What is Renters Insurance?Even though tenants don’t own the living spaces that they lease, purchasing insurance is generally still a wise idea. Renters insurance can help protect Massachusetts renters from a variety of potential risks.
Renters insurance is an important coverage, and it’s one that’s underutilized. According to the Insurance Information Institute, a little more than one-third of renters have a renters policy. That leaves the majority of renters without adequate protection.
Who in Massachusetts Should Have Renters Liability Insurance?
Most people who lease a living space in Massachusetts should have a policy that at least includes renters liability insurance and personal property coverage. This generally includes people who live year-round in a leased space, as well as those who:
- Lease a space temporarily while working at a job site
- Lease a space seasonally for family vacations
- Lease a space off-campus during college
Usually, college students who live in on-campus dorms don’t need a renters policy. Those who reside off-campus often do, though.
What Coverages Are Available Through Renters Liability Insurance Policies?
Renters liability insurance policies offer several different coverages that help protect policyholders from various risks. Some of the protections that might be included in a policy are:
- Personal Property Coverage, which may cover personal belongings kept in a leased space
- Personal Liability Coverage, which may cover certain liability lawsuits filed against a policyholder
- Additional Living Expenses Coverage, which may cover the cost of finding lodging if an incident makes a space uninhabitable
An insurance agent who’s familiar with renters policies can help residents sort through all of the coverage options and select the combination that’s right for their situation.
Do Renters Policies Include Property Coverage?As noted, most renters policies include personal property coverage that insures covered personal belongings. Policies usually don’t, however, include structural property coverage. Insuring a rental property itself against physical perils is normally the responsibility of the landlord who owns the property.
What is an HO-4 Renters Form Policy?Renters policies are frequently grouped with homeowners policies, and many policies in the group have an abbreviation that starts with “HO.” HO-4 is simply the industry abbreviation for a fairly standard renters policy.
How Much Do Renters Policies Cost?Renters policies tend to be highly affordable, and most renters can get robust coverage at a comparatively low rate. Additionally, renters can often further reduce their premiums by taking advantage of multi-policy and other discounts.
Residents can find out precisely how much a policy would cost them by talking with an independent insurance agent. Independent agents aren’t affiliated with any one insurance company and can request quotes from multiple insurers in the state. With several quotes, residents get an accurate idea of how much the coverage they want costs.
Do Renters Policies Cover Roommates?Many insurance companies will let roommates purchase a renters policy together, but doing so can have a few drawbacks. In certain situations, cashing claims checks can be a hassle because the checks are typically written out to everyone listed on the party. Also, a claim filed by one roommate could cause both roommates’ premiums to increase.
Because renters policies are affordable, it’s normally wise if each roommate purchases their own policy. An experienced agent can go into more detail on this issue and answer any questions that roommates have about their specific situation.