Mary’s Millennial Memo 1: Renters Exposures and Coverage
When you are young or saving to buy your first home every penny counts, and you want to cut every cost you can. However, you don’t want to be hit with a giant expense that you never saw coming. The list below explains the exposures you never knew you had as a renter.
You might have a liability to a landlord if you cause damage. Negligence is a very important word in the world of insurance. Negligence means that you may not have done something on purpose, but you could have taken steps to prevent a loss from happening. There are a lot of things that you as a renter can be negligent for that you might not have thought of. You might be a responsible person, but accidents happen.
You could be liable to your landlord for damages caused to the property by an accident you were negligible for. Let’s say you are grilling in the back yard, and you melt the siding off the rental house by accident. You did not mean to, but you were negligent and the landlord can hold you liable. Renter’s insurance provides you with liability coverage that can help you pay on such a loss.
You could be liable to your neighbor. For example, your bathtub overflows and water gets into another apartment damaging the other tenant’s brand new couch, rug, and TV. You have to pay for that. Renter’s insurance can help cover your liability to them.
Your personal contents might have been cheap when you got them, but it may not be cheap to replace now. For example when I furnished my first apartment after I graduated college, I got my mom’s hand-me-down couch, my computer as a graduation gift from my grandparents, graduation money from my dad to buy work clothes, a bed from my aunt who was moving, and a desk from a co-worker who was remodeling. If my apartment burned down tomorrow I would not run into so many free finds. It would cost a couple thousand dollars just to thrift shop for everything I need.
You also have a liability to house guests. If someone slips coming through your door after you mopped the floor and breaks their leg, then you could be liable for their medical bills.
This one is a bonus tip. By adding a renter’s policy with the same company you write your auto policy with you might get a discount on your auto policy. I saved enough on my auto insurance premium that my renter’s insurance policy cost me a few bucks a month. You also might be able to get a discount for paying in full, and considering most renter’s policies only cost $100-$400 a year, with good money management practices, it is not that hard to do.
For assistance obtaining the right amount of coverage for your contents as well as adequate liability coverage, give MHJ a call or stop by our office. You can even start the quote process on our website at www.mhjinsurance.com