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Tenant Insurance

By Beth Drucker

Many people believe that when they rent property, their landlord's insurance covers their personal possessions in the apartment. In reality it only covers damage to the structure of the property, and rarely any caused by you. If you are unable to replace any personal possessions that get destroyed by paying out of pocket, you need tenant or renter's insurance. Renter's insurance may also cover medical costs and attorney fees that might arise from an injury within the apartment.

There are two types of tenant insurance - one covers the current values of the items in your home and the other covers the replacement costs. Usually the insurance that covers the replacement costs has a higher premium. There are several ways to lower the costs of insurance. You are likely to get discounts for buying your tenant insurance and car insurance from the same company. Adding smoke detectors, deadbolts, or an alarm system is also likely to lower your rates, but be sure to get an approved list of safety measures from your insurer first to avoid installing an unapproved system.

There are, however, things that the insurance will not cover. Most likely the insurance plan will have a cap on how much they are willing to pay for a stolen or ruined item, and you will have to find a separate plan if you'd like to include certain valuables. Additionally, if an area is prone to severe weather patterns, your tenant insurance might exempt damage caused by such weather. For instance, in Florida if anything is damaged during a hurricane it won't be covered under tenant insurance and you would have to purchase hurricane insurance to get full coverage.

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