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Renter's insurance: Do you really need it?

The answer depends on your situation and what is important to you. Nowadays, many apartment complexes in the Gilbert area are requiring new tenants to carry renter's insurance for liability reasons. It is recommended to purchase renter's insurance, even if your landlord does not require it. Here are some reasons why you would want purchase a policy.

  • Your landlord’s insurance policy only covers the structure you live in, not your personal property. A personal renter's insurance policy will cover your property in the case of theft or other covered perils. Always request the replacement cost coverage endorsement on your policy.
  • If something happens to your building (fire, burst pipe, etc) a renter's insurance policy provides funds to temporarily move while the damage is repaired. This is called additional living expense coverage.
  • A renter's insurance policy provides personal liability coverage as well. For an unintentional act that causes another person harm, your liability coverage provided by your renter's insurance policy can provide protection to your personal finances from a lawsuit.
  • Renter's insurance is affordable. Most policies can be purchased for around $15-$20 per month, depending on the amount of coverage you purchase.
  • Some insurance companies provide a multi-policy discount if you bundle your auto insurance and renter's insurance together. This discount will bring the price of your coverage down even further and it provides you with a more robust overall insurance package.

Take an inventory of your possessions and determine how much it would cost you to replace them. If you can, grab a video camera and walk thru your dwelling, taking time to open every cabinet and closet, recording everything you own. Burn this on a DVD, and keep in a safe deposit box or any other safe place away from your home. This will come in very handy if you are in the middle of an insurance claim.

Make note, some of your possessions such as jewelry, firearms, and collectibles might have a limit as to how much an insurance company will pay. You can schedule some possessions separately so they can be replaced for their appraised value. 

For more information on renter's insurance, check out the Arizona Department of Insurance website.



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