Whether you’ve been renting an apartment for years or just started, you might wonder if you need to get renter's insurance. Here’s what you need to know about renter's insurance: what it does and doesn’t cover, and how to get the best deal on a policy.
Renter's Insurance Usually Provides Three Kinds of Coverage:
- Personal belongings: This covers items such as clothing, electronics, furniture and appliances. You need to figure out the value of your personal possessions, so you know how much coverage you need to replace your belongings. The easiest way to figure this out is by making a list of these items and estimating the cost.
- Liability: This gives you protection against lawsuits filed by others for an injury or property damage that you or a family member caused. It helps pay for legal costs to defend you in a trial and for a court award if you lose a case.
- Other living costs: This helps pay for living expenses when you need to move somewhere else if your apartment is damaged. This includes costs such as eating out at restaurants, hotel stays and other living expenses.
However, renter's insurance doesn’t cover damage to the apartment building. Also, vehicles aren’t covered by this type of policy—you need a separate automobile insurance policy.
How to Get the Best Deal
Try to get at least three quotes for coverage so you can comparison shop and save money. You should also look at an insurance company’s reputation for quickly and fairly handling claims. A good source of information is word of mouth from family members or friends.
If you already have other insurance such as auto coverage, see if the same company will give you a discount for also buying renter's insurance from them. In some cases, you might be able to pay less if you have a security system, deadbolt locks or smoke detectors.
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