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Renters Insurance 101: Is It Worth it? What Does It Cover?


You might not own your home, but you still have a lot of things worth protecting.

According to Hawaii News Now, approximately 43 percent of Hawaii households rent their home, and this is one of the highest rates in the country. With so many renters, there’s a great need for renters insurance. Here’s what you should know about coverage.

Your Landlord’s Insurance Doesn’t Cover You

Your landlord needs insurance for the building, but this policy protects the landlord. It doesn’t protect you.

Consider what might happen after a fire, burglary or other disastrous event. If there’s damage to the building itself, the landlord’s policy should provide coverage for it. But what about damage to your personal belongings? You could lose your electronics, your furniture, your clothes – everything. Your landlord’s insurance won’t typically cover your personal losses. For that, you need renters insurance.

Renters Insurance Covers Your Personal Property – And More

When you purchase renters insurance, you’re securing coverage for your personal belongings. If your stuff is damaged or lost in a burglary, fire or other covered peril, your insurance policy will pay to have the items repaired or replaced, up to the policy limit.

Renters insurance provides additional coverage types, as well:

  • Coverage for Your Belongings Outside of Your Home: Your policy can protect your stuff no matter where it is. For example, if your bicycle is stolen, you may be able to file a claim with your renters insurance policy.
  • Additional Living Expenses: If you can’t stay in your home until repairs are finished, your renters insurance policy can provide coverage to help pay for the hotel and other associated costs.
  • Liability Protection: If a guest is injured in your home, for example, or if your dog bites someone, liability insurance typically covers legal and medical expenses.

The Cost and Value of Renters Insurance

The cost of renters insurance can be as low as $3 a week, depending on where you live and how much coverage you need. Considering all the protection you get, this is a good deal. If you couldn’t afford to replace all of your belongings or to cover the legal costs associated with a lawsuit, you should seriously consider investing in renters insurance.

In some cases, renters insurance may not be optional. Many leases include a clause requiring renters insurance. If you don’t purchase coverage, your landlord may purchase it for you and bill you for it. If this happens, you won’t be able to pick out the right coverage for yourself to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

Get the Right Policy for You

Policies vary, so make sure you’re getting the right coverage for your needs. Here are some tips to consider as you determine your renters insurance needs:

  1. Do a home inventory. This will help you determine how much coverage you need. It will also be helpful if you ever need to file a claim. These days, the easiest way to do a home inventory is probably with one of the many apps designed for this purpose.
  2. If you have any high-value items – like that heirloom you inherited or your nicest jewelry – talk to your insurance agent about having it scheduled. This way, you’ll know you have the right coverage if anything happens.
  3. Some policies cover the actual cash value, while others cover the replacement cost. Because most items lose value over time, the actual cash value may be less than the replacement cost.
  4. If you have pets, make sure they’re covered by your policy. Some policies may exclude certain animals from coverage.
  5. Look for other exclusions. Make sure you understand which perils are covered and which are not.
  6. Discuss any other special circumstances or needs with your insurance agent.

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Want to find out how affordable and smart renters insurance can be? Request a quote from FICOH today.