by Jeffrey Lee

Many landlords require their tenants to carry renter’s insurance. However, even if a landlord does not require the policy, renter’s insurance is very important coverage to have when renting a home, apartment, or even a room. Renter’s insurance provides many benefits:

It covers one’s personal belongings from damage or theft, up to the dollar limit chosen by the customer. Many tenants believe that their belongings are covered by the landlord’s insurance, but this is not the case. If an apartment burns, floods, or suffers other damage, the landlord’s insurance will cover repairs to the dwelling but will not replace the tenant’s damaged property. This coverage extends to off premises as well, so that a policy holder’s belongings are covered anywhere in the world.

It covers one’s personal liability, if the tenant is sued and found liable for financial damages. This is similar to an auto insurance policy’s coverage if an incident occurs when the policyholder is behind the wheel, but a renter’s policy covers damages in any other situation not related to a car accident. This feature is also important if the tenant or guests damage the rented home in any way. A landlord will pursue their tenant for money to repair these damages, but if the tenant has renter’s insurance, the insurance policy will likely pay for it instead.

It covers one’s living expenses if a rented home becomes uninhabitable. In a similar mistake to thinking that the landlord’s policy covers personal property, many tenants believe that the landlord is responsible for their living expenses if the home is damaged and can’t be lived in. This is not the case. A renter’s policy will pay for food, lodging, and other living expenses while the insured customer is displaced from the home.

Most companies will also discount a customer’s auto insurance policy for also carrying renter’s insurance. This will sometimes make the renter’s insurance free – and occasionally will even discount the auto policy more than the cost of the renter’s policy itself. With some companies, having previous property insurance – which would include renter’s coverage – also will make home insurance less expensive when a customer purchases their own home.

One also does not have to rent a home to carry this coverage. A customer who lives with family or friends is also eligible for this protection, and should consider purchasing it.

Jeffrey Lee has over a decade of experience in the insurance industry, and is currently the Sales Director of the Amy Alward Agency, the largest Allstate agency in Maine.