Who Needs Renter’s Insurance?

To briefly answer the question above: almost anyone who lives in a residence in which they do not own. When I’m quoting a new client and I indicate to them that our agency standard is to write account business, meaning an auto with a home and/or renter’s policy, when they do not own a home I am often answered with “I don’t need renter’s insurance.” But after receiving this answer numerous times, I’ve found that a lot of people seem to have a misunderstanding about renter’s insurance and may “need” it more than they think.

So contrary to what seems like popular belief, there does not have to be any type of rental agreement in place in order to be eligible for renter’s insurance. A person does not have to be officially renting a house, apartment, or condo, etc. to purchase a renter’s policy. The only requirements for renter’s insurance are that you live somewhere that you don’t own and have belongings. Now, I will say that if you are living with a blood relative, generally your belongings are covered under that relative’s homeowner’s policy (if they have one) because resident relatives are covered as household members regardless of age. However, keep in mind that coverage for all the belongings in the home is limited to the personal property coverage limits on the homeowner’s policy. So if someone is living with a relative and has an abundance of belongings at the premise or expensive high value belongings, to make sure there is enough personal property coverage, they would need to speak with their relative who owns the home to see what their limit is. Keep in mind that if you live in a home that is owned by a relative and that relative does not live in the home with you, there is no coverage for any of your belongings and in this case, you would definitely need a renter’s policy. In some cases, the relative that owns the home may not want their policy to be responsible for their resident relative’s belongings and in which case that person would also need to buy their own renter’s policy.

So now that I’ve explained the possible need for a renter’s policy when living with a relative, it leaves me with the rest of the scenarios, which can all be explained very simply. If you live in an apartment, condo or home, whether alone or with a friend, and you do not own that structure, you need a renter’s policy. A friend’s policy will never cover your belongings, your landlord’s policy will never cover your belongings, the condo association or apartment complex will never cover your belongings. It is your responsibility as a tenant to purchase your own policy if you want your belongings to be covered at the time of a loss.

In addition to the benefits listed above, another giant benefit you receive with a renter’s policy is “loss of use” coverage. This will cover any additional living expenses you may need if there is a loss so great where you must be relocated. If you’re living in an apartment complex and there’s a fire and you don’t have a place to stay or don’t have any clothes or essential living items, the “loss of use” coverage will cover those needs for you. Typically, renter’s insurance is very affordable as well.

If anyone at anytime needs further clarification on whether or not they may need a renter’s policy, please contact our office, we would be happy to assess your needs with you and offer any recommendations we see fit.

Meredith Ferry, Account Sales Executive