If you own a home, you need homeowners insurance, so why shouldn’t the same be true if you are a renter? Many people erroneously believe that their landlord’s insurance will cover their belongings in the event of a flood, fire, earthquake, etc. Those very same people are shocked when they discover (after the fact) that they are left high and dry, metaphorically speaking, when it comes to coverage for their personal property.  There are some steps you can take to prevent the inevitable hardship and heartbreak that will come without obtaining renters insurance.

First, make an inventory of all your assets, especially valuables like jewelry, collections, art, etc. Video documentation is best along with a written list. Be sure to keep all warranties, receipts and any appraisals. This will help the claims process immensely. Next, make a note of any safety improvements, such as carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems, etc. They can make a difference in your premium.

Obtaining renter’s insurance can be a bit overwhelming when you consider the variety of options and how many ways there are to put a policy together. But do not skip this coverage. Talk to your insurance professional. He or she will go over what you want to insure. Just like with homeowner’s coverage, you should make a list of all your property, making special note of especially valuable assets like collections, a rarities, as these will likely need additional coverage.

Finally, bring it all down to your insurance professional who will go over the right insurance and premium level for you.The bottom line is renters are responsible for protecting their own belongings. Don’t be caught short or surprised when your landlord’s insurance company dies not cover your losses. Obtain the necessary coverages before it’s too late.