Although tenants don’t own the residences they live in, they still are exposed to a few potential risks. Namely, tenants have belongings that usually should be protected and may themselves need liability protection. Renters insurance policies often provide both of these coverages.
Renters insurance is somewhat like homeowners insurance, but it’s generally designed for people who lease the place they live in. Renters policies typically don’t offer structural coverage for property, since the responsibility of insuring the building against physical perils usually falls to the landlord. Policies do, however, offer other protections that renters frequently need.
What Coverages Do Renters Policies Offer?
Renters policies normally provide three primary coverages. They are:
Personal Property Coverage
Personal Liability Coverage
Additional Living Expenses Coverage
Some policies make other coverages available, and a few may not provide this trio. Any tenants who know they want a particular protection should work with an experienced insurance agent to find a policy that comes with that protection.
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Who Needs a Renters Policy?
Most people who rent a living space in Massachusetts should consider getting a renters policy. This includes residents who lease an apartment, townhome or house as their primary living space. It also may include people who rent a seasonal cottage, live off campus during college or sign any other type of lease.
Are Renters Policies Expensive?
Because they normally don’t provide structural coverage, renters policies often are highly affordable. Their premiums normally fit within tenants’ budgets, and they frequently cost far less than an expensive claim could be.
How Are Actual Cash Value and Replacement Cost Coverages Different?
Actual cash value and replacement cost coverages are two different types of personal property protection that a renters policy might offer. Actual cash value normally offers the depreciated value of any items that are lost or damaged in a covered claim. Replacement cost coverage typically offers the full cost of replacing the items. Between the two, replacement cost coverage usually is the more robust protection.
What is an HO-4 Policy?
An HO-4 form policy is simply a basic renters policy. HO-4 is the abbreviation used within the insurance industry to identify renters policies, and most policies offered in Massachusetts that have this designation will offer similar protections.
(Other HO-X policies indicate different types of homeowners, condo or similar insurance policies. For example, HO-3 is a common home insurance policy.)
Do Renters Policies Cover Roommate Theft?
Many renters policies exclude theft by roommates from their protections, and such theft is almost certainly excluded if roommates are listed as policyholders. Tenants who are concerned about this risk should talk with their Massachusetts insurance agent so that they understand precisely what protections a policy does and doesn’t provide.
Do Renters Policies Cover Belongings Kept in Storage Units?
Some renters policies cover belongings that are kept in storage units, but others don’t. Additionally, coverage sometimes depends on where a storage unit is located, and whether the unit is included in a lease or rented separately.
Tenants can find out whether their particular policy covers their stored belongings by reviewing the policy with a knowledgeable agent.
How Can Tenants in Massachusetts Get Renters Insurance?
To get help finding a renters insurance policy that meets your needs, contact the experienced and independent team at Service First Insurance Agency. Our agents have helped many Massachusetts renters find coverage, and they can scour multiple insurance companies’ offerings to find the right policy for you.