Everyone knows about homeowners insurance, that invaluable policy that covers property damage or loss in the event of an unexpected catastrophe. As the term implies, this type of insurance applies only to a residence you own. So, where does that leave the millions of people who rent? As most would agree, there’s much more to a home than its four walls. You might even say it’s what’s on the inside that counts—and that’s the very reason for renters insurance.
What Is Renters Insurance?
Renters insurance is a type of policy designed for those who rent their residence, whether an apartment, a condominium or an entire house. The owner is responsible for the physical structure itself (presumably protected by landlord insurance), but the protection of your possessions—from couches to coffee mugs—is up to you.
While Massachusetts law does not mandate that renters have insurance, some landlords do; make sure you’re aware of any requirements before signing a lease. In any case, it’s always best to play it safe. In general, renters insurance provides coverage for:
- Personal property. Like the property component of homeowners insurance, renters insurance protects the value of your belongings in case of fire, theft or another event.
- If someone is injured while in the renter’s living space, liability coverage provides financial protection against any resulting costs. This might include medical bills or legal fees if a lawsuit follows.
- Additional living expenses. In cases where a home is damaged beyond habitability, most renters policies will cover costs (in whole or part) associated with the renter’s temporary relocation—for example, hotel, storage or food costs.
As with homeowners and landlord insurance, renters insurance does not cover flood damage. Ask your agent for information on flood insurance policies.
Purchasing Your Policy
Ready to shop renters insurance? You’ve certainly come to the right place! Our agents will walk you through factors to consider in choosing the right policy. For example, you’ll want to discuss:
- Overall cost. Among types of insurance, renters policies are notably affordable; the average price is between $15 and $30 a month. Your insurance agent also can help you with ways to save, such as bundling your renters insurance with other policies you may have.
- Policy types. There are two types of renters insurance policies. An actual cash value (ACV) policy covers the price of items at the time of purchase, while replacement cost value (RCV) provides reimbursement for the purchase of new (replacement) items. While ACV costs less upfront, value may be lost on certain items due to depreciation.
- Additional coverage. If you own items of especially high value, such as fine jewelry or rare collectibles, you may want to purchase special coverage designed to protect these possessions. Your agent can help you decide if your situation warrants additional coverage.
It’s important to make a list of your possessions, including purchase prices and model numbers. This will help you not only to choose a policy but to receive accurate compensation if damage or loss does occur. Be sure to store your list in a secure location away from your home.
Regardless of ownership, a home is a home—and it pays to protect the things that make it yours. Contact our team for personalized, expert guidance today.