If you're moving into your first apartment, you might think you don't have anything of real value. A CD player, computer, and some clothes may not look as if it's worth much—but, when you have to replace your belongings with something items, it could break your budget. Say you've bought a computer on credit and it's destroyed by fire or stolen. You're still responsible for paying the balance to your creditor, even though you no longer have the item.

As a tenant or renter in someone else's building, it's wise to take out a tenant insurance policy. It protects both your contents and your liability exposure. As a tenant, you're responsible for harm you might cause to any part of the building you live in or to others who live or visit there. For example, if you forget to turn off the water in the bathtub and flood your neighbors, you would be responsible for repairing any resulting damages.

Here are some other issues for tenants to consider:

  • Tenant's improvements coverage is also important. If you've made improvements to your rental unit—such as new carpet, paint, or sound systems—they might not be covered in a standard tenant insurance policy. Improvements coverage would be a smart investment.
  • There are lots of other insurance options, too. As a tenant, your insurance policy coverage can be either All Risk or Named Perils. There's protection against Sewer Backup and Earthquake. And you may want to add extra coverage for specific contents in your home, such as jewelry, furs, cameras, and bicycles. You'll find more details on all of these options in the home insurance basics section.


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