If you live in a rented apartment, house or condominium, your landlord’s insurance doesn’t cover your personal property in the event that it is stolen or damaged as a result of a fire, theft or other unexpected circumstance.
If your building burns to the ground, your landlord isn't responsible for replacing the charred contents of your apartment.
Whether you rent an apartment, own a condominium or have any rental property, you need insurance...
US statistics show that that renters experience higher rates of property crime, theft, and burglary than people who own their home. Renters are in danger of losing their belongings from vandalism, water damage, fire, smoke, electrical surge, ice, snow, and other perils. Despite the risks, many renters don't have renters insurance.
A consumer survey found that nearly two-thirds of those living in US rental properties are currently risking severe financial loss by going without renters insurance. A national consumer telephone survey asked 1,000 people living in rental properties whether they had renters insurance: 64.4 percent said "no" and 2.2 percent answered "don't know."
The top reason most people don't think about getting renters insurance is the mistaken notion that the landlord will be held responsible for a loss. The landlord's insurance covers the building and the infrastructure of that building, whether it is the elevators, the air conditioning, or the structure itself. Coverage does not extend into the homes of the individual residents and the possessions they maintain in their units.
So if your building burns to the ground, your landlord isn't responsible for replacing the charred contents of your apartment. Likewise, if your house guest trips over your ottoman and fractures his arm, your landlord's insurance on the property won't protect you from liability. Your landlord may be liable for injuries outside of your rental property, common areas such as the lobby or stairs. But once your guest crosses your front door, he or she is your responsibility.
Parents with college-bound children can take some comfort in knowing that students who live on campus are probably covered in terms of their belongings under the college's insurance policy. However, if your kid lives off-campus in an apartment, he or she is probably not covered. You'll want to consider buying renters insurance on his or her behalf.
What about roommates? Even if you're sharing a humble abode with someone else, each person is responsible for getting his or her own policy. You need to get joint renters insurance to protect your personal belongings, especially if your roommate moves out leaving you holding the bag. Animal lovers may want to look into renters policies that specifically protect them as far as their pets are concerned — say, should your lovable pooch happen to bite one of your houseguests.
When you look at the trade-off — paying a small premium for coverage against the cost of replacing what has taken you years to accumulate — renters insurance makes perfect sense.