Homeowners insurance covers your home (structure) and personal property (contents), and also provides liability protection. Renters insurance covers your personal property and provides liability protection. It does not cover the building where you live because you don’t own it. Like other types of insurance, renters/homeowners insurance usually comes with a deductible, which is the amount you pay out-of-pocket for a claim before your insurance company covers the rest. By covering smaller losses, you keep your insurance costs down. Remember, you choose the amounts of insurance coverage you need and choose your deductible. This will set the limits of your coverage for each type of loss.
The contents portion of your policy covers your personal property such as furniture, clothes, appliances, TV, video gaming system, laptop and other valuables. You are protected not only in case of theft but also from damage caused by fire, lightning, wind, hail, vandalism, smoke damage and other causes of loss as stated in your insurance policy. Your insurance may not cover everything you own. There may be limits on certain items such as a musical instrument, jewelry, and certain types of collectibles or furs. To obtain additional protection for such items, investigate the availability of “scheduled property endorsements” with your insurance company or agent. For an additional premium, you can cover these special items at their appraised value.
Liability insurance protects you from claims or judgments made against you by others injured while on your property. It also provides protection for any injuries caused by you or your family, on or off the premises. In addition, it covers damage you cause to the property of others, the cost of legal defense in case of a lawsuit, and it pays the injured person’s medical bills regardless of fault.
Unlike most homeowners policies, a renters insurance policy does not cover the building or other structures on the property such as the apartment building or a garage. Since you do not own the building, this coverage is unnecessary. However, should you be held responsible for damage to the building, you need to make sure that you carry adequate liability limits.
ADDITIONAL LIVING EXPENSES/LOSS OF USE
If your home or apartment becomes uninhabitable due to an insured loss, the policy provides coverage for above-normal expenses (like room and board) up to a stated amount. This “loss of use” coverage is standard in both renters and homeowners policies.
What’s not covered?
When shopping for any type of insurance, ask your insurance agent or representative what’s not covered by the policy. All policies contain “exclusions” and it’s best to find out ahead of time what will not be covered in the event of certain losses. Often, coverage can be “bought back” through an endorsement to the policy. Endorsements are options that can be added to your policy which modify or extend the coverage outlined in the basic policy. An additional premium is normally associated with each endorsement.
Provided courtesy of the Ohio Insurance Institute