As a renter, buying a renter’s insurance policy is one of the best ways to protect yourself, your visitors, and your personal belongings. In fact, most Menlo Park property managers require their tenants to get renter’s insurance before their scheduled move-in day. But if the idea of renter’s insurance is new to you, you may not know what to expect. This includes a renter’s insurance coverage, cost, and possible options. This article will take you through these topics.
What is Renter’s Insurance?
The quick definition of renter’s insurance is an insurance policy that covers personal liabilities, belongings, and sometimes living expenses in case of injury, damage, or loss. You have to remember that these are not covered under the property owner’s insurance policy. That insurance is specifically for the rental house and not you or your personal property.
What Does Renter’s Insurance Cover?
Typically, renter’s insurance policies cover losses like theft, fire, and damage or injury due to natural disasters. Depending on the type of policy you buy, yours may also cover things like vandalism, losses due to civil disturbances, and damage caused by malfunctioning systems in your rental homes, such as the plumbing, heating, or air conditioning, and so on. If the extent of the damage is bad enough, your policy could even pay for the cost of alternative housing, meals, and other living expenses while your rental home is being repaired.
One of the important features of a renter’s insurance policy is that it covers accidental injuries to other people while they are visiting your rental home. For instance, one of your visitors injured themselves or experienced damage to their personal property while they were at your rental home, renter’s insurance will cover you in the event of a civil or personal injury lawsuit. Your insurance may even cover the cost of legal representation you will need to help defend yourself in court. It could also cover any damages (up to your coverage limit) awarded to the other party.
What’s Required and How Much Does It Cost?
While it is not required by law, many landlords and property owners may require proof of a renter’s insurance policy to lease their home. Required or not, a renter’s insurance policy is something every renter should have. Most policies don’t cost too much, but they offer extremely valuable protection.
Before you even look around for a policy, make sure you know what the required liability limit is. Many landlords define the required liability limits in the lease and will require tenants to have specific endorsements like floods or earthquakes. These endorsements vary by location and can be optional or required. Every situation and policy will be different, so it’s good to know what you need.
The type of policy and coverage will affect the cost of your renter’s insurance policy and your monthly premiums will differ. According to a recent analysis, the national average cost of renter’s insurance was $14 a month. But most renters pay a monthly premium of between $5 and $30. This is a small price to pay for the protection and peace of mind you get from a renter’s insurance policy.
Shop Your Options
Shop around for different options before choosing an insurance company for your renter’s policy. Big car insurance companies like State Farm, Allstate, or Progressive usually let you easily add on a renter’s insurance policy. But it is still good to get a few quotes, including from newer insurance platforms before you decide. That way, you will be assured that you got the most affordable coverage for you, your guests, and your belongings that offer the protection you need.
If you are an owner looking for someone to take over the day-to-day tasks of your investment property, contact our team of Menlo Park property managers for more information. Don’t forget to ask about our FREE rental market analysis.
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