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Thanks for making it easy to find the cheapest renters insurance. Knowing our stuff is always protected gives me peace of mind.

Matt and Bethany, Charleston SC

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Renting from homeowners renters insurance becomes a major issue. For some of us, it is unclear where their responsibilities end and ours begin as far as insurance is concerned. If you rent a house or a condo from someone, for example, you should know what their policy covers and what it excludes. Generally homeowners renters insurance questions revolve around what you need to take care of as a renter and what your landlord is responsible for. The physical structure is the responsibility of the homeowner or landlord. They are the ones who own the building so they are the ones who have to take care of it, at least legally speaking. The same principle applies to your belongings, however. Since they are your possessions, they're yours to keep track of and keep secure. Therefore unlike homeowners renters insurance focuses on personal property (as well as liability) coverage and does not include protection for the physical dwelling itself.

What do Landlords Policies Cover

Homeowners renters insurance questions often revolve around the topic of who is in charge of what. The first part of that question has to do with homeowners or landlords. Many renters really don't know what their landlords responsibility might be as it pertains to insurance. Some do not even think about it, merely assuming that the landlord has to take care of everything because he or she owns the apartment building or condominium. Others don't realize there is a gap in between the things that homeowners actually do have to cover and everything else. Discussions of homeowners renters insurance need to address this gap, because that gap is where your own responsibilities come in.

Homeowners or landlords are, in fact, fully responsible for insuring the physical dwelling where you live as a renter. Renters have no responsibility in this area. Your rent is not buying you any kind of ownership stake (with the exception of rent to own situations, of course), so you have no basis or need to insure your financial investment in your loft or other rented home. The premium paid by homeowners for a landlords policy covers the physical structure and the real estate property surrounding it. This is the responsibility of the owner to take care of, although as a renter of course you will be expected to prevent damage to the home by living in it respectfully, and home damages are often figured into rental security deposits.

What You're Responsible For

But the discussion of the homeowners renters insurance breakdown does not end there. There is still the question of the things inside a townhouse or other renters abode. For example, if a fire burned down a rental unit and all the things inside were destroyed, many renters wonder which of the homeowners renters insurance plans would be in force to cover the damages. Well, in that particular case, the answer would be both. Landlords policies cover any damage to the home itself as well as damage or loss to any appliances or other items owned by the landlord. Everything the renters owned in the home, however, would be their insurance responsibility. That's why renters coverage is so important.

The things you own in a rented home from your furniture to your clothing and anything that's your personal property is your responsibility to insure. Homeowners insurance does not pay out for losses to a renter unless there is some specific aspect of the loss that proves homeowner negligence caused the loss itself. In this case, the payout would like come from the liability policy of the homeowner or landlord. Homeowners renters insurance debates in most cases do not include these types of situations, though; most of the time in insurance terms a homeowners negligence is very hard to prove. So typically you are on your own as a renter.

Take Care of Your Belongings

No matter what kind of rental you live in, from student housing to the most upscale private homes, it is up to you to take care of the things you own. If you have a large family contingent in a rented house you likely have many personal items to insure. A senior citizen living on her own maybe wouldn't have so much, but nonetheless needs to protect what she does have. Few among us could withstand the potentially huge out of pocket cost of having to go through and buy everything all over again with no compensation following a total loss.

It is critically important that every renter understands the difference between a landlords insurance responsibility and those of a renter as it pertains to personal and real estate property coverage. Questions about homeowners renters insurance and where the line is actually drawn are important to ask, because the answers could save a lot of grief.