Renters Insurance, sometimes called a Tenants Policy or HO-4 Policy, covers your personal property, such as clothing, furniture, and electronics in case of perils like fire, theft, or wind damage from a hurricane. It may also provide liability coverage, medical coverage, and temporary living expenses.
Even though you don’t own the building, it’s still your stuff, and you might be surprised with how it adds up. Your landlord’s insurance usually covers only their building and property. Landlords’ policies rarely cover anything of yours. Renters insurance covers your furniture, clothes, pots, pans, and most of the items you need to live. Basic jewelry and electronics are usually covered. Check with your insurance carrier if you have pricy items or large collections.
Note that your personal property is probably covered outside of your home also. So if a thief snatches your phone, you’re probably covered.
Liability insurance can help pay if a guest is injured in your home and sues you for damages. A serious injury can bring a very large suit. Liability insurance can also offer coverage for non-automobile accidents caused by you and your family.
Living expense coverage pays all or part of the cost of a place to live if your home becomes unlivable. Medical payments cover injuries to your visitors.
My local area has had two major apartment fires in the past few months. In both cases, a fire started at one end of the building and destroyed everything…if it didn’t burn, it was soaked with water. Residents lost everything, including their place to live.
Two Types of Coverage
As with Homeowners Insurance, there are two general types of coverage. Replacement cost policies pay for the actual cost of replacing your items with new ones. Actual Cash Value policies pay you the current value of your items. Note that the current value of a three-year-old TV or phone is probably a lot less than you’ll need to buy a new one.
Also, like Homeowners insurance, most Renter’s Insurance won’t cover damage from earthquakes or floods. And it won’t cover maintenance items or infestations.
Prices are moderate. Like any other type of homeowners insurance, premium costs depend on many factors like where you live, your deductible, your insurance company, and whether you need any additional coverage.