Understanding The Basics of Renters Insurance

March 27, 2018

 
 

When disaster strikes, renters and homeowners suffer the same fate. If you are a renter, you definitely need to seriously consider taking renters insurance. Even though the condo association or your landlord might have insurance that protects their property, you need to be aware that such insurance only covers the building structure and not the property within it.

Imagine losing everything you own in a hurricane storm or flooding; all your furniture, clothes etc. Just like homeowners insurance, renters insurance is meant to protect the tenant from events that might lead to loss or damage of their personal belongings.

Unfortunately, according to the Insurance Information Institute, only 37% of tenants have renters insurance. If you are among those who don’t have renters insurance contact your insurance agent immediately to avoid huge losses in future.

Renters insurance can be had for as little as $200 a year. On average, a tenant can expect to pay a premium of a little over $180 based on figures provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

You need to note though that how much premium you pay for renters insurance is determined by the location of your home. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners Mississippi is the State with the most expensive renters insurance. Premiums start from $250. On the other hand, the premiums in South and North Dakota kick off from $117.

What Protection is Offered By Renters Insurance

There are different types of renters insurance. For instance, one renter insurance called HO-4 is designed to cover damage arising from 16 different types of events that include:

  • Smoke
  • Lightning or fire
  • Explosion
  • Hail or windstorm
  • Damage caused by vehicles
  • Damage from aircraft
  • Theft
  • Malicious mischief or vandalism
  • Falling objects
  • Volcanic eruption
  • Weight of sleet, snow, or ice
  • Discharge or overflow of water from the home’s plumbing or household appliance
  • Accidental damage from artificially generated electrical current
  • Freezing of plumbing or household electric appliances
  • Accidental damage to a water heating system

What Renters Insurance Does Not Cover

Renters insurance is similar to home insurance policies in the sense that it does not offer protection against loss arising from earth movements such as landslides, mudslides, and earthquakes.

Others risks that are not covered include:

  • War
  • Floods
  • Nuclear hazards
  • Government action including seizure of property by the government
  • Neglect by you
  • Damage caused intentionally

Replacement Cost vs. Actual Cash Value

When the insurance company compensates you for your loss it will do so depending on the type of compensation you opted for in the renters insurance contract.

Replacement cost refers to compensation that requires the insurance company to replace the stolen or damaged property excluding your deductible. On the other hand, Actual Cash Value means that the insurance company will only compensate you for what your property was worth at the time of your loss.

Replacement cost requires that the tenant pays more premium as you will receive a larger payout if and when you file a claim.

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