COLUMBUS – Renters finding new places to live or resigning leases this spring and summer should not discount the importance of renters insurance, Ohio Lieutenant Governor and Insurance Director Mary Taylor said.
“Many renters are unaware their landlord is not responsible for protecting their belongings,” Taylor said. “Renters should carefully evaluate their insurance needs and contact the Department or a licensed agent with specific questions.”
Renters insurance covers personal property, such as clothing and electronics, provides certain liability protection and can include other protections up to a dollar limit generally payable as a monthly premium or lump sum annual premium payment. The average renters insurance policy can cost between $15 and $30 per month. Yet many Ohioans do not have renters insurance. A 2011 Insurance Information Institute poll found that only 29 percent of renters had renters insurance.
Most landlords have insurance to financially protect them against structural damage to their property. However, this protection does not extend to a renters personal property.
Taylor advises renters to work with an insurance agent to determine the appropriate level of protection, to ask them for available discounts, and once coverage is secured, to conduct a home inventory complete with photos and video to expedite the insurance company’s handling of a potential claim. The insurance agent can also assist the renter in determining the need for and the additional cost of insuring for the perils of flood and earthquake, which are typically not covered in a renters policy.
To download a free home inventory checklist visit www.insurance.ohio.gov. The National Association of Insurance Commissioner’s (NAIC) iPhone and Android compatible myHOME Scr.APP.book app is also a useful home inventory tool.
For a list of licensed insurance agents in Ohio, and to ask questions and for information about renters insurance, Ohioans should visit the Department’s website and call the consumer hotline at 1-800-686-1526.