How Renters Can Protect Themselves from Death and Destruction

apartment earthquake flood insurance

Due to the current instability of the U.S. housing market, more Americans are choosing to rent the roofs over their heads. Nearly one-third of the nation’s population rent their homes. According to a survey conducted by insurance provider Allstate, of the 87 million renters (2008) only about 40 percent of them have a renter’s insurance policy.

Like homeowners, renters are at risk of having their property destroyed, damaged or stolen. Renters insurance can not only mitigate financial loss but also provide overall peace of mind. Standard rental insurance is relatively inexpensive, costing about $12 a month. Since the average renter has$30,000 in material possessions, paying a small premium of $12 can be a smart move.

Typically a standard home insurance policy provides protection from:

  • Theft
  • Windstorm or hail
  • Fire or lightening
  • Vandalism
  • Explosion
  • Volcanic eruption
  • Riot
  • Smoke
  • Damage caused by a vehicle or aircraft
  • Snow, ice or sleet
  • Falling objects
  • Electrical surge damage
  • Unlivable quarters (covers you living somewhere else typically for 12 months if your dwelling becomes unlivable after one of the above occurs)

If you live in a geographical area that is plagued by natural disasters, opting into additionalflood insurance and earthquake insurance riders may be a wise choice. The costs for these types coverages are set by the government and are generally non-negotiable. Both program maximums can cover content loss up to $100,000 based on what level of protection you choose to purchase.

Renters should conduct a search to determine the risk of both flood and earthquakes in their area. Floodsmart.gov is a great resource tohelp consumers determine their flood insurance needs and find reputable policy options.

Even though the chance is slim of all your property being lost in an earthquake,90 percent of the nation’s population lives in seismically active areas. Residents in California can find out more information from the California Earthquake Authority.

It is up to independent renters to secure their own policy. Yourlandlord probably has insurance protecting his/her financial interests if a crisis occurs. By securing your own renters insurance policy, you will get the coverage you need to provide yourself with your very own financial safety net.