Protect Your Belongings
If you buy a home with a mortgage, you’re required to have homeowner’s insurance. If you rent, you are not, but there are several reasons why renter’s insurance is a great idea in Tampa Bay, Orlando, & Gainesville.
It Protects Your Stuff
The first reason for homeowner’s insurance is to protect your belongings. Some renter’s falsely assume that their possessions are covered under their building’s insurance policy, but this is not true. Your landlord’s or building owner’s insurance only covers the building itself, not the contents of the apartments. If there is a fire, theft, or other loss or damage and you don’t have renter’s insurance, then you will not receive any sort of compensation for your belongings.
It Protects You
Another thing that renter’s insurance does is protect you from liability if somebody is injured on your property. You might not think a friend would sue you over slipping and breaking an arm, but their insurance company may. If you aren’t insured, then you could get stuck paying medical and legal bills for anyone that gets hurt in your apartment. The liability coverage also covers the cost of any damages you or your guests might accidently cause to the building or to the landlord’s property. Most liability coverage is limited to a certain amount per incident, so make sure this is high enough.
Most policies also have “loss of use” coverage, which will help cover the cost of a hotel room and eating out if something happens so you cannot live in your apartment for a period of time.
It's Easy to Get
Renters insurance is inexpensive, and the average renter can get complete coverage for a couple hundred dollars or less a year, depending on where they live and the value of their belongings. Most insurance companies offer renters insurance, so you can get it through the company that carries your car insurance policy or shop around for the best coverage online or through the phone book.
It Does Have Some Limits
Most policies have a deductible, which is the cost you have to pay out of pocket before the insurance covers anything. If you have a $500 deductible and suffered a loss or theft of $5000, then the insurance would pay only $4500. Higher deductibles mean lower monthly or yearly premiums.
Basic coverage is usually for the actual cash value of something, meaning that it starts depreciating, or losing, value as it ages. If you have expensive electronics or other items subject to depreciation, you may want to opt for replacement cost coverage instead. This is more expensive, but will pay the full current cost of buying a replacement item.
Many policies do not cover “Acts of God” like floods, earthquakes, or hurricanes our customers in the Tampa area can experience, but you can add an endorsement to your policy to cover them if you live somewhere they are a threat. You may also need a separate policy, called a floater, to cover any very valuable items you may own like expensive jewelry or antiques.
You will need to make an inventory of your belongings before you go to apply for renter’s insurance, to be sure that everything is covered. For electronics, firearms, and other expensive things, be sure to copy down model and serial number information Taking pictures or making a video of your belongings can also be helpful in case of a loss. You will want to have any extremely valuable items, and any that you may need a floater on, professionally appraised.