Understanding Home Renters Insurance: How to Make Wise Choices

You own a home, and you plan to rent it out. What rental home insurance do you need to protect yourself against liability concerns and avoid exposure to dangerous financial fallout? This article can answer pressing questions you have about home renters insurance and give you a critical tool to help you collect quotes and compare them side by side for better decision making.

The Difference between Structure and Contents

When you rent your apartment, condo, or a home out to a tenant, you do not need to insure the place for its contents. That falls to the renter. Instead, you only need to insure the structure itself -- that is, the foundation, the building materials, and so on. [That said, if you own the appliances e.g. oven, dishwasher, washing machine/dryer, you may want to put those on your home renters insurance policy.]

The distinction between structure and contents is important. Obviously, you don't want to over-insure because that will lead to higher premiums and ultimately a lower return on your investment as a landlord. Premises liability can be a grey area. In general, your tenant will be responsible if he through his own negligence or carelessness) causes a slip and fall accident that results in a medical emergency. For instance, say he has a guest over, and she slips on water in the shower, bumps her head against the side of the bathtub and has to get x-rays and surgery. Your tenant or his renters insurance company) should likely foot the bill.

But ambiguous cases exist. For instance, say someone slips on the steps leading up to the tenant's room. Will he be liable because he had the responsibility to keep the steps debris free? Or will you be liable because the slip that technically occurred outside? Talk to you agent about what premises liability coverage you need for your home renters insurance to cover your bases.

Getting Costs Under Control

Property taxes, repair fees, and other costs can nickel-and-dime away your return on your investment. To keep rental home insurance costs under control, explore opting for a higher deductible money paid out of pocket before coverage starts), insuring your home and car on the same policy, and installing a sprinkler and/or a security system. Lastly -- and this may sound like common sense, but it is common sense uncommonly practiced -- be discriminating about your tenants. Choose the wrong tenant, and you could wind up entangled in a mess over home renters insurance if something happens on-property. To that end, don't be desperate to rent out the place -- take your time to find someone who is a good fit.

Sourcing Home Renters Insurance Quotes

Look to NetQuote, a free online service, to collect 5+ home renters insurance quotes right now. Rather than going from insurance website to insurance website filling out a multitude of forms, take a few minutes right now to fill out one NetQuote form, and simplify and speed up your quest for coverage.

See how easy it is to shop for and save on renters insurance -- get your free quote now.