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Basics of renters insurance

What you need to know about renters insurance

While your landlord or apartment complex may have insurance, it only protects the actual building you’re living in – not the items inside. If you don’t have renter’s insurance and an accident or natural disaster causes some of your belongings to be destroyed, you won’t be compensated or reimbursed by your apartment.

This is why at less than $100 a year, renter’s insurance is so valuable.

Most policies cover the following:

  • Fire or lightning
  • Windstorm or hail
  • Explosion
  • Riot or civil commotion
  • Damage caused by aircraft
  • Damage caused by vehicles
  • Smoke
  • Vandalism or malicious mischief
  • Theft
  • Volcanic eruption
  • Falling objects
  • Weight of ice, snow, or sleet
  • Discharge or overflow of water from building plumbing
  • Sudden and accidental damage from an electrical current surge

The major items not covered are floods and earthquakes. If you live in California or some other earthquake-prone area, you’ll need to buy a separate policy.

Where to buy

Most likely your auto insurance company offers renter’s insurance. Check to see what their rate is first – it should be less than $100 / yearly (paid all upfront). Going with them is probably your best choice, as you get a discount for having “multiple insurance lines” on the same account.