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Liability protection. Replacing lost or stolen items may seem like the main benefit of renters insurance, but Jason Shepherd, co-founder of Atlas Real Estate Group in Denver, says there is an even more important reason to buy a policy: liability protection. Most renters insurance comes standard with liability coverage. That means if you accidentally start a fire that damages an adjoining apartment, your insurance will insulate you from legal action and damages. “The liability insurance is what saves you from those huge mistakes,” Shepherd says.

Even better, renters insurance will cover your liability and possessions outside your apartment or rented home. It’s called worldwide coverage. As a result, policies may provide liability protection even in cases when a dog bites a person while on a walk or cover the replacement cost of items left in a car parked off the property. It’s only $15 a month for peace of mind.

Shopping for renters insurance. Renters insurance is largely standard from one carrier to another, but there can be some key difference between policies. Most notable is the difference between replacement cost policies and actual cost policies. Replacement cost means that they will pay for brand new items. In the case of a damaged 5-year-old couch, an actual cost policy will determine its current value and only reimburse for that amount. Policyholders may be required to submit receipts or other documentation as part of the claims process as well. However, a replacement cost policy will reimburse whatever amount is deemed appropriate to buy a new comparable couch at today’s prices. Replacement cost for your contents is automatic with some carriers, but with others, you need to request it.

Another difference is coverage for water damage due to flooding. Most renters insurance will not pay for items destroyed by either natural flooding or burst pipes. A separate policy or rider may be necessary for that coverage.

Consumers should also review the policy for other limitations and exclusions. Many policies will cap the reimbursement for categories of items such as electronics or jewelry. Those who own a significant amount of property in a particular category should consider purchasing additional coverage beyond what’s offered in a standard policy.

 

The value of renters insurance. As far as insurance products go, renters insurance is among the most affordable. Monthly premiums are often less than $25 and can go as low as $12 to $15.   Renters may be able to save by purchasing their policy through the same carrier they use for auto.

Some renters may think their landlord or roommate’s policy will cover their goods, but that’s a mistake. In the event of a fire, vandalism or theft, the landlord’s policy typically only covers the structure, while a roommate’s insurance will only pay for his or her personal items.People assume they don’t need renters insurance because they don’t have anything of value in the home.  However, the cost to replace an entire wardrobe, furniture, appliances and electronics can quickly add up.

Renters should document everything in their space in case they need to make a claim. “One of the best things you can do is take photos and video of your personal belongings.  It’s so much easier to look at the photos and remember what you had.

By Maryalene LaPonsie, Contributor |June 22, 2017,

US News and World Report

 

Posted 6:11 PM

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