Everyone has heard of homeowner's insurance. Mortgage companies require it when you purchase a home to ensure that the house will be covered. Fortunately, homeowner's insurance also protects the personal property in the home, which benefits the homeowner, too.
But not everyone realizes that renters are in a different situation. The insurance that a landlord buys only covers the building. Since the landlord's insurance policy doesn't cover the contents of the building, the renter's property is not insured unless they have renter's insurance.
We are blessed in this area to have wonderful community organizations that support families who've experienced losses. But try to picture yourself after escaping a house fire with just the clothes on your back. Think about what happens after the immediate needs are met and you are ready to go on with your life. Wouldn't you like to have the resources to make some choices about what kind of clothes you are going to wear, what furniture you'll have, and how you will decorate? Renter's insurance is available at a reasonable cost to provide those resources.
Renter's insurance covers your personal property against the same types of perils that homeowner's policies cover: fire and lightning; windstorm or hail; smoke; vandalism and malicious mischief; theft; vehicles; explosion; riot or civil commotion; aircraft; freezing of plumbing, heating or air conditioning systems; and artificially generated electric current. It usually doesn't cover things such as flowing, sewer back up, earthquakes, power failures, neglect, war, nuclear hazard, or intentional acts. But additional coverage is available for some of these things.
Renter's policies usually only cover your property for the "actual cash value," which would be like getting "yard sale" prices for your items. So, it is a good idea to consider purchasing "replacement cost coverage," which will pay what it costs to replace your property with new items.
In addition to covering your property, renter's policies also usually include "loss of use" coverage, in case you have to live somewhere else while your home is being repaired. Another part of the policy is coverage for your liability for injuries to non-household members at your home caused by your negligence.
An insurance agent can advise you about how much coverage you will need. But be sure to shop around and compare policies to get the best deal. And keep a record of your home's contents, in case you ever need to collect on your policy.
I got the idea for this blog because a family I know did recently escape a fire at their home with just the clothes on their backs. And unfortunately, they did not have renter's insurance. I hope you will take the time today to make sure that your family has coverage in case such a tragedy happens in your life. Tomorrow could be too late...