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Renters insurance offers broad protection for tenants, it’s important for consumer to choose the policy that’s best suits their individual needs. The renter’s policy can cover personal belongings, and help cover legal cost in the event you are sued for accidental bodily injury or property damage of others. Here are questions to ask your insurance agents to help you make the right choices.

What is covered and what is not? A renter’s policy generally covers your stuff against events like theft, lightning, fire, smoke, vandalism, explosions and windstorms.1 There's also liability protection against claims and lawsuits alleging that you caused bodily injuries or property damage. There may be coverage for certain kinds of water damage, such as leaks from damaged pipes. Your insurance rep can tell you if the policy includes additional living expenses if you're forced to move due to a covered loss.

Will renter’s policy cover my roommate?
Renters insurance typically covers family members, but may not cover roommates. Travelers recommends that each occupant obtains his/her own policy to cover their individual stuff. Some insurers allow roommates to be insured under a single policy.2 In these instances, roommates must agree to the level of coverage, based on the combined value of their stuff. If one roommate moves away, the remaining renter typically will need to obtain a new policy.

What’s the difference between cash value and replacement cost?
There are two types of renter’s coverage, one that pays based on your property’s actual cash value and one that pays based on your property’s replacement cost. For example, a computer you bought for $1,000 eight years ago has significantly depreciated in value, let’s say to $200. If you have a cash value policy, the maximum amount you would be paid would be the lesser of the cost to repair it, or $200. If you have a replacement cost policy, the amount you would be paid would be the lesser of the cost to repair or replace the item with a similar new computer.

Will owning a dog affect my renter’s coverage?
Some policies provide coverage if your dog injures someone, and some insurers exclude or limit coverage for customers who own a dog. It’s best to discuss this with your insurance representative when purchasing your policy.

Am I covered if my laptop computer is stolen from my car parked outside my home?
Renters policies generally include coverage for items stolen off-premises. That means belongings outside your home have insurance protection similar to the things inside your home Thank you to our contracted market Travelers for this blog.
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