Housing Guide 2011: Renters’ Insurance

Renters insurance guarantees that in the event of something unforeseen and damaging (fire, flooding, theft, weather hazards, riot, etc.) you will be reimbursed for your lost or damaged property. Be careful not to confuse renters insurance with homeowners’ insurance–renters insurance only covers your property, while homeowners insurance covers the home or apartment itself. In other words, if you damage your apartment one night on a bender, you will have to deal with your landlord regardless of your insurance plan.

Each policy covers your property in a different way. Certain policies only extend to items damaged or stolen within the boundaries of your rented property. Other policies will protect your property no matter where it is at the time of the crime, so if someone steals your laptop, for example, the insurance will cover it. The value of the property you’re renting determines the cost of the insurance. Certain restrictions apply: note that one policy does not cover every renter in a given home–each renter must purchase his or her own policy.

Taking the leap to insure your possessions, though costly in the short term, could pay off big in the future. If you live in a first-floor apartment, give it some serious thought. A little foresight can go a long way.

If you want to find out more about renters insurance, the website rentersinsurance.net/chicago.html serves as a useful aggregate of local renters insurance retailers. Companies in the vicinity of Hyde Park that sell renters insurance: Luke Harding State Farm, 2536 S. Martin Luther King Dr., (773)278-0001. Premier Insurance Services of Chicago, 1715 N. Wells St., (312)379-0083. Allstate Insurance Co., 2823 W 55th St., (773)776-2500