Friday, 15 July 2011

Do you have tenant insurance?

If you're a tenant renting a home, you may not be covered in the event that your possessions are damaged or stolen. What's more, you may not be covered for legal costs if someone is harmed on your premises. Tenants often assume that landlords have insurance to cover such losses, but in reality most landlords only cover damage to the building. You may be on the hook in the event that you're robbed or someone seeks legal action against you because of an accident on the property.

To determine whether or not you are covered, your first step should be to look at your lease. It should mention the kind of insurance policy your landlord has purchased and outline the perils that are included. If there is nothing in the lease that suggests the landlord has a policy to cover your possessions, speak directly with him or her to determine the extent of your coverage as a tenant. It is essential that you ask specifically about coverage for loss and damage to possessions but also whether you are covered for liability. The latter is incredibly important, as legal and medical costs --should someone be physically harmed-- can easily soar into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Thankfully, there are inexpensive solutions for tenants to cover their possessions and to protect against liability issues. Some of these plans can cost only a few hundred dollars a year. If you have thousands of dollars of expensive equipment, this is a small price to pay for security and peace of mind. In addition, you can rest assured that should someone hurt themselves on your property --and you are found to be at fault-- you don't have to worry about the legal and medical expenses that could very easily put you in serious debt otherwise.