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Home Insurance

Renter's Insurance - Shattering Myths

Renters Coverage

Many renters overlook or underestimate their insurance needs because they believe only "homeowners" need insurance. However, just as most of us would not think of owning an automobile without auto insurance, renters need protection for their personal possessions and from liability issues. Even the smallest apartment can easily contain personal property worth thousands of dollars. Then, there is the greatest concern for all of us in situations where we are at risk for liability. The liability is probably the most important part of your renter's policy and it often includes coverage for waterbed failures and ensuing damages as well as legal defense costs and personal liability issues.

Common Renting Myths

  • MYTH #1 - Insurance is too expensive. Some renters fail to insure their personal possessions because they believe that the insurance is too expensive. Most renters' insurance policies are typically available for as little as $250.00 a year.
  • MYTH #2 - The insurance carried by my landlord protects me. Many renters think they are protected under their landlord insurance policy. However, the property owner insurance covers the building itself and seldom tenant possessions. Clarify this with your landlord before signing a lease.
  • MYTH #3 - My landlord is liable if someone trips in my apartment and gets injured. Again, the owner policy may specifically exclude liability for something that occurs within your rented residence. You could be held liable for injury to another person or damage property of another person if the incident occurred within your rented residence or was a result of something you have done.

A Look At Premiums

Renters insurance, because you are not insuring a building, is surprisingly inexpensive. Of course, like all property protection policies, the value of the property to be insured and other risk factors are weighed by the insurance company to determine your premium. As with your automobile insurance, your renter's deductible is the amount you agree to pay in the event of a loss.

Coverage For All

Renters insurance offers the same general personal property coverage and liability protection as a homeowner's insurance policy does. Property insurance covers the cost of repairing or replacing personal property that has been damaged, destroyed or stolen. Your property is covered both within your home and when you are traveling. You also receive liability protection. If someone suffers an injury or damage to their property because of something you did or did not do, you could be liable. If, for example, the oak dresser which belonged to your grandmother dents the walls in your apartment lobby while you are carrying it into the building, you could be held liable. Likewise, if a fire starts in your apartment and spreads throughout the building, and you are deemed at fault, you could be held liable for damage to the entire building.

In addition, most renters' policies include coverage for additional living expenses (also called "loss-of-use" coverage) if you are forced by fire or other damage to temporarily live elsewhere.

Alterations For A Better Fit

Most policies limit the amount of reimbursement for theft of valuable items, such as jewelry, furs, silverware and guns. If you have some particularly valuable items in these categories, you may need to purchase additional coverage called a "personal articles floater." These types of policies cover each item individually and are usually quite inexpensive. Other additions to your renters insurance that add or change the policy provisions are called endorsements. Some endorsements extend the number of risks insured against, some cover property otherwise excluded and some increase the amount the insurer will pay for a covered loss.

Also, it is important to note that the standard policy excludes damage from earthquakes and floods, so talk to your independent insurance agent about coverage for these incidents.

Renting with Roommates

Usually, it is best if all roommates are on the same policy although it is possible for each to purchase his or her own coverage. If you do need to "go it alone," you alone receive the security of renter's coverage.

A Final Note

At least once during a lifetime most people will rent a home. Paying rent instead of a mortgage payment does not make your personal possessions any less valuable. Should your belongings be damaged or destroyed, or should someone suffer an injury in your home, renters insurance can offer the peace of mind of knowing that you are protected. Your Atlass Independent Insurance Agent can help you find the best combination of coverage and price to meet your rental insurance needs.

When you decide to buy a car, you would not purchase the first one you see. What if one day the automobile industry decided to make only one type of car -- one make and one model? You wouldn't have a choice!

The same holds true for insurance. You need insurance to drive a car, to purchase a house, to protect your family's financial future and to run a business. But if there was only one insurance company that offered only one type of insurance, you wouldn't have a choice. The only solution would be going to that one company.

With an independent insurance agent, you have choices. We are not tied to any one insurance company. One of the advantages of using an independent agent is that we work to satisfy your needs and normally have many "A" rated carriers to choose from. You are using an expert for an important financial decision.

We have several companies that we can approach to get you the best coverage at the best price. We know the companies with the most efficient claims departments to recover your losses as quickly as possible. When you buy insurance, you want an advocate who will properly assess the risks you face and give you an objective analysis of the marketplace.

It's up to you to make the final choice and together, Atlass Insurance is well prepared to guide you to the best coverage to fit your particular needs. Contact an Atlass professional agent at 1-800-959-3313 or complete the online homeowners quote form and note "Renter" in the comment section for an agent to promptly follow up with you.

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