Whether we own our own home or rent from a landlord, we all share the same concerns when there is devastation caused by earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes and fires that sweep this nation from coast-to-coast annually. Unfortunately, while most homeowners have the necessary policy in place, most tenants do not bother with obtaining NJ renters insurance.
But renters should be proactive in protecting themselves from major financial losses when tragic incidents occur that could drastically change their lives, as well as cause them to lose the precious contents and personal belongings that make their day-to-day life more comforting.
Some common misperceptions about renting property
Often, tenants have a false sense of security thinking that they will automatically be covered if something happens to the home they are renting from a landlord or property manager. But, if they took the time to read the lease agreement they would understand that most are written with the standard verbiage (something along the lines of “tenant shall hold the landlord/property manager harmless from any and all liability”). What this basically means is that the property manager’s insurance policy covers the structure only, not the tenant’s personal contents.
While insurance premiums may seem costly (or an unnecessary hassle), imagine having to replace all of the belongings in the apartment or structure because a hurricane devastated the entire town. The expense and inconvenience associated with replacing any clothes, jewelry, food, furniture, TV, computers, and all of the supplies lost can be substantial for those without renters insurance. It could easily end up costing upwards of $50,000-plus to replace everything, not to mention finding a new rental.
Other considerations for obtaining a tenant insurance policy
In addition to natural disasters, there is also the threat of vandalism or theft, liability issues (e.g. slips and falls), or property defects causing destruction of personal property. In the case of a property defect, it is typical that the landlord’s insurance policy will cover the structure only, so if the roof leaks, the landlord will usually repair or replace only the roof, not any personal property damaged because that would be covered by the NJ renters insurance policy.
Renter’s or tenant’s insurance can usually be purchased for as little as $20 a month and at a discount if lumped together with an auto insurance policy. It’s a wise move that will pay off in the rare event of an unfortunate occurrence.