Whether you’re leasing a one or two-bedroom place in an apartment community, a cute townhouse or condo, or an entire single-family home, you have chosen far and away one of the easiest and most convenient living option.
Renting offers amazing flexibility – to move more frequently should your job or your relationship require it, for example – and a ton of freedom – from the financial burden of a mortgage, for instance. You’re also virtually free of all responsibility for repairs if something goes wrong in your place. Garbage disposal on the fritz or A/C not working? Simply put in a request with the property manager or your landlord and, voila, now it’s someone else’s problem and expense.
Your renting status can sometimes come with lots of great amenities – beautiful grounds, a pool, a gym, a clubhouse, even a dog park and mini car wash station, are included in some trendy offerings for renters these days. And, even better, you have neither the maintenance responsibilities that you would have as a homeowner, nor the hefty amenities fees that you’d have as a condo owner.
Of course, you should also know that just because you don’t own the place where you live does not mean that you are void of responsibilities. As a tenant, paying your rent is certainly at the top of your obligations, as is setting up your own utilities and paying the related fees. You’re also going to be held responsible for covering costs to repair any damages that you, or anyone you allow in your home, including a pet, cause to the rental unit.
These are all fairly obvious renter obligations, but one that often flies under renters’ radar is the necessity of protecting themselves and their belongings.
Unbeknownst to many people like you who rent, the insurance that a landlord or apartment community has secured will not extend to repairing or replacing your ruined personal belongings in the event of a catastrophe nor will it cover any liability issues that may arise if someone gets injured in your home.
Nowadays, there is actually a really good chance that you will be required to get renters insurance as part of your lease agreement. But, regardless of whether or not your landlord requires it, ICNE strongly recommends that you get renters insurance. Here are just a few of the reasons why:
Another tenant in your apartment complex who thinks he’s buzzing the pizza delivery guy in, but it’s really an opportunistic thief. When you get home from work, your apartment is in shambles and many of your things, including your laptop, a couple of watches, and, worse of all, your personal assistant Alexa, are missing. How are you going to put your place back together again?
If you have renters insurance, you’re going to get help! Your policy includes coverage to pay for the cost of replacing your lost items as well as repairing things that were damaged during the burglary, up to the limit of your policy. This coverage extends to items damaged or stolen off-site too, including things stolen from your car and belongings damaged in a storage unit. Plus, it’s not just your items that will be covered; renters insurance will extend to anything in your apartment that you may have borrowed from a friend or family member.
Of course, your renters insurance policy will also provide coverage for your personal possessions from many other perils beyond theft, including fire, smoke, lightning, explosion, windstorm, water and any other disaster listed in your policy.
Your neighbor accidently starts a kitchen fire in their apartment by forgetting the frozen pizza they popped in the oven at 2 am. The fire is contained, but the smoke invades your place and leaves your clothes, furniture, carpets, curtains, and more, covered in soot and smelling terrible. You already know from Reason #1 above that your belongings are covered by renters insurance, but where are you going to go while all this mess is cleaned up?
It can be a daunting task – and an expensive one – to find a place to live if your apartment is declared uninhabitable for a period of time due to a disaster. That’s why renters insurance includes coverage to help with the expense of relocating, whether to a hotel or a temporary rental, as well as for things like restaurant meals, pet boarding, laundry service, storage costs, and more, as long as they are over and above what you would normally be paying.
You’re having a get together at your place and you’ve stashed your big, excitable dog in the bedroom to keep him out of the way. But, he manages to open your bedroom door and comes running at your guests. Unfortunately, he picks the one non-dog-lover in the room to jump up on, knocking this person hard to the ground and injuring them. Will you have enough money to pay out of pocket for this person’s medical costs, lost wages should they be out of work for a period of time, and possibly even some expenses related to emotional trauma from being “attacked?”
This type of accident in your home can get really expensive, really fast, if you don’t have renters insurance, especially if it turns into an ugly lawsuit. However, with renters insurance coverage in place, you will have financial protection against lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage that you, a family member, or a pet cause. This portion of your renters policy pays for both the cost of defending yourself in court and for any court awards, up to the limit of the policy.
On the other hand, if you can work out a situation like this in a friendly manner, avoiding any legal action, a typical renters policy will allow you to submit the injured parties’ medical and other bills directly to your insurance company for reimbursement.
For all of this coverage, you might think that you’d have to pay a lot of money, but you don’t. The cost of renters insurance is supremely affordable, with comprehensive policies ranging from about $15 to $30 a month.
Some of the factors that will determine your premium include the deductible you choose and how much coverage you select. However, the key to getting the proper renters insurance coverage is to not make these decisions based on what will get you the lowest price, which can leave you badly underinsured.
Instead, we recommend that you make an informed decision by taking a detailed inventory of your belongings, calculating their value, and really thinking about how much you could afford and/or would want to pay out of your own pocket if everything in your home was damaged or lost.
As your local insurance partner, ICNE is here to help you with this evaluation and to answer all of your renters insurance questions. Once we’ve determined the coverage level that will fully protect you and your things, our team will find the insurance solution that best meets your specific needs at a competitive rate. This includes seeking out any and all discounts that can save you money, such as bundling your renters and auto insurance with the same insurance company. Most important, we will make sure that any claims you do have in the future are handled with extreme fairness and efficiency.
If you are ready for a more personal relationship with a trusted insurance agent, call us today at (800) 243-8134 or stop into either of our two convenient Massachusetts offices. We’ll be happy to provide you with more great reasons for having renters insurance and get you a complimentary quote as well.