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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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Rental home insurance is more commonly referred to as renters insurance. It is almost the same as the standard form coverage that is bought by people who own the buildings in which they make their homes. It contains the same clauses as homeowners insurance, with a few important exceptions. The most significant of these is that rental home insurance does not cover the physical structure of the rental home whether this be a condominium, apartment, or single family house.

The limits of liability for damage or injury sustained within the rental space are the same as those that apply to propertied homeowners. A renter is also a homeowner. The rental home is, for these purposes, the property of the leaseholder even though that person does not own the physical structures.

It is not a legal requirement that home renters purchase renters insurance, liability, or property damage coverage, but leasing agents and private owner landlords are beginning to require it of their tenants with increasing frequency. It is fast becoming standard practice in the rental industry.

Renters Risks and Liabilities

Rental home insurance, like all other forms, is purchased to indemnify the owner against certain perils. Referred to as risks or perils, these are events that can cause physical structures to be damaged or destroyed, or can occasion some form of injury to human beings.

The person in possession of a lease is liable to visitors and guests for injuries they might sustain while in the home, or for belongings they lose or that get damaged while on the property. These kinds of events could have quite substantial costs, especially in the case of personal injury. If something falls and a guest or visitor is seriously injured, medical bills and legal fees could present a quite serious financial burden for the leaseholder. Accidents that occur within the rental unit are not covered under the landlord's property insurance.

Any damage that a person causes to the property of others renders that person responsible for the repair or replacement of the damaged object. A homeowner can make claims against a homeowners policy and receive financial disbursements to cover repair or replacement. A renter is subject to the same responsibilities as any other homeowner. A leaseholder is a particular kind of homeowner and can use the specialized version of the standard form rental home insurance policy.

The liability provisions are especially useful. They provide a financial cushion if someone dies or is seriously injured in an accident that occurs at the home. Even if the injured person has personal health coverage, the tenant, being the homeowner, is still liable, and medical expenses could be quite extreme. If the injured person files a lawsuit, the fees for legal counsel could also present a grave inconvenience. Rental home insurance will cover these and any other judgments up to the limits agreed to in the policy. This likelihood alone could make the decision to purchase rental home insurance a very attractive proposition for any occupant.

If a natural disaster damages or destroys the contents of a rental dwelling, the renter will have to replace or repair valuables out of pocket unless that person has purchased a rider to the rental home insurance policy that specifically provides for that eventuality. The property owner will be compensated according to the limits of the policy that covers the property, but the occupant will not. There will be no compensation for loss of use if the residence is rendered unliveable following a natural disaster, either, if there is no policy to that effect, taken out in the name of the resident.

Finding Affordable Insurance

Whether or not a renter has the financial reserves to be able to replace a valuable possession that gets lost, and whether that possession be a fur coat or a favorite couch, an insurance policy has the potential to save its owner a lot of money and personal distress.

Once such a decision is made, the renter will want to find protection that is affordable and appropriate. Many agencies offer insurance for all common contingencies and for some unusual ones, also, and generally speaking, rental home insurance is relatively inexpensive.

Of course, the final cost will depend on a number of factors. Agents will first look at the location of the home in which the belongings are kept, and at the value of the individual items that are being insured. They will ask renters to provide comprehensive lists of the valuables and attach documents that provide proof of ownership and of value.

The renter will decide what levels of deductible and premium payments are comfortable, and how high the liability limits will be. In any case, the process of acquiring rental home insurance flows more easily if a determination of needs is made before meeting with an agent.