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Purchasing renter’s insurance is a wise decision for anyone renting a home or apartment, but it’s especially necessary for residents in New York City. Because New York City has one of the most cutthroat real estate markets in the United States — if not the world — it’s essential for renters to protect themselves and their possessions. Between the threat of theft and potential damages, the New York City renter who doesn’t have insurance may find himself or herself in a very sticky situation.
Understanding Renter’s Insurance
Given that every homeowner needs homeowner’s insurance, it stands to reason that renters need insurance as well. The two aren’t that much different, after all. Renter’s insurance offers much of the same protection as homeowner’s insurance. At its base point, that’s what renter’s insurance is — protection.
Image via Flickr by Jeffrey Zeldman
The main difference is that renter’s insurance won’t generally cover the dwelling itself — that’s up to your landlord. That being said, if you make alterations to your rental property, your insurance may cover those things through liability insurance. The good news is that renter’s insurance does cover your own personal property. Your landlord has to take care of the home or building; that coverage won’t protect your personal belongings.
The Need for Insurance
Anything can happen in your home, whether you own or rent it. Just as you wouldn’t drive without insurance, you can’t live in a home without protecting your property. Renter’s insurance will cover damages caused by theft, vandalism, fires, or certain natural disasters. The liability insurance you receive with your policy can even protect you if you slip, fall, or otherwise hurt yourself while in your rental home or on your landlord’s property.
Asking the Right Questions
You need to ask questions before you make an important purchase, including renter’s insurance. The fact is that some providers are better than others. Make sure you choose an insurance provider with a solid reputation. You have to trust them, or else you might end up left in the cold — literally. Before committing to any policy, ask these questions.
- What’s covered, especially in terms of furniture, electronics, clothing, art, and other valuables?
- Which perils does the policy cover, so you can make sure you’re protected against vandalism, fire, theft, smoke damage, explosions, water damage, and damages caused by natural disasters?
- What will occur if you or someone else gets injured in your rental property?
- Whom does your policy cover, such as in the case of roommates, long-term visitors, and pets?
- Does your policy protect your belongings outside of the home?
- How much does the policy cost?
- What are details about a provider’s reputation and experience?
The Importance of Comparison Shopping
Given the importance of your belongings and all the questions you have to ask, you need to comparison shop to get the best deal. You don’t want to sign with a provider in haste, only to discover that you’re paying far more than necessary. Take the time to choose a provider who offers everything you need at a price you can afford. You don’t want to get caught without insurance, especially in such a big, bustling city. Have you ever needed to make use of renter’s insurance? What was your experience like?