If you rent a home or apartment, you might think the insurance obligation falls on your landlord or property management. While the owner of the property should insure the dwelling, it’s up to you to buy protection for everything within its walls. Renters insurance protects your personal property, like furniture, clothing, jewelry, and electronics from common perils like theft, vandalism, fire and smoke, and water damage. Note that most policies exclude flood damage from coverage, so if you live in a flood-prone area, you may want to consider purchasing a separate flood insurance policy.
Types of Renters’ Insurance Available
The most basic renters’ policy protects your personal property from a list of named perils. There are two primary coverage options when choosing renters insurance:
- Actual value coverage: This type of coverage pays the actual cash value of any property that’s damaged or stolen. For example, if you have a TV that you originally purchased for $1000 that’s now worth $200, an actual value policy would only pay you $200 if the TV gets stolen. Because this coverage factors in the diminishing value of your goods over time (depreciation), the premiums on this type of policy are typically cheaper.
- Replacement cost coverage: This coverage will pay to replace any property that’s damaged or stolen. If the same TV from the example above gets stolen while you have this coverage, your insurer will pay the $1000 it costs to replace the TV with a new one. The premiums for this type of policy are more expensive because it offers higher coverage than an actual value policy for your items.
Keep in mind that with each of the above coverages, you will still have to pay a deductible, which covers a portion of the expenses, before the insurance company cuts you a check. For most renters’ policies, the typical deductible is between $500-$1000.
You may also want to explore additional coverage options including:
- A rider for jewelry and other expensive items: Most renters’ policies cap the payout for a single item at a specific dollar amount. For example, an insurance company may only pay up to $1000 for a single item. If you own expensive jewelry, like an engagement ring or a high-end watch, or other costly belongings like stereo equipment, computers, or gaming systems, you may want to add a rider to your policy that covers for more than the typical personal property limits.
- Temporary Living Expense Coverage (Loss of Use): If your residence is damaged by a catastrophe like fire or water damage, you may find yourself temporarily displaced. Living expense reimbursement coverage pays for temporary housing, like a hotel stay, as well as food and other costs while you wait to move back into your home or apartment.
- Personal Liability Coverage: If someone gets injured in your rental and sues, personal liability coverage pays to settle the property damage and bodily injury claims, plus legal fees, up to your policy limit.
- Medical Payments Coverage: If a guest is injured in your home, this coverage pays for their necessary medical bills (i.e., ambulance, emergency room fees, x-rays).
Renters Insurance in Greenville, SC
Purchasing a renters’ insurance policy gives you peace of mind that your property is protected from harm. Typically, inexpensive to purchase, this policy goes a long way towards restoring your personal effects after a theft or a major catastrophe. To speak with a Greenville insurance agent and receive a free quote, either call or submit your information via the quote form provided. We look forward to helping you find the tenant insurance policy that’s right for you!