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It’s a scene that far too many renters face. You come home from a long day at work or school to find the door to your apartment kicked open and your possessions dumped all over the floor. From the doorway you can tell your racing bike and flat-screen TV are gone. You wonder what else the thief took. Or maybe the intruder is more subtle. The plumbing in the unit upstairs bursts during the night. You wake to a flooded apartment. Your furniture is ruined. And the laptop you left on the floor? It’s submerged in water.

Although the owners of apartments and other leased residences purchase insurance for their properties, these policies do not cover the substantial losses renters can suffer after burglaries, fire and other hazards. Renters insurance, however, does cover loss or damage to personal property. It also can reimburse you for temporary living expenses if you are forced out of your apartment or lease home during reconstruction. It even protects your valuables away from home.

In addition to covering personal property, renters insurance can pay for your legal representation and help protect you against judgments if you are held responsible for injuring another person or damaging someone’s property. And it can cover the medical expenses of a guest injured in your home.

Several factors affect renters insurance rates. To control costs, discuss deductible and policy limit options with your insurance agent. Many states also offer discounts for protective devices, senior citizens or purchasing both auto and renters insurance from a single insurance carrier.
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