As a renter, one of the best ways to protect yourself, your visitors, and your personal belongings is to get a renter’s insurance policy. Most Lakeview property managers require tenants to have renter’s insurance before moving-in day. However, some renters are not familiar with renter’s insurance and do not know what to expect. For example, what does renter’s insurance cover, how much will it usually cost, and are there different options? This article will take you through these topics.
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. You have to remember that these are not covered under 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?
Usually, a renter’s insurance policy will cover losses such as theft, fire, and damage or injury due to 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.
But one of the important features of a renter’s insurance policy is that its coverage extends to accidental injuries to other people while 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 might even include the cost of the legal representation you will need to mount a defense for 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. Most policies don’t cost too much, but they offer extremely valuable protection.
Before you start comparing policies, make sure you 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 based on where your location is and may be optional or required. Every situation and policy will be different, so it’s good to know what you need.
The type of policy and coverage you choose will affect the cost of your renter’s insurance policy as well as the monthly premiums. 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. This is a very small price to pay in exchange for the kind of protection and peace of mind a renter’s insurance policy offers.
Shop Your Options
With the many options and rates available in the market, it is good to shop around before choosing an insurance company for your renter’s policy. Most big car insurance companies like State Farm, Allstate, or Progressive let you add on a renter’s insurance policy easily. But it is still helpful to get a few quotes, including from some newer insurance platforms before deciding on one. 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 Lakeview property managers for more information. Don’t forget to ask about our FREE rental market analysis.
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