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Renter's insurance: What you need to know

    

SUMMARY: Most homeowners know they need insurance to protect the value of their home, while many renters mistakenly believe they don't need to pay to protect the landlord's property. In fact, renter's insurance has many benefits beyond just protecting the building. Here's why you need it.

renters insYour lease requires it

Many landlords now require tenants to show proof of renter's insurance before they can move in. If you're thinking of canceling it, don't.

The leases that require renter's insurance also usually say that not maintaining insurance coverage is an incurable violation that could result in you being evicted.

Your stuff is expensive

Even if all appliances are included, you still likely have thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars of personal property. This includes your furniture, clothes, TVs, computers, and other electronics. If there was a fire or you were burglarized, you wouldn't want to pay those costs out of pocket.

One thing you should also look for is replacement value coverage. A standard policy may say your stuff was old anyway, so you only get pennies on the dollar. A replacement value of property gives you the full amount you need to go to the store and buy replacements.

You might accidentally leave the stove on

If one night you didn't turn the stove knob all the way or otherwise started a fire, you need to be protected and not just for yourself. If you accidentally burned the building down, you'd be facing a lawsuit from your landlord for the building damage plus the other tenants for their belongings.

Renter's insurance provides liability coverage to cover you from your negligence.

Your dog might bite someone

Your liability coverage extends beyond just what happens inside of your home. If your dog bites someone while you're out on a walk or you accidentally injured someone, your liability coverage will kick in to cover the medical bills.

You want to protect your assets

Just because you don't own a home doesn't mean you can't be sued. If a personal injury claim or other lawsuit is brought against you, the plaintiff's attorney could go after your savings, investment accounts, and future wages.

Your renter's insurance policy provides a shield to cover those claims just like a homeowner's insurance policy would.

You're worried about flooding

The devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey showed just how important flood insurance is. The most important thing to remember is that flood insurance is almost always an add-on or separate policy. General renter's insurance policies provide $0 in coverage for flooding whether from hurricanes, rain, or other causes.

Additionally, don't think you're safe just because you're on the second floor or higher. Storm surge and high flood waters can reach above the first floor. Also, flood waters can cause building collapses that also wouldn't be covered.

Get help getting covered

Being fully insured for both property and liability losses often requires a combination of renter's, auto, and other types of insurance coverage. If you bundle your coverage, you can often get a big break on your premiums for your combined policies.

To get help figuring out what coverage you need and the most cost-effective way of buying it, schedule an appointment with TDECU Insurance today.

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