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Renters Insurance: Do I Really Need It?
Protect yourself and your personal possessions with renters insurance,
whether you live in on or off the installation. Many service members
aren't familiar with renters insurance because it isn't required by law,
unlike car or homeowners insurance. A lot of renters mistakenly assume
that the property owner's insurance covers their personal belongings.
Renters insurance covers your property if you rent or subletting a single
family home, apartment, duplex, condo, studio, loft or townhome. Even
if you live in military housing, you may still want renters insurance to
protect your belongings.
Renters insurance coverage
Renters insurance can protect you in the following ways:
- Covers the cost of repairing or replacing your personal belongings in
case of fire or theft
- May cover expenses (hotel, meals out, and laundry) if you have to
leave your rented home during repairs
- May include personal liability protection against lawsuits if someone
is accidentally injured in your rented home
- Provides coverage for your belongings if they're damaged or stolen
outside your home
- May provide limited coverage for credit card fraud or check forgery
- Gives continuous coverage as you move your military household
goods in and out of on-installation and off-installation housing
Two common types of renters insurance are broad form and
comprehensive form. Broad form is the most common.
- Covers the value of your possessions only for specific events
- named in the policy — typically fire, lightning, explosion, smoke,
vandalism, theft and water-related damage from utilities
- Doesn't cover floods and earthquakes
- Provides personal liability protection against lawsuits if someone is
accidentally injured in your rented home
Comprehensive form covers all hazardous events except those
specifically excluded by the policy.
- Provides a higher personal liability limit
- Costs more because the potential benefit has greater value
- No matter which type of policy you buy, you must decide whether to
base your benefits on actual cash value or replacement cost.
- Actual cash value policies determine the amount of money you're
paid based on the value of the property at the time of loss.
- Replacement value policies pay you what it costs to replace your
items, but these policies cost more.