What you need to know about renters insurance
If you rent a home or apartment, you need insurance to protect your possessions. Your landlord more than likely does not have an insurance policy that will pay for your things in the event of a fire or other disaster. That's why it's important to carry renters insurance.
What is it?
A renters policy is a type of property and casualty insurance that covers your possessions when you live in a rented space. Most policies also offer a level of personal liability coverage as well as protection against loss of use of your space.
Who is it for
Renters insurance is for anyone who leases living space. This includes single-family homes, town homes, apartments, condos and dorm rooms. If you are staying with a friend or relative and not paying rent, you don't need a renters policy. You also don't need renters if you are the one renting out the space.
How does it work?
A renters policy works like most other types of property and casualty insurance. If you have a loss due to fire, weather or theft, you have to contact your insurer to make a claim. An adjuster will evaluate your situation, determine whether the claim is covered and offer you a settlement minus whatever deductible you have. If your policy covers loss of use, your insurer will cover living expenses if your unit is left uninhabitable.
Types of coverage
Renters coverage usually is pretty standard, although each policy may vary somewhat in terms of what it does and doesn't cover. You also may be able to purchase riders that add coverage that's not normally a standard part of the policy.
The main benefit of a renters policy is that you have insurance coverage for your possessions in case they are stolen, damaged or destroyed. The additional coverages that come with a renters policy, including loss of use coverage and personal liability, can also bring big benefits to the policyholder.