Renters’ insurance

Renters’ insurance protects your stuff if its ruined or stolen. Bankrate explains.

What is renters’ insurance?

Renters’ insurance is an insurance policy that covers loss or damage to the possessions of someone who’s renting a property. If something happens to your rental property, your landlord has insurance to cover the structure itself. But your personal property isn’t covered unless you have renters’ insurance.

Deeper definition

You never know when tragedy will strike. If you live in a rental property, you could lose your possessions to theft or fire. But if you have renters’ insurance, that loss may be covered and you’ll get reimbursed by your insurance company.

Renters’ insurance is relatively affordable: most people pay less than $20 a month. In return, you get a wide range of coverage. However, like other insurance policies, you’ll need to pay a deductible before your insurance company covers the rest of the cost.

Common types of coverage include:

  • Weather: Coverage for damage from hail, lightning, fire, wind, and that caused by the weight of ice or snow. Many plans also cover damage caused by water overflowing from drains and sewers.
  • Theft and vandalism: One of the more common reasons people in major cities get renters’ insurance. Some plans allow you to pay an additional premium to cover items stored away from home, like a motorcycle.
  • Personal liability: Protection from liability when someone else is injured on the property, including dog bites or falls. It also covers you if a person on the property damages someone else’s home, such as if a child throws a ball through a neighbor’s window. Some plans even cover false arrest or invasion of privacy.
  • Falling objects and explosions: Self-explanatory.
  • Water damage: For when your home is damaged by a leak or a plumbing issue, or when your home inadvertently causes that damage to someone else’s home.
  • Some natural disasters: It’s important to note that some plans cover hazards like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, but not all. And none come with flood insurance. These risks are much more likely to be covered by a separate policy called hazard insurance.
  • High-value items: Some plans offer additional coverage for a higher premium that covers stuff like expensive watches and furs.

Homeowners’ insurance is a similar policy that covers many of the same risks but for people who own their home.

A renters’ insurance policy is half the battle if you suffer damage or loss. A solid reserve of funds is the other. Bankrate can help you choose a new savings account.

Renters’ insurance example

Ted lives in one of the last remaining neighborhoods in Brooklyn that hasn’t been gentrified yet. One of his neighbors had her laptop stolen in a break-in, and he’s getting a little anxious. He finds a renters’ insurance policy that fits in his budget and covers theft and vandalism.

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