If you do not own your house or a condo, then do you still need insurance coverage for you and your family? What does it cover? How can it help me? Here is a simple guide.
A tenant or renter insurance is a package policy that covers several main things:
- Contents – everything you own in your rented space and on-site storage lockers. All your possessions can be replaced with new, modern equivalent items, this is called “new for old” or “replacement cost.” How much do you need to buy everything brand new?
In your policy, contents are described by these categories:
*Unlimited “stuff” that you own – replaced up to the limits that you choose;
*Limited, specified items like jewelry or bikes, that you can buy more if you need;
*Things not covered – mostly things designed for other policies like a business, autos, etc.
*Building damage due to theft or burglary (this will please your landlord!)
- Additional Living Expenses – When something major happens like a building fire or extensive water damage, you may not be able to live there for a while. While the landlord is still entitled to any rent under a lease, you may need to live somewhere for a short while until the unit is fit to move back in. Insurance will pay for extra rent and some other extraordinary expenses.
- World-Wide Personal Liability – We don’t think we will ever be sued, but things happen, and people get sued all the time. Even small things that might not go to court might be settled under the Voluntary clauses, directly, or at the option of the insurance company for larger problems. Not just at your residence, but when you travel, camp, or even cause a car accident while on your bicycle, anywhere in the world. Of course, there is no coverage for such incidents that are auto, business, or professional actions. An extension to coverage includes tenant’s legal liability to your landlord, and will even respond to defense costs if the claim against you is thrown out.
- Optional Add-Ons “Endorsements” – You can add coverage for Earthquake, small Boats, Home Based Business, or airb’n’b.
What does all that cost?
A basic policy can cost a little more than a dollar a day. Your price will vary depending on how much you need to buy everything brand new, of course. It will also be influenced by the type of building you are in – basement suite, whole house, townhouse, or concrete high-rise, and the area that you live in. After no claims for 3 years, you will get a “claims free” discount. Discounts are also available for situations attractive to the insurer such as age or alarm systems.
More affordable? Consider monthly payment plans to spread out the payments.
What if you end up moving or buying a home? Your insurance broker can transfer coverage to your new home, easy enough. (This is where your claims-free discount will really help.)
While this is a brief snapshot of a Tenant policy, there are many other little extensions or exclusions in your policy. More information and a customized quote can be obtained from your licensed AMC Insurance broker in your neighborhood. Call, email, or drop by.