insurance

5 knocks on renters insurance -- all bogus

4. It's only my stuff 

While most people think of renters insurance as a mechanism for replacing lost or damaged possessions, a standard policy also includes liability coverage. In the classic example, a renter's liability coverage will kick in when a guest in their home slips and falls. That policy will not only provide money in the event that the renter is held liable for their guest's injuries, it also will provide for the renter's legal defense.

Likewise, a renter's liability coverage will kick in when their negligence results in property loss for other tenants in the building. For example, a renter who lets their bathtub overflow and causes water damage to a downstairs neighbor should be able to mitigate their out-of-pocket expenses by filing a claim on their own policy rather than having to pick up the tab for replacing their neighbor's damaged property. But Portman says some policies may protect a renter even further, covering, for example, a negligent act committed off premises.

A classic example is a renter being sued because their dog bit a pedestrian while walking through the neighborhood. While the example is obviously applicable to renters with dogs, Portman points out that good off-premises coverage could help protect the renter against a number of legal assaults in much the same way that homeowners are protected by their policies. And that's not a bad bit of protection to have in an increasingly litigious world.

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5. It takes too long 

Shopping is what you make of it, and while all the experts recommend you price policies online and then work with an insurance agent who can tailor a policy to your specific needs, the truth of the matter is that buying renters insurance could be done in about 30 minutes. "Buying renters insurance is far easier than purchasing auto insurance," says Moree. "It should take a fraction of the time and there will be far fewer questions to answer.

The primary factor driving price will likely be the amount of coverage you're buying, where you live and any applicable discounts you may be entitled to, based on your age or the fact that you have other policies with the same company.

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