Should you rent your home, important questions to ask yourself are how much is the total value of all your important personal belongings and, perhaps most relevant, could you afford to replace all these things if they were somehow stolen or destroyed if your home was effected by some covered mishap or disaster?
It is important to keep in mind that landlord’s insurance protects only the landlord’s property- as a tenant it does not protect your personal items. Belongings such as your wardrobe, electronics, kitchen appliances and other items owned by you are unprotected unless you take the appropriate action and purchase renters’ insurance.
Renters insurance provides coverage in numerous ways. It protects for any loss of use of your rental home due to damage to the property resulting in it being uninhabitable. In these cases, this coverage will provide payment for you if you need to stay somewhere else until you find a new home or the rental is made once again livable. With this coverage your personal property is protected if stolen. You can also be covered for personal liability, should an individual be injured in your rental home.
Remember that all these policies have deductibles. For example, should you have a $500 deductible and the loss amount is $400, you would not receive any reimbursement and therefore it would be unnecessary to take out a claim. Generally the higher the deductible, the lower the premium you pay, so it is incumbent upon you to decide if such a risk of paying out-of-pocket is worth the extra premium expense. You would also need to decide upon the amount of personal property coverage you require by estimating how much all your belongings are valued. You may also at this juncture determine if you need replacement coverage- (generally personal items are covered for their current, depreciated value.) For example, a flat screen TV you bought a couple of years ago will not be worth what you paid for it back then. If you would prefer to have enough coverage to buy a brand new TV, you may want to seriously consider insuring it for its replacement value rather than the depreciated value.
If you own some very valuable property, like art work or high end jewelry, losses of these items would most likely not be fully covered by a renters’ basic policy. You would need to buy a policy “rider” or “floater” in order to obtain more coverage. In this case, the insurance company might mandate that an appraisal be done to confirm the property is worth the level to which you believe. Note that If you work at home, you would be well advised to meet with your insurance professional to discuss whether you might need separate business insurance policy coverage.