By Jackie Marchildon
A lot of renters don't realize they need Renters Insurance. Many think the building owner's insurance covers them. WRONG. You need to insure all your stuff. If your apartment building or rental home doesn't require you to have proof of renters insurance, you might hum and haw about having to pay an extra monthly fee and decide it's not necessary. I'm all for avoiding extra monthly payments - but that Renters insurance policy might really help you out should you come across a series of unfortunate events.
The landlord has property insurance on the building, but their policy doesn't protect your personal belongings, any of the upgrades you've made to your unit, or cover you if someone hurts themselves in your home.
It will cover certain things, but exclude most others -- know what's what when it comes to your landlord's insurance versus your own.
If a fire burns down your building:
Property Insurance: Generally speaking, your landlord's property insurance will pay for the demolition of the building (if necessary), as well as cover the expenses required to repair or rebuild it. This means it will pay to fix the structure itself, as well as any permanent fixtures - lights, built-in cabinetry, etc. Their insurance will not cover your personal belongings.
Renters Insurance: In most cases, renters insurance will cover all of the contents in your unit in the case of a fire. Most policies will also cover your expenses if you need a place to live while your home is out of commission.
If someone gets hurt in your home:
Property Insurance: If you organize a get-together and a partygoer slips on a spill and is injured in your home, your landlord's insurance will not be of any help if that person decides to sue you.
Renters Insurance: If you have liability coverage included in your renters insurance, it will protect you financially if you unintentionally caused bodily harm to someone in your home. It will also likely cover you if you accidentally caused damage to the property in which you live.
If someone breaks in and steals your stuff:
Property Insurance: As you now know, the landlord's property insurance doesn't extend to the contents of your unit, which means that without renters insurance, you'll be on the hook for replacing everything yourself in this situation.
Renters Insurance: In most cases, your renters insurance policy covers your possessions and personal property if your apartment gets broken into and you suffer a loss.
Whether you're renting a basement apartment in a home, a unit in a mid-rise or one in a massive highrise, insurance is all the same - the property owner insures the structure and property, and the resident insures the contents.
Take a look around your place - how would you feel without everything in your home? Is it all worth paying a small monthly fee to protect?
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