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Renter’s Insurance in California: Do You Need It?

man is stressed without renters insurance

If you are a renter in California – paying monthly rent to someone else instead of owning your own home – you may wonder if you need renters’ insurance. No matter if you rent a single-family residence, one unit in a duplex, an apartment, or a condominium, renters insurance is designed to protect you and your belongings against circumstances outside of your control. 

Imagine if your possessions were damaged or lost due to a fire, a natural disaster, or some other emergency. What if your belongings were lost due to a break-in? What would you do to replace your items and to get your life back on track? To answer these questions, California renters should consider the added protection and peace of mind of renters insurance.

What is Renters Insurance?

Homeowners and property owners, such as those who own condos, apartment buildings, or townhome developments, are required by California state laws to have property insurance. For those property owners who rent out their properties to others, these property insurance policies only cover the structure itself, not its contents. In other words, if you are a renter and your rental experiences a situation that results in the loss of your personal possessions, your landlord’s insurance probably won’t cover the loss.

California rental insurance policies typically have three major coverage areas:

  • Personal property coverage – covering losses of renters’ property like electronics, home goods, clothing, and furniture. 
  • Personal liability coverage – offering protection to the renter if someone should become injured on the rental premises and providing payments for medical expenses and legal costs, depending on the specific policy language.
  • Property damage coverage – if damage to the rental unit is caused by a covered loss, this part of the policy provides a means of paying for repair or replacement costs. 

Understanding Renters Insurance Coverage

Renters insurance works in the background to protect you and your belongings, whether you are in your rental unit or away for work or travel. Events that result in the loss of your personal items can happen at any time, such as a fire or theft incident or a severe weather event. These situations can spring up at any time and in any location, regardless of the neighborhood where you have chosen to rent. 

Renters insurance also provides coverage if something happens in another unit in the building, such as if you live in an apartment or townhouse development. Take, for example, a fire occurring in a unit in your building. The fire itself may not reach your unit, but smoke from the fire and water from firefighters might have caused your belongings to become damaged or lost. Renters insurance protects against those types of losses. 

What About Cost? Isn’t Renters Insurance Expensive?

Many renters skip the valuable protection afforded by renters insurance because they think it is too expensive. Renters insurance is often seen as a luxury; the reality is that these policies are surprisingly affordable and within reach of almost any renter. 

Across the United States, the average cost of a renters insurance policy is about $15 per month. That’s right – fifteen dollars a month! Compare that cost against the expenses you might face to replace your furniture, your electronics, and your clothing if they were lost in an earthquake, fire, or theft, and renters insurance begins to make a lot of sense.

To learn more about renters insurance, including coverage amounts and monthly premiums, speak to a qualified insurance professional today. Renters insurance is an important part of protecting you and your loved ones from circumstances beyond your control and is designed to give you peace of mind that your personal belongings are covered whether you are at home or away. 

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