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Do You Need Renter's Insurance?

Renter's insurance is one of the most misunderstood types of insurance coverage. Many renters simply do not know what it offers or, therefore, whether they should buy it. It can be very important if a claim for personal injuries is ever made against you, so definitely call an attorney to discuss how whether you need coverage and, if so, how much. At Simeone & Miller, LLP, LLP, we would be happy to review your insurance coverage with you to ensure that it adequately protects you from personal injury claims and other claims free of charge.

Here are some quick things to remember about renter's insurance. Renter’s insurance is analogous to homeowner’s insurance. It provides two basic types of coverage (generally speaking): casualty and liability. Casualty coverage protects your personal belongings (apart from the premises, which you do not own) in case of a fire, flood, theft or a similar type of damage. Liability coverage protects others who are injured on your property through your negligence (as opposed to the owner’s) and bring a claim for personal injuries against you. This includes slip and fall accidents and the like. Liability coverage is also very broad and can cover you for many activities outside of your home – it is close to a general liability policy. There may also be other coverages available, such as no fault medical coverage, depending on the state and the company.

Casualty insurance should be in an amount sufficient to replace all of your belongings if they are destroyed. So, the more assets (and the more they cost), the more coverage you need. Liability insurance is basically asset protection. You need enough coverage to ensure that anyone injured by your negligence who brings a personal injury claim is sufficiently compensated through your liability coverage, so that they do not try to obtain compensation through your personal assets. An injured person will have claims for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. The higher your net worth or salary, the more coverage you need because high income/net worth people are prime targets for personal injury lawyers and claims.

Finally, if affordable, renters should inquire about umbrella policies – they provide an additional $1,000,000 or more in liability coverage to both a renter’s policy and automobile policy, assuming the renter owns a vehicle. If the insurance company offers one, and if the renter has significant assets, umbrella policies are one of the best values in insurance. They are relatively affordable given the amount of coverage they provide against significant personal injury claims.

Again, if you have any questions about renters insurance and the types of protection they provide against personal injury claims, contact a Washington, DC personal injury lawyer. This is a decision it pays to make quickly and correctly.