Renters insurance is tailored to address your needs as a renter. These needs, naturally, differ from those of a dwelling or condominium unit owner. Because you don’t insure your dwelling or apartment structure, your coverage begins with personal property. Like the Homeowners or Condominium policy, the Renters policy is a package policy and includes property insurance covering damage to your belongings, liability insurance covering certain legal claims against you as the tenant, and limited coverage for medical expenses of guests who are injured on your property. The policy provides a broad range of coverage with some risks excluded, such as earthquake and flood.
Understanding Your Risks and Coverages
Before you purchase a policy, it is important that you understand the risks you face so you can make the best choice to get the right policy at the right price. When you think about it, the first risk you should consider is actually two-pronged: the risk of buying too little coverage, or too much. With that risk in mind, you can better identify the other risks you face, and how much coverage you need in relation to those risks.
Bankers Helps You Prepare for the Risks You May Face
Simply put, risk management is the process of first identifying the risks you face as a tenant, condominium owner and second, figuring out ways to minimize – or manage – them. There are nine major risks that face condo owners, tenants or renters, and some or all may apply to you, depending on where you live:
To learn how to protect yourself and your family from these risks visit Insurance 101.
A deductible is the amount of out-of-pocket expense you are responsible for before the insurance coverage begins.
- Most Renters Insurance Policies include a “$500 All-Other-Perils Deductible.” This deductible applies to all covered losses except where Special Deductibles–such as Hurricane, Named-Storm, or Windstorm Deductibles – apply.
- You can lower your premium by increasing your deductible.
- Hurricane, Named-Storm or Windstorm deductibles can be either a dollar amount or a percentage of the coverage amount and can be increased to reduce your premium. However, you need to consider carefully how much out of pocket expense you are willing to retain. For example, if you have a 2% Hurricane Deductible and your contents are insured for $50,000, your out-of-pocket expense would be $1,000 (2% of $50,000) for any damage caused by a hurricane.
- Some additional coverages, like earthquake coverage, have a separate set deductible.
- Deductibles are an important feature of the policy and should be discussed thoroughly with your agent to understand what each choice you make can mean in terms of your out-of-pocket expenses.
Typically, we underestimate the value of our belongings. They are often worth far more than we believe. Therefore, it’s important that we make the proper buying decision in purchasing insurance to protect our belongings and ourselves. The property portion of a typical renters policy covers the contents inside your home and loss of use. The policy also has a liability portion that provides coverage for unintentional acts by you or your family that cause bodily injury.
Personal Property (Renters Coverage C *)
As a renter, you may acquire a lot of items to decorate and use in your home. Personal Property coverage provides protection for some of those items. Personal Property is included in a renters policy at Actual Cash Value (ACV), which is the value of the item at the time of the loss, minus any accumulated depreciation. This coverage can be upgraded to Replacement Cost (RC) for an additional premium that will allow the property to be replaced with like-kind property at today’s market price subject to policy limits and deductibles. This is what most people prefer and we highly recommend that you purchase Full Replacement Cost coverage as part of your policy.
Loss-of-Use (Renters Coverage D*)
Loss-of-Use reimburses you for living costs incurred while living away from your home if you are unable to live in your home due to a covered loss.
Personal Liability (Renters Coverage E*)
Personal Liability pays for legal damages that are awarded to a third party when you are found to be liable for their bodily injuries or damage to their possessions while they are on your property. This coverage also helps pay your attorney fees and court costs, related to a covered loss.
Medical Payments (Renters Coverage F*)
Medical Payments help pay for medical bills incurred by visitors to your home who sustain bodily injury while on your premises or due to your personal activities.
Described below are additional coverages you may add to customize your policy to fit your individual needs. Not all coverages are available in all states. Please consult with your local agent for availability.
Dog Limited Liability
In some states, your policy does not include coverage for any bodily injury or property damage from dogs. The Dog Limited Liability coverage may be added to the policy to extend coverage to losses arising from dogs you own or keep. Breed limitations apply. The coverage provides Personal Liability coverage of $25,000.
This coverage may be added to provide up to $15,000 coverage for expenses incurred as a direct result of any one identity theft discovered by you on or after the effective date of the endorsement during the policy period.
Personal Information Services and Senior Care Resources
We offer Personal Information Management Services to help keep your personal information safe, address suspected fraud, and defend against identity theft-related problems. Our Senior Care Resource Caregiver Program addresses the challenges of elder caregiving, including unlimited access to an eldercare advocate, a web platform to eldercare information and a searchable database of recommended providers. Please contact Bankers Insurance Group customer service at 1-800-627-0000, extension 4703, to be connected with your personal fraud specialist or senior care advocate.
Other Members of Household
This coverage will extend liability to include someone who lives with you and is not related to you.
The policy may be endorsed to provide coverage for necessary expense to replace lock cylinders due to stolen keys or covered theft of property from within your home.
Full Replacement Cost
Full Replacement Cost is often preferred to Actual Cash Value. Here’s why. Actual Cash Value is the value of the item at the time of the loss, after depreciation, using materials of like kind and quality to the extent practical. So, if you lost a 10-year-old TV, it’s likely that Actual Cash Value will not give you enough money to purchase a new one. Often, you’ll only receive a small fraction of what it would cost to replace the item.
It’s important to note that your basic Condominium policy provides coverage for personal property only at Actual Cash Value.
Full Replacement Cost coverage may cost a little more, but it provides your best chance to replace what you’ve lost. Replacement Cost is what it will actually cost you to purchase new items to replace those lost items. As you can see, this is a very important consideration when purchasing insurance.
This coverage provides protection against direct loss caused by water that backs up through sewers or drains or for water that overflows from a sump or related equipment. You can select from various amounts of protection.
Golf Cart Physical Damage & Liability
Physical damage to the golf cart will be paid on an actual cash value up to $5,000. You can choose your liability limit separate from the personal liability limit on your policy but you can’t exceed your policy limit.
Scheduled Personal Property
This additional coverage may be added to the policy for specifically scheduled (itemized) personal property. Some of the items you can cover include bicycles, cameras and projection equipment, fine arts and antiques, furs, golf equipment, guns, musical instruments, other sports equipment, personal jewelry, stamps and coins, and silverware. The rates for this coverage are based on the value of the items you are covering.
Your basic policy excludes coverage for loss resulting from an earthquake, but you can add this coverage. The limits of coverage are the same as provided by your policy for other risks.
You may be eligible for discounts based on your personal characteristics, as well as features of your home that will reduce your premium. Save Now.
Living in a CAT State
You Want Catastrophe Experience When You Need It
Those of us who live in a “CAT State” — a catastrophe-prone state – know that being prepared is key. This includes having the right insurance coverage. That said, one of the most important considerations in selecting an insurance company – especially if you live in coastal states – is catastrophe experience. Bankers has weathered an impressive 25+ catastrophes and offers exceptional customer service and claims response time. You don’t want to think it can happen to you, but, in the event of an emergency, you want an insurance company that knows precisely how to meet your needs.
Remember, you can buy Earthquake and Flood Insurance separately. These two important risks are not covered in your basic renters policy.
Ready to Speak to an Agent?
Insurance is complex and you need professional advice you can trust. We partner with top quality independent agents who can help guide you through the purchasing process. There are many things you should be asking your agent prior to purchasing insurance for your home or business. Below, we’ve listed a few questions you might not have considered.
First, be prepared before you visit your agent. Do an inventory of your home or business. You may be surprised how much you really have. Visit knowyourstuff.org.*
Below are a few of the types of questions your agent can answer:
- Does my lender require flood insurance? Am I in a special flood hazard zone? (Everyone is in a flood zone!)
- How much flood coverage do I need?
- What is Umbrella Insurance and is it just for the wealthy?
- Do I need special coverage for an in-home office?
- I collect antiques and jewelry. How do I get this covered?
- Do I need employment practices liability lnsurance and what does it cover?
- Is my company required to maintain workers compensation coverage?
- What will happen if I cannot operate my business?
- I conduct business out of state. Is my electronic information protected?
- What is identity theft and is there a way to protect myself from it?