Renter’s Insurance: Do You Know How High Your Risk Is?

Renter’s insurance is one of the most important insurance products sold on the market today. Yet, surprisingly, only a small percentage of renters actually buy renter’s insurance.

Here in suburban Atlanta, Georgia, the Atlanta Apartment Association is a giant association of apartment owners and property management companies. Currently, AAA represents over 1,400 members consisting of 400 companies managing 320,000+ apartment homes in the Atlanta metro area. It is widely reported that there are over 6,000 apartment complexes in the Atlanta metro area.

I interviewed Russ Webb, Operations Manager of the Association. He stated that they estimate that only about 25% of renters purchase Renter’s Insurance. He also stated that here in Atlanta, we average two major apartment fires PER WEEK. A major apartment fire is one in which a multi-unit apartment building is damaged or destroyed by fire.

Think about that. A fire starts in one apartment, and potentially all of the tenants in the building end up with damaged personal property and no place to live.

Think about the risks that are involved for a renter. When I moved to Atlanta in 1992, I rented a first floor apartment in an eight-unit apartment building. So, in my building, there were seven other tenants. There is eight times the chance for a loss in that one building. I could have been the most model, safest tenant who ever lived, but still I could have had all of my personal property wiped out by one of the other tenants who was negligent and started a cooking fire.

Compare that risk to a single family home…one kitchen, one family, limited visitors.

What about the risk when your apartment is in a 12 unit building? A 15-unit building?

Renters have the same needs for insurance that homeowners do, minus the building they live in. They need to protect their personal property and their liability exposures.

Renter’s policies

The standard Renters policy is a “named peril” policy and covers losses from any 17 named perils. If your property is lost or damaged as a result of one of these perils, your insurance company pays you for your loss. The covered perils are as follows:

• Fire or lightning
• Windstorm or hail
• Explosion
• Riot or civil disturbance
• Aircraft
• Vehicles
• Smoke
• Vandalism or malicious mischief
• Theft
• Volcanic eruption
• Falling objects
• Weight of ice, snow, or sleet
• Accidental discharge or overflow of water
• Sudden and accidental tearing apart
• Freezing
• Artificially generated electrical charge

The Renter’s Policy also covers the liability risks you have for bodily injury or property damage from claims of others in and around your apartment.

The policy also has Additional Living Expense, which provides coverage in case you are unable to live in your apartment due to a covered peril. Remember, someone else in the building could have a loss (like fire or water damage) that could make your apartment unlivable.

Available Endorsements

Replacement Cost: means replacing Actual Cash Value for Contents with replacement cost coverage.

Scheduled Personal Property: this coverage provides a set amount of insurance for valuables like jewelry, watches, furs, fine arts, etc.

Computer Coverage: covers hardware and software for any direct physical loss, due to theft, electrical disturbance, magnetic, or erasure. In essence, changes the covered perils for computer losses from Named Perils to All Risks. Still excludes computers used for business.

Medical Payments: Provides first dollar coverage (no deductible) for injuries to others due to your negligence, up to a stated limit. Sometimes called “good neighbor” coverage.

Renter’s Insurance is very inexpensive. I’ve seen rates on a $25,000 policy as low as $15.00 per month, or $180 annual premium.

Don’t risk financial ruin by being a renter without Renter’s Insurance. Show what a smart consumer you are by calling a local insurance agent TODAY!

If you have experienced a property loss, whether fire, wind, flood or other, you need to know winning insurance claim strategies. The insurance company will not tell you the claims process, but I will. I will show you how to take control of your insurance claim, and add hundreds or even thousands more dollars to your claim settlement. For more information, go to the website listed here.

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