Renter’s Insurance

Renter’s Insurance is one of the most overlooked policies in America.

Do I Need Renter’s Insurance?

It’s easy to assume that if you don’t own your home, you wouldn’t need insurance on it, or that you’re covered under your landlord’s property insurance policy. But that’s not really the case – those policies cover the building, but not your stuff. A renter’s insurance policy can pay out the cost of replacing belongings that you’ve spent a lifetime accumulating.

How Much Rental Insurance Do I Need?

Rental Insurance policies are generally “blanket” policies that cover all of your possessions up to a certain value, whether you’ve inventoried them or not. It’s not a bad idea to take an accurate inventory of your things, however. Some insurers recommend taking a video tour of your apartment, stating the amount you paid for each item as it comes up, and keeping the video in the cloud or in a safe location away from your home. This will help you out if you ever need to file a claim.

Like a lot of insurance policies, renter’s insurance may cover belongings for the amount you paid for them originally (replacement cost) or the value they actually are worth now (depreciation value). Be sure you know which one you’ve signed up for; we generally recommend insuring items for their replacement cost whenever you can.

What About Protecting My Valuables?

If something happened to your place, it would be pretty easy to tell the insurance company “And I also had priceless works of art stolen” to get a bigger settlement, so most insurers cap the value allowed on valuables under a blanket policy. But if you really have priceless works of art – or jewelry, high-end musical instruments or collectible firearms – you can list those high-dollar items and their appraised value on a schedule and get a little extra coverage for them on a separate “rider” addition to your policy.

Your insurance agent can provide guidance as to which items qualify.

What else does Renter’s insurance cover?

Rental insurance policies have a few other surprising benefits – they can cover items that aren’t actually at your home, such as items in storage units, or goods stolen from your car. It’s best to ask an agent about the limits of your policy, but the benefits of a renter’s policy stretch well behond the confines of your home.

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