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What to Expect from a Renter’s Insurance Policy

Model Home with a Speech Bubble that Reads InsuranceAs a renter, buying a renter’s insurance policy is one of the best ways to protect yourself, your visitors, and your personal belongings. Many New Bedford property managers now make it a practice to ask tenants for their renter’s insurance before move-in day comes. If you are not familiar with renter’s insurance, you might not know what to expect. This includes a renter’s insurance coverage, cost, and possible options. In this article, we will look into these topics and more.

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 is specifically for the rental house and 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 great features of a renter’s insurance policy is that it covers accidental injuries to other people who may be visiting your rental home. For instance, your visitors injure themselves or experience damage to their personal property while at your rental home, renter’s insurance has coverage for you in the event of a civil or personal injury lawsuit. 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 a requirement by law, a lot of landlords and property owners require proof of a renter’s insurance policy before leasing 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 compare 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 vary by location and can be optional or required. As every situation and policy is different, you should be aware of what you need. 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

Shop around for different options before choosing an insurance company for your renter’s policy. Big car insurance companies like State Farm, Allstate, or Progressive usually let you 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 know you have selected the most affordable coverage for you, your guests, and your belongings that offer the best protection you need.

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

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