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If you’re renting a home, apartment or a condo it’s important to know that your items are not insured under the home owner’s insurance policy. That means if there is a fire, theft, or any damage to the home, your belongings are not covered. 

Here are some things to consider:

  • Renter’s insurance is sold by traditional insurance companies. You can likely find a policy with the same company you have an auto insurance policy with. And financial advisors and planners often sell this type of insurance.
  • Renter’s insurance is generally very affordable. Not at all like a home owner’s policy which can be quite expensive. This is because renter’s insurance simply covers the cost of replacing your belongings, not the home or exterior. Even though renter’s insurance is easy to find and generally inexpensive, it still makes sense to compare policies, their coverage and the rates. You can find a competitive rate with a few minutes of research.
  • Most policies cover the full replacement cost of your belongings. Take a look around your home and consider what it would cost to replace them if the home burned down. Probably more than you want to lose, right?  For a small annual premium or a monthly payment, your items are covered.
  • Policies generally cover against theft, fire, vandalism, and electrical damage. They typically exclude flood and hurricane damage however you can often purchase extra coverage or a rider if you’re concerned about these issues.
  • One thing many people don’t know about renter’s insurance is that personal or family liability coverage is generally also part of a renter’s insurance plan. This means you don’t have to deal with the financial cost of civil liability cases that stems from injuries on the rental property premises.

Before you apply for renter’s insurance take an inventory of what you have. Take photographs and list each item with replacement costs. You can also take a video tape if you don’t want to take hundreds of photographs. This will help you estimate how much coverage you need and it will certainly come in handy if anything ever happens and you need to file a claim.

Once you choose a policy and file an application for insurance, make sure to review the policy when you receive it in the mail. Make sure everything is stated as you expect it to be and be sure to ask questions now. It’s better to have the answers before anything happens.

Renter’s insurance is an important step to take to protect your belongings and your assets. It’s relatively inexpensive and easily available.