7 Little-Known Benefits of Renters Insurance
Contact a local insurance agent today to talk about adding renters insurance to your policy!
Owning a home is still the American dream for many, but renting has benefits — you don’t have to pay for building upkeep, risk getting underwater on a mortgage or be stuck in one place for too long.
But you still need to think about financially protecting yourself and your stuff. Renters insurance is the way to do that.
With the U.S. homeownership rate at its lowest point in 51 years, more American households need renters insurance. Yet only 40% of renters have policies, versus 95% of homeowners who have home insurance, the Insurance Information Institute says.
Why buy renters insurance
Your landlord’s property insurance won’t help you if disaster strikes. It covers the structure, but not any of your things. Renters insurance covers your belongings from all the possible bad events that are listed in the policy, such as fire, smoke, water damage, windstorms, lightning, theft and vandalism.
Even if you don’t think your stuff is worth that much, renters insurance is a good idea. The cost of replacing just a basic wardrobe and only a few pieces of furniture adds up quickly.
Plus renters insurance covers more than your personal belongings at home. Here are seven other things a policy covers:
- HOTEL COSTS AFTER A DISASTER
You don’t have to couch surf while your apartment is undergoing repair after a disaster like a fire. Renters insurance includes “additional living expenses” coverage if your place becomes uninhabitable after a disaster and you need to find somewhere else to live temporarily. The coverage would reimburse you for extra expenses, such as the cost to stay in a hotel or rent another apartment.
- MEDICAL EXPENSES FOR INJURED GUESTS
If a visitor is injured at your apartment, renters insurance would pay the medical bills up to the policy’s limit. A typical policy includes $1,000 to $5,000 worth of medical coverage, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
- DAMAGE YOUR KID CAUSES OTHERS
Renters insurance provides liability insurance to cover injuries or property damage you and your family members cause others. So if your kid breaks a neighbor’s rare antique vase, your policy could pay to replace it.
- LEGAL COSTS IF YOU’RE SUED
If someone gets injured in your apartment or you accidentally hurt somebody and are sued, the liability coverage on a renters policy would pay your legal costs and court awards, up to the policy’s limit. You choose the amount of liability insurance when you buy a renters policy. Limits usually start around $100,000.
- DOG BITES
Most renters insurance policies provide coverage if your dog bites someone, either at your home or off the property. Check the policy, though. Occasionally insurers exclude or limit coverage for dogs.
- STUFF YOU’VE RENTED OR BORROWED
A renters insurance policy covers things “in your possession,” the Insurance Information Institute says. That means property you own or that you borrowed or rented.
- BELONGINGS AWAY FROM HOME
Your things are covered away from home, too, for the perils listed on the policy. So you’re covered if a thief steals stuff out of your car or swipes your luggage from a hotel room. This “off-premises” coverage is usually limited to a portion of your total coverage for personal belongings, such as 10%.
Resolve to be Ready in 2017
The SERVPRO® Ready Plan is a tool for property managers and owners, both residential and commercial.
Now is the perfect time to think about making some resolutions. While resolutions typically involve committing to personal changes and reaching goals, the single most important resolution both business and home owners can make for 2017 is to "Resolve to be Ready."
Preparing in advance to deal with the unexpected can make a world of difference in how quickly and completely property owners can put the pieces of their lives back together. Emergency readiness plans are the foundation for effective and timely emergency response.
We encourages all property owners to take advantage of the no-cost emergency planning tools available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as well as SERVPRO' s Emergency READY Profile and READY Plan Mobile App (http://ready.SERVPRO.com).
- FEMA resources include guidelines for a creating a Family Emergency Plan and Emergency Supply List, with additional tips for pet owners, seniors, people with disabilities, and even
- SERVPRO offers a free SERVPRO READY Plan app, which stores critical contact and property information electronically in advance, where it can be accessed with a mobile device in seconds if disaster strikes.
For business owners:
- FEMA offers materials on topics ranging from creating a Business Continuity Plan to an Insurance Discussion Coverage Form in addition to guidelines for creating an Emergency Response Plan.
- For businesses, SERVPRO offers a no-cost facility assessment and assistance in creating a comprehensive Emergency READY Profile® (ERP). The ERP includes information about emergency contact numbers, priority and high/risk areas, shut-off valve locations and more that can then be stored in the READY app.
The time to gather and store information like emergency contact numbers; insurance contacts; location of fuse boxes; fire suppression system controls, and such is before an emergency strikes, not during an emergency. Having this information at your fingertips can help emergency responders react as quickly and effectively as possible, helping to limit loss of property and even lives.
SERVPRO of E. Vancouver/Clark Co. specializes in disaster restoration, cleanup and repair services, helping to remediate damage, making it "Like it never even happened," for both commercial and residential customers. For more information on SERVPRO of E. Vancouver/Clark Co., please contact Shelly Kroll at (360) 245-0049 or SERVPROMarketing@comcast.net. For more information on the SERVPRO mobile app and the SERVPRO Emergency READY Program, please visit www.ready.SERVPRO.com.
Founded in 1967, the SERVPRO® Franchise System is a leader and provider of fire, water cleanup, restoration services, mold mitigation, and remediation. SERVPRO's professional services network of more than 1,700 individually owned and operated Franchises responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi-million dollar large-loss events. Providing coverage in the United States and Canada, the SERVPRO® System has established relationships with major insurance companies and commercial clients, as well as individual homeowners.