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CYA with Renters Insurance

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We’re talking about covering your assets of course!

Renters insurance is one of the cheapest types of coverage you can buy. But there are some important things you should know before you sign on the dotted line.

More and more apartment complexes are requiring tenants to carry renters insurance.  

If you or someone in your apartment causes damage to the rental unit or injury others, it makes sense that landlords want tenants to have insurance that would pay them in the event of a claim. To ensure tenants carry the coverage that best protects the property, some leasing companies are now offering to sell coverage directly.

Today’s post is part explanation of how renters insurance works and part cautionary tale.

Renter’s insurance typically has two parts – personal property and liability coverage. Your landlord is concerned with your liability.

Liability coverage exists to protect you against lawsuits in the event you cause damage to property or other people. Landlords want you to have this because they don’t want to be responsible for the costs if something a tenant does happens to harm the property. Liability covers other things too, like if someone gets injured from a slip and fall in your home, or a dog bite.

While these types of accidents do happen, liability probably isn’t your biggest worry.

Personal property coverage on the other hand IS something you need to think about.

Personal property coverage is what replaces YOUR stuff in the event of a fire, a burst pipe, a break-in, or another covered loss. It can be used to repair or replace everything from your T.V. and computer, to your furniture, your clothes, even your pots and pans.

Without personal property coverage you get nothing in the event that your belongings are destroyed. That’s right – while your landlord requires you to protect his assets by carrying insurance, he is under no obligation to protect yours.

Here’s our cautionary tale.

As we mentioned at the beginning, some landlords and leasing agencies are requiring tenants to not only carry renters coverage with liability protection, but some are even offering it directly to their tenants.

We recently heard about someone purchasing basic coverage directly through their apartment complex. We can’t say for certain if the person understood what they were buying or not, but fast forward to this winter’s recent below zero temps. Due to extreme cold, a water pipe burst in the tenant’s apartment and destroyed thousands of dollars of the their personal property. Were they covered?

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The unfortunate answer is no.

The insurance purchased directly from the leasing company only protected them against liability. It didn’t offer any coverage for their personal property.

The tenant had no options for filing a claim for the destruction of their belongings. And to make matters worse, with a liability only policy, there was no coverage for loss of use so they couldn’t even get help with a hotel room while their apartment was being repaired.

The moral of the story? Don’t trust your insurance to just anyone. Contact a professional insurance agent like the ones at United Insurance Agencies & Affordable Auto Insurance.

Not only can we help you find the right coverage that protects you and meets your leasing obligations, but as independent agents we can shop around to find you a great rate. And if you do get your insurance online or through a source other than an agent, be sure you read and understand what you are buying before signing any contracts.

Want to know more about renters and other types of property insurance? We’re here to help! Call us with your questions and we’ll be glad to take a look at your current coverage to make sure you’re well protected.

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