NOTICE: Internet Explorer was retired by Microsoft on June 15th, 2022 and is no longer supported. This could change how you access Online Banking.
Among the reasons for renting rather than buying a home is that you’re not making a long-term financial commitment to a mortgage loan, property taxes, and homeowner’s insurance. But one commitment you should make is to purchase a renter’s insurance policy that covers your personal property and your liability for accidents that could happen in your living space. WesBanco Insurance Services is here to help with your renter’s insurance needs.
Things Do Go Wrong
Why do you need insurance if you rent? A landlord’s insurance policy covers the building. If a leaky roof floods your living room, you won’t have to pay for repairs to the ceiling, floor, or walls. But you’ll probably be stuck with the bill for cleaning or replacing any furniture or rugs that got wet or moldy. The more valuable your possessions, the more essential the insurance becomes. And if the leak (or worse) is your fault, say from a faucet that was left running when you went to work, you could be liable for the damage.
And what if a guest slips in the shower and breaks her leg? In the best-case scenario, she has health insurance, the break isn’t serious, and that’s the end of it. But a lawyer could argue that you created a hazard and sue you for negligence.
Run for Coverage
Fortunately renter’s insurance offers an easy and affordable way to protect yourself from all sorts of losses, both inside and outside your home. It covers your possessions against losses from fire and smoke, theft, vandalism, lightning, wind, explosions, and water damage from leaking plumbing.
Things you take with you away from home are also generally covered, though the amount of coverage may range from 10% of their value to full replacement cost, depending on your policy. You may also be covered for things you borrow that are lost, stolen, or damaged while you have them.
Renter’s insurance will also cover your liability for injuries people suffer in your home or from your pets. It also pays legal costs you might incur if you get hit with a liability lawsuit, though there may be a substantial deductible for this protection.
Evaluate What You Need
Before you buy renter’s insurance, you should inventory your possessions to determine the amount of coverage you need. Document what you have with photographs or a video and make a detailed list of your possessions to keep as backup in some other location, like your office or a safe deposit box.
Don’t be too conservative in your estimate of what your belongings are worth. What might seem at first glance to be a small inventory may actually be worth a substantial amount in replacement costs. Make a note of the model and serial numbers of your expensive electronic equipment and appliances, get written valuations of jewelry, art, or family heirlooms, and keep detailed records of any collectibles.
Once you have a sense of how much coverage you’ll need, look for an insurance company that offers this type of policy. If you’ve worked with an agent to buy car insurance, for example, see what your auto insurance company has to offer. It also pays to do an online search so you have a sense of the range of costs and coverage. Before deciding on a policy, be sure you understand the limits of coverage and the terms and conditions that apply. Comparison shopping is every bit as important when you’re looking for insurance as it is with the other things you buy.
When You Have a Loss
Renter’s insurance works the same way as other types of insurance. You pay an annual premium, and if any of the losses covered under your policy occur, you file a claim. A deductible applies, which you pay out of pocket. The larger the deductible is, the lower the premium tends to be. That’s one of the tradeoffs you have to evaluate in buying the coverage.
If you have a loss that’s covered by your policy, you are compensated in one of two ways. If you have an actual cash value policy, you’ll be reimbursed for what the item was worth at the time it was damaged, stolen, or lost. For example, if you file a claim for a destroyed computer that’s several years old, you’ll receive significantly less than you paid. But if your claim is for an asset that appreciated in value, such as jewelry, you should get more than the purchase price. Fortunately, many insurers offer replacement value policies, which pay what a similar item would cost today. That’s generally a better choice.
Renter’s insurance doesn’t protect you against everything that could go wrong in your home.
What’s Not Covered
Renter’s insurance doesn’t protect you against everything that could go wrong in your home. Damage from certain natural disasters, such as floods and earthquakes, isn’t covered under most policies. If you think you’re at risk for something that’s not included in a policy you’re considering, look further. You might consider an additional policy, or a rider to your basic policy, to give you the protection you need.
Content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal or financial advice. The views and opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of WesBanco.
While we hope you find this content useful, it is only intended to serve as a starting point. Your next step is to speak with a qualified, licensed professional who can provide advice tailored to your individual circumstances. Nothing in this article, nor in any associated resources, should be construed as financial or legal advice. Furthermore, while we have made good faith efforts to ensure that the information presented was correct as of the date the content was prepared, we are unable to guarantee that it remains accurate today.
Neither Banzai nor its sponsoring partners make any warranties or representations as to the accuracy, applicability, completeness, or suitability for any particular purpose of the information contained herein. Banzai and its sponsoring partners expressly disclaim any liability arising from the use or misuse of these materials and, by visiting this site, you agree to release Banzai and its sponsoring partners from any such liability. Do not rely upon the information provided in this content when making decisions regarding financial or legal matters without first consulting with a qualified, licensed professional.
Limited Time Credit Card Offer
For a Limited Time 0% intro APR* for the first 20 Billing Cycles!Personal Credit Cards
Limited Time Offer
0% Intro APR* for
20 Billing Cycles