Renters Insurance: Belongings, Break-Ins & Beyond

Renters insurance is an essential safeguard for anyone who rents their living quarters. Whether you rent an apartment, condo, or home, having renters insurance can protect your belongings against a variety of losses or damage-causing scenarios – including theft and vandalism. Let’s dive into some key aspects of renters insurance so you can make informed decisions about your coverage and ensure you're well-protected while renting.


Your Landlord’s Policy Won’t Help You


Chances are your landlord has insurance covering the property you’re renting. In the event a fire, lightning strike, hurricane, or other disaster damages the property and its contents, you could lose all you own inside – unless you have renters insurance. The landlord’s policy will cover the structure of the home/apartment, like walls, windows, and roof, but your contents will remain uncovered unless you have a renter’s policy.


Belongings Covered by Renters Insurance


Renters insurance, referred to as an HO-4 tenant policy in the industry, can cover many different types of personal property, including:


  • Money
  • Jewelry and watches
  • Firearms
  • Furniture
  • Clothing
  • Electronics (e.g., cellphones, laptops, TVs, stereos)
  • Sports equipment
  • Books, movies, and other media
  • Kitchenware and small appliances
  • Tools and gardening equipment


Your vehicle, any pets you own, as well as the personal property of roommates or other renters at the property are NOT covered by a renter’s insurance policy.


Your personal property is usually covered at actual cash value, which takes into account property age and condition when calculating a payout after a covered loss. However, you can opt to have your belongings covered at replacement cost, which doesn’t subtract depreciation. 


It’s More Affordable Than You Think


Renters insurance is surprisingly affordable, considering what your premium gets you. Your premium cost will depend on the coverage types and limits you select, where you live, and other factors, such as your credit score and claims history.


You can also strategically choose higher deductibles in order to lower your premium cost. By taking on more financial responsibility (the higher deductible) in the event you make a claim on your policy, reducing your insurer’s risk, so they can charge you less for the policy. It’s also a good idea to review your coverage amounts, deductibles, and personal circumstances each year with your insurance agent to make sure the amounts you’ve selected continue to work for you.


In general, the annual cost of renters insurance is a small price to pay for the protections and peace of mind the policy offers you.


Protects Against Theft & So Much More


The following risks (called “perils” in your insurance policy) are typically covered by the standard renter’s insurance policy:


  • Theft, including when it occurs off-premises
  • Vandalism or malicious mischief
  • Fire and smoke damage
  • Lightning
  • Windstorm, hail, hurricane
  • Falling objects
  • And more – check your policy or ask your agent for a complete list of the perils you’re covered for.


Off-premises theft: Many renters insurance policies also cover personal property theft occurring outside the home, such as items stolen from your car, hotel room, or even an off-site storage facility. This extends the value of the insurance beyond the confines of your rental unit or home.


Not covered: Intentional acts, existing damage, neglect, and defective breakdown of personal property is not covered by renters insurance. And flooding is never covered by the standard homeowners or renter’s insurance policy. Flood insurance is always an add-on insurance product. And even if your insurer doesn’t offer flood insurance, it can be purchased from FEMA’s (NFIP).


Plenty of Customizable Options


There are four main protections in a renter’s insurance policy:


  • Personal property – covers your belongings, as noted above
  • Loss of use – covers living expenses (e.g., lodging, food) in excess of what you usually pay, should your rental home become uninhabitable after a covered loss
  • Personal liability – covers your attorneys fees and any resulting awards/judgments against you when you’re found liable for accidental bodily injury/property damage to others
  • Medical payments – covers minor medical bills if guests to your rental unit/home are accidentally injured, regardless of who caused the injury


In addition, there are numerous additional coverages you could add to your renter’s insurance policy, including:


  • Opting for replacement cost for your personal property coverage
  • Increased coverage limits for specific high-value items, categories of items (e.g., jewelry, silverware), or for certain risks (e.g., mold)
  • Flood coverage
  • Identity theft protection
  • Animal liability (in case your dog bites others, for example)
  • Golf cart coverage
  • Water backup coverage


Inventory Your Belongings


No review of renters insurance is complete without addressing the need to inventory your belongings, with photos and receipts if possible. Doing so can simplify the claims process and ensure you're adequately compensated for losses.


Florida Peninsula’s Renters Insurance Has Got You Covered


At Florida Peninsula Insurance Company, we’ve seen firsthand the challenges and financial strain unexpected disasters can bring, especially here in hurricane-prone Florida. It’s why we strongly recommend everyone carry enough insurance in the event they need to start over. With the right renter’s insurance policy, your personal belongings are protected – plus, you get liability protections for yourself and more.


If you already have renters insurance, be sure to review what’s covered under your policy with your agent, because each policy is different. Contact your Florida Peninsula agent now – or, if you’re currently uninsured, get your quote online. 

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