In order to make the decision on whether to get a renters insurance policy, it is important to know what’s covered, the three types of coverages typically available, and what to watch out for when purchasing your own policy.
Please note that each insurance company has different exclusions and coverage limits. Not fully understanding what's included and excluded could lead to problems and frustrations down the road when you have to file a claim.
There are three essential types of coverage:
1. Personal property: Anything that belongs to you that isn’t part of the physical structure of the place you are renting. In many cases, personal property doesn’t need to be inside your home in order to be covered by your policy—think in a hotel room when traveling, or even in your car.
2. Personal liability and Medical Payments to Others: Accidental damage or injury (including pet bites) to someone else while on or in your property. If an accident occurs that requires someone else to seek medical attention, the insurance could also potentially cover that person’s healthcare costs.
3. Loss of Use, also known as Additional Living Expenses (ALE): If your living space becomes unavailable due to events outside your control (fire, water damage, etc.), the insurance company will cover any expenses whether in a hotel or other lodging space while yours is fixed. They may even cover the cost of boarding a pet, storing property, or transportation costs to and from work at your temporary accommodation.
Once you’ve determined the best type of coverage that fits your lifestyle, take a detailed look at determining your coverage limit. It varies depending on the type of coverage chosen!
Note that there are some typical exclusions for coverage. These include animals, your roommates and their belongings, and even flooding or earthquakes. It’s always important to ask your provider what these include.
Lastly, there are ways to save. Some insurances will give ‘bundle discounts’ if you have other insurance or services with them. Other saving methods involve having safety devices installed in your home such as smoke detectors, security cameras, alarms, deadbolts, and more. There’s never harm in simply asking your providers what type of discounts they might offer!
For more information on renters insurance and various policies, check out the full article at Money Magazine: https://money.com/best-renters-insurance/