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The Importance of Renters Insurance

Frequently, insurance agents are met with people who are reluctant to purchase renters insurance. Perhaps if you share a few horror stories with them, it will inspire them to reconsider and have you write a renters insurance policy. You should be able to convince them that the reasonably affordable premiums are well worth the possible benefits.

Mary and John (not their real names) decided not to take out renters insurance when they moved into their new apartment. They erroneously assumed that if there were any untoward events and any damage occurred to their possessions, some of which had been purchased specifically for the new apartment, the landlord would be responsible. Not long after they moved in, a water pipe burst and spewed water around the apartment. Some drywall and carpet had to be replaced. Some of Mary and John’s personal items, like books and pieces of antique furniture, were damaged beyond repair. They even had to find another place to stay while the carpet and drywall were being replaced. Mary and John were incredibly surprised when they discovered the landlord’s insurance did not cover any of the damage to their personal items. They even had to pay for the nights spent in a motel during the time their apartment was being repaired.

More and more landlords are requiring renters to have insurance. Renters insurance covers items and situations that renters do not often think of.  Some examples of things covered by renters insurance that folks often do not think about include:

  • Damage to the property due to the negligence of the renters. One couple had an aquarium that burst. The water spewed about the apartment and ruined not only the carpet and flooring in their own second-floor apartment, but seeped through and damaged the apartment directly below them. Fortunately, they had a renters insurance policy that paid for all the damage.
  • A personal injury suffered by guests. For example, a guest may slip on a throw rug, hit their head on the edge of the sink and require stitches. While helping you in the kitchen, a guest may cut themselves while chopping food or burn themselves taking food out of a hot oven. A renters policy pays for these injuries.
  • Theft. You come home and discover that your computer, television, silverware and other valuable items have been stolen.
  • Fire and smoke damage. The landlord’s insurance will pay for repair to the structure, but not to the damage to your personal items.

Discuss with renters what their needs are and point out possible scenarios that may require out-of-pocket spending if they forgo insurance.

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