I recently read an article that said that 72% of Millennial households reside in rental housing and yet only 37% of those renters carried renter’s insurance. Perhaps our industry hasn’t been proactive enough in educating these new insurance purchasers to the exposures that they face as residents of non-owned buildings. Let’s take a quick look at what you are exposed to!!
Your first and probably biggest exposure is your liability exposure. Let’s assume that you have just moved into an apartment complex and the building your apartment is in has 5 other rental units in it as well. Wanting to show all your friends your new digs, you decide to have a cookout on your deck and plan on grilling some hamburgers and hot dogs. In a moment of inattention, the grill is dislodged and turns over resulting in a fire that damages your apartment and 3 other apartments in your building.
Because of your negligence, you could be held responsible for, among other things: 1) the damage to the buildings, 2) the damage to the contents owned by others that were also damaged, and 3) the lost income that the apartment complex suffered because of the loss or rental incomes due to the fire. Heaven forbid that the fire caused any injuries, but if it did, the cost of these injuries could all be your responsibility.
The good news is that the standard tenant homeowners policy (referred to in the insurance industry as an HO-4 policy) provides liability coverage that would take care of all of these types of exposures.
Another exposure a tenant faces is obviously the loss of or damage to your own personal property. This very same HO-4 that protects you for liability also offers coverage for damage to your stuff. You would simply need to add up the value of your belongings and make sure that you buy enough coverage to protect you should you sustain a total loss. It’s not only fire however, that can damage your contents; you are also exposed to loss from such perils as theft, windstorm, and vandalism. Luckily, all of these perils and others and typically picked up by the standard HO-4 renter’s policy.
But what does a Mississippi Renters Insurance policy cost?
The typical HO-4 is relatively inexpensive. Rating factors that are considered by insurance companies when rating these policies include the construction of the building, the age of the building, the fire protection class rating of the town or city in which the apartment/rental unit is located, etc. Many insurers also offer a discounted price on this type of policy if you purchase it in conjunction with your Personal Auto Policy….in essence, you get a package policy discount.
Notwithstanding all of these rating elements, as well as the limits of insurance you need, it is not uncommon to be able to purchase an HO-4 for as little as $250 to $300 per year
If you have any questions about this very important coverage, please feel free to respond below and we’ll be glad to help in any way we can!