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What is Renters Insurance?
California residents who lease an apartment or house might not be responsible for insuring the structure against damage, but they still have property and liability risks to consider. Renters insurance can help protect against many of the property and liability risks that residents who lease face.
Renters insurance is specialized homeowners insurance that’s designed for residents who lease apartments, houses or other residential properties. These and homeowners policies have many points in common, but there also are significant ways that the two policy types differ.
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What California residents need Renters Policies?
Most people who lease a residence in California should have a renters policy, and this includes both in-state and out-of-state residents who keep an apartment or house within the state. Not purchasing a renters policy that includes both renters’ property and renters’ liability insurance protections can leave residents dangerously and unnecessarily exposed to risks.
Some examples of where a renters policy might be helpful include:
- In-state residents who lease an apartment, single-family house, duplex or condo
- Snowbirds who lease for a few months in the southern part of the state
- Residents who lease a beach house for the season
- Out-of-state workers who lease an apartment while working in the state
- College students who move off-campus into an apartment or communal housing
Do short-term renters need Renters Policies?
Renters’ policies generally aren’t needed for short-term rentals. Although insurance should still be considered in these situations, a policy that’s specifically for short-term rentals is usually better for these situations. Renters’ policies tend to be used for longer rentals (e.g. maybe 3 months – years).
Anyone who is unsure whether a renters policy or another policy makes more sense for their leasing situation should speak with an insurance broker who knows these policies well. A knowledgeable broker will be able to make an informed recommendation after understanding the particular situation.
What protections are available through Renters Policies?
These policies normally offer several coverages, which include both renters’ property and renters’ liability insurance coverages in most cases. Some of the more common coverages include:
- Personal Property Coverage: May cover belongings (e.g. clothing, furniture, dishware, electronics, etc.)
- Additional Living Expenses Coverage: May cover alternative lodging if a covered incident renders the residence uninhabitable
- Personal Liability Coverage: May cover various liability lawsuits (e,g, slander, libel and dog-related lawsuits)
Whether lawsuits arising from dog bites and dog attacks are covered depends on the terms, conditions and exclusions of a policy. It also frequently depends on what breed of dog a policyholder has. An experienced insurance broker can help residents make sure that a chosen policy covers their dog’s breed.
Should residents purchase Renters Policies with roommates?
Unless they’re immediate family members, purchasing renters coverage with roommates generally isn’t recommended. Any savings on premiums tend to be minimal because renters’ policies are quite affordable. At the same time, residents open themselves up to more potential claims by having another policyholder listed.
A single renters liability insurance claim will frequently wipe out any savings that would be attained by sharing premium costs. So could a renters property insurance claim.
How much do Renters Policies cost?
Renters policies are often some of the most affordable types of homeowners policies because they normally don’t provide coverage for the dwelling itself. Premiums often are only a few dollars a month and frequently cost less than a cell phone plan, especially when residents qualify for bundling, loyalty or other discounts. Exact costs vary between policies, though.
How can California residents get Renters Insurance?
For help finding renters insurance in California, contact the independent insurance brokers at Heffernan Walton Insurance. Our brokers will work with you to find a robust policy that meets your needs well, and we can recommend the most suitable policies regardless of what insurance company is offering them.