Home buyers are normally required by their lender to purchase homeowners insurance and have it in force on the day they go to settlement to protect the lender's interest. (But of course, it benefits you, too.) Renters are usually required by their landlord to have renter's insurance in force within 30 days after the lease starts. But why?
When you have renter's insurance you are covering items of value to you -- clothing, furniture, your electronics, etc. -- in case of theft, fire, or other problems. But you are also taking out the insurance in case someone trips over your laundry basket and hurts themselves. Or, you forget about the pot on the stove and start a fire that cause damage to the kitchen cabinets or maybe a fire that displaces you until the repairs are made.
I am not an insurance agent. To learn more about renter's insurance you can call the company that you use for your auto insurance or I'd be happy to provide you a referral to a local insurance agent . The cost is low and the odds are, you'll be happy to have it.
Three potentially money-saving or grief-avoiding suggestions. First, if you are renting in a condominium building, be aware that the condominium association has insurance and they will be happy to provide you the name and policy number of the condo association master policy. Taking renters insurance out with that same company may help avoid "finger pointing" if and when a claim is made.
Second, if you are renting a townhouse or a single family home, similarly, asking your landlord who they have hazard inusurance with could be beneficial to you. But regardless of which type of property you're preparing to rent, call you insurer for your car and see if that company will give you a discount for adding an additional policy.
PS I thought this website and their "Home Inventory Worksheet" provide you a great place to start creating the records you might someday need with your insurance claim.
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