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Do I need renter’s insurance?

Do I Need Renter’s Insurance?

In today’s liability driven world, renters insurance is another item to consider if you are renting a multi-unit dwelling or a home.  In 2012 it was found that 96% of homeowner had homeowners insurance, but only 31% of renters had renter’s insurance.  This was determined by the Insurance Institute.  Some leases may stipulate that you provide proof of renter’s insurance.  If not you may still want to consider purchasing it.  Here are a few things to contemplate in making your decision.

The landlord’s insurance is designed to cover the dwelling or structure itself, with minor exceptions.  This provides liability insurance for the owner.  According to Wikipedia, there are three types of renter’s coverage: loss of use, personal property and personal liability.  If the tenant damages the structure in some way, the landlord and possibly other tenants affected can recover damages against the renter’s insurance.  Renter’s insurance may cover damages on personal belongings, personal liability and/or loss of use.

Beware however, different insurance companies offer a variety of policies at various price points.  It is important to know your specific coverage and any requirements of the lease contract.  You may think that you have nothing of value that needs to be insured.  Today many renters have computers, large TV’s, cameras, jewelry, furniture-all items whose value adds up quickly and would be difficult to replace if damaged.  This makes renter’s insurance a very attractive purchase.

Although renters insurance isn’t super expensive, there are ways to make it less so.  Shop around, all the major insurance companies offer renter’s insurance. Go with a higher deductible, ask about discounts for smoke alarms etc.  Do your homework, make your decision and you will have peace of mind at your new address.

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