Homeowners and Renters Insurance
Homeowners and renters insurance plans are classified as property insurance.
- Homeowners insurance covers your personal property inside the house. It also covers your home if it is damaged (under certain conditions) and includes liability coverage for events that occur inside your home and on your property
- Renters insurance covers only your possessions. If you are a renter, your landlord should have insurance on the building. It also includes liability coverage for events that occur within your rental unit.
If you take out a mortgage to purchase a home, you will be required to purchase and provide proof of homeowners insurance. Sheds and detached garages that are not attached to the home might be covered in “other structures” coverage.
Making the Most of Home/Rental Insurance
Like any insurance policy, you should review your policy annually. Your policy should change as your needs and possessions change. Follow these ideas to make your policy work for you:
- Make a video or take pictures of your belongings. Jot down any descriptions, notes or costs associated with the items. These steps will help you provide proof of replacement value and help jog your memory if anything is lost or stolen. Use the Home Inventory Worksheet to get you started.
- Make sure your homeowners policy automatically adjusts for the increased value of your home over time.
- Find out if your property is covered for the actual cash value (current worth) or the replacement cost. Typically you will want replacement cost (the full amount of what it costs to buy something new today) rather than the actual cash value.
- Buy riders to cover valuables such as jewelry, art, antiques or collectibles.
Renters: Don’t Miss This Opportunity
Renters insurance can be very inexpensive, yet many renters overlook it. You are not covered by your landlord’s insurance. Take out renters insurance to cover your personal property and protect you from liability claims (i.e., damages and injuries to others within your rental unit). The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has a helpful page of information about renters insurance.