Do you really need Renter's Insurance?
If you are currently renting or asking this question; then yes, you probably need Renter's Insurance. Let's talk about why you should have renter's insurance in South Carolina and debunk a few myths while we are at it.
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Myths about Renter's Insurance
- I am renting a house and the landlord's insurance policy will cover me. That is a big ole NOPE! The landlord's policy only covers their interest; such as the building, the appliances they own, and their liability.
- I don't own enough stuff to insure. Well maybe, but most people definitely undervalue their belongings or don't realize that a good HO4 policy will cover their contents at replacement cost (the amount it costs to repair or replace at today's value). Take the time to add up the cost to replace your clothes, linens, toiletries, appliances, dishes, furniture, electronics, books, decorations, and etc. and you probably be shocked of the value.
- I live with a roommate and they have insurance, so I don't need it. If you are a dependent child living with parents or a guardian that may be true. But, for about everyone else that is false. In some cases you can list each roommate on the policy to cover everyone, but the best way to do it is for each roommate to purchase their own renter's insurance policy.
5 Great Reasons You Need Renter's Insurance
- It is more affordable than you think.
A typical renter's insurance policy in Myrtle Beach will cost between $250 - $500 per year, though some policies can cost less. The average cost of renter's insurance across South Carolina is closer to the $200 per year mark. If you break that down, in many cases it would be less than $25 per month!
Your actual premium would depend on factors such as; how much coverage you need, your deductible(s), where you live or proximity to the ocean, and the coverage type or endorsements you choose.
2. Your landlord may require it.
It is getting more common today for landlords to require proof that their tenants to have a renter's insurance policy. The idea behind this is that if the tenants are covered by their own policy, some of the responsibility can be shifted away from the landlord. We are seeing more and more landlords and property managers require renter's insurance in Myrtle Beach.
And of course, as mentioned above, the landlord's policy will not extend much (if any) coverage to you the tenant. If you are renting in an apartment complex, it is very likely the property manager will require you to have your own renter's insurance.
3. It covers losses to personal property.
The most common renter's policy is the HO-4 policy, developed by ISO. The HO-4 policy provides protection against losses to your personal property including furniture, clothes, electronics, and other household items. Replacement Cost (RC) settlement is most common and you will want to make sure you have this in your policy. The other option is Actual Cash Value (ACV), which basically means your items will be depreciated at the time of a loss. ACV is not what you want to have when your claims adjuster tells you how much coverage will apply.
Renter's insurance will protect your contents for a quite amount of perils. A standard HO-4 policy is based on broad coverage, meaning it covers losses from a list of perils including:
- Fire or Lightning
- Windstorm or Hail
- Riot or Civil Commotion
- Vandalism or Malicious Mischief
- Falling Objects
- Weight of Ice, Snow or Sleet
- Accidental Discharge or Overflow of Water or Steam
- Sudden and Accidental Tearing Apart, Cracking, Burning or Bulging
- Sudden and Accidental Damage from Artificially Generated Electrical Current
- Volcanic Eruption
4. It covers more than just your contents.
Medical & liability coverage - This provides protection if a quest is injured while in your home or if you accidently injure someone. A limit of $1,000 for medical and $100,000 for liability is standard. Depending on the insurance provider you are working with, you can increase these limits to $5,000 and $300,000 (or higher). The additional cost for this increase should only be around $20 - $30 per year.
Additional living expenses - The home, condo unit, or apartment becomes uninhabitable due to a covered loss, your renter's insurance policy may provide coverage for cost associated with temporarily living somewhere else, additional food costs, and more. Your policy may have a coverage limit or a max amount of time it will pay for additional living expenses.
5. Coverage for your belongings when you travel.
A renter's insurance policy covers your personal property in your home, car, or with you while you travel anywhere in the world. There are certain limitations, such as up to 10% of your coverage amount can apply to personal property usually located at another location. As always, you should discuss these details with an agent or read your full policy.
What Renter's Insurance Does Not Cover
So we have established that renter's insurance is affordable and you probably should have it. It is important to note that renter's insurance does not cover everything. Here are some common exclusions on a renter's insurance policy. This is not a complete list of things not covered; you should always discuss coverage with an experienced agent or, better yet, read your entire policy.
- Flood damage
- Earthquake damage
- Wear and tear / Neglect / Intentional Loss
- Nuclear Hazard
- Governmental Action
In addition to a HO-4 policy, you may want to consider purchasing other coverages such as; umbrella, jewelry, flood, or earthquake. Davis Insurance Associates is here to serve Myrtle Beach and South Carolina, count on us to understand your risks and help you protect them. Let our office help you with your Renters Insurance in Myrtle Beach!
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