Renting an apartment or a home? Do you have renters insurance?
You can't always control what your neighbors do and sometimes people have accidents, even you. If you find yourself displaced from your apartment or home you are renting, I hope you have a renters policy.
A renters policy will help you in a number of ways. Here's how you benefit.
1. Your "stuff" is protected in the event it is stolen, damaged in a fire, water damage, vandalism and more. I suggest you insure it to replacement value, meaning that the insurance company will provide coverage to buy new instead of deducting depreciation. Don't over insure yourself, be realistic. Go through each room and get a estimate of the value of each room, add up the total and insure yourself for that amount. Update coverage as you accumulate things.
2. You have loss of use coverage. This provides funds for hotels or temporary housing in the event your home is damaged to a point where you can no longer stay there. Picture an apartment fire where multiple units are damaged and people are panicking looking for a place to stay. You can go straight to a hotel. Keep your receipt, you'll be reimbursed.
3. Medical coverage. If you have guests to your home and someone is injured. This pays for first aid to the injured guest up to the limit chosen by you. I recommend at least $5,000. You can go higher or lower. This is not a significant expense to the policy, don't go lower.
4. Liability coverage. If a guest is injured and you are found negligent this gives you coverage. For example, if you are having guests over and someone slips on an icy sidewalk and receives severe or lasting injuries and sues you. This provides you with an attorney and settlement money up to the policy limit. Often the limit is $500,000. You can also purchase an umbrella policy to give you extra coverage of $1,000,000 or more. One great feature about liability coverage is that it follows you, except in the car or at work.
For an example where renters insurance was used, click here.