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Coverage Options for Renters Insurance

By Compuquotes Team on June 20th, 2008

Renters Insurance

Your landlord's insurance covers structural damage done to their property, but don't be fooled into thinking your personal possessions are covered. For that, you'll need renters insurance. This type of insurance provides you with protection from theft and damage, and some other types of risk too.

  • What's Covered?

Renters insurance can cover virtually all of your personal possessions. Depending on the item, however, some coverage may be limited.

Most policies provide coverage for electronic goods and equipment (including CDs, DVDs, and other portable media), small appliances, sports equipment, cameras and photography equipment, furniture, clothing, glassware and china, and books. Items such as computers, jewelry, furs, watercraft, and firearms are also covered, but protection may be limited. This usually means that you're only covered up to a certain dollar value (or against certain types of damage only) unless you purchase additional separate insurance for the item in question.

  • What are you Covered For?

Renters insurance commonly covers theft and damage caused by fire, lightning, smoke, vandalism, and hail or windstorms. Note that this loss doesn't necessarily have to occur in your home: if your mobile phone or iPod is stolen from out of your car, for example, your insurance will cover it.

In addition, your insurance may offer certain types of protection that doesn't directly relate to loss of personal possessions. Some companies offer these in standard policies, others may charge extra for the protection. Typical offerings include:

• Liability Protection: Covers you for legal fees and damages if someone sues you as a result of being injured (or their possessions being damaged) on your property.
• Increase in Living Expenses: If you must move elsewhere due to a loss incurred on your property, this insurance will cover any extra living expenses (up to a certain limit).
• Medical Payment to Guests: Covers medical bills (up to a certain limit) of people who are injured in your apartment (excluding you and anyone else who lives there on a permanent basis).
• Vacation Losses: Your policy may cover you for losses you incur while traveling, such as stolen items or lost luggage.

When buying a policy, you must choose between actual cash value and replacement cost for reimbursement of claims. ACV is what you get with a basic policy-this pays you the value of the item at the time it was lost. Replacement cost is just that: you receive the amount of money it will cost to replace the item. The latter is more expensive, but is highly worthwhile for items that depreciate quickly (such as computers and electronic goods).

  • Optional Extras

If you have limited coverage items such as furs, jewelry, and firearms, you can purchase that additional insurance if you want to cover them completely against damage or other types of loss. Some policies also allow you to insure engagement and wedding gifts on a temporary basis.

In addition, there are some other optional extras, mostly relating to the types of damage your property might suffer. Depending on your insurance company, they might offer cover for damage from floods and earthquakes, burst water pipes, riots and other acts of civil disobedience, damage caused by aircraft and vehicles, damage caused by falling objects, by explosion, or by a nuclear incident. Some companies may include some of these in standard policies, and some may charge extra for the protection. If you want to save money or maximize your coverage, you'll definitely want to talk to several different companies.

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