When you’re renting a new apartment, you’ve probably got a massive to-do list: from assembling furniture to unpacking boxes. Right on top of that list should be getting renter’s insurance.
What Is Renter’s Insurance?
Renter’s insurance helps you protect your furniture and other belongings in case there’s a disaster. Whether it’s a fire, a storm, or a break-in, this insurance will help you replace anything in a rented property that’s been damaged or stolen. It works a lot like homeowner’s insurance. Renter’s insurance is crucial because most insurance policies that landlords hold won’t cover your belongings in case of a disaster.
But how exactly do you choose the best renter’s insurance policy for your needs? Pay attention to these four factors.
Which Items Does the Policy Cover?
First, check exactly what is covered by the renter’s insurance policy and make sure that the list is as long as possible. The list of items that are covered, which often summarized as moveable possessions, should include the following:
Finding the right coverage depends on what you own. For example, if you’re a student who shares an apartment with your classmates, you probably won’t need a policy that covers several thousand dollars of jewelry. Before picking a policy, make a list of the possessions you want to have insured. That way, you can see in one glance if a policy fits your needs.
When Does It Cover Your Property?
Next, verify that the policy covers a wide range of hazards—especially those that are more likely to occur in your area. There’s nothing worse than thinking that you can rely on your insurance and then finding out that you won’t get a penny if a specific type of disaster occurs.
For example, many policies don’t cover disasters like flooding and earthquakes. Most also won’t protect you if you need to hire an exterminator because your property has been damaged by an infestation of termites or bed bugs.
Any policy worth its money should protect you in case of the following:
- Snow and hail
- Damage caused by vehicles
- Vandalism and theft.
Good policies will also cover water damage from a pipe burst, freezing of household systems, and damage from artificially generated electric currents.
Does It Include Liability Coverage?
A great renters insurance policy should also protect you against lawsuits. If you or one of your roommates injure someone or damage their property, they can sue you. The same is true if someone is injured while in your home. In these cases, your renters insurance may help you with legal expenses.
Does the Policy Cover Emergencies?
If there’s a fire and your home becomes uninhabitable for a while, you may need to stay in a hotel. Look for a renters insurance policy that will cover relocation costs. This includes a hotel stay, eating out, and other things that fall outside of your usual living expenses.
Keep each of these questions in mind when shopping around for your renters insurance policy.