A Quick Guide to Renters Insurance in Florida

Only 37 percent of American renters carry renters insurance, according to an Insurance Information Institute poll. By contrast, 95 percent of the nation’s homeowners carry homeowners insurance. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, about one-third of Florida residents are renters. Here are important facts Floridians need to know about renters insurance.

Why do you need a renters insurance policy in Florida?

Renters who live in an apartment or other rental space should consider purchasing renters insurance for the sake of protecting the value of their personal assets. Don’t assume your landlord covers everything when a hurricane or other disaster strikes. Landlords typically only carry insurance that covers the structure and exterior of the complex.

Some renters are required to carry renters insurance as part of their lease obligation. This requirement protects landlords if tenants are unable to pay rent. For instance, renters insurance covers the cost of a tenant who cannot work and earn money. Landlords who require tenants to carry renters insurance typically verify the coverage before allowing you to move in.

If it’s completely your choice as to whether you should get renters insurance, you should review your list of possessions. If you own expensive computers, TV sets, and other valuable items, you may need extra coverage on top of renters insurance. Certain items such as art or jewelry are difficult for appraisers to estimate.

However, for regular personal belongings, you typically only need a good renters insurance policy. It will pay for new purchases after your original items have been damaged by fire or other stated perils in the policy. It’s important to understand that all insurance policies have coverage limits, so it’s up to you how much coverage you need for financial protection.

Renters with minimal possessions, such as digital nomads who work online and move from city to city with their laptop and a suitcase full of clothes, may not need coverage. Nonetheless, for more common renters who have a closet full of clothes, musical instruments, expensive cameras and other technology, it’s essential to carry coverage.

Renters insurance coverage types

As a renter, you must carry your insurance to pay for items destroyed by perils. An HO4 policy provides four types of coverages for renters identified by letters C, D, E, and F.

  1. Coverage C: This plan covers your personal items such as clothes, furniture, and home entertainment equipment. Ideally, it should include Replacement Cost Coverage (RCC) for your possessions. It allows you to get reimbursed for damaged items based on current costs for repair or replacement. Make sure you hang on to receipts for new items you purchase.
  2. Coverage D: If your rental space becomes uninhabitable due to a disaster, this coverage pays for relocation and living expenses, including lodging and meals. Before committing to such a plan, find out how long it will take for your insurer to send you a check if damage forces you out of your rental space.
  3. Coverage E: This coverage pays for personal liability issues if someone is injured or becomes ill while visiting your rental space. Remember that anyone can be sued by someone who trips on their property or rental space. It’s better to have the right coverage in place instead of paying an enormous amount of money from your pocket for legal fees.
  4. Coverage F: While coverage E pays for lawsuits, coverage F pays for the medical costs of someone injured in your rental unit. Like legal costs, medical bills can run in the thousands of dollars, which can drain your savings quickly. Talk with your insurance agent about getting full protection for lawsuits and injury cases to ensure you don’t experience surprises when it’s time to file a claim.

What you need to consider before buying renters insurance in Florida?

While renters insurance is usually fairly affordable for renters, there are still other ways to cut insurance costs further. One of the most reliable ways to reduce monthly costs is to invest in making your rental space safer, so there’s less chance of filing a claim. Find out from your landlord what options you have to modify your units, such as adding lighting, an alarm system, or video cameras.

You can also lower costs by talking with your insurance agent about various discounts. Even though insurance companies typically don’t actively promote discounts, they offer deals for certain low-risk customers. It helps if you don’t have a history of filing claims.

Insurance discounts may be available for certain types of buildings based on the age of construction and condition of the roof. You may get a discount for a rental space if the property owner has installed safety devices such as a fire alarm with indoor sprinklers.

We Can Help You at Locke!

Renters can reduce stress by purchasing renters insurance while landlords are protected by commercial property insurance. If you have any questions about either type of coverage, contact us here at Locke Insurance Group today!

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