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Attorney Van O'Steen

Good Idea for Renters to Own Injury Liability and Property Insurance

Van O'Steen

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Increasingly greater numbers of people are living in rented dwellings—apartments, condominiums and homes.  Although renters are not required by law to have renter's insurance, it is a very good idea to do so.

Renter's insurance is substantially the equivalent of homeowner's insurance, for those who own homes. Most: homeowners have this protection, both for their own benefit and because their mortgage holder requires it.

A renter's policy typically does two important things for you.

For most losses, including theft and fire, your personal belongings generally will be covered. Depending on the type of coverage you purchase, you either will receive the current value or replacement cost of items such as television sets, stereos, furniture, clothing and other items of personal property.

Renter's policies also generally provide protection for personal injury liability. For example, if a guest is injured in your apartment through some fault of yours, your insurance company will cover the injury claim to the limits of your policy and pay any legal expenses associated with resolving it.

Many renter’s policies extend this personal injury liability protection beyond the confines of your house or apartment. For example, if your child throws a rock at another child while at school, and a claim is made against you for the other child's injuries, your renter's policy usually will cover this.

Naturally, coverage types and amounts vary depending on the insurance company you choose and your personal needs. Discuss these matters with your agent. In most cases, renter's insurance is very affordable.

If you would like some direction in shopping for renter's coverage, the Arizona Department of Insurance publishes a list of homeowner's insurance cost comparisons. Because most companies that sell homeowner's insurance also offer renter's insurance, this Insurance Department data can give you useful information about comparative costs. As you review it, keep in mind that a renter's policy should be much less expensive than homeowner's insurance, because you will not be insuring the dwelling itself.

Visit the Arizona Department of Insurance web site for cost comparison information.