Renters Insurance: What Am I Responsible To Cover?

By Compuquotes Team on March 27th, 2008
Renters Insurance

If you are renting a space to live in, regardless of whether it is a home, condominium or an apartment or other type of dwelling, you are required to carry some renters insurance, known as HO-4 insurance, as well, your landlord, or the property owner should also carry insurance.

As a renter, you are responsible to get insurance to cover your belongings. Renter's insurance also provides liability protection and pays expenses of living case there is a disaster that forces you to move temporarily from your rental property.

Your belongings are yours-the furniture you own, your clothes, pictures, electronics and other items that you moved into the home are your responsibility to insure from damage or theft. If you purchased and brought an appliance to the rented home, such as a washer and dryer, then you are responsible to add them into your rental insurance coverage as well. Anything that you own in the house is your responsibility to ensure is insured against loss, even if the cause of your loss is someone else's fault.

For liability insurance you are responsible as well. You, for the most part, are responsible for the upkeep of the property, including ensuring the walkways are free of debris, snow and ice. Unless your landlord is responsible for that, you need to ensure that you are covered. If someone slips and falls on the ice outside of your home and it is your responsibility to keep the walkways clear, then the person's injuries are your fault and they will sue you for damages--this is where liability insurance comes in handy.

Now that we have established that you are responsible for covering your property in the home and for incidences that happen due to your negligence outside the home, we can establish what you are not responsible for.

You are not responsible to insure the dwelling itself or the appliances or furniture that came with the home--that is your landlord's responsibility to cover.

Renters insurance typically covers 17 types of perils (incidences): vandalism, malicious theft, fire or lightning, windstorm or hail, explosion, riot or civil commotion, aircraft, vehicles, theft, damage by glass or safety glazing material that is part of a building, volcanic eruption, falling objects, and weight of sleet, ice or snow. These perils are for damages to your personal property only as well as liabilities.

Check with your insurance agent about what is covered under your renters insurance and what isn't covered. You will need to provide a comprehensive list of the material that you own so that the insurance company can adequately cover your belongings and charge you appropriately. If you have expensive items, such as jewelry, paintings or antiques, you will want to let your insurance company know when you take out the insurance policy. Sometimes, these expensive items are not allowed under basic renters insurance policies and you will need to take out separate insurance on those objects.

Another important question to ask your insurance agent is if your renter's policy pays out actual cash value or replacement value on your belongings, should you need to file a claim. Actual cash value could mean that you will not get enough of a payment to replace your items with newer items, but rather their actual value. Replacement value will offer you payment at the current cost of the same goods.

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