Renters insurance is not required by law. But buying a renters insurance policy may be prudent, whether you rent a third story of a Brooklyn brownstone or a two bedroom condo in Peoria. But before you buy, let's take a look at what is actually covered under the typical renters insurance policy.
Three Key Aspects of Renters Insurance
#1. Property — An average two bedroom apartment will contain around $30,000 to $40,000 worth of "stuff," including electronics, documents, furniture, appliances, jewelry, collectibles, clothing and so on. Not all of your "stuff" will be automatically protected by your HO-4 renters insurance policy. Some items – such as guns, collectible jewelry, precious works of arts, and the like – may be only covered up to a point by renters insurance, so you may need to get special extra coverage for them called "riders." But, in general, if any specifically covered property gets stolen, destroyed, or contaminated, your renters insurance will help you repair/replace it.
Note: The degree to which you will be reimbursed depends on whether you choose Actual Cash Value (ACV) or Replacement Cost coverage. ACV coverage will reimburse you the cost of the object today minus its depreciation; Replacement Cost coverage will reimburse you the cost of a new comparable item. Replacement Cost coverage is more expensive, but it's generally worth it, since most of your possessions have probably significantly depreciated in value since you bought them (e.g. your clothes, electronics, and furniture). Make sure to look at a couple of different policies that include each of these types of coverage. Shop around and consider at least three Renters Insurance Quotes
#2. Premises Liability — So-called "slip and fall" cases can lead to nasty litigation. For instance, say a drunken friend accidentally slams her head against your bathroom sink and has to get emergency orthodontic work. You could wind up liable for thousands of dollars worth of dental bills and other costs. A renters insurance policy can shield you from this kind of exposure.
#3. Temporary Housing — Say something dreadful happens to your place – a fire, an infestation of rats, or fumigation by toxic volcanic ash. You will need another place to stay temporarily while you piece your life back together and repair/replace your possessions. Your renters insurance policy should provide help along these lines. Sometimes a carrier will give you 12 months of living expenses. Other times, you will be limited to coverage for "a reasonable length of time," according to your carrier's definition.
Homing In on the Best Renters Insurance Policy
Isolate the best renters insurance policy for your needs by shopping around. NetQuote, a free online service, can help you cross compare 5+ quotes selected from a pool of 100+ name brand insurers. Use our online quote form right now – it will take minutes to fill out, it's free to use, and many people like you have saved hundreds on their insurance just by doing this basic research.
See how easy it is to shop for and save on renters insurance – get your free quote now.