter’s insurance policy is its coverage of accidental injuries sustained by other people while they are visiting your rental home. In case your visitor either injured themselves or experienced damages to their personal property while at your rental home, renter’s insurance will cover you if a civil or personal injury lawsuit arises. In some cases, your insurance may even cover the cost of the legal representation you’ll need to help you defend yourself in court as well as any damages (up to your coverage limit) awarded to the other party.

What’s Required and How Much Does It Cost?

While it is not required by law, many landlords and property owners look for proof of a renter’s insurance policy before they lease their home. A renter’s insurance policy is something you should get regardless if it is required or not. These policies don’t cost too much but offer extremely valuable protection.

Before shopping around for a policy, it is best to know what the required liability limit is. Most landlords define the required liability limits in their lease and will require you to have specific endorsements like floods or earthquakes. These endorsements are usually location-dependent and can either be optional or required. You must know what you need since every situation and policy will be different. The cost of your renter’s insurance policy and your monthly premiums will vary depending on the type of policy and coverage you choose. According to a recent analysis, the national average cost of renter’s insurance was $14 a month. But most renters pay a monthly premium of between $5 and $30. For the kind of protection and peace of mind you get from a renter’s insurance policy, that is a small price to pay.

Shop Your Options

Given the many options and rates in the market, it is good to shop around before deciding on an insurance company for your renter’s policy. Most car insurance companies like State Farm, Allstate, or Progressive give you an option to easily add on a renter’s insurance policy. But it is still prudent to get a few quotes, including some from newer insurance platforms. This way, you can be assured that the policy you get is affordable coverage and protection for you, your guests, and your belongings.

If you are an owner looking for someone to take over the day-to-day tasks of your investment property, contact our team of Westchase property managers for more information. Don’t forget to ask about our FREE rental market analysis.

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