Homeowners’ insurance is considered a mandatory part of owning a home. It provides protection and insulation from the high costs incurred when a home or its contents are damaged or destroyed by adverse weather, burglary or other injurious events.
It also provides critical protection against personal injury liability lawsuits if a guest or service provider is injured on the property.
Individuals and families living in condominiums or apartment complexes need just as much protection for their families, possessions and legal liability concerns as homeowners. Yet a large percentage of condominium unit owners and nearly two-thirds of renters carry no private insurance for their properties or belongings at all. Furthermore, many of the homeowners and tenants who do have coverage hold only basic policies that are not appropriate or sufficient to meet their actual needs in the event of an emergency.
Learning about renter’s insurance, condominium insurance and renters insurance appraisals is an essential first step for anyone seeking to properly protect his or her home, family and belongings.
Renters insurance extends to renters many of the same protections that homeowners insurance offers individuals who own their own homes. There is a common misconception among renters that the insurance policies held by their landlords or apartment complexes cover residents and their belongings in the event that the building is damaged. In reality, most complex and landlords’ insurance policies provide coverage only for the apartment buildings themselves.
Renters insurance exists to cover all other residential portions of renters’ insurance needs. Basic policies typically offer protection for renters’ personal belongings against both weather-related damage and some forms of human-caused harm, such as theft. They also provide a reasonable amount of personal liability protection. Personal liability insurance pays for the medical expenses of anyone who is not a resident of the apartment (e.g. a guest or service provider) who is injured in or on the premises.
Renter’s insurance is relatively inexpensive, and renters can choose between several different kinds of policies to match both the cost and the coverage to their own personal needs. For example, renters can purchase:
Renters may be required to have some of their possessions professionally assessed by an expert before they can secure the level of insurance they want for them. Generally, items will need professional assessments if they are rare or expensive, or if they are to be covered by a supplemental policy.
Although renter’s insurance coverage options apply to many different situations, they do not cover every emergency that might befall renters. This type of insurance also does not offer any coverage for damages that are intentionally inflicted or that result from negligence on the part of the policy holder. Due to industry-standard reimbursement caps, renters insurance may also provide only partial coverage for more expensive items unless renters purchase specific supplemental policies or riders. Visit this page to learn what is not covered under renters insurance.
Condominiums uniquely combine some aspects of homeownership with some characteristics of renting. Those living in condos own their units, but they do not own the buildings those units are located in. Depending on the details of their purchase arrangements, they may be responsible for some or all of the fixtures and surfaces in their units, as well as the maintenance of pipes, electrical wiring and other relevant utility components.
In the same way that renters are partially covered by their landlords’ insurance policies, condo unit owners enjoy a small degree of coverage from the insurance policies their homeowners associations (HOA) purchase. HOA policies typically insure the exteriors of condo buildings and offer injury liability coverage in the event that someone is injured in a communal complex space. For example, if a complex roof were to be damaged in a storm or if someone were to slip and fall while using the complex swimming pool, the HOA policy could be expected to provide insurance coverage.
Beyond that, however, condo unit owners cannot count on any additional protections. Like renters, they must purchase their own private policies to protect their belongings and contract personal liability insurance against the possibility of someone being injured in their unit. Condo insurance and supplemental policies may also offer several other key protections.
By thoroughly reviewing condo insurance coverage options and objectively assessing their personal needs, both renters and condo owners can put together cost effective and comprehensive insurance coverage that ensures the safety of their homes, families and belongings.