As a renter, getting a renter’s insurance policy is one of the ways you can protect yourself, your visitors, and your personal belongings. Many Washington DC property managers now make it a practice to ask tenants for their renter’s insurance before move-in day comes. Some are not familiar with renter’s insurance though. This includes a renter’s insurance coverage, cost, and possible options. This article will answer these questions.
What is Renter’s Insurance?
The quick definition of renter’s insurance is an insurance policy that covers personal liabilities, belongings, and sometimes living expenses in case of injury, damage, or loss. These items are the ones not covered under the property owner’s insurance policy. That policy covers the rental house itself but does not insure you or your personal property.
What Does Renter’s Insurance Cover?
The usual losses covered under a renter’s insurance policy include theft, fire, and damage or injury caused by natural disasters. Depending on the type of policy you buy, yours may also cover things like vandalism, losses due to civil disturbances, and damage caused by malfunctioning systems in your rental homes, such as the plumbing, heating, or air conditioning, and so on. Depending on the extent of the damage, your policy might even pay for the cost of alternative housing, meals, and other living expenses during the repair of your rental home.
One of the important features of a renter’s insurance policy is that it covers accidental injuries to other people while they are visiting your rental home. For instance, your visitors injure themselves or experience damage to their personal property while at your rental home, renter’s insurance has coverage for you in the event of a civil or personal injury lawsuit. Your insurance could even cover the cost of legal representation to defend yourself in court as well as any damages awarded to the other party, provided these are within your coverage limit.
What’s Required and How Much Does It Cost?
While it is not required by law, many landlords and property owners look for proof of a renter’s insurance policy before they lease their home. And even if it is not a requirement, a renter’s insurance policy is something you should have. For the valuable protection, they offer, many policies won’t cost you much.
Before shopping around for a policy, it is best to know what the required liability limit is. Most landlords indicate the required liability limits in their lease and often require tenants to have specific endorsements like floods or earthquakes. These endorsements vary by location and can be optional or required. You must determine what you need since every situation and policy will be different.
The type of policy and coverage you choose will determine the cost of your renter’s insurance policy as well as monthly premiums. According to a recent analysis, the national average cost of renter’s insurance was $14 a month. But most renters pay a monthly premium of between $5 and $30. This is a small price to pay for the protection and peace of mind you get from a renter’s insurance policy.
Shop Your Options
It is always good to shop around before settling on an insurance company for your renter’s policy. Most car insurance companies like State Farm, Allstate, or Progressive give you an option to easily add on a renter’s insurance policy. But it is still prudent to get a few quotes, including some from newer insurance platforms. That way, you know you have found affordable coverage that provides the protection you, your guests, and your belongings need.
If you are an owner looking for someone to take over the day-to-day tasks of your investment property, contact our team of Washington DC property managers for more information. Don’t forget to ask about our FREE rental market analysis.
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