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If you are renting an apartment unit or a home, your apartment manager or landlord will always ask for a proof of renters insurance policy.
The specific coverage on the policy that the landlord wants to see is the liability coverage. By mandating their tenants to carry liability coverage, landlords are able to minimize risks in cases of accidents on their property.
As a renter, that same liability coverage in your renters insurance also protects you in case you were found liable for any damages to the property or injuries to others.
Renters insurance has three main components:
If you or your household family members accidentally caused bodily injury or property damage to another person, the personal liability insurance on your policy will cover the following:
According to the Insurance Information Institute, there were nearly 18,000 dog bite claims in 2019 and the average payout for a dog bite claim was $44,760. Dog bite claims remain as one of the top personal liability insurance claims year after year in the United States.
The financial protection afforded by your personal liability coverage also extends to injuries or damages caused by your pets including dog bites.
Keep in mind that in order for your liability coverage to be activated, you must first be found liable for the cause of injuries or damages to a third party.
When you carry liability insurance, not only does your insurance company have to launch an investigation to prove your negligence, but they also have the duty to defend you as its customer once negligence has been established.
Nevertheless, there are certain exclusions under your personal liability insurance coverage we want to go over:
Personal property coverage is included for you to cover all of your belongings, such as:
Depending on the type of renters policy you purchase, this coverage could also protect your belongings outside of your home. For instance, extra furniture stored at a storage unit or your laptop left in your car during dinner.
It is important to note that most renters insurance policies place a coverage limit on valuable items, such as jewelry, fine arts, golf clubs, collectibles, etc. If there are expensive items in your possession, you should speak to your insurance agent about adding a scheduled personal property coverage.
Another essential coverage on your renters policy is called additional living expense, also commonly known as loss of use. Just as its name says, this coverage will take care of additional living expense in the event that your unit is not livable due to a covered peril such as fire.
Examples of covered expenses:
There is a limit to this coverage and it is specified on your policy either with a capped dollar amount limit (e.g. $10,000) or a specified time period (e.g. 12 months).
Most renters policies have a minimum policy deductible requirement that starts at $250 or $500. Your insurance company may offer the deductible as high as $2,000. Lower the deductible you choose, the higher the premium will be, and vice-versa.
Keep in mind that deductible is your out-of-pocket expense after a claim is filed and before the insurance company makes any claim payout to you. For example, if your payout is $3,000 and the deductible is $500, you will receive $2,500 as the final payout amount.
Renters policy is relatively inexpensive and provides the peace of mind knowing that your valuable things are covered. It is also nice to know that you have coverage in case of expensive lawsuits due to liability.
Every insurance company has its own guidelines for policies. We always recommend talking to your insurance agent to discuss your personal policies in detail. Working with an insurance agent is the best way to make sure you are properly covered.