Renters & college students need to protect their property

New National Survey Finds Nearly Two-Thirds of U.S. Renters Living Without Renters Insurance.  College Students Among Those at Possible Financial Risk in Event of Theft, Fire or Other Loss.

A recent independent consumer survey conducted for the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA) has found that nearly two-thirds of those living in U.S. rental properties are currently risking severe financial loss by going without renters insurance.

The national consumer telephone survey of 1,000 people was conducted by International Communications Research (ICR)—an independent survey firm based in Media, Pa. When survey participants living in rental properties were asked whether they had renters insurance, 64.4 percent said no and 2.2 percent answered “Don’t Know.”

Consider the value of your furniture, television, stereo, computer, jewelry, clothes, and other items. They likely add up to more in value than your automobile and without renters insurance, what liability coverage do you have in the event someone is injured in your rental unit and sues you for damages?

More than 81 million Americans rent homes in the United States. A frequent reason many renters give for not purchasing renters insurance is the expense. However, renters insurance policies cost as little as $10 per month. The average cost of renters insurance is $12 per month for about $30,000 of property coverage and $100,000 of liability coverage.

The risks for our personal possessions are many: theft, vandalism, fire or lightning, hurricane or tornado, explosions, damage from smoke, damage by broken glass, water-related damage from home utilities … and the list goes on.

The most common misconception among renters is that they are covered under their landlord’s insurance in the event of fire or theft. Not so. The landlord’s insurance covers the building and the infrastructure of that building. “That coverage does not extend into the homes of the individual residents and the possessions they maintain in their units.

That’s where renters insurance comes in.

Renters insurance covers the items you have in your apartment, condo, or other rental home should those items be stolen, destroyed or damaged. Renters insurance also includes some liability coverage should someone be injured in your home and you are held liable, or even in the event you accidentally burn down your apartment and the landlord’s insurance company sues you for damages.

The survey results suggest that many families with college students could unknowingly put themselves at risk when they send their kids off to school. While homeowners coverage extends to students who live in campus dormitories, there is a gray area for students living in off-campus housing.  Students renting off-campus units need to check with their insurance agent to make sure their parents’ homeowners coverage extends to their possessions. If not, they would need to purchase a separate renters insurance policy.

Renters can obtain renters insurance by calling or visiting The Leigh Agency, an Independent Trusted Choice agency in Freehold, NJ. or 732-780-8338.

Copyright © 2013 Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, Inc.