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Home / Articles / Real Estate / Happy Herald Realty /  Q: Do I Need Renter’s insurance?
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Thursday, July 5,2012

Q: Do I Need Renter’s insurance?

 

Q: Do I Need Renter’s insurance?

-Angela Gaff, Texas

A: This has become a major topic of discussion in our community due to the fire in a rental unit which left the family with a loss of the majority of their belongings. With no renters insurance they had no avenue to secure replacement items.

As a broker manager of Happy Herald Realty I am strongly suggesting all tenants consider buying a policy, I am also suggesting a clause to be added into the lease agreement stating that all parties have full understanding of the terms of renters’ insurance.

Many renters mistakenly believe that the contents of their apartment or rental home are covered by a landlord’s insurance policy, but this isn’t usually the case. To assure coverage of your belongings if there is theft, fire, or acts of nature, and for coverage of living costs in the event your home becomes uninhabitable, you’re going to need renters’ insurance. Fortunately, policies are usually inexpensive: They run between $15 and $30 per month, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. That’s a small price to pay compared to replacing all of your belongings or other emergency expenses.

If you’re considering renters’ insurance, make sure you have a clear understanding of what’s covered under the different policies quoted you. Keep in mind that if you already have life or auto insurance that the company you use for that policy may offer you a discount for opening a renters’ insurance policy. Discounts may also be available from some insurers if you have deadbolt locks, smoke or fire alarms, or other alarm systems.

Look for these factors in a rental insurance policy:

Your policy should cover any belongings located in your rental. When you take out a renters’ insurance policy, it’s wise to take a written as well as photographic inventory of your belongings so you and the insurer can assign current and replacement values for each of these items.

Does the policy only protect your belongings when they’re on the premises (at your rental address), or does it protect those belongings if they’re with you elsewhere?

Will the policy pay for you to live elsewhere if damage to your rental makes the place uninhabitable?

Does the policy protect you from damages in the event a guest gets hurt on the property?

Will your policy pay for any medical or other reimbursement sought by the guest? If a guest’s property gets damaged— stolen, broken, or destroyed—at your home, will your policy cover it?

Does the policy protect your pet, including any veterinary bills in the event your pet is injured? What about liability: Does the policy protect you if your cat or dog nips a guest?

Does the policy cover flood or hurricane damage? Many renters’ policies don’t cover Hurricane but will add it to your policy in an extra “rider” (or tacked-on coverage) for an additional fee. Pipes burst, a spark ignites a blaze, thieves find the unlocked door.

Sometimes stuff just happens. That’s why renters need to take a hard look at the big what-ifs.

Questions to gabepal@gmail.com or (954) 562-0110 to “Ask Gabe” in person.

Gabriel Palotas, HHR Manager, has more than 20 years of real estate experience with a proven record of productivity, quality and integrity. (Lic. FL Real Estate Broker • Nat. Auctioneers Association NAA • Int. Consortium of Real Estate • ICRE Transnational Referral Certification)

 

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