A Guide to Renters Insurance
February 16, 2021
When it comes to moving into a new home, it’s important to have a plan. Picking where you want to live is just the first step. Knowing what to ask a leasing agent and having a thorough new apartment checklist in advance will significantly relieve any pre-move stress. When you’re putting your list together, the one thing it should always include is finding a good renters insurance policy.
The good news is, getting apartment rental insurance isn’t a difficult process, and the impact on your monthly budget should be minimal for the average renter. We’ve put together the answers to your most common questions about apartment coverage.
What is Renters Insurance?
Generally, an apartment renters insurance policy refers to an assortment of various insurance coverages specifically designed to protect renters living in an apartment or other type of rental property. Most renters insurance policies include multiple types of coverage that offer extensive protection for you, your home, your personal belongings, and even your guests.
Renters insurance, or tenant insurance, can help cover unplanned costs for emergencies caused by accidents, fire, water damage, smoke damage, theft from a break-in, or a visitor’s injury. Generally, renters insurance covers property damage from multiple different events, including windstorms, hail, and vandalism. Some even offer renters insurance for job loss. Make sure to thoroughly read the details before deciding which policy is best for you.
Do I Really Need Renters Insurance?
The short answer is yes. Here’s why:
Even though your landlord has insurance for their community, it’s typically designed to help protect the owner's property, not you. As a renter, you will assume responsibility for protecting the personal possessions you keep inside your apartment. Your landlord’s insurance rarely extends liability coverage beyond the policyholder to tenants.
Also, most apartments now require you to provide renters insurance proof of coverage during the application process before you can move-in to their apartment communities. At Essex communities, it is required as part of the move-in process.
What is Personal Property Coverage?
A standard renters insurance coverage package includes personal property coverage, which helps cover some or all the cost of replacing any of your damaged or destroyed belongings within your coverage limits. Personal property coverage may also help you replace items stolen in the unlikely event of a break-in at your apartment or outside of your home in parking garages or a parking lot.
Policies that provide actual cash value protection usually cover items up to their current market value, with depreciation, whereas plans that include replacement cost coverage pay to replace your belongings at current retail prices after a covered loss. It's a good idea to take a home inventory of your important personal items to determine your property's total value. That way, determining the amount of coverage that is right for you will be a breeze.
Always read your insurance policy carefully to determine your level of coverage and deductibles. Personal property coverage may not help protect high valuable items, like expensive art, jewelry, precious metals, or collectables. In most cases, you can add extra coverage to protect your valuables.
What is Liability Coverage for Renters?
Liability insurance coverage helps protect you from paying out of pocket for some costs if you are found legally responsible for damage to someone else’s property or injuries to another person. In most cases, liability protection is included as part of your renters insurance policy, as is coverage for additional living expenses, including potentially food, medicine, and hotel bills. Check your policy to learn how much coverage you have in place for additional living expenses and to review the risks your policy may cover.
How Much Does Renters Insurance Cost?
Prices vary depending on your location and your specific insurance needs, including the size of deductible you're most comfortable with paying out for covered losses. Generally, the size of your deductible will determine your policy premium price. Lower monthly premiums typically result in higher deductibles for each covered loss.
For current and future Essex residents, renters insurance is now available through our eRenterPlan program so you don't have to worry about finding the right insurer, who has the best renters insurance, or which insurance agent is a good fit. You can conveniently apply for your policy during the leasing application process, which will prevent move-in delays and allow you to streamline your monthly expenses. You’ll receive a renters login so you can conveniently make your insurance payment online, check your renters policy details and cancellation policy, increase your renter protection, and even talk to an insurance customer service specialist.
Policies start between $12-$15 per month, depending on the coverage you’ve selected and location of the property. Residents receive an excellent bevy of customizable coverage, including theft at and away from the community. All policies include coverage for full replacement cost, with no subtraction for depreciation.
They also provide additional living expenses at 100% of the personal property limit. Unlike most renters insurance plans, eRenterPlan includes water damage coverage for both the renter and adjacent units. Best of all, there is no premium increase in most cases for filing an insurance claim!
You can visit eRenterPlan to obtain a renters insurance quote or talk to your Essex leasing agent!
Find Your Essex Apartment
Our apartment communities span from San Diego to the Pacific Northwest in some of the most sought-after locations on the West Coast. Whether you're looking for life in Los Angeles, settling down in San Jose, or relaxing in Oakland, we can help. Choose from bustling city life, quiet comfort in the suburbs, sun and sand at the beach or outdoor adventures and a wide variety of on-site amenities and floor plans that span from studios to two-bedroom apartments to townhomes. Whatever your style and budget, we have a community that’s right for you.