All across Massachusetts, home and apartment rentals provide affordable, flexible, and comfortable living options for students, seniors, and families. However, without the responsibility of upkeep and maintenance or the equity of homeownership, many tenants don’t realize the financial risks they may be taking. Renters insurance helps provide financial security in case of damages, injuries, or other losses.
More than half of renters in the United States do not carry renters insurance, leaving them vulnerable to losses. Your personal belongings can easily total tens of thousands of dollars, and without insurance you have no liability protection. For Massachusetts renters, this can be a serious situation if a loss does occur. A renters policy is an affordable way to protect yourself and your family.
If your apartment is damaged during a storm, fire, by wind, falling debris, or other common situations, you are not responsible for the damages to the structure itself, but you are responsible for any damages done to your personal property. You have no coverage under your landlord’s policy for your jewelry, furniture, electronics, clothing, or other items. If you were to face a total loss, such as in a fire, it could cost tens of thousands of dollars to replace all of these items.
A renters policy helps to provide reimbursement for property losses due to common events including storm damage, fire, theft, and vandalism. Your policy will specify if you will receive the actual cash value or the replacement cost value, up to your policy limits.
These policy limits are often too low to completely cover the loss of valuable items such as jewelry, collectibles, antiques, and artwork. If you have any of these items, you may wish to purchase an insurance rider for more complete coverage. Your insurance agent can help you determine if this option is right for you.
When someone is injured or property is damaged due to your actions or negligence, you can be held legally liable for their medical expenses, repairs, and other damages. This is true, even if the damages do not occur on property that you own.
In your apartment, your landlord is typically responsible for upkeep, including snow removal, loose floorboards, and other hazards. If someone is injured due to these factors, your landlord is responsible, not you. However, if someone slips on the wet floor that you just washed, or your dog bites someone, you could be sued. Renters policies can include liability coverage for these, and other, situations.
Your liability coverage typically pays for medical expenses, repairs, legal fees, court costs, and legal settlements, up to your policy limits. This important protection is invaluable when this type of loss occurs.
The cost of living in MA is among the highest in the nation. If your apartment becomes uninhabitable due to a covered loss situation, you may find it difficult to find a temporary living situation while repairs are made. Most renters policies include coverage for this situation, providing you with the funds to stay in a hotel or other short-term rental, pay for additional utility expenses, food, and other items you require due to the situation.
Renting a home provides an affordable, comfortable, flexible option for many Massachusetts residents. However, it does not relieve you of the responsibility for carrying insurance. Renters insurance provides protection for property and liability losses as well as additional living expenses when a loss occurs. These important coverages can protect you and your family from financial harm due to a physical loss.